ALERT CONTENT PLACEHOLDER

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Call 911 or go to the hospital emergency department if you have an emergency such as:

  • Numbness in your arms, feet or legs, or they become cold or painful, or you have trouble moving them.
  • New pain in your groin, back, chest or stomach area.
  • Severe pain or swelling at your incisions site.
  • New shortness of breath.
  • Feeling dizzy or faint.
  • You lose control of your bladder or bowels.
  • ​You are no longer able to pass urine.
How can I take care of myself when I go home?
  • You may resume your usual diet, unless you were given other instructions.
  • Lack of appetite is very common and takes a few days to improve.
  • Try eating smaller, more frequent meals during the day.
  • Try nutritious, drinkable meals.
  • IMPORTANT: Drink a lot of fluids for at least one week after your operation (unless your doctor has told you to restrict fluids).
  • It is normal to pass a lot of urine after your operation. This is your body’s way of getting rid of the extra fluids you were given during your operation.
  • You should have one bowel movement at least every 3 days. Healthy bowel movements are soft and easy to pass.
  • Some pain medications can cause constipation (fewer bowel movements, or bowel movements that are hard and difficult to pass). To prevent constipation, drink lots of fluids (unless your doctor has told you to restrict fluids) and eat foods with lots of fibre such fruits, vegetables and whole grain breads. Prunes or prune juice can also help prevent or relieve constipation.
  • ​If you have constipation, use a laxative such as Senokot®. If you need help to choose a laxative, talk with your pharmacist. Avoid excessive straining when you have a bowel movement.
  • It is normal to be tired for a few days. It may take 1 to 2 weeks for your energy level to improve. Be patient and give your body time to heal and recover. Let your family and friends help you with your recovery. If you don’t feel better, tell your family doctor.
  • For the first few days after your operation, you may occasionally have some numbness in your thighs and leg pain while you are walking. This is normal.
  • Start slowly and increase your activity gradually. Start with short walks, 2 or 3 times a day. As you feel better, gradually walk longer.
  • If you used to exercise regularly, resume slowly after 2 weeks.
  • You can climb stairs, but start slowly. Stop if you feel uncomfortable or have pain along your incisions.
  • IMPORTANT: Do not do any strenuous activity that involves pulling or pushing (such as yard work) for at least 4 weeks.
  • Your feet, legs and genital area (testicles in men) may be swollen. This is due to the extra fluids you were given during surgery. It can take a few weeks for your body to get rid of this extra fluid.
  • If you had a breathing tube, your throat may be sore. This will get better quickly. Lozenges can make it feel better.
  • Do not lift anything more than 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) for at least 2 weeks.
  • If your job doesn’t require physical labour, you may be able to return to work in 1 to 2 weeks after your operation.
  • ​If your job does require physical labour, you may need to wait 6 to 8 weeks before returning to work. This will depend on your overall health and your recovery. Please discuss this with your surgeon.
  • You may shower 48 hours after your operation.
  • Do not use hot tubs, whirlpools or baths until your incisions are completely closed (usually 2 weeks after the operation).
  • When showering, let the soap and water run over your incisions.
  • ​Pat your incisions dry with a clean towel. If there is drainage from your incisions, cover them with clean gauze.
  • Follow the medication instructions in your discharge summary. You can take your regular medications as usual, unless you were given other instructions. It is important to take your medications as directed, to stay healthy and keep your stent graft open.
  • Having some pain along your incisions is expected and can last for few weeks.
  • Many patients have mild pain and do not need to take strong pain medications. Extra Strength Tylenol may be enough to control your pain unless you were given a prescription for pain medication.
  • ​You may have a mild fever (a temperature up to 38.5°C or 100.4°F) for up to one week after your operation. This is common and expected. You can take acetaminophen (Tylenol) to help lower the fever and feel more comfortable. Call your doctor if your fever lasts for more than 24 hours, your temperature goes above 38.5°C (100.4°F) or you have chills or feel unwell.
  • Do not drive a car for at least 1 week after your operation.
  • You can drive again after 1 week if you are able to turn your neck and you are able to move your legs well enough to brake hard in an emergency.
  • ​Ask your doctor when you can resume driving.
  • ​You can resume sexual activity within a few days after your operation if you feel comfortable. Avoid positions that put strain on your incisions.
  • ​You may fly short distances 2 to 3 days after leaving the hospital. If you are planning a long flight, wait until your first 4 to 6 week follow-up scan and visit with your surgeon.

How do I take care of my incisions?
  • If you go home within 24 hours of your operation, you will have dressings over your incisions.
  • Remove the dressings the next day or 48 hours after your operation.
  • Keep your incisions dry and open to the air.
  • Check your incisions every day. It is normal to have a raised ridge along your incisions. Your incisions may be slightly red, swollen and painful for 2 to 3 weeks after your operation. If you notice any changes such as new pain, redness, a lump or an increase in drainage, see your family doctor.
  • If you have staples, they should be removed by your family doctor or surgeon 10 to 14 days after your operation. If you have stitches, they will dissolve on their own within 4 to 6 weeks. You can carefully remove the tapes that cover the stitches after 3 to 4 days.
  • You may have bruises around your incisions, thighs and genital area.
    • Bruising is caused by bleeding under the skin during or right after the operation.
    • ​Bruising may get worse when you get home, then start to get better in a few days. It may take several weeks for all the bruising to go away.
Who do I call if I experience complications?

If you have new symptoms and don’t know what to do, do not wait. Get medical advice or help if you are concerned.

Visit your family doctor or go to a walk-in clinic if you have non-urgent concerns such as:

  • Leg swelling that doesn’t go away.
  • New mild pain, redness or swelling around your incisions.
  • Drainage or leaking from your incision that is increasing or smells bad.
  • New lump around your incision site.
  • Diarrhea (loose stools).
  • Vomiting (throwing up) and not able to eat or drink.
  • Chills and a fever above 38.5°C (100.4°F) for at least 24 hours.​

Call 911 or go to the hospital emergency department if you have an emergency such as:

  • Numbness in your arms, feet or legs, or they become cold or painful, or you have trouble moving them.
  • New pain in your groin, back, chest or abdomen.
  • Severe pain or swelling at your incisions site.
  • New shortness of breath.
  • Feeling dizzy or faint.
  • You lose control of your bladder or bowels.
  • ​You are no longer able to pass urine.

Call the EVAR coordinator or your surgeons’ office for general questions or advice after EVAR surgery: 416 340 4800 ext. 5202​