​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Back at Home

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Go to your nearest emergency department if you experience:

  • Symptoms of a stroke (you suddenly can’t see, you have trouble speaking, you can't move your hand, arm or leg or you lose consciousness).
  • New neck swelling.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • ​Difficulty swallowing.

Each person recovers at their own pace. Your recovery time will depend on your age, general health, and mental attitude. Visit your family doctor for help in managing your symptoms. Ask someone to help you for the first week you are at home. You will need help to prepare your meals, do housekeeping, visit your doctor and do other everyday activities.​

How can I take care of myself when I go home?


  • As you become more active, you may have some pain. We will give you a prescription for pain medicine when you are discharged.
  • ​Take pain medicine as needed. This will help you to recover. A couple of days after surgery you may find that Tylenol® Extra Strength is all you need for pain medicine.


  • You can expect to drink the evening after your operation and resume your regular diet the next day. It is normal to not feel hungry. Try to eat a little at each meal.


  • You may feel tired after surgery. This is normal and may last several days.
  • Take a nap every day. Go to bed and get up at the same time each day. Increase your activity as you recover. For example, take a walk each day. Ask a relative or friend to walk with you, if possible.
  • You may feel tired and discouraged for several days or weeks after your operation. These feelings are normal. As you recover and regain your strength, this should improve.

Heavy Lifting

  • ​You may lift up to 10 pounds (5 kilograms) for the next month. An example would be a small bag of groceries. Lifting more than 10 pounds may stress or tear the incision.

Bowel Movements

  • Constipation is common when taking pain medication and reducing your activity. You may have an upset stomach.
  • Drink plenty of fluids unless otherwise told by your doctor.
  • If you have no other diet requirements or special needs, eat foods with more fibre such as bran breads and cereals, berries, dried fruit or prune juice.
  • If needed, take a mild laxative. If this does not help, visit your family doctor.


  • ​You may drive a car in 3 to 4 weeks after you check with your family doctor.
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  • ​If you have staples, your family doctor can remove them in 7 to 10 days. Your family doctor will follow your day-to-day recovery.


  • ​​Shower every day with mild soap. Pat the incision dry with a towel. This is all you need to do to clean your incision. Do not put lotions or cream on the incision until it is completely healed.

​Returning to Work

  • ​You will be off work for about 4 weeks. The exact amount of time will depend on the type of work you do. Ask your doctor when it is safe for you to return to work.
What is the long-term treatment for carotid artery disease?

An important step is to stop smoking. Smoking increases your chances of carotid artery disease and stroke. If you smoke, ask your doctor about programs and products that can help you quit. Follow your doctor’s plan for treating high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol. This can help stop blood clots from forming or plaque from building up in the carotid arteries.​

Who do I call if I experience complications?

Go to your nearest emergency department if you experience:​

  • Symptoms of a stroke (you suddenly can’t see, you have trouble speaking, you can't move your hand, arm or leg or you lose consciousness).
  • New neck swelling.
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty swallowing.

Call your surgeon if you have any of the following:​

  • New headache.
  • Leaking from your incision.
  • Increasing redness, warmth and tenderness around your incision.
  • Chills or fever greater then 38.5 °C.

Who do I call with general post-operative questions?​

For non-emergency questions, call one of the Vascular Surgery Nurses below.

Sue DeVries, Nurse Practitioner
416 340 4266

Cindy Dickson , Vascular Clinic Nurse
416 340 3857

Please do not call these nurses to book appointments.

If you have other questions once you go home or need to book your 6-week follow-up appointment, please call your surgeon’s office