How long until you felt "back to normal" following a lap. appendectomy?
September 26, 2020 11:10 PM   Subscribe

About a month ago, I went to the ER for appendicitis. When they took it out, they said it was necrotic and had ruptured at some unknown point earlier. I was in the hospital for 4 days and then they sent me home with ten days of antibiotics. While I'm basically healed now, I still have weird, migrating stomach and abdominal pains, and bloating (2 or 3 on pain scale.) How was it for you?

YNMD. I have no fever, nausea, diarrhea, or unreasonably tender areas to my stomach. My sutures have healed well from the laparoscopic surgery. Bowel movements normal. But every couple days I have uncomfortable stomach aches. And frequently on other days I have sort of phantom pains in my abdominal area (below belly button.) Sometimes left side, sometimes right side, sometimes near my bladder. I don't want to go in for an in-person exam unless I have to - and the virtual visits with my GP have amounted to a shrug and "sometimes it takes a while to heal."

But it's been a month. Is this kind of weird floating phantom pain normal for post-appendectomy? And if not, what might be causing it? It gets worse with gas and if I have a full bladder. Thanks.
posted by egeanin to Health & Fitness (6 answers total)
Best answer: I had occasional shooting pains for several months. I attributed it to nerves healing, but I'm not sure whether that's what it was.
posted by kinddieserzeit at 11:44 PM on September 26, 2020

Best answer: I had an abdominal hysterectomy a few years ago and had weird phantom pains afterwards. My surgeon said it was nothing to worry about and it's because things that don't normally get moved about inside the body have been moved and/or cut, and it takes a while for it all to settle back down.
posted by essexjan at 4:17 AM on September 27, 2020 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Same for my son who had a laparoscopic splenectomy. He had pains like yours on & off for a year or more.
posted by rd45 at 5:03 AM on September 27, 2020

Best answer: A similar question came up here recently. Best wishes for healing!
posted by exogenous at 5:30 AM on September 27, 2020

Best answer: I was the asker for the similar question linked above, and am still not quite back to normal, a full two months after surgery (and 3 mo after my appendix ruptured.) That being said, I AM getting better, just very slowly...instead of having pain every day, it's now 'just' a couple of times a week. I completely understand your frustration with the lack of clear answers. My surgeon was 'confident' I'd be back to normal in 2 weeks, which was decidedly not the case. After asking here, and asking everyone I know IRL, it seems that months is a more reasonable expectation. The uncertainty of when/if I'll ever be back to 100% is the worst part. Hang in there, and feel free to DM me with any questions.
posted by csox at 9:52 AM on September 27, 2020

Best answer: Oh jeez. Yeah, I had the same experience after my appendectomy - once the feeling came back in the area, it brought cramping muscles that felt somewhere between food poisoning and a strained ab. (And bloating. Oh, the bloating.) Everything was back to normal after about six weeks, but everyone's different, and it sounds like you had a particularly rough experience. I hope you're on the mend soon.
posted by ZaphodB at 9:29 PM on September 27, 2020

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