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Heart stent- 6 Care tips to follow after angioplasty stent placement

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

/ by Hadiqa Ahmed

Heart stent- 6 Care tips to follow after angioplasty stent placement

Heart stents are placed during or immediately after angioplasty procedure. Cardiovascular diseases can lead to partial or total blockage of coronary arteries. Consequently, angioplasty is performed to prevent the fatal consequences of a decrease in blood supply to the heart, due to a coronary artery blockage.

The angioplasty procedure is executed to widen the lumen diameter and to avoid the re blockage of the artery. This technique is done with or without placement of stents.

Angioplasty Stent placement- Picture source: https://centralgaheart.com/need-know-heart-stent/

Utmost care is essential in patients with heart stents. We gathered 6 care tips to alleviate risk factors of re stenosis after angioplasty stent placement.

1. Smoking will cancel out the purpose of heart stents

The sole purpose of heart stents is to keep the diameter of the coronary artery, widened enough to allow blood to pass through. Any restriction in the blood supply to the heart results in "ischemia", which simple means insufficient blood supply to an organ. Ischemia of the heart, often leads to cardiac arrest.

Tobacco in cigarettes, accelerates fat deposition in the arteries and increases the risk of ischemic injury to the heart. It is, therefore, highly condemned to continue smoking after an angioplasty stent placement.

2. Medications are to be taken accordingly

Patients with heart stents need to take anti platelet medications or anti platelets to eliminate the chances of blood clot arising due to the placement of stents.

Stents installed in the coronary artery, are a tiny mesh work of wire. These are of two types: Bare metal and Drug eluting stents. A long term blood thinner medication is  mandatory to be administered, in patients with drug eluting stents, as there is a high chance of blood clot formation, with such stents. Blood thinning medication like aspirin, have to be consumed for at least a year  after installment of drug eluting stent.

The choice of stent depends on the existing blood profile of a patient. By this, we mean that drug eluting stents are contraindicated in patients with bleeding disorders. Individuals with bleeding tendencies cannot sustain the effects of blood thinners and hence are discouraged to go for Drug eluting stents.

3. Be aware of the negative symptoms

Every patient who has undergone a heart stent angioplasty, needs to know the possible alarming symptoms after the surgery, and reach the physician without any delay. The symptoms include:

  • ·        Pain and discomfort around the area of catheter insertion
  • ·        Any sign of infection: swelling, redness, fever, drainage
  • ·        Shortness of breath
  • ·        Chest pain
  • ·        Lethargy
  • ·        Easy fatiguability
  • ·        Weakness
These signs must not be ignored to the slightest degree. Medical help must be utilized as soon as possible, to evade facing complications or even death.

4. Associated ongoing comorbidities must be kept in control

Cardiovascular diseases are the chief cause of death in non communicable diseases. Around 31% of people succumbed due to an existing heart disease, in 2012 .

Heart patients with associated chronic conditions like diabetes or hypertension are characterized by elevated chances of mortality, poor quality of life and more use of health services.

Thus, it is paramount for patients with heart stents, to keep their chronic conditions in control and visit physicians regularly.

5. Incorporate exercise in your routine

The benefits of exercise have been advocated since the advent of the medical field. Many patients are concerned about the effects of heavy resistance exercises after a heart stent surgery.

However, It is advised that the patients consult their physician before starting strenuous exercises like weight lifting. If symptoms of angina, become apparent on practicing heavy exercises, immediate medical must be sought.

Often after a heart surgery, a cardiac physical therapy team is employed, to guide patients in the right direction and help them with any queries regarding their condition.

6. Maintain a balanced BMI

BMI is an abbreviation of Body Mass Index and denotes the measurement of ideal body weight. Obese people, with BMI of greater than 30 and associated co morbidities like high sugar or high blood pressure, are at greater risks of developing heart diseases.

Both these conditions are extremely hazardous for a patient with an ongoing heart problem. In obese people, the levels of LDL (low density cholesterol) are dangerously high. Such peak amount of bad cholesterol, has the tendency to deposit in the coronary artery and hence cause shrinkage of the lumen diameter.

On the contrary, malnourished individuals are at a greater risk of developing atrophy (reduction in size) of heart muscles. Hence, it is recommended to maintain weight according to the BMI value.

Getting a heart stent installed is a life saving procedure, but requires adequate care to be functional for the long term. People with stents are expected to take good care of their nutrition, lifestyle and psychological health, in order to receive maximum benefits.










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