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ALERT CONTENT PLACEHOLDER

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Call your surgeon’s office or go to your nearest emergency department if:

  • Your temperature goes higher than 38ºC (100ºF), and/or you feel chills
  • You have shortness of breath
  • Your arm is swollen
How can I take care of myself when I go home?

Eating

  • 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).

Eliminating

  • 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.

Lifestyle/Activity

  • Avoid any heavy lifting or strenuous exercise for a month after the operation.

Showering

  • You can have a shower 2 or 3 days after surgery.
  • Gently wash your incision with soap and water. Rinse well and pat dry with a clean towel.

Heavy Objects/Lifting/Exerting

  • Do NOT lift, push, or pull anything with either hand that is over 5 pounds for up to 4 weeks.

Medications

  • 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 drink alcohol if you are taking pain pills.

Driving

  • Do not drive for 2 to 3 weeks after surgery, or while you are taking strong (opioid) pain medicine. It can make you drowsy.

Flying

  • If you needed a chest tube after surgery, do not fly for 4 weeks.
How do I take care of my incisions?
  • Usually the incision will be in your underarm—in your armpit. However, some people will have the incision near the collar bone. The stitches are under the skin, so they will not need to be removed.
  • Check your incisions each day. You may notice some bruising at first and they may be tender to touch.
  • Keep your incisions clean and dry. Do not put deodorant, cream, ointment, powder or lotions on your incisions.
Who do I call if I experience complications?

Call your surgeon’s office or go to your nearest emergency department if:

  • Your temperature goes higher than 38ºC (100ºF), and/or you feel chills.
  • You have shortness of breath.
  • Your arms is swollen.
Who do I call with general post-operative questions?

If you have health related concerns while you are recovering at home, please contact your surgeon's office.