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 urine. This means you won’t need to worry about going to the toilet for the first few days after surgery.

This means you will not need to get out of bed to go to the toilet for the first few days after the operation. You may be given a commode or bedpan so you can also poo without having to get up to use the toilet.

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 are not 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 hospital.

Compression Garments

You’ll notice swelling (oedema) of the 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 (pain that seems to be coming from your missing limb) 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 2 garments, which should be washed regularly.