Q:

What should you do after a stent procedure?

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Quick Answer

After a stent procedure, take the doctor's prescribed medications, such as aspirin and anticlotting medicines, as instructed, and avoid strenuous activities, especially heavy lifting, recommends the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Inform your doctor if significant bleeding occurs at the site of catheter insertion or if you notice redness, swelling or pain close to the insertion site.

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Full Answer

Lifestyle changes after a stent procedure include following the doctor's suggested meal plans, staying physically active, maintaining a healthy body weight, managing stress and quitting smoking, states the NHLBI. Stents help prevent the narrowing or blockage of arteries but do not serve as a cure for atherosclerosis. Proper lifestyle changes help lower your risk of another buildup of plaque in your arteries.

While recovering in the hospital, the nurse may place a tiny sandbag above the bandage surrounding the site of insertion to add pressure and prevent bleeding, notes the NHLBI. A mild bruise and a small knot typically show at the insertion site, and you may experience soreness or tenderness in this region for up to a week.

Aspirin and anticlotting medications help prevent the formation of blood clots in the stent, thus reducing the risk of serious complications, such as a stroke or heart attack, explains the NHLBI. Ask your doctor about ways to lower risk of side effects of anticlotting medicines, particularly allergic rashes.

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