How should I care for myself at home after an endovascular aneurysm repair?

Endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) is a minimally invasive (without a large abdominal incision) procedure performed to repair an abdominal aortic aneurysm -- a bulging, weakened area in the wall of the aorta (the largest artery in the body).

Once you are home after an endovascular aneurysm repair, it will be important to keep the surgical area clean and dry. Your physician will give you specific bathing instructions. The sutures or surgical staples will be removed during a follow-up office visit, in the event they were not removed before leaving the hospital.

The surgical incision may be tender or sore for several days after an aneurysm repair procedure. Take a pain reliever for soreness as recommended by your physician.

You should not drive until your physician tells you to. Other activity restrictions may apply.

Notify your physician to report any of the following:
  • Fever and/or chills
  • Redness, swelling, or bleeding or other drainage from the incision site
  • Increase in pain around the incision site
Your physician may give you additional or alternate instructions after the procedure, depending on your particular situation.
Follow these guidelines to take care of yourself and speed your recovery at home after an endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR, also called "stent grafting"):
  • The first 48 hours: Watch for swelling or bleeding at the site where the catheters were inserted. The site will be bruised, but this should go away in a week or so. Avoid bending or squatting. Avoid intense activity such as climbing stairs, running, or lifting anything over 20 pounds. Take short walks (5 to 10 minutes) four or five times a day. Try to avoid constipation.
  • Care for the puncture site: Avoid hot baths, hot tubs, or swimming pools for the first 5 days or until the wound is closed. Showers are okay after 24 hours, but don't let the spray hit the site. If the site is sealed with a special closure device, ask your doctor about the device and what you should watch for. In some cases, you might need to remove a dressing or a closure pad.
  • Driving: Avoid driving until your doctor approves, usually for one or two weeks. Don't drive while you're taking pain medication.
  • Returning to work: When you go back to work depends on how physical your job is. Many people can go back to work within two weeks. Ask your doctor.
  • Exercise: Take short walks, but avoid any kind of heavy exercise for two weeks.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.