Angioplasty is one of the most common and successful treatment options for heart disease. It is a procedure in which blocked blood vessels are opened to supply blood to heart muscles.
Angioplasty in heart attack treatment saves valuable lives. Generally cardiologist performs Angioplasty immediately after heart attack. Angioplasty is not only relieves chest pain but also reduces the chance of another heart attack. Post angioplasty care is basically divided into three parts:
• Immediate care
Immediate self care
1. In general, people who have angioplasty can walk around within 24 hours after the procedure. Complete recovery takes a week or less. Keep the area where catheter was inserted dry for 24- 48 hours.
2. If the catheter was in through groin
a. Walking short distance on a flat surface is okay.
b. Limit going up and down on stairs to around 2 times a day for first 2-3 days.
c. Do not strain yourself by doing any hard work, driving or exercising heavily until your doctor allows you to do so.
d. Avoid any sexual activities for 2-5 days. Ask your doctor when will it be okay to resume.
3. If the catherter was in through arms or wrist
a. Do not lift anything heavy with that arm
b. Avoid any heavy pushing, pulling or twisting with that arm.
4. You will have to take care of your puncture site
a. Your doctor will tell you how often you need to change the dressing
b. If your site bleeds or swells up, lie down and put pressure on it for 30 minutes and please consult your doctor regarding the same.
“There is no single diet that is right for everyone”. Your health diet should include:
1. Lots of fruits(avoid fruit juice) fresh vegetables, whole grains, sprouts oats, beans( for diabetic consult your diabetologist but in general you must avoid banana, litchi, grapes, mango, custard-apple, chiku, potato and arbi )
2. Nuts such as almond (4-5/ day), walnuts 2-3/day and peanuts handful of without oil, butter and salt.
3. Eat less oily food.
4. If using oil in food preparation use oils which are healthy for heart like peanut or groundnut oil, olive oil, ricebran oil, etc these oil have more MUFA content which helps to lower bad cholesterol.
5. Do not add extra salt when food on table.
6. Eat small portions and in between meals have salad or fresh fruits whenever hungry.
7. Avoid sugar, sweets and artificial sweetners ( splenda, equal, stevia, sugar free these are equally harmful).
8. Avoid refined flour (maida) and its products like white bread, pasta, pizaa, etc.
9. Avoid packaged foods like wafers, namkeens.
10. Avoid bakery products like biscuits, cakes, pastries.
11. Avoid processed red meats and poultry.
12. Avoid canned and jar food.
13. Avoid aerated drinks like cocacola, pepsi instead consume fresh lime water, butter milk, coconut water.
14. Eggs can be taken without deep frying and without the yolk.
15. Home made food is the best food
16. Taking your dinner at least 3 hours before sleeping.
17. Eat food, not too much, mostly prefer plants.
Exercising Immediately After an Angioplasty:
1. Rest for a minimum of one to two days after your procedure. This means no heavy lifting, no aerobic activity, or any activity that would require you to raise your heart rate significantly.
Normal, day-to-day activities are appropriate for the most part. Be careful with activities like carrying in heavy groceries, cleaning, gardening, etc. that would be of a higher intensity.
2. Start with lifestyle activity after 2-3 days of rest
Lifestyle activities (or baseline activities) are those exercises that are a part of your normal daily routine. These are the activities that get you “up and moving.”
For example, taking the stairs, parking farther away, grocery shopping, gardening, etc are all activities that will get you up, moving and increase your heart rate. Limiting yourself to daily normal activity instead of starting structured exercise will help you build endurance for later long term exercise regime
Safe Exercises Routine for Long-Term
1. Aim for 150 minutes of aerobic exercises every week. As long as you’re cleared by your doctor, you should be aiming for this amount after your angioplasty as well.
150 minutes is not a goal that you need to meet immediately. You may only be able to meet this goal after a few weeks or months of daily/ lifestyle activity
2. Include two to three days of weight training. After you’ve gotten comfortable with aerobic exercise, start thinking about including some weight training. This will complement your cardiovascular training. Do not weight train the same muscles two days in a row.
Aim to workout for about 20 minutes total in length. Include a series of exercises so that each major muscle group is worked.
Avoid carrying weight more than 10 Kg if your heart function is low.
Note that if you do have some chest pains or did previously, overhead exercises (like shoulder presses) may make you have some chest pains or feelings of tightness. Avoid these if they are bothersome or produce symptoms.
3. Be mindful of more extreme weather conditions. Although most exercises in general will be safe for you after your angioplasty, some physicians recommend staying indoors when there is more extreme weather.
