How Long NPO After Appendectomy (And Why)?

Exact Answer: After about 24 hours

The appendix is a tube-like structure present in the lower half of the right abdomen, between the intestines. It is a vestigial organ that has no specific uses but has been transferred to us by our ancestors. Removal of the appendix would affect a person in no way. It would neither impair him nor make him prone to any kind of disease. Although the appendix is useless for the body, it is very prone to infections. Infections in the appendix may lead to severe problems leading to its removal via surgery known as appendectomy.

Various complications may occur in the appendix. One among them is appendicitis, during which the appendix ruptures to spill the contents within it to the abdomen thereby posing problems for the body. In such cases, an appendectomy can be a boon.

How Long NPO After Appendectomy?

TypeTime
Minimum24 hours
Maximum48 hours

Hence, the appendix should be removed from the body before its explosion within the body leads to further serious consequences. Any abnormalities in the appendix may lead to pain in the stomach and abdomen leading to diarrhea, pain during urination, loss of appetite, vomiting, frequent urination, etc. The only way to combat this situation is surgery. As the appendix has no usefulness for the body, it would be absolutely harmless to remove it from the body.

Appendectomy is laparoscopic or open surgery which is generally used to remove the appendix from the body. This process is performed after administering anesthesia to the patient so that he/she doesn’t feel the pain. At first, the surgeon would use a port and make two to three incisions with its help. These incisions are generally made in the abdomen. Then carbon dioxide would be pumped into the stomach with the help of the port. This would enable the doctor to view the images of the stomach.

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Then a small laparoscope would be inserted through either of the incisions. The position of the appendix is identified and is removed from the body. Then sterile fluids are even applied to the affected region to reduce the chances of infections. Then the carbon dioxide is removed after which the incisions are allowed to heal via proper bandages. In some cases, the doctor would be unable to see those organs clearly. In such cases, the doctor would have to perform the surgery openly by a bigger incision.

The treatment is generally done in emergency cases. Hence, one should be prepared for it once he/she notices any abnormality in the appendix. One should consult the doctor properly stating his underlying health issues before going for the surgery. Hence, proper and prior consultation with the doctor is necessary.

Why Should One Wait So Long For NPO After Appendectomy?

There are certain precautions that one should ensure before the process. One should not consume any kind of food items 8-10 hours before the surgery. When the stomach is empty, it would be easier for the doctor to find the appendix in the abdomen. Insulin and other medications should not be taken before the process of treatment. One should drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. This is a simple surgery with minimal chances of complications and hence, there is no need to panic.

The recovery time of the process depends on the individual’s health condition. It also depends on whether the appendix has ruptured within the abdomen or not. If the explosion doesn’t occur within 2 weeks, the person can safely return home. In cases where the appendix gets ruptured, the person would be administered some heavy dosages of antibiotics, killing the bacteria released in the body. The recovery time in such cases may be prolonged.

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The patient should not take stress or be involved in any decision-making processes for at least 2 weeks. This is because anesthesia would have an impact on the decision-making process of the individuals. Heavy activities like driving and operation of machinery should be strictly avoided. Drinking alcohol should be strictly avoided.

After the process, the doctor would discuss with the patient stating to him clearly the proper aftercare to be followed. There may be some risks involved in the process. The possible complications include pain during urination and excretion, pregnancy loss, and infections. Blood clots, infections in the urinary tract, cardiac arrests leading to death may even be seen.

Conclusion

To ensure safe and fast recovery, one needs to ensure some precautions. In cases of laparoscopic surgery, the patient is advised to stay away from lifting weight for about 8-10 days. If the patient has gone through open surgery, then is advised to stay away from lifting weight for about 15-20 days. One should even take the proper medications timely as prescribed by the doctor. Instructions related to bathing and showering should be followed properly.

Pain killers may be used if the pain is unbearable. The bandages and dressing should be checked for proper safety and hygiene. Sanitation and hygiene should be maintained properly lest there may be chances of infections. If the patient experiences any kind of side effects, consulting the doctor would be the safest measure.

Reference

  1. https://www.thieme-connect.com/products/ejournals/abstract/10.1055/s-2007-1021466
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1190674/
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