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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Coronary angioplasty is a procedure that opens arteries in your heart that have a buildup of plaque. Plaque is a mixture of fat and cholesterol. This procedure helps to increase blood flow to your heart.
Call 911 for any of the following:
- You have any of the following signs of a heart attack:
- Squeezing, pressure, or pain in your chest that lasts longer than 5 minutes or returns
- Discomfort or pain in your back, neck, jaw, stomach, or arm
- Trouble breathing
- Nausea or vomiting
- Lightheadedness or a sudden cold sweat, especially with chest pain or trouble breathing
- You have any of the following signs of a stroke:
- Numbness or drooping on one side of your face
- Weakness in an arm or leg
- Confusion or difficulty speaking
- Dizziness, a severe headache, or vision loss
Seek care immediately if:
- Your incision is swollen, red, or has pus or foul-smelling fluid coming from it.
- You cannot stop the bleeding from your catheter site after you hold pressure for 10 minutes.
- Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
Contact your cardiologist if:
- You have a fever or chills.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
You may need any of the following:
- Antiplatelets prevent blood clots from forming. You will need to take aspirin and another type of platelet medicine. Take this medicine daily as directed. Tell your cardiologist if you miss a dose.
- Nitrates , such as nitroglycerin, relax the arteries of your heart so it gets more oxygen. This medicine helps to relieve chest pain.
- Cholesterol medicine helps decrease the amount of cholesterol in your blood. Cholesterol can cause plaque buildup that blocks your arteries.
- Blood pressure medicine lowers your blood pressure.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your cardiologist as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
- Keep your leg straight as much as possible. Try not to bend at the site of the incision for 24 to 48 hours.
- Do not lift anything heavy for about 2 days after your procedure.
- Limit stair climbing to 3 times or less per day for the first 48 hours.
- You may feel like resting more after your procedure. Slowly start to do more each day. Rest when you feel it is needed.
- Ask when you can return to your daily activities.
Do not get your wound wet until your healthcare provider says it is okay. Carefully wash the wound with soap and water. Dry the area and put on new, clean bandages as directed. Change your bandages when they get wet or dirty.
Do not smoke:
Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes and cigars can cause heart, lung, and blood vessel damage. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you currently smoke and need help to quit. E-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco still contain nicotine. Talk to your healthcare provider before you use these products.
Your cardiologist may recommend that you attend cardiac rehabilitation (rehab). This is a program run by specialists who will help you safely strengthen your heart and reduce the risk of more heart disease. The plan includes exercise, relaxation, stress management, and heart-healthy nutrition. Healthcare providers will also check to make sure any medicines you are taking are working.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.