WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Femoropopliteal bypass is surgery to place a graft to bypass narrowed arteries in your upper leg. The graft may be from a blood vessel in your arm or leg, or it may be man-made. A femoropopliteal bypass can improve blood flow to your leg and foot, and decrease your symptoms.
AFTER YOU LEAVE:
- Aspirin: This medicine may be given to help thin the blood to keep blood clots from forming. This medicine makes it more likely for you to bleed or bruise.
- Pain medicine: You may be given a prescription medicine to decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take this medicine.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your primary healthcare provider or vein specialist as directed:
You may need to return for blood tests. Your primary healthcare provider or vein specialist may need to check the blood flow to your leg. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Deep breathing and coughing:
Deep breathing opens the airways going to your lungs and helps prevent a lung infection after surgery. Coughing helps bring up mucus from your lungs for you to spit out.
- Take 10 deep breaths in a row every hour while you are awake. Take a deep breath and hold the breath as long as you can. Then push the air out of your lungs with a deep, strong cough. Hold a pillow tightly against your wound when you cough to help decrease the pain.
- You may need to use an incentive spirometer to help you take deeper breaths. Put the plastic piece into your mouth and take a very deep breath. Hold your breath as long as you can. Then let out your breath. Do this 10 times in a row every hour while you are awake.
Carefully wash your wounds with soap and water. Dry the area and put on new, clean bandages as directed. Change your bandages when they get wet or dirty.
Elevate your leg:
Raise your leg above the level of your heart as often as you can. This will help decrease swelling and pain. Prop your leg on pillows or blankets to keep it elevated comfortably.
Manage other medical conditions:
Ask if you need help managing diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. Managing these conditions may decrease your risk for another blockage in your arteries. You may recover more quickly from surgery and lower your risk for a heart attack or stroke.
Exercise and activity:
Ask how often and how far you should walk each day. Walking can help prevent blood clots and decrease your risk for a lung infection. Ask when you can return to work or your other daily activities.
Do not smoke:
If you smoke, it is never too late to quit. Smoking increases the risk that your new graft will become blocked. Ask your caregiver for information if you need help quitting.
Contact your primary healthcare provider or vein specialist if:
- You have a fever.
- Your wound is swollen, warm, red, or has pus coming from it.
- You are not able to eat, you have nausea, or you are vomiting.
- You have diarrhea.
- You have new pain, or your leg or foot pain suddenly gets worse.
- You have new sores on your legs or feet, or an old ulcer is not healing.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- You have bleeding, such as a nosebleed that does not stop.
- You are urinating less than usual, or not at all.
- Your toes or foot suddenly become cold, darker in color, or pale.
- Your leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
- You suddenly feel lightheaded and have trouble breathing.
- You have chest pain when you take a deep breath or cough. You may cough up blood.
- You have weakness in an arm or leg.
- You become confused or have difficulty speaking.
- You have dizziness, a severe headache, or vision loss.
- You have discomfort in the center of your chest that feels like squeezing, pressure, fullness, or pain. It lasts for more than a few minutes or keeps returning.
- You have discomfort or pain in your back, neck, jaw, stomach, or arm.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.