Coronary angioplasty discharge information
This page provides important information for when you are discharged from hospital after having coronary angioplasty (stent).
You can return to your normal daily activities (for example bathing, dressing, leisurely walking) the day after your procedure. However, please make sure you follow the instructions below:
- Do not lift loads heavier than 4.5 Kgs (10lbs) for 3 days following your angioplasty
- Do not take part in strenuous physical activity for 1 week (such as gardening, tennis, swimming, golf, weight lifting, cycling)
- When bathing, do not rub or scratch the wound area or have the water too hot
- If the procedure was performed through the wrist you should avoid excessive use of the affected hand for 3 to 4 days
- If the procedure was performed through the groin avoid excessive bending or stooping from the waist for 3 days
- Climb stairs at a slow steady pace for the next 2 days
- Do not drive for 7 days – this is a DVLA requirement
If you have any chest pain once you have been discharged please go to your nearest Accident and Emergency department. You will need to be assessed as soon as possible. You must inform the Accident and Emergency department that you have had a coronary angioplasty and the date it was performed.
If you suffer a small bleed:
- Lie flat
- Apply firm direct pressure to the wound site for 10 to 15 minutes. If possible, have another person apply the pressure
The bleed should stop. Make sure that you take it easy for the rest of the day.
If any of the following happens:
- The wound site continues to bleed
- There is a sudden increase in swelling of the area around the wound site
- A jet of blood pumps from the wound site
You will need to apply firm, direct pressure to the wound site and call the Emergency Services on 999 immediately.
The plaster or dressing over the site can be removed the day after your procedure.
Keep your wound clean and dry. Avoid using lotions, powders and ointments around the site for 1 week.
Your wound should remain soft and dry. Some bruising or a pea sized lump may be present for 2 to 3 weeks after your procedure.
Please contact your GP as soon as possible if:
- You develop signs of infection (wound site is red, hot, swollen or there is leakage from the wound)
- The lump at the puncture site gets larger
- The area of bruising increases with discoloration extending to the elbow or into the thigh, over the buttock or into the groin
- You have a fever, shaking or chills in the 2 days after your procedure
- You have numbness or tingling in the affected arm, hand, thigh or leg
- You have new calf tenderness or pain
- You have pain at the wound site that makes using your hand or walking difficult
- You have swollen ankles or feet
- You have discoloration or coolness of your hand, leg or foot
- The skin of your affected hand, leg or foot becomes pale or cold
Unless otherwise instructed by your consultant, please continue with your usual medications.
If your medication needs to be changed, this will be explained to you before you are discharged.
A letter will be sent to your GP telling them about your angioplasty and any changes in your medication.
Antiplatelet medicines (for example clopidogrel, ticagrelor) should be continued for at least 1 year, unless you are told otherwise before discharge.
If you take warfarin or other oral anticoagulant medications you will be advised about restarting them.
If you have diabetes and you are insulin dependent please continue with your usual insulin regime. If you take metformin you need to stop taking this for 48 hours after your procedure.
If you have any problems, questions or concerns please contact:
Cheltenham General Hospital
Tel: 0300 422 2995
Monday to Friday, 7:45am to 5:00pm
Outside of these hours please contact the:
Cheltenham General Hospital
Tel: 0300 422 4011
Alternatively contact your GP, practice nurse or NHS 111.
British Heart Foundation