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What are some tips for living with stents?

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After a stent procedure, it is important to take precautions against blood clots and to maintain a heart-healthy lifestyle. Blood clots forming in the stent can lead to heart attack, stroke or other serious issues, so the doctor may prescribe aspirin or other anticlot medicines, states the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

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Do not stop taking the blood-thinning medicine until instructed by the doctor, as stopping too early can increase the risk of clots forming, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Some patients are advised to take blood-thinning medicine for life. The doctor may also prescribe statins, which are medicines that lower blood cholesterol levels.

After surgery, avoid strenuous exercise and physical exertion, such as lifting heavy objects, for several days. Consult the doctor before resuming physical activity and establishing an exercise routine, says Mayo Clinic.

Though stents prevent the arteries from becoming narrow or blocked, they do not cure atherosclerosis or the risk factors associated with it. Therefore, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is necessary to keep plaque from forming in the arteries again, explains the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. It may be necessary to talk to the doctor about changing diet, increasing exercise, quitting smoking and/or reducing stress. In addition, take all medications prescribed by the doctor.

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