Angioplasty is a common procedure performed for cardiovascular problems. Patients commonly wonder about what to do after angioplasty? There are various questions related to recovery and activities that can be performed. This article deals with what to do after angioplasty and whether it is safe to travel after angioplasty.
After Care and Diet for Angioplasty
Angioplasty is a surgical procedure, which involves unblocking the blood vessels which supply blood to the heart muscles. The recovery period is brief around 12- 24 hours after the catheter is removed. The patient might resume work after a few days to a week, after the procedure. Knowing about what to do after angioplasty, as advised medically, helps in healing and recovery.
After the procedure, the patient might experience some pain in the groin, arm or the wrist, from where the catheter was inserted. There might also be some bruising below or around the incision.
What to do after angioplasty related to resuming normal activities, mainly depends on the severity of the condition and other accompanying medical conditions. It takes a week or around 10 days to return to the normal activities after getting the procedure done. The patient is detailed about the wound care, exercises, and medications and on how to resume the normal activities by the healthcare advisor.
After Care Following Angioplasty
A person is able to walk around within 6 hours of the procedure. The area where the catheter was inserted should not get wet. If you are worried about what to do after angioplasty and the after care for it, includes the following conditions,
- If the catheter during the procedure was inserted in the groin following precautions should be taken,
- The patient can walk on a flat surface but walking upstairs or downstairs should be limited to just 2 times for about two days.
- Driving, squatting, lifting up heavy objects, or playing sports should be avoided until the doctor tells its safe.
- If the catheter is inserted from your arm or wrist following the precautions listed below is necessary,
- Lifting heavy load with the arm that had the catheter inserted should be avoided.
- Do not push, pull or twist with the arm.
- Few of the common things which should be kept in mind in every case,
- Avoid the area where the catheter was inserted from getting wet for 24 to 48 hours. Avoid swimming.
- Sexual activity should be avoided for at least 3 to 5 days.
- Going to work should be avoided for 3 to 4 days if the work involved is not heavy. The resting time might extend for those who do heavy work.
- Taking care of the incised area is necessary.
Follow medical advice on how to change the dressing of the wound.
If the incised area in the groin bleeds or swells, lie down and put pressure on the site for about 30 minutes. If bleeding occurs at the wrist apply pressure on it and elevate the arm.
Diet After Angioplasty
For some people, the arteries might become narrow again after an angioplasty. For this, you need to follow a healthy heart diet, stop smoking, exercise and reduce stress to lower the chances of re-blocking of the arteries.
A healthy diet plays a major role in reducing the risk of plaque from building up again in the arteries. Diet provides with plenty of heart-protective nutrients. It should include,
- Whole grains such as quinoa, barley, rye, brown rice, and rye.
- Low-fat dairy products.
- Meats or alternatives to it such as eggs, tofu, legumes, and nuts.
- Healthy fats and oils from nuts, seeds, oily fish and avocado.
- Consume alcohol only in moderation
- Avoid soft drinks.
- Reduce salt intake. It helps in reducing blood pressure and prevents fluid retention.
Is It Safe To Travel After An Angioplasty?
A common question that worries most people is that whether it is safe to travel after an angioplasty. If planning to travel after an angioplasty procedure, some very important things should be kept in mind,
Long hours of traveling should be avoided by angioplasty patients, as it leads to unnecessary stress. Before finalizing a travel plan, be realistic about how you can manage it. Angioplasty patients should avoid traveling to very hot or very cold countries as it might put an extra strain on the heart. High altitude destinations also lead to a similar impact on the heart.
- Take an advice on the activities you can indulge during the travel.
- Choose for the accommodation close to the amenities.
- Driving after an angioplasty depends how well the heart is pumping the blood. You may need to delay the driving for maybe 4 weeks.
Long distance flights should be avoided after angioplasty. Immediately after a stent procedure, there is a risk of clot formation which is why air travel during this period should not be planned. After a routine angioplasty you may be able to fly after 2 days, but if you have had a complicated heart attack, delaying flying for around 4-6 week is recommended by the doctors.
Angioplasty patients should never leave home without carrying medications and medical records. Try not to overindulge into food and drinks. Eat low-fat meals and keep a tab on the salt and sugar intake. Be aware of the emergency and seek medical help in case of bleeding from the wound or pain or changes in arm or legs. As every person has certain specific after-care requirements and individual health conditions vary, make sure to ask the surgeon about what to do after angioplasty and whether it is safe to travel after angioplasty.
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