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Coronary Angioplasty

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.

DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS:

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) for any of the following:

  • You have any of the following signs of a heart attack:
    • Squeezing, pressure, or pain in your chest
    • You may also have any of the following:
      • Discomfort or pain in your back, neck, jaw, stomach, or arm
      • Shortness of breath
      • Nausea or vomiting
      • Lightheadedness or a sudden cold sweat
  • 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

Call your doctor 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.
  • You have a fever or chills.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Medicines:

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.

Activity:

You may feel like resting more after your procedure. Slowly start to do more each day. Take walks around your house. Make a plan for rest during the day. Ask when you can return to your normal daily activities. Do not take a bath or get in a hot tub. Do not swim in a pool or lake.

  • For wrist procedure:
    • Do not lift more than 2 pounds for 1 day after your procedure.
    • Do not jog, golf, play tennis, or do any strenuous activity for 2 days.
    • Do not push or pull for 2 days.
  • For groin procedure:
    • Do not lift more than 10 pounds for 5 to 7 days after your procedure.
    • Do not strain to have a bowel movement.
    • Only walk up and down stairs if needed. Walk up and down stairs slowly.

Wound care:

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 a new, clean bandage as directed. Change your bandage when it gets 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.

Cardiac rehab:

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.

Learn more about Coronary Angioplasty (Discharge Care)

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.