Laparoscopic Appendectomy for Children
Your child is scheduled to have his/her appendix removed using a laparoscope. A small needle will be placed through an incision near the belly button. The abdomen will then be filled with carbon dioxide gas. The gas will create a space so that a thin, lighted scope can be placed. This will allow the doctor to see your child’s appendix. A small probe will be placed through a separate incision. Then, your child’s appendix will be removed.
- Your child’s incision should heal within 1-2 weeks. The stitches will dissolve.
- Do not put ointments, powders, or creams on the wounds.
- You may leave the dressing on the wound until you return to the clinic. If the dressing falls off, then you may leave it off.
- Your child may shower with the dressing on. Your child may bathe 10 days after surgery.
- Check your child’s wounds daily for:
- Red and/or hot site
- Pus-like drainage
- Excess swelling or bleeding
- Fever (by mouth) above 100.4 F for two readings taken 4 hours apart
- After the wound is healed, for 1 year, apply SPF 30 to area when out in the sun.
- For the first 4 weeks, your child should not lift any heavy objects. Lifting puts extra strain on the incision and can increase the chance of complications.
- After 4 weeks, your child may increase the level of his activity and play. If you are not sure if it is safe, check with your doctor.
- Check with your doctor before your child returns to gym class and recess.
- Your child may return to school when he feels up to it.
It is normal for your child to have some pain. Pain medicine will be prescribed for your child.
Your child may have aching in his/her neck and shoulders from the gas put in to her belly during the surgery. For relief, have your child lie down flat and put pillows under his/her hips. Have them stay this way for 5-15 minutes. The pain should slowly go away.
Your child may eat the foods he/she chooses. A diet with plenty of non-caffeinated fluids (water, juice) and fiber can help prevent constipation. Foods high in fiber include:
- Pear or prune juice
- Whole grain cereals (cheerios, wheaties, life)
- Canned peaches, pears, apricots, pineapples, etc.
- 100% whole wheat bread
- Vegetable soup
- Raw veggies with dip
- Gelatin with diced fresh fruit
- Wheat germ sprinkled on yogurt or pudding
If your child has not had a bowel movement in 3 days, you may want to use a stool softener (Docusate Colace®), a bulk fiber laxative, or glycerin suppository. You can buy these at your local drug store.
When to Call the Doctor
- Nausea or vomiting lasting more than 24 hours
- Constipation not relieved by stool softener or glycerin suppository
- Fever above 100.4 F (by mouth) for 2 different readings taken 4 hours apart.
- Excess swelling
- Increased redness at the wound site or warmth to the touch
- Excess bloody or pus-like drainage
- Increased pain not controlled by pain medication
- Rapid or excess bruising. Some bruising is normal.
If you have questions or problems, please call:
Monday-Friday 8:00am-4:30pm: (608) 263-9419
After hours and weekends: (608) 262-0486. This is the hospital paging operator. Ask for the pediatric surgery resident on call. Leave your name, your child’s full name, and a phone number with the area code. The doctor will call you back shortly.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 06/06/2012
Copyright © 06/06/2012 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6014
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