After heart stent surgery, patients typically resume their normal, non-strenous activities after one week, according to Medtronic. Those who do physical labor for a living sometimes need to wait longer before resuming work. Patients usually stay in the hospital overnight and then return home the next day. It is recommended that they rest, drink fluids and abstain from heavy lifting, smoking or strenuous exercise for 24 hours after surgery.
A patient is encouraged to call her physician if there are any signs that might indicate problems with her surgery, such as pain, warmth or skin color changes at the site where the catheter was inserted. If there is any bleeding, the patient should lay down and apply pressure to the site before calling a doctor, states Medtronic. A patient should also call her doctor immediately if she experiences chest pain or frequent chest discomfort, because this could indicate that the arteries of the heart are becoming narrow again.
Stent surgery can reopen blocked arteries, but it is not a cure for atherosclerosis or coronary disease. Patients should exercise, refrain from smoking, eat healthy foods and work to manage their existing medical conditions to prevent further complications from coronary artery disease, according to Medtronic.