After Peripheral Artery Bypass Surgery: At Home

You can leave the hospital when your surgeon says it is okay. Be sure to have an adult family member or friend drive you. If needed, you may spend time at an intermediate care facility. Once home, you can do some things to help recover faster.

Helping yourself heal

See your surgeon as instructed so he or she can check your leg. Expect to have some leg swelling after surgery. This will lessen over time. To speed your recovery, follow these tips:

  • Care for your incision and take any medications as directed.

  • Wear slippers or shoes when walking.

  • A gradual increase in activity will improve blood circulation and maintain muscle strength.

  • Avoid skin burns by testing the temperature of bath and shower water before you get in.

  • Don’t stand or sit with your feet down for long. When you sit, raise your foot as high as you comfortably can. Do not raise it so high that you feel pain or numbness. If you use a pillow, place it under your calf, between your ankle and knee.

Call your surgeon if:

  • Your incision drains, or it becomes hot, red, swollen, or painful.

  • Either foot shows changes in color, temperature, feeling, or movement.

  • Your pain increases, or your leg swells and does not improve overnight.

  • You have a fever over 100.0°F (37.8°C).