Aneurysm Surgery

Post-Operative Instructions After Open Aortic Surgery

  • This is a major operation and it is common to feel fatigue and lack of energy for 6 to 8 weeks.

  • Lack of appetite and bowel irregularity are normal.

  • No special diet is necessary. eat anything you can, your body needs fuel to recover.

  • Resume all your pre-operative medications.

  • Shower and wash daily, especially rub soap on your wounds.

  • Daily walks will speed recovery.

  • When sitting, elevate your legs.

  • Take the prescribed pain medication as directed. it will help to take a stool softener to avoid constipation.

  • Hard areas around or under your incisions are a normal part of healthy healing.

  • Areas of numbness below the groin incisions are normal, and will improve over a few months. massaging the areas helps.

  • Schedule an appointment in our office for about 2 weeks after leaving the hospital.

  • Keep a list of your questions and bring it to your appointment.

  • Call our office if your incisions become very red, tender, or swollen.

Carotid Artery Surgery

Post Operative Instructions for Carotid Endarterectomy

  • Most patients go home the morning after surgery.

  • Be sure you have arranged a ride home.

  • It is common to have some neck swelling and numbness under your chin. The numbness can last a few months.

  • A hoarse voice and mild sore throat when swallowing is normal.

  • Most patients do not require pain medication.

  • Resume all pre-operative medications

  • You should move your head and stretch.

  • It helps to massage the incision.

  • It is important to shower and wash the wound starting two days after surgery.

  • The paper tapes covering your incision must be removed by 7 days after surgery. It is okay to pull them off. There may be a slight separation of the skin edges. This is not a problem.

  • You need to schedule a follow-up appointment with our office for 2 weeks after surgery.

  • Many patients experience a sense of fatigue or overall lack of energy after surgery. This is normal and usually improves after two weeks.

  • Call our office if your neck develops rapid swelling or a severe increase in pain.

  • Call our office if you experience any symptoms of a stroke.

  • You may resume driving after your first office visit.

Vein Surgery

Post-Operative Home Care Instructions


Diet: Return to normal the day of your surgery.

Activity: Begin walking the day of surgery. Avoid prolonged standing in one place. Any time you are sitting, elevate your leg at least 90 degrees. You may slowly return to your normal level of physical activity. Begin walking at least 15 minutes each day following your surgery and acclimate yourself slowly back to your normal activity. You may do more walking if you have no discomfort. More information will be given to you at your first follow-up visit. Doing lots of stretches for your legs can help the recovery process.

Bandages: The surgical bandages should remain on for a minimum of 3 days. Your doctor will remove them in the office at your follow-up appointment. You may remove them prior to that appointment if different arrangements have been made.

Normal Post-Operative Changes

Swelling: It is common to have swelling and some bruising around the bandage (at the ankle or thigh). This is normal and is caused from the tight compression from the bandage pushing fluid towards the foot (just as when you wear tight shoes and your foot becomes swollen). This resolves shortly after the bandage is removed and with leg elevation. You should continue to walk.

Bruising: You may notice some bruising after removal of your bandage. This can occur along the track of treated veins, areas of skin incisions, and at the ankles. This will improve gradually after surgery. Use of arnica cream (from a health food store) can help.

Numbness: If numbness occurs, it is caused by irritation to the nerve that runs alongside of the treated vein. This will resolve slowly. You should note improvement each week. Massaging along the track of the treated veins 3-4 times a day can help with the numbness.

Pain: Rarely, patients experience discomfort and redness along the path of treated veins approximately one week after your procedure. This is an inflammatory reaction your body is having to the occluded vein. Stretching about 3-4 times a day can help with the discomfort.


  1. Occasionally, you may actually be able to feel the treated vein that has been occluded. This will feel like a cord under your skin. Massaging the area vigorously will help and this will improve slowly after your surgery.

  1. Noticing more aching and even swelling a week after surgery is normal. This results from removal of the compression bandage and being more active.

  1. Compression stockings may be worn at any time after removal of dressings. However, if the stockings irritate the incision areas, it is okay to wait to wear them after the incisions are healed. They are especially helpful when flying and/or sitting for long times.

  1. Periodic elevation of legs for about 5-10 minutes during the first month after your surgery will decrease any swelling and/or aching.

If you have had a general anesthesia

  1. Do not drive a car or operate complicated machinery for 24 hours.

  2. Avoid making important decisions or signing important papers for 24 hours.

  3. No alcoholic beverage for 24 hours.

  4. Diet of liquids or light nourishment for your first meal. If you tolerate this, you may resume your normal diet.

Arterial Bypass Surgery

Post-operative Instructions for Arterial Bypass Surgery

  • When an arterial by-pass is successful it is a normal response by the body to have your legs swell. Therefore, sitting with your legs down, or standing for more than 15 minutes, is to be avoided for the first month.

  • Walking for at least 15 minutes, 2 to 3 times a day is important, and should be progressively increased.

  • When sitting, elevate your legs at 90 degrees.

  • Each day wash your wounds thoroughly with any soap and water. If you have the paper steri-strips across your wound they should be off by the end of your first week at home. Pull them off if necessary. There may be a slight separation of the skin. This is normal and will close.

  • Resume all your pre-operative medications.

  • Schedule a follow-up appointment in our office for 2 weeks after you leave the hospital.

  • It is a good practice to massage the areas around your incisions; this will help return the sensation to normal. Do not use any creams or lotions until seen at your first post -operative visit.

  • Call our office if the areas around your incisions become a lot more tender and red. A little drainage is normal, especially if the legs are swollen. If this does not improve with elevation, call our office during normal office hours.