Information for Patients
After any operation, you'll have some side effects. There is usually some pain with surgery. There may also be swelling and soreness around the area that the surgeon cut. Your surgeon can tell you which side effects to expect.
There can also be complications. These are unplanned events linked to the operation. Some complications are infection, too much bleeding, reaction to anesthesia, or accidental injury. Some people have a greater risk of complications because of other medical conditions.
Your surgeon can tell you how you might feel and what you will be able to do - or not do - the first few days, weeks, or months after surgery. Some other questions to ask are
- How long you will be in the hospital
- What kind of supplies, equipment, and help you might need when you go home
- When you can go back to work
- When it is ok to start exercising again
- Are they any other restrictions in your activities
Following your surgeon's advice can help you recover as soon as possible.
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
People can lose all or part of an arm or leg for a number of reasons. Common ones include
- Problems with blood circulation. These may be the result of atherosclerosis or diabetes. Severe cases may result in amputation.
- Injuries, including from traffic accidents and military combat
- Birth defects
Some amputees have phantom pain, which is the feeling of pain in the missing limb. Other physical problems include surgical complications and skin problems, if you wear an artificial limb. Many amputees use an artificial limb. Learning how to use it takes time. Physical therapy can help you adapt.
Recovery from the loss of a limb can be hard. Sadness, anger, and frustration are common. If you are having a tough time, talk to your doctor. Treatment with medicine or counseling can help.