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5 Ways to Improve Angioplasty Recovery

September 02, 2021

What are the ways to improve angioplasty recovery?


  1. Follow incision care instructions
  2. Take the prescribed medications
  3. Refrain from strenuous physical activities for the first week
  4. Eat a healthy diet
  5. Consider cardiac rehabilitation


Angioplasty is a type of heart surgery performed to open up blocked coronary arteries that are seen during a coronary angiogram. It involves the use of a balloon-tipped catheter, wire, and stent to help improve blood flow to the blocked artery. While it’s true that angioplasty is a minimally invasive procedure, the recovery period can be extended indefinitely depending on the patient. It is known that angioplasty improves ischemic heart diseases. Therefore, knowing the ways to improve your angioplasty recovery translates to improved heart health and overall quality of life.


Continue reading to learn more about some of the ways to improve angioplasty recovery according to the best cardiologist in the Philippines.   


Follow Incision Care Instructions


Angioplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that involves inserting a stent to open up the blocked artery after the balloon-tipped catheter is deflated and removed. After an angioplasty, your cardiologist will remove the catheters attached to you. Side effects such as discomfort and bruising in the small incision area are common. You will likely be admitted for a minimum of one day for monitoring. 


Before you are discharged from the hospital, your doctor will give out instructions for post-operation care, including instructions for incision care. In general, it takes most patients two weeks to return to their normal activities after angioplasty, but this can vary depending on the patient’s case. You will also have a bandage over the wound site upon leaving the hospital. 


Incision care instructions for angioplasty can include the following:


●     Do not take a bath or swim for one week after the angioplasty procedure.

●     You may be allowed to take off the bandage attached to your wound site after one week. The easiest way to do this is by taking a warm shower and soaking the bandage. The bandage should fall off on its own.

●     Gently wash the incision once a day using only mild soap and water or a soft washcloth.

●     Do not rub the incision area and carefully pat it with a towel for drying.

●     Do not use any lotion, sunblock, powder, cream, or ointment on the wound unless otherwise instructed by your doctor.

●     Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothing over the wound site.

●     Know the signs of wound infections and inform your doctor immediately when they appear (e.g., more draining or bleeding than usual, swelling or redness around the wound area, chest pain, fever)


Take The Prescribed Medications


After the angioplasty, your doctor will prescribe medications to lower your further risk of cardiac complications. Keep in mind that medications work best if you commit to having a healthy lifestyle. Your doctor may prescribe the following medications:


●     Antiplatelets - drugs that stop blood clots from forming at the incision site. These also avoid blood clot-induced heart attacks or strokes.

●     Statins - drugs that lower the level of bad cholesterol in the blood. These reduce the risk of blood vessel diseases.

●     Beta-blockers or angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors - drugs that help control high blood pressure and relax the arteries


Your doctor will prescribe these medications before you are discharged from the hospital. Keep in mind that stopping medication or failing to stick to your medication schedule may increase your risk of a recurring heart condition. If you experience any medication side effects, make sure to inform your doctor.


Refrain from Strenuous Physical Activities for The First Week   


For the first week, you will need to make sure the wound area heals completely. Doing gentle exercises as part of your cardiac rehabilitation program may be ideal to improve your angioplasty recovery. However, it’s important to refrain from doing any strenuous physical activity such as lifting, and pushing, or pulling objects. You will also need a doctor’s approval before driving.


To help ease back into your regular activities, make it a point to ask your cardiologist about the tasks you can do after being discharged.


Eat A Healthy Diet


After your angioplasty, you should prioritize eating a healthy diet. This is the key to helping your body heal faster and reducing your risk of heart complications in the future. Keep in mind that a healthy diet is also the key to avoid blocking the arteries with plaque buildup.


Numerous studies suggest that a diet that is low in trans-fat and cholesterol can reduce a person’s risk of heart disease. Consume vitamins, minerals, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, protein, healthy fats, antioxidants, and fiber.


Consider Cardiac Rehabilitation


Your doctor may recommend cardiac rehabilitation to improve your angioplasty recovery. Cardiac rehabilitation is a medical program that aims to help improve a patient’s cardiovascular health. It can be customized according to a patient’s medical needs, but in general, it is composed of exercise counseling and training, education for a healthy lifestyle and eating habits, and counseling to reduce stress levels.


Key Takeaway


Knowing the different ways to improve angioplasty recovery can go a long way in improving your heart health. It’s crucial to follow your cardiologist’s post-surgery advice to reduce your risk of developing more serious cardiovascular problems in the future.


At Cardinal Santos Medical Center (CSMC), we offer angioplasty packages inclusive of catheterization laboratory, room accommodation, and professional fees. Rest assured that the Cardinal Santos’ Heart Clinic employs the best cardiologist in the Philippines to provide comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation programs for improving your angioplasty recovery.


For more information about the CSMC Heart Clinic, click here.