Appendectomy is surgery to remove the appendix. Laparoscopic surgery uses several small cuts (incisions) instead of one large incision. Laparoscopic surgery offers a shorter recovery time and less discomfort.

Let Dr. Hansen Know About:

  • Allergies to food or medicine.
  • Medicines taken, including vitamins, dietary supplements, herbs, eyedrops, over-the-counter medicines, and creams.
  • Use of steroids (by mouth or creams).
  • Previous problems with anesthetics or numbing medicines.
  • History of bleeding problems or blood clots.
  • Previous surgery.
  • Other health problems, including diabetes, heart problems, lung problems, and kidney problems.
  • Possibility of pregnancy, if this applies.

Risks and Complications

  • Infection. A germ starts growing in the wound. This can usually be treated with antibiotics. In some cases, the wound will need to be opened and cleaned.
  • Bleeding.
  • Damage to other organs.
  • Sores (abscesses).
  • Chronic pain at the incision sites. This is defined as pain that lasts for more than 3 months.
  • Blood clots in the legs that may rarely travel to the lungs.
  • Infection in the lungs (pneumonia).

Before the Procedure

  • Appendectomy is usually performed immediately after an inflamed appendix (appendicitis) is diagnosed. No preparation is necessary ahead of this procedure.


  • You will be given medicine that makes you sleep (general anesthetic). After you are asleep, a flexible tube (catheter) may be inserted into your bladder to drain your urine during surgery. The tube is removed before you wake up after surgery. When you are asleep, carbon dioxide gas will be used to inflate your abdomen. This will allow Dr Hansen to see inside your abdomen and perform your surgery. Three small incisions will be made in your abdomen. Dr Hansen will insert a thin, lighted tube (laparoscope) through one of the incisions. Your surgeon will look through the laparoscope while performing the surgery. Other tools will be inserted through the other incisions. Laparoscopic procedures may not be appropriate when:
    • There is major scarring from a previous surgery.
    • The patient has bleeding disorders.
    • A pregnancy is near term.
    • There are other conditions which make the laparoscopic procedure impossible, such as an advanced infection or a ruptured appendix.
    • If Dr Hansen feels it is not safe to continue with the laparoscopic procedure, he or she will perform an open surgery instead. This gives the surgeon a larger view and more space to work. Open surgery requires a longer recovery time. After your appendix is removed, your incisions will be closed with stitches (sutures) or skin adhesive.

After the Procedure

  • You will be taken to a recovery room. When the anesthesia has worn off, you will be returned to your hospital room. You will be given pain medicines to keep you comfortable. Ask your caregiver how long your hospital stay will be.

Home Care Instructions

  • Do not drive while taking narcotic pain medicines.
  • Use stool softener if you become constipated from your pain medicines.
  • Change your bandages (dressings) as directed.
  • Keep your wounds clean and dry. You may wash the wounds gently with soap and water. Gently pat the wounds dry with a clean towel.
  • You can shower immediately as there is glue on top of absorbable incisions
  • Only take over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain, discomfort, or fever as directed by your caregiver. Motrin 600 mg 4 times a day works well. Use it first
  • You may continue your normal diet as directed.
  • Do not lift more than 10 pounds (4.5 kg) or play contact sports for 3 weeks, or as directed.
  • Slowly increase your activity after surgery.
  • Take deep breaths to avoid getting a lung infection (pneumonia).
  • Call Dr. Hansen’s office for a follow up appointment in 2 week or sooner if you have any concerns at 801-523-6177