The usual stay in the hospital after an appendectomy for an uncomplicated appendicitis is 1-3 days, depending on the age, other medical problems and physical condition of the patient. If the appendix is gangrenous or ruptured, the hospital stay may be 7 days or longer.
- Right on the next day after the surgical intervention the patient is allowed to get up and slowly take a few steps through the hospital. Although it may seem like a torment for a just operated person, movement is essential for the resumption of the intestinal transit and will also prevent the occurrence of pneumonia by inhalation of digestive content.
- To allow the digestive tract to rest after surgery, patients will not be given anything to eat or drink for the first 24 hours after an appendectomy. After that, they gradually will be given small amounts of water, then clear liquids, and then some solid foods, until finally they are able to handle a regular diet.
- Patients usually are given a dose of antibiotic intravenously (into a vein) during surgery and the antibiotic is continued until the day after surgery. If the appendix ruptured, the patient will need to take antibiotics for a week or more.
- Light activity at home is encouraged after surgery. The patient can expect to return to normal activities, such as showering, driving, walking up stairs, light lifting, and work within a few days. If he is taking narcotic medications for pain, he should not drive.
Be sure to call your doctor if any of the following symptoms appear:
Redness or swelling around the incision
The incision is warm to the touch
Drainage from the incision