Abington Hospital Office
1245 Highland Avenue Suite 600
Abington, PA 19001
215-887-3990
Abington Vascular Office
Ground Floor Buerger Blgd
1200 Old York Road
Abington, PA 19001
215-887-5934
Chalfont Office
1500 Horizon Drive
Unit 120A
Chalfont, PA 18914

 

 

 

Discharge Instructions for Carotid Endarterectomy

Introduction

When you return home after surgery you may have questions about your recovery.  This document is meant to help you understand what to expect as well as how to recognize problems that may require immediate medical attention.

 

What to expect after surgery:

 

Activity

It is normal to feel tired after surgery.  You may find that you need frequent rest period throughout the day.  Do not lift or push anything heavier than thirty pounds for the first week.  You may drive your car after one week if you feel comfortable turning your neck.  DO not drive if you are still taking narcotic pain medicine.

Your Incision

It is not unusual to have some bruising or swelling in the neck after surgery.  The incision may feel hard.  You may notice that it may itch, feel numb or tight.  Some patients experience a mild headache after surgery. This should be relieved with Tylenol. If severe headache occurs call your surgeon immediately. These feelings may last several days to weeks and will resolve on their own.  They are part of the healing process.  Your doctor will give you a prescription for pain medication before you leave the hospital.  You may choose to take Tylenol (acetaminophen) instead for any discomfort.

Bathing

No swimming or baths until you follow up with your doctor. You may shower and wash the incision with mild soap and water on post-op day 2.  Do not apply lotions, creams or powder to the incision. You may shave your face but be careful around your incision and no shaving cream over incision.

Diet

You may experience a loss of appetite after surgery.  You may even have some trouble swallowing solid foods.  Both will slowly return to normal.  If you do not require a special diet it is important to provide your body with foods high in protein and low in fats and sugars to help in the healing process.

When should i call the doctor?

  • Temperature 101.5°F or higher
  • Redness, swelling or any green/yellow drainage from incision.
  • Increasing pain not relieved by pain medicine.

When should I go to the emergency room?  Call 911 for:

  • Sudden neck swelling
  • Sudden difficulty breathing, swallowing or talking.
  • Sudden loss of vision in one eye
  • Sudden numbness, weakness or tingling in arm, hand, leg or foot