Surgeon Questions Appendectomy

How long is the recovery from an appendectomy?

I understand that after my appendectomy I'll be in the hospital for at most 2 days, but how long should I recover from the surgery at home? Can I go back to work right away or should I stay home for a couple of days to recover?

3 Answers

Your Surgeon decides when you go back to work.
I perform a lot of appendectomies as outpatient procedures, where patients go home the same day. I typically quote patients about a 2-week recovery for non-complicated appendicitis. Usually sore for about 5-7 days and about 80% recovered at 2 weeks. It may take a full 4-6 weeks to feel normal (i.e., appetite normalizes, energy levels improve, vague aches and pains resolve). People who work desk jobs can typically return in 3-5 days. People who work manual labor can return in about 2-4 weeks depending on the amount of activity.
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Recovering from any surgery depends on the intra-operative findings, the general condition, and the other medical problems the person has. In a healthy person with simple uncomplicated appendicitis, patients are usually discharged within 24 hours. Patients can go back to their daily life immediately, having regular diet, shower, and drive (As long as they're not on narcotic pain medications). It is advisable though to avoid strenuous activities and weight lifting for at least 2 weeks. But, again, many other variables come into play when advising patients on their post-op course.