Download Patient Instructions For Carotid Endartarectomy

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Carotid endarterectomy is an operation on the carotid artery and is performed in a
hospital operating room. It usually requires general anesthesia and a 1 to 3 day
hospital stay. You will be advised on location, date, time, preoperative tests, and
diet status prior to surgery.
The day of surgery
Preoperative: You will be taken to the holding area prior to the procedure to
meet with your anesthesiologist. A spouse, family member or close friend may
accompany you.
Postoperative: After surgery you will be monitored and recovered from
anesthesia for 1 to 4 hours in the recovery room. Visitors are not allowed in this
specialized area. Then depending on your blood pressure and other conditions
you will be transferred to the Intensive Care Unit or a regular hospital room.
The day after surgery
One of the vascular surgeons from GVA will visit you and assess your status.
You will have a chance to ask questions. Provided you are medically ready, you
will be discharged home. You will need to arrange for someone to drive you
Medications: A prescription for pain medicine will be provided for use after
discharge from the hospital. You may use acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or other
over-the-counter medication as your pain requires.
At home care: Limited walking is encouraged as you gain strength and stability.
You should resume your normal diet and medications unless instructed
otherwise. If you were on Coumadin for your carotid narrowing, it may be
discontinued after surgery.
The next several days
You should not drive for at least several days after surgery and not until you are
fully alert and off pain medications and sedatives. Increase your physical activity
gradually. Vigorous physical exercises should be avoided for at least two weeks.
If you feel well after 4 weeks, you may resume your regular exercise activities.
Bandages: Change the bandage daily or as necessary. When the incision is dry,
you may leave it uncovered. Sometimes a small incision will be present in the
low part of the neck where a drain was placed at surgery. Shaving is allowed as
Showers: You may shower over your incisions. If there are small tapes
(steristrips) on the skin, leave them in place for a week. You may get the tapes
wet in the shower and trim loose ends if you desire. It is common to have some
swelling and bruising of the neck and skin. Excessive redness and fever are signs
of infection and if you notice these symptoms you should call our office nurse for
Sutures and follow-up: You will be advised when to return to the office for a
follow-up appointment. Usually this is approximately 2 weeks after discharge.
Please call and make an appointment.