It’s very satisfying to provide answers to patients questions through this website. I’m more than happy to provide free advice for patients with medical questions. However, because of the large volume of questions I receive, I can no longer answer questions on this page. Please use the “Ask Dr. Buck” form. Thank you!
You have had a “Laparoscopic Appendectomy”. This just means your appendix was removed using a small camera and small instruments through 3 separate small incisions. After having your appendix removed, there are no limitations on your diet. After the surgery, you may feel full or nauseated easily with a large meal. The bowels usually need some time to begin functioning normally again, so the first one or two days after the surgery this is normal. If it persists beyond one or two days, you should call the office for advice.
The incisions have “Steri-Strips” (or small tape) across them, and a plastic adhesive dressing over the top to protect them from water. You may wash over the plastic dressings in the shower. Please do not soak in a tub or bath as this may loosen the plastic dressings and they may fall off, leaving the incisions exposed. After about 48-72 hours, the incisions in the skin are watertight, but they are still very weak, so it’s important to protect them for about 7 days. Leave the plastic dressings on for 72 hours. After 72 hours, you may remove the plastic and underlying gauze. Leave the Steri-strips in place for 7 days after your surgery. You may wash gently over the Steri-strips with soap and water, but be sure to dry them well after showering. After 7 days, if they have not fallen off by themselves, you may remove them.
Your activity level should be reduced the first two weeks after the surgery. The incisions are about 60% strength of normal tissue at 6 weeks. I generally advise not to lift anything more than 15lbs. for about 6 weeks. You can increase your activity to moderate exercise after the first two weeks. I often advise to “let pain be your guide” in your recovery. This just means you can steadily increase your activity as long your pain is under control. Often after surgery you may have a few days where you feel really well. This is usually when people increase their activity level and the following day feel very sore or very tired. This is normal. It’s OK to do this, just be aware you may experience these “ups and downs” for a few weeks. Just as long as you are improving from week to week, you are on the right road to recovery.
If you should have fevers, chills, increasing nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain please contact the office. If you have any other questions or concerns during your recovery, please do not hesitate to either email or call us at anytime. Our phone system electronically and immediately alerts us to new messages 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so if you do call after hours please leave a message and someone will return your call. Please call the office to make your post-operative appointment about 14 days from the surgery.
It was a pleasure helping you with you care.