Appendectomy is the surgical removal of the appendix. An inflamed appendix may be removed using a laparoscopic approach with laser. However, the presence of multiple adhesions, retroperitoneal positioning of the appendix, or the likelihood of rupture necessitates an open (traditional) procedure.
Studies indicate that laparoscopic appendectomy results in significantly less postoperative pain, earlier resumption of solid foods, a shorter hospital stay, lower wound infection rate, and a faster return to normal activities than open appendectomy.
Nursing Care Plans
Nursing care planning and management for patients who underwent appendectomy includes: preventing complications, promoting comfort, and providing information.
Here are four (4) nursing care plans (NCP) for patients who underwent appendectomy:
Acute Pain: Unpleasant sensory and emotional experience arising from actual or potential tissue damage or described in terms of such damage; sudden or slow onset of any intensity from mild to severe with anticipated or predictable end and a duration of <6 months.
May be related to
- Distension of intestinal tissues by inflammation
- Presence of surgical incision
Possibly evidenced by
- Reports of pain
- Facial grimacing, muscle guarding; distraction behaviors
- Expressive behavior (restlessness, moaning, crying, vigilance, irritability, sighing)
- Autonomic responses
- Report pain is relieved/controlled.
- Appear relaxed, able to sleep/rest appropriately.
- Demonstrate use of relaxation skills and diversional activities, as indicates, for individual situation.
|Assess pain, noting location, characteristics, severity (0–10 scale). Investigate and report changes in pain as appropriate.||Useful in monitoring effectiveness of medication, progression of healing. Changes in characteristics of pain may indicate developing abscess or peritonitis, requiring prompt medical evaluation and intervention.|
|Provide accurate, honest information to patient and SO.||Being informed about progress of situation provides emotional support, helping to decrease anxiety|
|Keep at rest in semi-Fowler’s position.||To lessen the pain. Gravity localizes inflammatory exudate into lower abdomen or pelvis, relieving abdominal tension, which is accentuated by supine position.|
|Encourage early ambulation.||Promotes normalization of organ function (stimulates peristalsis and passing of flatus, reducing abdominal discomfort).|
|Provide diversional activities||Refocuses attention, promotes relaxation, and may enhance coping abilities.|
|Keep NPO and maintain NG suction initially.||Decreases discomfort of early intestinal peristalsis, gastric irritation and vomiting.|
|Administer analgesics as indicated.||Relief of pain facilitates cooperation with other therapeutic interventions (ambulation, pulmonary toilet).|
|Place ice bag on abdomen periodically during initial 24–48 hr, as appropriate.||Soothes and relieves pain through desensitization of nerve endings. Note: Do not use heat, because it may cause tissue congestion.|
|Never apply heat to the right lower abdomen.||This may cause the appendix to rupture.|
|Watch closely for possible surgical complications.||Continuing pain and fever may signal an abscess.|
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Gastrointestinal Care Plans
Care plans covering the disorders of the gastrointestinal and digestive system:
- Appendectomy | 4 Care Plans
- Cholecystectomy | 12 Care Plans
- Cholecystitis and Cholelithiasis | 4 Care Plans
- Gastroenteritis | 4 Care Plans
- Hemorrhoids | 3 Care Plans
- Hepatitis | 7 Care Plans
- Ileostomy & Colostomy | 10 Care Plans
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease | 7 Care Plans
- Intussusception | 3 Care Plans
- Liver Cirrhosis | 8 Care Plans
- Pancreatitis | 8+ Care Plans
- Peritonitis | 6 Care Plans
- Peptic Ulcer Disease | 5 Care Plans
- Subtotal Gastrectomy | 2 Care Plans
Recommended books and resources:
- Nursing Care Plans: Diagnoses, Interventions, and Outcomes
- Nurse's Pocket Guide: Diagnoses, Prioritized Interventions and Rationales
- Nursing Diagnoses 2015-17: Definitions and Classification
- Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V-TR)
- Manual of Psychiatric Nursing Care Planning
- Maternal Newborn Nursing Care Plans
- Delmar's Maternal-Infant Nursing Care Plans, 2nd Edition
- Maternal Newborn Nursing Care Plans