The appendix is a small organ in the lower abdomen, and it is not known exactly what its function is. However, the appendix can become infected, and that condition is called appendicitis. When a person has appendicitis, a general surgeon has to perform a procedure called an appendectomy in order to remove the appendix before it bursts. In this day and age, many appendectomies are performed laparoscopically, and laparoscopic surgeries typically have a shorter recovery period than open surgery. But, if you do have a laparoscopic appendectomy, you will need time to completely heal. Use the following tips to help you recover from a laparoscopic appendectomy at home:
Ensure That You Give Yourself Plenty of Time to Sleep and Rest
While a laparoscopic appendectomy uses small incisions to remove an infected appendix, it is still an abdominal surgery. Thus, following surgery, your body will begin the process of healing from the procedure. During this time, it is important to make sure that you rest often and get plenty of sleep so your body has the energy that it needs to focus on making a full recovery. In the event you need an appendectomy, you should plan on taking several days off of work or school so you can take it easy at home.
Pay Close Attention to Your Post-Op Instructions
Many patients who have a laparoscopic appendectomy do not have to spend any nights in the hospital. But, before you are discharged after surgery, you will receive detailed post-op instructions to follow at home. It is extremely important to understand the instructions and follow all of them. If there is anything that you do not understand, ask your general surgeon or nurse for clarification. Your post-op instructions will include information about how to care for your incisions, possible signs of infection to watch for, and directions for taking any medication that is prescribed.
Slowly Incorporate Physical Activity
While you will need plenty of rest and sleep after a laparoscopic appendectomy, that doesn't mean that you should spend days upon days in bed without any activity. Physical activity is important for your recovery, as it promotes blood flow through the body and helps prevent the formation of blood clots. With that being said, don't try to go for a five-mile run a day after surgery. Instead, start slow by walking around your house and then taking a walk around the block when you feel comfortable. Avoid lifting weights or participating in high-intensity exercise until after your follow-up appointment with your general surgeon.