Recovery after appendectomy surgery for appendicitis (full sample)
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If a patient has signs of appendicitis or a similar condition, an appendectomy will be needed to remove the appendix. Appendectomy surgery is a straightforward procedure, and in this article we'll explore the two main methods of surgery, recovery times and what the patient can expect from the operation.
An appendectomy is surgery carried out to remove a blocked, inflamed or otherwise damaged appendix. This type of surgery is necessary if a patient has or is likely to develop appendicitis. The procedure is often performed at short notice as emergency surgery to prevent more dangerous problems from occurring. In this article we'll explore the typical recovery process from appendectomy surgery.
The appendix is a small organ attached to the large intestine, though its function is still poorly understood. Appendicitis is a relatively common condition that happens when the appendix becomes inflamed or blocked. If left untreated, the appendix can burst, creating potentially life-threatening issues for the patient due to the risk of internal infection. Because of this, if appendicitis is diagnosed, the appendix needs to be removed.
There are two types of surgery that can be used to remove an appendix:
Open surgery - This is where the surgeon will make a two to three inch incision in the patient's abdomen. They will then find the appendix, remove it and suture the internal and external wound.
Laparoscopic or keyhole surgery - The surgeon will make several small incisions in the abdomen and insert a camera and some very fine surgical instruments attached to tubes. They will then use the camera to locate the appendix and use the instruments to remove it and suture the wound.
Keyhole surgery is generally much less traumatic for the patient and can sometimes even be completed without the patient requiring an overnight stay. Recovery times vary depending on the type of surgery performed.
The patient will normally require a hospital stay of two to three days following the operation.
They will be able to get up and move around after one to two days.
They will experience discomfort for several weeks following the operation.
They will be able to return to light activities and gentle work after three to four weeks.
They will be able to return to normal activities after four to six weeks.
The patient will sometimes need to stay in the hospital overnight but may have the procedure as an outpatient.
They will be able to get up and move around after eight to twelve hours.
They will experience discomfort for a couple of weeks following the operation.
They will be able to return to light activities and gentle work after a couple of weeks.
They will be able to return to normal activities after two to four weeks.
If you suspect that you may be suffering from appendicitis or have significant abdominal pain, it is essential to see a doctor as soon as possible. An appendectomy is a straightforward procedure and early diagnosis and treatment will mean that you will make a full recovery.
Content originally written by Paul Maplesden, a freelance writer, and edited by me.