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After an Appendectomy

Most people recover quickly after an appendectomy. You will likely be in the hospital for 1 to 2 days. If your appendix burst, you may stay longer. After you return home, plan on a follow-up visit with your healthcare provider in 1 to 2 weeks, or as instructed.

In the hospital

In most cases, you will drink liquids and walk on the day of the surgery. You will also be given pain medicine. To help keep your lungs clear, you may be taught breathing exercises. You may have a drain in place. But it's often taken out before leaving the hospital. 

Back at home

Take your medicines as directed. They can help control pain from the surgery. Don't do any strenuous activity, heavy lifting, or driving until your surgeon says it is OK. As directed, slowly go back to your normal activities in 7 to 10 days.

 When to call your healthcare provider

Call your healthcare provider if you have any of the following:

  • Swelling, oozing, worsening pain, or abnormal redness near the incision

  • A fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or as directed by your healthcare provider

  • Belly pain that gets worse

  • Severe diarrhea, bloating, or constipation

  • Upset stomach (nausea) or vomiting

  • Trouble breathing

  • Swelling or pain in your legs

Online Medical Reviewer: Jen Lehrer MD
Online Medical Reviewer: John Hanrahan MD
Online Medical Reviewer: L Renee Watson MSN RN
Date Last Reviewed: 9/1/2018
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