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Recover more quickly

Eat healthily

Eating a healthy diet will help to ensure that your body has all the nutrients it needs to heal.

Stop smoking

By not smoking – even if it’s just for the time that you’re recovering – you immediately start to improve your circulation and your breathing – not to mention a whole list of other benefits to the heart and lungs, in addition to improving the healing process

Family and friends

Family and friends can give you two important things:

  • Practical help with the tasks you might temporarily be unable to do while you recover – such as driving, the weekly shop, or lifting heavier items.
  • Keeping your spirits up.

Keep a routine

Get up at your normal time in the morning, get dressed, move about the house. If you get tired, you can rest later.


You will have been taught exercises by a physiotherapist while in hospital; it is important to continue these at home for as long as you are advised. Some patients may also need additional outpatient physiotherapy follow-up.

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Prophylaxis

To avoid the risk of DVT, it’s best to use a TED (thrombo-embolic deterrent) stocking for 2 weeks following the operation; either above the knee or below the knee.

Build up gradually

Have a go at doing some of the things you’d normally do, but build up gradually. Some suggestions are included in the recovery tracker. Obviously, everyone recovers at a different speed, so not all of the suggestions will be suitable for everybody.

When you’re building up your activities, you may feel more tired than normal. If so, stop, and rest until your strength returns. If you feel pain, you have probably just overdone it a little. Ease back on your activities for a day or two and then gradually increase them again. If you are concerned, consult your GP.

If you live alone, and you don’t have family or friends living close by, organise support in advance – have family or friends come to stay with you for the first few days after surgery if possible.

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