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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Laparoscopic appendectomy is surgery to remove your appendix. The surgery is done through small incisions in your abdomen. Gas used during surgery may cause shoulder or chest pain. This is normal and should go away in a day or two.
Call your doctor or surgeon if:
- Blood soaks through your bandage.
- You feel full and cannot burp or vomit.
- You cannot eat or drink anything.
- You have increasing swelling in your abdomen.
- You have a foul-smelling odor coming from an incision wound, or it is draining fluid.
- Your wound is red, swollen, or has pus.
- Your vomit is greenish, looks like coffee grounds, or has blood in it.
- You are not able to have a bowel movement.
- You have a fever.
- You have chills, a cough, or feel weak and achy.
- You have nausea or are vomiting.
- Your pain is not helped with medicine.
- You have questions or concerns about your surgery, condition, or care.
You may need any of the following:
- Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask your healthcare provider how to take this medicine safely. Some prescription pain medicines contain acetaminophen. Do not take other medicines that contain acetaminophen without talking to your healthcare provider. Too much acetaminophen may cause liver damage. Prescription pain medicine may cause constipation. Ask your healthcare provider how to prevent or treat constipation.
- Antibiotics help prevent or fight a bacterial infection.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
- Rest as needed to help with healing. You will need to go slowly and rest often. This will help protect the incision wounds. Do not lift anything heavier than your healthcare provider says is okay. Ask your provider when it is okay to drive and do your other normal daily activities.
- Apply ice on your incision wounds. Ice helps prevent tissue damage and decreases swelling and pain. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel before you apply it to your skin. Apply ice for 15 to 20 minutes every hour or as directed.
- Prevent or relieve constipation. Constipation may make you strain to have a bowel movement. The strain cause damage before you have healed. Drink extra liquids during the day. Eat high-fiber foods. High-fiber foods include fruits and vegetables, whole-grain breads and cereals, and cooked beans.
Incision wound care:
- Wash your hands before you care for the incision wounds.
- Check the wounds each day for signs of infection, such as swelling, redness, or pus.
- Keep the wounds clean and dry. You may need to cover them when you bathe so they do not get wet.
- Carefully wash the wounds with soap and water, or as directed. Dry the wounds and put on new, clean bandages.
- Change the bandages when they get wet or dirty. The strips of medical tape will fall off on their own. If they do not fall off within 10 days, you can gently peel them off.
Follow up with your doctor or surgeon as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
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