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After Vascular Surgery

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Carotid Artery Surgery
Most patients spend at least one night in the hospital. If you had a drain, it will be removed the day after the surgery. Once you're home, even if you feel normal, you should spend a few days relaxing. It may be a week or two until your doctor says it's okay to drive.

Peripheral Artery Bypass
You could be in the hospital for anywhere from 2 to 10 days. It's normal to feel even weaker when you first go home, so it's important to take it easy. It may take 6-8 weeks to fully recover.

After an abdominal bypass, your abdominal muscles will be sore. Even once you're home, you should not stress those muscles by vacuuming, lawn mowing, or carrying groceries.

After a leg bypass, your leg may be swollen and it may be painful to walk. Once you're home, keep your leg slightly elevated. Walk every day. Don't stand still or sit with your leg down for long. It's normal to have some leg swelling for 2 to 4 months.

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Surgery
After an endovascular procedure, patients may stay in the hospital up to 3 days. After open surgery, it may be 5 or more days. You may have a breathing tube, as well as tubes in your stomach and bladder to drain fluids. Pain medication will help keep you comfortable. Once you're home, take it easy, resting as you get tired. Recovering from open surgery can take a few months, as compared to a few weeks' recovery from an endovascular procedure.

Lifestyle

There are things you can do to keep your blood vessels in better condition:

  • Don't smoke
  • Control high blood pressure
  • Eat right - avoid foods that are high in fat, cholesterol, and sodium. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Exercise - walking, swimming, or biking improves circulation

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