Femoral Endarterectomy

Care After

Refer to this sheet in the next few weeks. These discharge instructions provide you with general information on caring for yourself after you leave the hospital. Your caregiver may also give you specific instructions. Your treatment has been planned according to the most current medical practices available, but unavoidable complications sometimes occur. If you have any problems or questions after discharge, please call your caregiver.


  • Medicine.

  • Some pain is normal after this type of surgery. Take the pain medicine that was prescribed. Follow the directions carefully. Do not take over-the-counter pain medicine unless your caregiver says it is okay. Some of them can cause bleeding problems after surgery.

  • You might need to take a blood thinner (anticoagulant). This keeps blood clots from forming. Follow the directions carefully.

  • Wound care.

  • Keep the bandage (dressing) on your surgical cut (incision) dry for a few days after surgery. Once the dressing can be taken off, it will be okay for you to shower. Do not take a tub bath for at least 2 weeks after surgery.

  • You will need to return to have your stitches (sutures) or staples removed. This is usually done about a week after your surgery.

  • Activity.

  • It is important to walk as much as possible. This helps keep blood clots from forming in your legs.

  • Ask your caregiver before going up or down steps. Even after your caregiver says it is okay to use stairs, you may need help with steps for awhile.

  • Do not sit or stand for long periods of time. When you do sit, keep your legs raised. Put your feet on a stool or lie on the couch.

  • Do not lift anything heavy for several weeks.

  • Do not bend or strain for several weeks.

  • Do not drive until your caregiver says it is okay. Do not drive while taking narcotic pain medicine.

  • Ask your caregiver when you can go back to work. This will depend on the type of work you do.

  • Go back to your normal routine slowly. Give your body time to heal. Ask your caregiver if you have questions about any particular activity.

  • Lifestyle.

  • You might need to change some habits to make sure your arteries stay clear.

  • Talk with a nutritionist about what you eat. You may need to eat less of some types of food. Good foods are those low in saturated fats. Vegetables, fruits, and whole grains are good for you.

  • Think about exercising more. Check with your caregiver before starting a new exercise plan.

  • Keep your weight under control.

  • Do not smoke.


  • You have any questions about medicines.

  • Pain continues, even after taking pain medicine.

  • You have pain or cramps in your leg while walking.

  • You have an oral temperature above 102° F (38.9° C).


  • Pain gets much worse.

  • You have shortness of breath.

  • You have chest pain.

  • The area around the incision becomes red and swells.

  • Blood or other liquid leaks from the incision.

  • Your leg becomes red, swollen, or sore.

  • Your leg or foot changes color or becomes numb.

  • You have an oral temperature above 102° F (38.9° C), not controlled by medicine.


  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.