Your doctor performed surgery called a carotid endarterectomy. This is the most common way to restore normal blood flow through the vessels that carry blood to your brain. These vessels are called the carotid arteries. During the surgery, a surgeon made a small incisionin the side of your neck, just below your jaw. The artery was opened and the blockage was cleared. This procedure was done to reduce your risk of a stroke, which can occur when the carotid arteries are severely blocked or narrowed.
Spend your first few days after surgery relaxing at home. It's OK to do quiet activities such as reading or watching TV.
Take your medications exactly as instructed. Don’t skip doses.
Don’t drive until your doctor says it’s OK. This will most likely take 1 to 2 weeks.
Keep the wound dry until your doctor says it's OK to shower. Don't scrub your incision.
Avoid strenuous activity for 7 to 10 days after your surgery.
Don’t lift anything heavier than 10 pounds for 2 to 3 weeks after your surgery.
Ask your doctor when you can expect to return to work.
Shave carefully around your incision. You may want to use an electric razor.
Gradually increase your activity. It may take some time for you to return to your normal activities.
Check your incision every day for signs of infection (redness, swelling, drainage, or warmth).
Don’t be alarmed if you have some loss of feeling along your jaw line, the incision line, and earlobe. This is a result of the incision and usually goes away after 6 to 12 months.
Eat a healthy, low-fat, low cholesterol, and low calorie diet. Ask your doctor for menus and other diet information.
Maintain your ideal body weight.
After you have recovered from surgery, try to exercise more, especially walking. Ask your doctor for guidance.
If you smoke ask your doctor for help quitting.
Make a follow-up appointment with your doctor as directed.
Call your doctor immediately if you have any of the following (or go to the emergency room if your doctor's office is closed):
Headache, particularly if it does not go away after a couple of hours
Redness, pain, swelling, or drainage from your incision
Fever above 100°F (37.7°C)
Numbness or weakness in your face, arms, or legs
Sudden changes in your vision
Loss of vision in 1 eye