Appendix operation (appendectomy): how it is performed and recovery
The appendix operation, known as appendectomy, is a surgical procedure in which the appendix is removed when it is inflamed. This surgery is generally performed whenever appendicitis is confirmed by the doctor, through a clinical examination and an ultrasound or abdominal tomography.
The symptoms that indicate the presence of an acute appendicitis are abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and fever, although it is possible that the appendicitis is present with less severe or intermittent symptoms, giving rise to a chronic appendicitis. Learn more about the symptoms of appendicitis.
The surgery to remove the appendix must be carried out in the first 24 hours after the diagnosis of the illness, in order to avoid complications from this inflammation, such as a suppurated appendix or a generalized infection in the abdomen called peritonitis.
Types of appendix operation
The appendectomy is performed under general anesthesia and lasts between 30 to 60 minutes, and can be done in 2 ways:
- laparoscopic appendectomy: the appendix is extracted through 3 small 1 cm cuts, through which a small camera and surgical instruments are introduced. In this type of surgery, the recovery is faster and the scar is more small, and can be almost imperceptible;
- appendectomy open: if there is a cut of approximately 5 cm in the abdomen on the right side, it is necessary to manipulate more the region, so that the recovery is slower and leaves a scar more visible. It is normally used whenever the appendix is very dilated or ruptured.
Hospitalization time after surgery varies from approximately 1 to 3 days, depending on what type of surgery is performed, so the person returns home when they can eat solid food normally.
How is the recovery
The recovery after the appendectomy can take from 1 week to 1 month, in the case of an open appendectomy, being faster in the laparoscopic appendectomy. During the first few days, it is possible to feel some pain and have bruises that are getting better over time, so the doctor may recommend the use of analgesics to relieve the pain.
During this period, some important precautions should be taken, such as:
- Stay at rest during the first 7 days of the postoperative periodrecommending small walks, but avoiding straining and carrying weight;
- heal the inheritance at the hospital every 2 days or according to the time indicated by the doctor, removing the points 8 to 10 days after the surgery;
- Drink at least 8 vases of water a dayespecially hot drinks like te;
- Eat foods a la plancha or cocidos, giving preference to white meat, fish, vegetables and fruits. See how the diet should be after an appendicitis;
- Press the herida when it is necessary to tossduring the first 7 days;
- Avoid exercising during the first 15 daysbeing careful when picking up heavy objects or going up and down stairs, for example;
- sleep mouth up during the first 2 weeks;
- Avoid driving during the first 3 weeks after the surgery and be careful when placing the safety belt over the scar.
The postoperative period may vary according to the surgical technique used or with the possible complications that may exist, therefore the surgeon is the most suitable to indicate when it is possible to return to work, handle or perform physical activity again.
The main complications of the appendectomy are the stress, infection of the herida, the formation of a fistula, therefore, when the individual spends more than 3 days without evacuating or presents signs of infection such as swelling of the herida, discharge of pus, pain fever is constant above 38ºC, you must inform the surgeon to start the most appropriate treatment according to the case.
These risks are rare, and can usually arise in the event of a ruptured appendix.
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