Procedure

An appendectomy is surgery to remove your child’s appendix.

An appendix is a finger-shaped organ that comes off of your large intestine. An appendix is removed when it is swollen or infected. If an appendix has a hole in it (perforation) it can leak into the belly. This can cause more infection.

Appendectomy

Incision

Your child’s surgery can be done in two ways, open or laparoscopic.

Open:  Your child’s appendix was taken out by making a small cut on the lower, right side of the belly.

Laparoscopic: Your child’s appendix was taken out by making some small cuts. Then a camera was used to see inside the belly.

Your child’s incisions are closed with Dermabond or Steri-Strips.

Dermabond is special glue used to close a cut. This glue will come off on its own. Do not scrub or pick at the glue. Your child may take a bath or shower 24 hours after the surgery. After the bath or shower, gently pat the glue dry with a towel.  Your child may swim when the glue has fallen off.

Steri-strips are special pieces of tape used to close an incision. These strips will fall off after 10-14 days from the surgery. Do not pick or pull at the steri-strips. Your child my take a bath or shower 24 hours after the surgery. Your child may swim after the steri-strips fall off.

Do not put any medicines or creams on your child’s incision. Clean the incision each day with soap and water.

Watch your child for signs of infection. Look at your child’s incision each day. Call your doctor if:

  • the incision has more or “flaming” redness
  • the incision is warmer than the rest of the skin
  • the incision has more drainage which is green, foul smelling, or pus-like
  • your child has a fever of over 101 degrees F or chills
  • your child has behavior changes, such as being more tired, fussy, not eating the usual amount
  • your child has color changes, such as being red or pale or gray

Activity

If your child is very young, he or she may return to normal activity as comfortable. Continue to use your child’s car seat. Continue to hold your child as normal.

If your child is older, and had an open procedure, he or she child may return to school. Your child may not do weight lifting, gymnastics, PE, or contact sports for 8 weeks.

If your child is older and had a laparoscopic procedure, he or she may return to school. Your child may return to PE and regular activities in 2 weeks.

Pain

Your child may have some pain after surgery.  If the pain is not controlled well with medicines, please call us. 

  • Follow the directions given for the pain medicine. Do not give more than the directions say.
  • Give pain medicine at routine times. Pain is harder to stop after it has started.
  • If your child needed pain medicine during the day, he may need it at night too.
  • Some strong pain medicine has Acetaminophen (Tylenol) in it.  If the strong pain medicine prescribed by your doctor has Acetaminophen (Tylenol, make sure you do not give more Acetaminophen (Tylenol).  Acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be found in other products like cold medicines.  Call us if you have a question about these medicines.

Medical Services