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Peripheral Vascular Stent Placement
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Peripheral vascular stent placement is surgery to widen an artery in your leg. A stent is a small cylinder-shaped tube used to widen a blood vessel. It can be placed in an artery in your upper or lower leg.
You may need any of the following:
- Antiplatelets , such as aspirin, help prevent blood clots. Take your antiplatelet medicine exactly as directed. These medicines make it more likely for you to bleed or bruise. If you are told to take aspirin, do not take acetaminophen or ibuprofen instead.
- Anticoagulants are a type of blood thinner medicine that helps prevent clots. Clots can cause strokes, heart attacks, and death. These medicines may cause you to bleed or bruise more easily.
- Watch for bleeding from your gums or nose. Watch for blood in your urine and bowel movements. Use a soft washcloth and a soft toothbrush. If you shave, use an electric razor. Avoid activities that can cause bruising or bleeding.
- Tell your healthcare provider about all medicines you take because many medicines cannot be used with anticoagulants. Do not start or stop any medicines unless your healthcare provider tells you to. Tell your dentist and other healthcare providers that you take anticoagulants. Wear a bracelet or necklace that says you take this medicine.
- You will need regular blood tests so your healthcare provider can decide how much medicine you need. Take anticoagulants exactly as directed. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you forget to take the medicine, or if you take too much.
- If you take warfarin, some foods can change how your blood clots. Do not make major changes to your diet while you take warfarin. Warfarin works best when you eat about the same amount of vitamin K every day. Vitamin K is found in green leafy vegetables, broccoli, grapes, and other foods. Ask for more information about what to eat when you take warfarin.
- Medicine may also be given to manage your heart rate, blood pressure, blood sugar levels, or cholesterol levels.
- 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 healthcare provider as directed:
You may need to return to have your blood flow in your legs checked regularly. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Self-care after peripheral vascular stent placement:
- Rest in bed for at least 24 hours after surgery, or as directed. Activity may increase your risk for bleeding from your incision.
- Care for your incision as directed. Wash your hands before touching the incision. Check for redness, swelling, pain, bleeding or bruising. Change the bandage as directed. Ask which kind of bandages you should use.
- Manage other health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol. This will help ensure the stent stays open.
- Do not smoke. If you smoke, it is never too late to quit. Smoking increases the risk of further artery disease. Ask for information if you need help quitting.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- Your incision is red, swollen, or draining pus.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- You have bleeding, bruising, or swelling at your incision site.
- You have severe pain at your incision site.
- You hear a sudden pop or feel a pulsing sensation near your incision site.
- Your leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
- You cough up blood.
- You feel lightheaded, short of breath, and have chest pain.
- You have numbness, weakness, or drooping on one side of your body, or a severe headache.
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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.