Discharge Instructions for Open Appendectomy (Appendix Removal)
You have had a procedure known as an open appendectomy to remove your appendix. The appendix is a worm-shaped hollow pouch attached to the beginning of your large intestine. During an open appendectomy one incision (about 2 to 3 inches long) was made in your lower right side. A longer incision may have been used if the appendix ruptured. Here are guidelines to follow at home.
Wear loose-fitting clothes. This will help you be more comfortable and cause less irritation around your incision.
Shower as usual.
Gently wash around your incision with soap and water.
Don’t bathe or soak in a tub or swim in a pool until your incisions are well healed.
If your incision was closed with small white strips of tape, leave them in place for 10 days.
Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water a day, unless directed otherwise.
Take a fiber-based laxative if you are constipated.
Eat a bland, low-fat diet, such as the following:
Plain toast or bread, crackers
Macaroni (plain or with cheese)
Canned fruit (except pineapple)
Very ripe bananas
If you had general anesthesia, don’t operate machinery or power tools, drink alcohol, or make major decisions for at least the first 24 hours.
Gradually increase activity level to help with your recovery. Start by doing light activities around your home once you feel able to do so.
Don’t drive until you are no longer taking prescription pain medication.
Don’t lift anything heavier than 10 pounds until your doctor says it’s OK.
Limit sports and strenuous activities for 1 or 2 weeks.
When to Call Your Doctor
Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following:
Swelling, oozing, increased pain, or unusual redness around the incision
Fever of 101.5°F (38.5°C) or higher
Increasing abdominal pain
Severe diarrhea, bloating, or constipation
Nausea or vomiting