About 8 years ago when I started working in the recovery room kids who had their appendix removed had a lot of postoperative pain. Today, thanks to advancements in technology, and better nerve block coverage in the operating room kids are waking up in a lot less pain.
As standard practice surgeons are now removing the appendix minimally invasively. The incision or incisions are tiny. Where before the wound was moderate in size and open. Now there is an incision to the belly button and sometimes one to two more to the lower abdomen. Each wound is covered with dermabond (a glue) that self dissolves and a small piece of tape, called steri -strips.
The postoperative pain for most is minimal due to the work of the anesthesiologist. Many anesthesiologist are administering rectal sheath blocks, TAP blocks and better all around pain medications during surgery.
Less Pain = Better Recovery
Since pain is tolerable for most kids they are more open to follow directions to improve and thus lessen their recovery time.
My hats go off to the surgeons and anesthesiologists who are improving their surgical and anesthesia process. Their patients are definitely benefiting.
And as always, if you know anyone who is having surgery or that could benefit from the resources we have to help pediatric patients prepare for other medical encounters, send them our way.
-The 2 RNS