The angioplasty recovery period involves specific wound care instructions that patients will be required to respect. Usually, people who have just experienced an angioplasty surgery will remain in the hospital for one or two more days after the intervention, but the recovery treatment will be continued at home.
In recovery after angioplasty, patients will receive specific discharge information which includes instructions for driving, effort level, medication and other restrictions. Patients will need to avoid physical stress or prolonged sport activities for a maximum of two weeks after a delicate balloon angioplasty.
A complete understanding of how the recovery period from angioplasty works can only be achieved after learning about the stages of an angioplasty surgery. Before the intervention, the patient will be sedated with pain medicine. He can also receive blood thinning medicines from preventing the blood to clot. The first stage of an angioplasty is the incision performed near the groin. The second stage refers to the insertion of a catheter or flexible tube into an artery, through the hole of the incision. This tube will be directed by X-ray live pictures. The third stage consists of injecting dye into the body to accentuate blood flow through the arteries. The fourth stage will be moving a guide wire that allows the insertion of a balloon catheter into the blockage. In the end, the balloon is inflated and the blood vessels are opened to restore blood flow to the heart.
After an angioplasty surgery, the recovery period will begin in the hospital. Patients will be encouraged to drink plenty of fluids that will flush away the dye from the body. In recovery from angioplasty, the patient will be required to keep his leg or arm straight because the feeling of numbness will persist a while. Before they are sent home, patients will be advised to report any abnormal feeling.
The recovery after angioplasty will continue at home. Lifestyles changes such as following a special diet, avoiding strenuous activity and reducing smoking are urgent measure for angioplasty patients. If a stent is inserted inside the body instead of a balloon, patients will receive an identification card with information that must be kept with them at all times. Because the stent is made out of metal, the first months after surgery will require weekly MRI scans. Bruises will appear in the area the catheter was inserted, which will feel sore for a couple of days. This area should be protected and if any signs of infection appear, the doctor must be consulted immediately.
The recovery from angioplasty should normally last a week. After that, the patient should be able to go back to his daily life routine. If the angioplasty was performed because of a heart attack, the surveillance period will be longer. The patient will also benefit from an angioplasty recovery program. The length of an angioplasty recovery period depends on the time prescribed by specialists, but it also depends on the patient’s will to respect all instructions given by them.