Peripheral Vascular Disease Rehabilitation

If you have had an angioplasty the recovery is usually short. The major risks are complications of bleeding from where access was gained to your blood vessels (usually the groin). Most patients are able to resume normal activities within a few days and should notice an improvement in their symptoms if the procedure was successful almost immediately.

After bypass surgery you will need to stay in hospital for 4-5 days to ensure you are making a good recovery. Your surgeon will review your wounds and a scan will need to be performed to ensure the bypass graft is working correctly.A team of physiotherapists will make sure you begin to get up and walk safely, and usually after you can climb a flight of stairs you are fit to be discharged. Before you leave hospital your medical team will make sure you are taking all the correct medicines to improve your cardiovascular risk profile. Someone will also go through how to look after the wounds with you. Usually internal absorb-able stitches will be used, but your surgeon may opt to use external stitches or staples that will need to be removed 10-14 days after your operation.You will not be back to full strength for a while after the surgery, and it is a good idea to arrange some help from friends and family while in the first instance.

This is major surgery and is not without risks. There is a small chance of wound infection, but this will usually clear up with antibiotics. On occasions the graft may stop working, requiring a second operation to clear the blockage and re-do some of the operation to ensure this doesn't happen again.

The most important aspect of rehabilitation is to deal with the risk factors that caused the disease in the first place (smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes) which reduces your long term risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke.