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Appendectomy Questions

Appendectomy is a medical term used to describe the removal of the appendix. In most cases an appendectomy is an emergency procedure due to the sudden onset of appendicitis. Many times surgical facilities are occupied and antibiotics may be used to delay sepsis. Recent studies have recognized that some cases of appendicitis may resolve without surgical intervention. To learn more about appendectomy procedures, take a look below at the questions that have been answered by Experts.

How long will someone be uncomfortable and swollen after a laparoscopic appendectomy?

Generally the recovery of the patient may depend upon several factors such as the severity of the appendicitis prior to surgery, type of surgery performed (laparoscopic or traditional) and the removal of the appendix. In some cases the surgeon may have to search for the appendix further disrupting the internal cavity. Furthermore the recovery may also depend upon the individual. Many people recover in as little as 2-3 days while other people may require additional time to recoup. Some patients may experience vomiting following an appendectomy. Occasional vomiting is generally nothing to worry about as long as the person is experiencing some form of feces output. Many people have nausea and vomiting following a surgical procedure.

There are a few steps that may ease post operative symptoms such as pain medication or anti-nausea medicine. Benadryl may also assist in easing symptoms. If the patient isn't prescribed any pain medication, acetaminophen may be used. Some patients find relief when placing ice packs on the incisions for the first few days. However many patients enjoy the relief that a heating pad provides. It generally depends on the person's preference.

Is 9 inches the normal length for an appendectomy scar?

A typical appendectomy scar usually measures 2.5-3 inches with nine inches being excessively large. The location of an appendectomy incision is generally on the lower right side of the abdomen. However there are reasons for such an incision as mentioned above such as:

1. A ruptured appendix. When an appendix ruptures, contamination enters the abdominal cavity and must be cleaned and sterilized to avoid serious infection. It is usually impossible to properly clean the abdominal cavity with a 2.5-3 inch incision. Therefore this may explain such a large incision.

2. There was a possible issue found during the appendectomy such as diverticulitis or an ovarian cyst twist.

3. The small incision wasn't feasible due to the location of the appendix.

4. Bleeding may have occurred

5. The surgery involved more than just an appendectomy

The patient's surgeon would usually be able to explain the reason for such a large incision.

Does fever after laparoscopic appendectomies indicate infection?

There may be a possibility of some residual infection in the abdominal cavity if a fever is present following an appendectomy. If the appendix was inflamed prior to surgery, the medical staff would more than likely be watching for an elevated temperature. There are rare cases of pelvic or lower abdominal abscesses forming following an appendectomy. However fever is a common symptom that the medical staff generally keeps an eye on following an appendectomy. An ultrasound may be used to look for possible abscesses. If infection or an abscess is found antibiotics may be used to clear any infection.

What can be done to have a bowel movement after an appendectomy?

In most cases it may take several days for a person's bowels to begin working properly. Gas is generally a good indication that the bowel is working properly. Generally the biggest concern may involve the patient developing a bowel obstruction. Laxatives are usually discouraged due to the possible irritation to the bowel. If a patient has not had a bowel movement for at least 5 days, the surgeon may be notified. Many people experience a delay in bowel movements following surgery. Many times the anesthesia alone may cause a delay.

Many people undergo an appendectomy following an appendicitis attack. In some cases the appendix may try to rupture which may result in emergency surgery. Many questions arise when faced with an appendectomy. If a person has questions or concerns regarding an appendectomy, the person should ask an Expert for medical insight.
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