Some weather conditions, like overly hot, humid or very cold days can produce symptoms like chest pain, difficulty breathing or chest tightness.
It’s recommended to workout or exercise indoors if the temperature is below 20°F (-6°C).
Also stay indoors if the humidity is above 75% or the temperature in general is above 80°F (26.6°C).
Keep an eye on the weather. Note which days have very hot or cold temperatures and make plans to be safe and stay indoors instead.
4. Be mindful of side effects or symptoms during activity. Usually, an angioplasty will help relieve cardiac-related symptoms (like chest pain); however, you still need to be mindful of how you’re feeling during and after activity.
Stop exercising and see your doctor if you experience:
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Dizziness or light-headedness
Discomfort in your jaw, arm, shoulder, back or stomach
5. Check in with your doctor regularly. After your angioplasty, it’ll be recommended that you follow up.
Incorporating Safe Exercises After an Angioplasty
*AMOUNT OF EXERCISE ALLOWED VARIES DEPENDING ON YOUR HEART FUNCTION.
*PLEASE CONSULT YOUR CARDIOLOGIST FOR EXACT AMOUNT OF EXERCISE ALLOWED.
1. Incorporate a 30 minute walk most days. One very safe and frequently recommended exercise is a 30 minute brisk walk. This is a great exercise for most angioplasty patients to start with.
2. Try other aerobic exercises like jogging, biking or swimming. If you’ve got the 30 minute walk down and want to try other types of aerobic activity, try some of the following:
Jogging. While this might sound like an exercise that raises your heart rate too high, it is a type of cardio exercise that you can work towards over time. Jogging burns more calories than running and works your heart harder. This helps build better aerobic fitness.
Swimming. This is another great cardio exercise. It involves your full body, but is easy on the joints and you can make it low intensity as needed. Plus, the water keeps your body cooler which keeps your heart rate lower.
Cycling.. Like swimming, it’s low impact and you can make the intensity lower if needed.
3. Do yoga and meditation. Since strength training is a good type of exercise to include along with cardio, you need to find ways to include this. Yoga is a great low impact exercise that can help strengthen without raising your heart rate high.
Yoga is a great exercise to get into after any health issue, but especially after a cardiac procedure like an angioplasty.
The great thing about yoga is that it can be good for strength training, but also trains your breathing and can help relax and de-stress which might be useful after having a cardiac procedure like an angioplasty.
1. Wait for at least 90 minutes after eating to start with your exercise
2. Take 5 minutes to warm up before aerobic activity
3. Start slowly and increase your activity level gradually
4. Stay hydrated and dress according to weather
5. Don’t sit down immediately after exercise; take 5 minutes to cool down you may feel light headed or have heart palpitations.
When can you join work?
If you had a planned (non-emergency coronary angioplasty, you should be able to return to work after a week if you work is not very energy demanding( heavy weight lifting or straneous)
If you had an emergency angioplasty following a heart attack it may take longer to recover fully and return to work.
“Best person to guide you is your doctor”
• DO NOT STOP ANY MEDICINE WITHOUT ASKING YOUR DOCTOR ESPECIALLY ASPIRIN AND OTHER ANTIPLATELETS LIKE CLOPIDOGREL, PRASUGREL AND TICAGRELOL. STOPPING THESE DRUGS CAN LEAD TO STENT THROMBOSIS AND HEART ATTACK.
• DO NOT IGNORE ANY KIND OF CHEST PAIN – SEE YOUR DOCTOR IMMEDIALTELY AND GET AN ECG.
• AVOID STRAINING FOR STOOLS. THIS MAY PRECIPITAE HEART FAILURE. PLEASE TAKE SYP DUPHALAC 30 CC STAT IF YOU ARE HAVING CONSTIPATION AND SEE YOUR DOCTOR.
• DO NOT SMOKE. THE RISK DECREASES ONLY AFTER YOU QUIT SMOKING FOR MORE THAN A YEAR.
• AVOID ALCOHOL.
• 6 HOURS OF SOUND SLEEP IS A MUST.
• THE AMOUNT OF EXERCISE ALLOWED VARIES FROM PATIENT TO PATIENT. GENERALLY AT FIRST POST ANGIOPLASTY VISIT AT 7 DAYS THE DOCTOR WILL ADVICE YOU THE AMOUNT OF EXERCISE. ROUTINE ANGIOPLASTY PATIENT IS SUPPOSED TO BRISK WALK FOR 30 MIN OR MORE AFTER FIRST 7 DAYS.
*All the information and numbers are approximate and to the best of my knowledge.
*Every individual is different. These instructions may not suit everyone.