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Endovascular Aneurysm Repair Of Abdominal Aorta

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) is a procedure to repair an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). After the procedure, you may have pain and bruising where the catheters were placed. You will need ongoing tests to check the graft position and size of your aneurysm.

DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS:

Call 911 or have someone else call for any of the following:

  • You have any of the following signs of a heart attack:
    • Squeezing, pressure, or pain in your chest
    • and any of the following:
      • Discomfort or pain in your back, neck, jaw, stomach, or arm
      • Shortness of breath
      • Nausea or vomiting
      • Lightheadedness or a sudden cold sweat
  • You feel lightheaded, short of breath, and have chest pain.
  • You cough up blood.
  • You have trouble breathing.
  • You cannot stop the bleeding from your wound even after you hold firm pressure for 10 minutes.
  • You faint or lose consciousness.
  • You cannot be woken.

Seek care immediately if:

  • You have sudden sharp pain in your abdomen, groin, back, legs, or buttocks.
  • You feel dizzy.
  • You have stiffness or swelling in your abdomen, or a lump in your abdomen.
  • You have trouble walking or moving your legs.
  • Your leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
  • Blood soaks through your bandage.
  • Your stitches come apart.
  • Your wound gets swollen quickly.
  • Your leg feels numb, cool, or looks pale.
  • The skin in your buttocks feels cold and is pale, purple, or black.
  • You have blood in your bowel movements.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have a fever or chills.
  • Your wound is red, swollen, or draining pus.
  • Your wound looks more bruised or there is new bruising on the side of your leg.
  • You cannot control your urine or bowel movements.
  • You have nausea or are vomiting.
  • Your skin is itchy, swollen, or you have a rash.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Medicines:

You may need any of the following:

  • Blood thinners help prevent blood clots. Examples of blood thinners include heparin and warfarin. Clots can cause strokes, heart attacks, and death. The following are general safety guidelines to follow while you are taking a blood thinner:
    • Watch for bleeding and bruising while you take blood thinners. Watch for bleeding from your gums or nose. Watch for blood in your urine and bowel movements. Use a soft washcloth on your skin, and a soft toothbrush to brush your teeth. This can keep your skin and gums from bleeding. If you shave, use an electric shaver. Do not play contact sports.
    • Tell your dentist and other healthcare providers that you take anticoagulants. Wear a bracelet or necklace that says you take this medicine.
    • Do not start or stop any medicines unless your healthcare provider tells you to. Many medicines cannot be used with blood thinners.
    • Tell your healthcare provider right away if you forget to take the medicine, or if you take too much.
    • Warfarin is a blood thinner that you may need to take. The following are things you should be aware of if you take warfarin.
      • Foods and medicines can affect the amount of warfarin in your blood. Do not make major changes to your diet while you take warfarin. Warfarin works best when you eat about the same amount of vitamin K every day. Vitamin K is found in green leafy vegetables and certain other foods. Ask for more information about what to eat when you are taking warfarin.
      • You will need to see your healthcare provider for follow-up visits when you are on warfarin. You will need regular blood tests. These tests are used to decide how much medicine you need.
  • Acetaminophen helps decrease your pain and fever. This medicine is available without a doctor's order. Ask how much medicine is safe to take, and how often to take it. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage if not taken correctly.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her 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.

Bathing:

Shower the day after your procedure or as directed. Do not take baths or go in hot tubs or pools. Carefully wash around your wounds with soap and water. It is okay to let soap and water run over your wounds. Pat the areas dry.

Care for your wound as directed:

Keep a small bandage or gauze on your wound for 72 hours or as directed. Change the bandage or gauze if it gets wet or dirty. Monitor your wound every day for signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or pus. Mild bruising is normal and expected. Do not put powders, lotions, or creams on your wound.

Self-care:

  • Apply firm, steady pressure if bleeding occurs. A small amount of bleeding from your wounds is possible. Apply pressure with a clean gauze or towel for 5 to 10 minutes. Call 911 if bleeding becomes heavy or does not stop.
  • Do not lift anything heavier than 5 pounds until directed by your healthcare provider. Heavy lifting can put stress on your wounds and cause bleeding.
  • Do not do vigorous activity for at least 48 hours. Vigorous activity may cause bleeding from your wounds. Rest and do quiet activities. Short walks to the bathroom and around the house are okay. Ask your healthcare provider when you can return to your normal activities.
  • Drink liquids to flush the contrast liquid from your body and prevent blood clots. Ask how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you.
  • Restart your blood thinners as directed. Your healthcare provider may tell you to start taking your blood thinners after your procedure. Instead, he or she may have you wait a few days.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

You will need to return for CT scans to check the graft and the size of your aneurysm. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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