Going home after your coronary angioplasty

Going home after your coronary angioplasty

Going home after your coronary angioplasty

         This leaflet explains what to expect and what to watch out for when you go home after your coronary angioplasty. However, if you have recently had a heart attack, you should discuss issues such as returning to work and driving with your doctor or nurse, as it is likely that you will need to wait longer before resuming them. If you have any questions or concerns please contact us using the details on the back page.

How should I care for my wound?

It is normal for your wound to be tender for a few days after the angioplasty. It is also normal for a bruise to develop.

However, if you notice any of the following please contact your cardiologist:

  • A hard, tender lump under the skin around the wound (a pea-sized lump is normal)
  • Any increase in pain, swelling, redness and/or discharge at the site
  • A cold foot or hand on the same side as the procedure
  • A raised temperature/fever.

Your wound starts to bleed you should apply pressure to the area:

Keeping your leg as straight as possible if your groin was used (lying down if you can): raise your hand across your chest if your arm was used.

If the bleeding does not stop after 10 minutes contact nearest hospital

Following four hours. If bleeding re-starts, go to your casualty & Emergency department.

The bleeding stops within 10 minutes, keep your leg or arm as still as possible for the

You can shower when you get home but avoid rubbing the wound site or having a bath for 24 hours. Do not put creams, talcum powder or soap directly onto the site for up to a week after the procedure to avoid irritation and reduce the likelihood of infection.

Chest pain

Your chest is likely to feel tender after the procedure. This is normal and should settle within a few days. However if you experience severe chest pain or pain similar to your angina pain, use your GTN medicine as prescribed. If your pain lasts longer than 10 minutes after using your GTN medicine, go to your nearest casualty & Emergency department.

Do not drive yourself to casualty & Emergency department.

Can I eat and drink as normal?

You can eat as usual. Drink plenty of fluids but avoid alcohol for 24 hours.

Resuming activities

You will usually be able to return to work after a week unless you have a manual job that involves heavy lifting. Check with your doctor or nurse when you can go back to work before leaving hospital.

  •  Avoid heavy lifting and strenuous physical exercise (running, hill climbing, swimming and competitive sports) for at least five days.
  •  You are not allowed to drive for one week after the angioplasty.
  •  It is normally safe to fly two to three weeks after the procedure – you should check with your airline and insurance company.

Otherwise you can return to normal activities (including sex) as soon as you feel ready.

Cardiac rehabilitation

Cardiac rehabilitation programmes provide education, support, relaxation and exercise following your heart event helping you to return to normal and adapt to living with heart disease. Following discharge, we will refer you to your local cardiac rehabilitation team.