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tallus83
02-05-2009, 07:38 AM
Looking for the length of time to recover from having the appendix removed?

The time period is 1944 and the person is an RAF fighter pilot.

How long until the M.O./flight surgeon okays him to fly again?

Any help is appreciated.

Lady_of_Myth
02-05-2009, 09:33 AM
Recovery time would depend on whether or not his appendix burst, or if it was still in one piece when they removed it.

ColoradoGuy
02-05-2009, 09:47 AM
Recovery time would depend on whether or not his appendix burst, or if it was still in one piece when they removed it.
Agreed. Also, although now we have laparoscopic tools that lessen recovery time to just a few days for an uncomplicated appendectomy, things were a bit more involved back then. It would take the incision a week or so at least to heal, and he'd be sore probably for a week or two after that. When his MO would approve him to fly would depend, I suppose, on how much they needed him and how eager he was to get back. There's a lot of lattitude. So anything from 2-6 weeks seems believable for any plot needs you have.

Scrawler
02-05-2009, 11:03 AM
Mine burst when I was a kid. I think back in those days (the days when the operation would leave a large scar) I had about a week in the hospital and at minimum a week home recovering. My cousins were ordered not to make me laugh... I think the abdominal heaving was a bad idea.

JHillman
02-05-2009, 07:07 PM
In 1944, minimum of a month before cleared to fly and longer if any post op complications- which were not uncommon back then. Antibiotics were still rather new then.

RJK
02-05-2009, 07:13 PM
I agree with Jack Hillman. I had mine out in 1964. I was in the hospital for 3 days, bedrest at home for a week after that, then I could return to light activities. I was still very tender a month later.

tallus83
02-06-2009, 07:37 AM
The appendix would not have burst.

The operation would happen on June 5,1944. Needless to say the character is pissed at missing the D-Day invasion and is itching to get back into the cockpit.

Thank you all for the info.

GeorgeK
02-06-2009, 05:02 PM
The appendix would not have burst.

The operation would happen on June 5,1944. Needless to say the character is pissed at missing the D-Day invasion and is itching to get back into the cockpit.

Thank you all for the info.

Are you writing about my dad? No, he missed out on the North African campaign because of appendicitis. Lucky him, Rommel was still well supplied then, there were no survivors from his group.

StephanieFox
02-06-2009, 09:31 PM
I had mine removed about a two months ago. The doctor did it the old-fashioned way, so I have a long scar. I was removed at 11:00 pm and I slept till noon the next day. After that, I was fine. I stopped the prescription pain killers the first day and went on OTC. I went home (I insisted) at about 6:00 pm the day after the surgery one night only.

I am not in the kind of shape as your airman. I'm 56. It wasn't a big deal. It had not burst and I had no infection. Although antibiotics existed in 1944, they were not available in Britain. Infection and posible sepsis would be the big problem.

tallus83
02-08-2009, 06:47 AM
Thanks for the information,.

I have to slightly disagree with you on one point, Stephanie.

Penicillin was discovered and researched by a Dr. Fleming, who was Scottish, in the late 1920's and mid-1930's.

By the time of the Normandy Invasion, Penicillin was actually in wide use by the allies. I agree that infection and sepsis would be a problem, but back then penicillin-resistant strains of diseases hadn't evolved yet.

ColoradoGuy
02-08-2009, 06:52 AM
Thanks for the information,.

I have to slightly disagree with you on one point, Stephanie.

Penicillin was discovered and researched by a Dr. Fleming, who was Scottish, in the late 1920's and mid-1930's.

By the time of the Normandy Invasion, Penicillin was actually in wide use by the allies. I agree that infection and sepsis would be a problem, but back then penicillin-resistant strains of diseases hadn't evolved yet.
True, but there are some kinds of bacteria that cause troubles with a ruptured appendix that have always been resistant to penicillin (mainly what are called gram negative coliform organisms), so although having that drug available helped it was not necessarily a cure.

GeorgeK
02-08-2009, 07:52 AM
True, but there are some kinds of bacteria that cause troubles with a ruptured appendix that have always been resistant to penicillin (mainly what are called gram negative coliform organisms), so although having that drug available helped it was not necessarily a cure.

It would be interesting to see an antibiogram from then regarding penicillin to see the historical coverage. I've been told that it initially did cover the gram negs and the anaerobes but that within a couple years those classes of bugs developed a near 100% resistence. However, the information is 2nd to 3rd hand and the memories can play some tricks. I question if they even had antibiograms by then. They had Penicillin and possibly sulfamethoxazole. I think chloramphenical might have been next but I think that wasn't until the Korean war.

But on the OP, I had an open appy and was back to work in 2 weeks. At the time I was a plaster room attendant and Radiology Transporter. I could get the work done, but was very tired by the end of the shift. It took a month to get my endurance back.