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Question:

Internal Bleeding after Appendectomy

Dear Ask The Doctor:
My daughter recently had an appendectomy and was hospitalized overnight. During the night, she needed to use the restroom and called for a nurse who helped her to the restroom. However, the nurse failed to help her back to her bed and she fainted and fell. For the next two weeks, my daughter gradually got worse and we took her back to her surgeon in which he ordered a CT scan which revealed she was bleeding internally. He immediately performed another outpatient surgery to remove 650 cc's of blood from her abdominal cavity and admitted her again with a drain tube. Could the fall have rutured something which was causing the internal bleeding?


Answer:

Appendectomy is a very common operation which rarely has complications. It is possible that her fall caused the collection of blood in her abdomen however, you have not given enough information to determine that.
Another possibility is that there was a complication of the procedure which was unrelated to the fall. You should find out from her surgeon exactly where the collection of blood was and where it came from. You should also ask the purpose of the drainage tube as these tubes are usually used to drain pus and not blood.


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