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Minimally Invasive Appendix Removal Surgery: Your Complete Guide to Optimal Recovery

Minimally Invasive Appendix Removal Surgery: Your Complete Guide to Optimal Recovery

Appendectomy, or appendix removal surgery, is one of the most common surgeries in the United States. It’s the definitive treatment for appendicitis, but if you need an appendectomy, you probably have questions.

Elvira Klause, MD, FACS, and our team specialize in abdominal surgery and appendix removal in Laguna Hills, California. 

In this comprehensive guide, we explore what happens during minimally invasive appendix removal surgery and how you can achieve a smooth and successful recovery.

What happens during minimally invasive appendix removal

Dr. Klause uses laparoscopic techniques for minimally invasive appendix removal surgery. Laparoscopy is a surgical method that uses small incisions and specialized instruments to remove your appendix, without the need for a large incision.

We start the procedure by administering general anesthesia to ensure you’re pain-free and unaware. Once you’re asleep, Dr. Klause makes 3-4 small incisions in your abdominal area. These incisions are about the size of a buttonhole, making them significantly smaller than the single large incision used in traditional open surgery.

We gently pump carbon dioxide into your abdominal cavity to inflate your abdomen and create space for Dr. Klause to work. 

Then she inserts a laparoscope (a thin, flexible tube with a camera at the end) through one of the incisions. The camera transmits images to a monitor in the operating room, so she can see inside your abdomen.

Using specialized instruments, she carefully detaches your appendix from the surrounding tissue and blood vessels and removes it through one of the incisions. We close each incision with sutures or adhesive strips and apply small bandages.

How to recover from appendix removal surgery

After your appendectomy, we move you to a recovery room. Minimally invasive surgery typically takes less time than open surgery, resulting in a shorter overall procedure and shorter hospital stay. In some cases, you may be able to go home the same day.

Dr. Klause and our team give you recovery instructions before you go home. Here’s how to ensure optimal recovery.

Follow post operative instructions

The key to a smooth recovery is following the post-operative instructions diligently. Your instructions can include taking prescribed medications, adhering to dietary guidelines, and avoiding strenuous activities. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Manage pain appropriately

Some discomfort after surgery is normal. We prescribe pain medications based on your health and your needs. It’s essential that you take these medications as directed. Don’t take more than prescribed and don’t wait to take medication until the pain becomes severe.

Care for your incisions

Once you’re home, keep your incisions clean and dry to prevent infection. Gently wash them with mild soap and water and thoroughly pat them dry. Avoid submerging them in water until Dr. Klause clears you.

Be aware of any signs of infection, and contact us if you notice any concerning symptoms. Signs of infection can include:

Adjust your diet

Initially, you'll be on a clear liquid diet after appendix removal surgery. Follow our dietary recommendations and slowly transition to solid foods as instructed. Gradually returning to your usual diet is the best way to avoid digestive issues following abdominal surgery.

Resume activities gradually

Rest and allow your body to heal immediately after appendectomy. But soon, you may gradually resume light activities. Walking can aid in recovery and prevent complications like blood clots. Dr. Klause gives you specific guidelines based on your situation. 

As you reintroduce activity, avoid heavy lifting. Don’t lift heavy objects or engage in strenuous activities for several weeks after surgery to prevent strain on your incision sites.

Attend your follow-up appointments

Finally, go to all your scheduled follow-up appointments. We monitor your recovery at these appointments, and they’re a good time to address any concerns you may have.

Listen to your body during recovery from appendix removal surgery. If something doesn't feel right, don't hesitate to reach out to us.

By following these recovery tips and closely adhering to your post-operative guidelines, you'll be well on your way to optimal recovery.  Schedule a consultation to learn more about appendectomy and the recovery process. Call us at 949-245-6910 or request an appointment online today.

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