Recovering after amputation

After surgery, you’ll usually be given oxygen through a mask and fluids through a drip for the first few days while you recover on the ward.

A small flexible tube (a urinary catheter) may be placed in your bladder during surgery to drain away urine. This means you won’t need to worry about going to the toilet for the first few days after surgery.

The site of the operation may be painful, so you’ll be given painkillers if you need them. Tell a member of your care team if the painkillers aren’t working, as you may need a larger dose or a stronger painkiller. A small tube may be used to deliver local anaesthetic to the nerves in your stump to help reduce pain.

Your physiotherapist will teach you some exercises to help prevent blood clots and improve your blood supply while you’re recovering in the hospital.

Compression Garments

You’ll notice swelling (oedema) of your stump after surgery. This is normal and it may continue after you’ve been discharged.

Using a compression garment will help with swelling and the shape of the stump. It may also reduce phantom pain (see stump and phantom limb pain section below) and help support the limb.

You’ll be fitted with a compression garment once your wound has healed. It should be worn every day but taken off at bedtime. You should be given at least two garments, which should be washed regularly.