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Ivor asked...

Post appendectomy

I am 18 days post appendectomy, I'm 71 years old. I still have some abdominal aching. Is that expected? MY operation was via laproscope. The were some adhesion to my colon.

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The answer

Appendectomy as you know is the removal of the appendix usually as a result of infection, inflammation or other medical reasons.

The appendix is usually removed these days, as in your case laparoscopically but, can also be removed by open surgery.

Recovery is usually quite quick but you can expect there to be bruising and pain for the first few days after surgery and this will gradually ease.

You can usually return to normal activities within two weeks but strenuous activities need to be avoided for four to sick weeks to allow complete recovery to occur.

Adhesions occur when there has been scarring internally and this is where muscles and scar tissue can adhere to organs and tissue and is usually as a result of infection or previous surgery.

With any surgery it does take time for the wound, muscles and the body to recover.

Sometimes discomfort other than wound healing can be caused by constipation and trapped wind, infection and simply from over doing things from being too active in the initial stages of recovery.

Regarding trapped wind this can be eased with the help of hot water and also peppermint- tea, sweets or peppermint oil/water.

Regarding constipation as a result of side effects of medication taken for analgesic purposes a good healthy diet with fibre, fruit and plenty of fluids is recommended but you may need to be prescribed some laxatives to help ease this too.

If infection is present and causing the pain to increase then you may also find that you will feel unwell, the wound will become swollen and inflammed and that there will be pus and a temperature present. If this is the case we would suggest you see your GP for review as soon as possible.

Due to your age you will take slightly longer to recover so I would suggest that you avoid strenuous activity and gradually increase the amount you mobilise.

We would also recommend that you take analgesia as prescribed if necessary but take this regularly to prevent break through pain occurring.

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses  

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