After Carotid Artery Surgery: At Home

You’ll start feeling back to normal within a day or 2 of getting home. But don’t forget that you just had surgery. You need to take it easy, even if you feel fine. Follow any instructions your doctor gives you. In most cases, stitches dissolve on their own.

Older woman sitting in chair, knitting.

Speeding your recovery

The following tips can help speed your recovery:

  • Spend your first few days relaxing at home. You can read, watch TV, or do other quiet, restful activities.

  • Don’t do strenuous activities until your doctor says it’s OK (usually 1 to 2 weeks). 

  • Take medications as instructed.

  • Don’t drive until your doctor says it’s OK. This will most likely take 1 to 2 weeks.

  • Once your doctor says you can shower again, it’s OK to get the area of your incision wet. But don’t scrub it.

  • If you shave, be careful around the wound. You may want to use an electric razor.

When to call your doctor

Contact your doctor right away if you have any of the following:

  • Your neck swells.

  • Redness or fluid is coming from the wound.

  • Your face, an arm or a leg becomes numb or weak.

  • You have sudden changes in vision or loss of vision in 1 eye.

  • You have trouble speaking, swallowing, or breathing.

  • You have a fever above 100.0°F (37.7°C). 

  • You have a severe headache or eye pain on the same side of the body you had surgery on.

If your doctor’s office is closed, go to the hospital emergency room.


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