Whether you're undergoing vascular surgery due to atherosclerosis, aneurysm or another condition affecting your veins, you'll want to get back to your daily activities as soon as you can. The great news is that—while it's important to follow your doctor's advice—you will play the starring role in your recovery.

After vascular surgery you'll be asked to keep your activity to a minimum for a time. Depending on your procedure and any other medical conditions you have, this could be anywhere from a day to a month. Take your medication as prescribed, and be sure to follow up with your doctor as planned, then move over doc, you're in the driving seat.

Get moving!

The first few weeks after surgery are when most of your recovery will occur. The key to a speedy recovery is resuming your pre-surgery activities as soon as possible. Take it easy, build your range of movement slowly, and before you know it you'll be back to normal.

Check your medication

If you regularly took medication prior to surgery you'll probably be advised to continue afterwards. Check with your doctor, however, as your dosage may well change. If you've had vascular reconstruction, particularly if your surgeon has repaired a blocked vein or artery, it is important to take any blood-thinning medication your doctor recommends. This is especially important if you have had a stent placed for a blocked artery. Taking the right medication will reduce the risk of narrowed arteries and clotting within stents in future.

Looking forwards

Taking charge of your recovery means assessing your pre-surgery lifestyle to see what changes you can make.

Quit smoking

If you smoke, quitting is the most powerful tool in your kit. Quitting won't only speed your recovery after vascular surgery, it will reduce your risk of redeveloping vascular problems down the track. If you smoke and you'd like to quit, try the free QuitBuddy app, or see these great resources to make the transition as easy as possible.

Eat well

Eating well will keep your veins in shape. Limiting salty and fatty foods will reduce the risk of high blood pressure, as well as many other diseases.

Keep moving!

Regular physical activity is not just a way to speed your recovery, it's a fantastic way to keep well, long into the future. Increasing the amount of exercise you do doesn't have to be gruelling—even a daily walk offers fantastic health benefits. Start slowly. Your health care team can guide you on exercises that are right for you.

It may seem daunting at first, but getting back on your feet after vascular surgery is a matter of following these simple steps. Remember, you're in charge. Once you're given the green light to get moving, don't look back!