Peripheral angioplasty discharge instructions (patient information)
Peripheral angioplasty discharge instructions
Peripheral angioplasty discharge instructions On the Web
Risk calculators and risk factors for Peripheral angioplasty
Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. ; Associate Editor-In-Chief: Mohammed A. Sbeih, M.D.
You had angioplasty (ballooning) of a peripheral artery, a blood vessel that supplies blood to your legs or arms. You may have also had a stent placed. These procedures were done to open a narrowed or blocked peripheral artery.
Your doctor inserted a catheter (flexible tube) into your blocked artery through a tiny hole in your groin. Your doctor used x-rays to guide the catheter up to the area of the blockage. Then your doctor passed a guide wire through the catheter to the blockage. A balloon catheter was pushed over the guide wire and into the blockage. The balloon on the end was blown up. This opened the blocked vessel and restored proper blood flow to your heart. A stent is usually placed to prevent the vessel from collapsing again.
When could I drive after the procedure?
You should not drive for 48 hours after the procedure.
What medications should I take after the procedure?
- Aspirin every day. Ask your doctor about the dose you should take.
- Plavix (clopidogrel) may be used in addition to Aspirin to decrease the risk of a blood clot forming in the artery.
You will be given a list of all medicines you should take once you are at home. Ask your doctor whether you should go back to take the medications you were on before the procedure. Be sure your doctor knows about everything you are taking.
Should I take any OTC pain medications?
You may take acetaminophen (Tylenol) every six hours as needed for pain in the area where the catheter was placed. Please be sure you are not taking more than one product containing acetaminophen, and do not take more Tylenol than what is recommended on the label.
When may I resume my regular activities?
You may resume your regular activities one week after the procedure. Avoid lifting, pushing, or pulling anything heavier than 10 pounds in the first week after the procedure. Also avoid any exercise that causes you to hold your breath and bear down with your abdominal muscles.
When could I bathe or swim?
Usually after one week, when the puncture site is healed. This usually takes about a week. You may shower on the day after the procedure after removing the Band-Aid over your puncture site.
When can I go back to work?
It depends on the type of your work. you can ask your doctor when you can go back to work.
Make an appointment to see your doctor within two weeks.
When to seek urgent medical care?
Call your doctor or nurse if:
- There is swelling at the catheter site.
- There is bleeding at the catheter insertion site that does not stop when pressure is applied.
- Your leg below where the catheter was inserted changes color or becomes cool to the touch, pale, or numb.
- The small incision from your catheter becomes red or painful, or yellow or green discharge is draining from it.
- Your legs are swelling.
- You have chest pain or shortness of breath that does not go away with rest.
- You have dizziness, fainting, or you are very tired.
- You are coughing up blood or yellow or green mucus.
- You have chills or a fever over 101 °F.
- You develop weakness in your body or are unable to get out of bed.