What to expect after a Stent?
After either type of stent procedure (for arteries narrowed by plaque or aortic aneurysms), the catheter will be removed and the tube insertion site will be bandaged.
A small sandbag or other type of weight may be put on top of the bandage to apply pressure and help prevent bleeding. You'll recover in a special care area where your movement will be limited.
While you're in recovery, a nurse will check your heart rate and blood pressure regularly. The nurse also will see whether there's any bleeding from the insertion site. Eventually, a small bruise and sometimes a small, hard "knot" will appear at the insertion site. This area may feel sore or tender for about a week.
You should let your doctor know if:
- You have a constant or large amount of bleeding at the site that can't be stopped with a small bandage.
- You have any unusual pain, swelling, redness, or other signs of infection at or near the insertion site.
Common Precautions After a Stent Procedure
Blood Clotting Precautions
After a stent procedure, your doctor will likely recommend that you take aspirin and another anticlotting medicine. These medicines help prevent blood clots from forming in the stent. A blood clot can lead to heart attack, stroke, or other serious problems.
If you have a metal stent, your doctor will likely recommend aspirin and another anticlotting medicine for at least 1 month. If your stent is coated with medicine, your doctor may recommend aspirin and another anticlotting medicine for 12 months or more. Your doctor will work with you to determine the best course of treatment.
The risk of developing a blood clot significantly increases if you stop taking the anticlotting medicine too early. It's important to take these medicines for as long as your doctor recommends. He or she may recommend lifelong treatment with aspirin.
If you're considering surgery for some other reason while you're on these medicines, talk to your doctor about whether it can wait until after you've stopped the medicine. Anticlotting medicines may increase the risk of bleeding.
In addition to an increased risk of bleeding, anticlotting medicines can cause other side effects, such as an allergic rash. Talk to your doctor about how to reduce the risk of these side effects.
You should avoid vigorous exercise and heavy lifting for a short time after the stent procedure. Your doctor will let you know when you can go back to your normal activities.
If you have a metal stent, you shouldn't have a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test within the first couple of months after the procedure. Metal detectors used in airports and other screening areas don't affect stents. Your stent shouldn't cause metal detectors to go off.
If you have an aortic fabric stent, your doctor will probably recommend that you have followup imaging tests (for example, chest x ray) within the first year of having the procedure. After the first year, he or she may recommend yearly imaging tests.
Source: National Institute of Health Jan 06, 2013
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