Although recovery time varies for carotid artery surgery, typically patients spend one to two nights in the hospital, with some patients leaving as early as the same day, notes Healthline and the National Institutes of Health. Recovery time also depends upon the time of day that the procedure takes place. For example, if the surgery occurs in the morning, patients without complications may go home that evening, explains Healthline.
Patients of carotid artery surgery, medically referred to as carotid endarterectomy, may experience soreness in the neck and require pain medication after surgery, reports Healthline and the National Institutes of Health. Doctors may recommend a soft-foods diet until the soreness in the neck dissipates or it becomes easier to swallow. The time until a patient can return to normal activities depends upon his procedure, the outcome and a doctor's recommendation, according to the NIH.
Some symptoms that may arise after a carotid endarterectomy include numbness or weakness on one side of the body, trouble with speech or understanding speech, vision problems, dizziness causing unexplained falls, and severe headaches. If a patient experiences these symptoms, they could be signs of stroke or a mini-stroke, and the individual should see a physician right away, cautions the NIH.