After Coronary angioplasty or Stenting, you'll be moved to an Coronary Care Unit for one night. You must lie still for a few hours to allow the blood vessel in your arm or groin (upper thigh) to seal completely.
While you recover, the coronary care nurse will check your blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen level, and temperature. The site where the catheters were inserted also will be checked for bleeding. That area may feel sore or tender for a while. After about 3 to 4 hours, once your blood thinning parameters comes to normal, the nurse would take out the arterial sheath from your groin. She would apply pressure for 15 to 20 minutes, till the bleeding stops.
When Can I go Home after Stenting ?
Most people go home one or two days after the procedure. When your doctor thinks you're ready to leave the hospital, you'll get instructions to follow at home, such as:
- How much activity or exercise you can do. You can start walking the day after the procedure, and start light exercises after a week.
- When you should follow up with your doctor. Usually doctor would call you after a week or 15 days for your first follow up appointment.
- What medicines you should take. All the medicines prescribed by the doctor and written in the discharge summary, should be taken. There are two blood thinner ( Anti Platelet) medicines, which are mandatory after stenting, and should be continued, without interruption.
- What you should look for daily when checking for signs of infection around the catheter insertion site. Signs of infection include redness, swelling, and drainage.
- When you should call your doctor. For example, you may need to call if you have shortness of breath; a fever; or signs of infection, pain, or bleeding
If you got a stent during the PCI, the medicine reduces the risk that blood clots will form in the stent. Blood clots in the stent can block blood flow and cause a heart attack.
When Can I join Work
Most people recover from the PCI and return to work within a week of leaving the hospital.
Your doctor will want to check your progress after you leave the hospital. During the followup visit, your doctor will examine you, make changes to your medicines (if needed), do any necessary tests, and check your overall recovery.
Use this time to ask questions you may have about activities, medicines, or lifestyle changes, or to talk about any other issues that concern you.
Although stenting, can reduce the symptoms of coronary heart disease (CHD), it isn't a cure for CHD or the risk factors that led to it. Making healthy lifestyle changes can help treat CHD and maintain the good results from PCI.
Talk with your doctor about your risk factors for CHD and the lifestyle changes you should make. Lifestyle changes might include changing your diet, quitting smoking, being physically active, losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight, and reducing stress and to find a cardiac rehab program near your home.