If you suffer from heart disease, you may require a stent. When plaque builds up in your arteries, it has the potential to disrupt or block blood flow, resulting in a heart attack and even death. If the risk is severe enough, a doctor may have to perform an angioplasty and insert a stent. The stent is a tube made of either metal mesh or fabric which is designed to hold the affected artery open so that blood can flow uninterrupted. While the procedure isn’t a cure, it can be life-saving. If you’re scheduled to undergo a stent placement at a cardiology center in Suffolk County, NY, here’s what you can expect your future to look like.
Upon release from the hospital, there are several things you’ll need to do to ensure a smooth recovery. You’ll need to keep the insertion area dry for 24 to 48 hours and watch for any signs of infection. Should you notice any problems with the area, such as bleeding or the skin becoming red and warm, you should lie flat, apply pressure, and call your doctor. While in recovery, it’s extremely important that you avoid any strenuous activity or the lifting of heavy objects. Sexual activity should be avoided for at least a week, and you should also wait a week before bathing or swimming. It’s most important that you give yourself time to rest and drink plenty of water. It’s not uncommon for patients to feel depressed after surgery, so make sure you have someone you can talk to if you’re feeling blue.
If you’re suffering from heart disease, that prognosis is unlikely to change with the addition of a stent. There are, however, several things you can do to prevent a heart attack or the placement of any other stents. A diet of lean meats and plenty of fruits and vegetables is a good start. Also, use your experience as motivation to engage in a more active lifestyle. Working out—even something as low impact as walking—for just 30 minutes 3 or 4 times a week can dramatically decrease your risk of a heart attack. Find things you can do to relieve stress, such as meditation or, if possible, reducing your workload. Finally, if you’re a smoker, quit. Of course, that’s good advice for anyone.
Blood clots can form around stents, causing blockage in much the same way you experienced before the stent was placed. To prevent this, cardiology specialists will prescribe antiplatelet therapy. This will usually be comprised of taking aspirin and antiplatelet medicine, such as Plavix.
If you think you might need a stent placement, contact Peconic Bay Medical Center. We’re the leaders in cardiology treatment in Suffolk County, NY, and will be happy to answer all your questions. Make an appointment to discuss your concerns today.