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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.
You will be given 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.
- Blood pressure medicine lowers your blood pressure.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him 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.
- 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.
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:
If you smoke, it is never too late to quit. Smoking increases your risk for heart disease and stroke. Ask your cardiologist if you need help quitting.
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. Caregivers will also check to make sure any medicines you are taking are working.
Contact your cardiologist if:
- You have a fever or chills.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- Your incision is swollen, red, or has pus or foul-smelling fluid coming from it.
- You start to bleed from your catheter site again.
- You have any of the following signs of a heart attack:
- Squeezing, pressure, fullness, or pain in your chest that lasts longer than a few minutes or returns
- Discomfort or pain in your back, neck, jaw, stomach, or arm
- Shortness of breath or breathing problems
- A sudden cold sweat, lightheadedness, dizziness, or nausea, especially with chest pain or trouble breathing
- You have any of the following signs of a stroke:
- Part of your face droops or is numb
- Weakness in an arm or leg
- Confusion or difficulty speaking
- Dizziness, a severe headache, or vision loss
- Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
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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.