Your doctor removed your appendix either by making many small cuts, called incisions, in your belly (laparoscopic surgery) or through open surgery. In open surgery, the doctor makes one large incision. The incisions leave scars that usually fade over time.
After your surgery, it is normal to feel weak and tired for several days after you return home. Your belly may be swollen and may be painful. If you had laparoscopic surgery, you may have pain in your shoulder for about 24 hours.
You may also feel sick to your stomach and have diarrhea, constipation, gas, or a headache. This usually goes away in a few days.
Your recovery time depends on the type of surgery you had. If you had laparoscopic surgery, you will probably be able to return to work or a normal routine 1 to 3 weeks after surgery. If you had an open surgery, it may take 2 to 4 weeks. If your appendix ruptured, you may have a drain in your incision.
Your body will work fine without an appendix. You will not have to make any changes in your diet or lifestyle.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to get better as quickly as possible.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for any changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if you have any problems.
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Current as of: May 12, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Kenneth Bark, MD - General Surgery, Colon and Rectal Surgery
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