What Is the Process of Appendicitis Recovery? (with pictures)

Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen
Appendicitis recovery can depend on whether the appendix burst.
Appendicitis recovery can depend on whether the appendix burst.

The process of appendicitis recovery is typically a straightforward one, though the length of recovery can vary. Factors that affect appendicitis recovery include whether or not the appendix burst, the appendicitis treatments used and the overall health of the patient. In most cases, appendicitis is treated through surgery in which the appendix is removed. In rare situations when the removal of the appendix is not advisable or possible, treatment may include the administration of antibiotics and the prescription of a soft diet. Surgery remains the most common course of action.

The most common approach to removing the appendix is through a 4 inch incision.
The most common approach to removing the appendix is through a 4 inch incision.

Once the patient has been evaluated by medical professional and it is determined that appendicitis is present, the patient will typically be scheduled for an appendectomy. The two most common approaches to removing the appendix is through laparoscopic surgery or a more traditional “open surgery” that utilizes a 4 inch (10.16 cm) incision. In both cases, the patient will be given general anesthesia, which can have an impact on the process of appendicitis recovery.

Appendicitis is an infection of the appendix.
Appendicitis is an infection of the appendix.

After the surgery is performed, the patient will be observed by intensive care ward nurses and will be given pain medication as necessary. It is generally important to the patient get up and move around six to 12 hours after surgery. The hospital stay for someone who has undergone an appendectomy can vary, and maybe anywhere from one to three days but, in case of complications, the patient may have to stay in the hospital for more than a week. A longer hospital stay may be prescribed in cases where the patient suffered a burst appendix before its removal.

Immediately after the appendectomy, and within the first day of recovery, the patient may be offered a liquid diet. After the patient has sufficiently recovered from abdominal surgery, he can go back to eating his normal diet. Once he is released from the hospital, he will be instructed in how to care for his incision by keeping it clean and changing its dressings. The patient will typically be told to rest for the next one to two weeks after which he may be able to resume going to school or work and will be prescribed both antibiotics and pain medication. During the appendicitis recovery time, the patient will be urged to contact his doctor if he experiences signs of infection or complications. Full recovery may be expected in six to eight weeks after surgery.

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    • Appendicitis recovery can depend on whether the appendix burst.
      Appendicitis recovery can depend on whether the appendix burst.
    • The most common approach to removing the appendix is through a 4 inch incision.
      The most common approach to removing the appendix is through a 4 inch incision.
    • Appendicitis is an infection of the appendix.
      Appendicitis is an infection of the appendix.