According to the AHA, stents are used in 70 per cent of Angioplasty procedures. Patients who receive stents must follow certain post operative treatment guidelines so the stent can properly do its job.
A stent is essentially a wire-mesh tube used to open an artery during angioplasty. In order to improve blood flow to the heart and prevent clotting, stents must stay in the heart permanently.
Rest and Liquids
Immediately after surgery patients are to rest in bed for 6 to 24 hours. Patients remain in the hospital during the rest period for monitoring. Patients are also advised to drink plenty of clear liquids (water) after the procedure to prevent dehydration and to flush the body of dye used during the procedure.
No Exercise or Exertion
Patients are advised not to lift anything over 2.27 to 4.54kg. for a few days after surgery. Exerting the body is not advised, and doctors even recommend patients do not shower or bathe or engage in sexual activity for the first 24 hours.
Shortly after recovery, patients will be given instructions on exercise routines.
A doctor will prescribe aspirin products to be used as blood thinning agents. Additionally, an antiplatelet medication is prescribed to minimise the risk of blood clot formation within the stent. Aspirin should be taken for life, whereas the antiplatelet medication will be taken for a year following the surgery.
Patients with stents should not have MRI's done without the consent of a cardiologist. The magnets can effect the procedure; however, basic machines like metal detectors are harmless.
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