Your appendix is a small sack attached to the beginning of your large intestine. The appendix contains lymphatic tissue that helps your body fight infection. This tissue can become inflamed by infection or by blockage. A ruptured appendix is a medical emergency. A surgeon will perform an appendectomy to prevent this from occurring. This is a common and relatively safe surgery. However, like any surgery there are many risks. The risk of infection is the most common. The symptoms of infection may be mild or severe. The symptoms are greater if your appendix has already ruptured.
The Non-Infected Incision Site
After your appendix is removed, you will feel a tolerable amount of pain at the non-infected incision site. The incision should be dry and closed with minimal swelling.
Fluid at the Incision Site
If your appendectomy incision bleeds, produces pus or any other fluid you should notify your doctor. Pus is a sign of infection.
Swelling at the Incision Site
If your incision swells to the point of that your stitches start to pull, or the incision becomes larger, seek medical attention. Swelling is always present shortly after surgery. However, excessive swelling will require antibiotic treatment.
Fever after Appendix Removal
If you have a consistently high temperature after your appendix is removed, contact your physician. Fever is the body's way of fighting infection. Acetaminophen medications such as Tylenol may mask the symptoms and make the infection worse. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics in conjunction with a fever reducer to alleviate this symptom. If you experience fever associated with the all of the above symptoms, it is best to go to the emergency room to treat what could be a severe infection.
Septicemia, or blood poisoning, occurs when an untreated bacterial infection enters the blood stream. This risk is present with all surgeries, including appendectomy. If you have septicemia, the bacteria in your blood can cause damage to other organs. Symptoms include sudden onset of fever, chills, nausea, rapid heart rate and mental changes such as disorientation. If any of these occur, seek immediate medical attention.