4 Appendectomy Nursing Care Plans

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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) and nursing diagnosis for patients who underwent appendectomy:

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  1. Acute Pain
  2. Risk for Deficient Fluid Volume
  3. Risk for Infection
  4. Deficient Knowledge
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Acute Pain

Nursing Diagnosis

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

Desired Outcomes

  • 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.
Nursing InterventionsRationale
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 activitiesRefocuses 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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Recommended Resources

Recommended nursing diagnosis and nursing care plan books and resources.

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NANDA International Nursing Diagnoses: Definitions & Classification, 2021-2023
The definitive guide to nursing diagnoses as reviewed and approved by the NANDA International. In this new version of a pioneering text, all introductory chapters have been rewritten to provide nurses with the essential information they need to comprehend assessment, its relationship to diagnosis and clinical reasoning, and the purpose and application of taxonomic organization at the bedside. A total of 46 new nursing diagnoses and 67 amended nursing diagnostics are presented.

Ackley and Ladwig’s Nursing Diagnosis Handbook: An Evidence-Based Guide to Planning Care
We love this book because of it’s evidence-based approach to nursing interventions. This care plan handbook uses an easy, three-step system to guide you through client assessment, nursing diagnosis, and care planning. Includes step-by-step instructions show how to implement care and evaluate outcomes, and help you build skills in diagnostic reasoning and critical thinking.

Nursing Care Plans – Nursing Diagnosis & Intervention (10th Edition)
Includes over two hundred care plans that reflect the most recent evidence-based guidelines. New to this edition are ICNP diagnoses, care plans on LGBTQ health issues and on electrolytes and acid-base balance.

Nurse’s Pocket Guide: Diagnoses, Prioritized Interventions, and Rationales
Quick-reference tool includes all you need to identify the correct diagnoses for efficient patient care planning. The sixteenth edition includes the most recent nursing diagnoses and interventions from NANDA-I 2021-2023 and an alphabetized listing of nursing diagnoses covering more than 400 disorders.

Nursing Diagnosis Manual: Planning, Individualizing, and Documenting Client Care 
Identify interventions to plan, individualize, and document care for more than 800 diseases and disorders. Only in the Nursing Diagnosis Manual will you find for each diagnosis…. subjectively and objectively – sample clinical applications, prioritized action/interventions with rationales – a documentation section, and much more!

All-in-One Nursing Care Planning Resource – E-Book: Medical-Surgical, Pediatric, Maternity, and Psychiatric-Mental Health 
Includes over 100 care plans for medical-surgical, maternity/OB, pediatrics, and psychiatric and mental health. Interprofessional “patient problems” focus familiarizes you with how to speak to patients.

See also

Other recommended site resources for this nursing care plan:

More nursing care plans related to gastrointestinal disorders:

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Matt Vera is a registered nurse with a bachelor of science in nursing since 2009 and is currently working as a full-time writer and editor for Nurseslabs. During his time as a student, he knows how frustrating it is to cram on difficult nursing topics. Finding help online is nearly impossible. His situation drove his passion for helping student nurses by creating content and lectures that are easy to digest. Knowing how valuable nurses are in delivering quality healthcare but limited in number, he wants to educate and inspire nursing students. As a nurse educator since 2010, his goal in Nurseslabs is to simplify the learning process, break down complicated topics, help motivate learners, and look for unique ways of assisting students in mastering core nursing concepts effectively.
  • I am following this.there are no any class or courses to train for NCELEX in my country. But I trying it via internet.thanks for helping us.

  • thank you Matt, I am in the same position now, doing nursing care plans is a challenge. thank you for your ability to present it clearly.

  • are the diagnosis for post operative care or its combined pre and post op. for example interventions of acute pain i read somewhere talking for not to apply hot compress for fear of rupture?

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