Your child had their appendix removed. Learn how to care for your child after going home from the hospital.

Dressing

Your child will have a white gauze dressing(s) covered by a clear plastic (Tegaderm®).

  • Remove this dressing 2 days after surgery.
  • Beneath the gauze dressing(s) are small white bandages (Steri-strips®). These will usually fall off in 1 to 3 weeks.

Stitches

Stitches hold the incision together. Your child’s stitches will either be visible or not visible:

_____ Not visible - They do not need to be removed. They are beneath the skin and will be absorbed by the body.

_____ Visible – The stitches will be either black or blue and will be removed by your doctor.

Bath

  • You may shower or sponge bathe while the bandage(s) is in place. Pat the dressing dry.
  • Remove the bandages (white gauze with clear dressing) 2 days after surgery. You may continue to shower or sponge bathe at this time.
  • As long as the incision(s) does not appear open and there is no drainage, you may swim or submerge the site below the water in a bath one week after surgery.

Activity

_____ Open Appendectomy:
No strenuous activity such as bike riding, gymnastics, contact sports, martial arts, school gym or weigh lifting until you check with the surgeon at the follow-up appointment.

_____ Laparoscopic Appendectomy:
The child may resume normal activities without restriction as tolerated.

Diet

  • Your child may eat or drink as usual.
  • If vomiting occurs, do not give your child anything to eat or drink for 2 hours. Then offer small amounts of clear liquids or half strength juice until your child does not vomit any more. Your child may then slowly start on their normal diet.
  • If your child continues to vomit, please call the office.

Pain

  • Your child may take Tylenol® (acetaminophen) or Motrin® (ibuprofen) for discomfort if the pain is mild.

Please call the office if your child develops any of the following:

  • Fever greater than or equal to 101 degrees F
  • Redness, swelling or drainage from the incision site(s)
  • Pain despite the prescription medication

If you have any questions, please call your surgeon’s office at 617-726-0270.

Rev. 12/2019. MassGeneral Hospital for Children and Massachusetts General Hospital do not endorse any brands listed on this handout. This document is intended to provide health related information so that you may be better informed. It is not a substitute for a doctor's medical advice and should not be relied upon for treatment for specific medical conditions.