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Discharge Instructions for Coronary Angioplasty and Stenting

You just underwent an angioplasty. During your angioplasty, a doctor inserted a thin tube called a catheter into a blood vessel in your groin or wrist. The catheter was pushed through your blood vessel to a blocked area in one of your heart’s arteries. The doctor inflated a tiny balloon at the tip of the catheter and stretched the blocked vessel so blood could flow freely. The balloon was then deflated and removed with the catheter. The doctor may have inserted a metal mesh tube called a stent in the blocked vessel. If so, the stent will help the vessel stay open.

Home Care

  • Ask someone to drive you to your appointments for the next few days.

  • Rest for 2-3 days after the procedure. Most patients are able to resume normal activity within a few days.

  • Take your temperature and check your incision for signs of infection (redness, swelling, drainage, or warmth) every day for a week. It is normal to have a small bruise or bump where the catheter was inserted.

  • Take your medications exactly as directed. Don’t skip doses. It is important to take aspirin or other similar drugs for as long as your doctor advises.If you were also prescribed clopidogrel, prasugrel, or ticagrelor, it is very important to take these medications, as well.

  • Unless directed otherwise, stay hydrated a day to help flush your body of the dye that was used during your angioplasty.

  • Eat a healthy diet that is low in fat, salt, and cholesterol. Ask your doctor for menus and other diet information.

  • Exercise according to your doctor's recommendation.

  • Avoid swimming or taking baths for 5-7 days. You may shower the day after the procedure.

Follow-Up

Make a follow-up appointment as directed by our staff.

 

When to Call Your Doctor

Call your doctor immediately if you have any of the following:

  • Chest pain or a return of the symptoms you had prior to the angioplasty

  • Constant or increasing pain or numbness in your leg, or if your leg looks blue or feels cold

  • Fever above 100.4°F (38.0°C) or other signs of infection (redness, swelling, drainage, or warmth at the incision site of the leg or wrist)

  • Shortness of breath

  • Bleeding, bruising, or a large swelling where the catheter (tube) was inserted

  • Blood in your urine

  • Black or tarry stools

 

 
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