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What happens after an angioplasty and stenting procedure?

Immediately after an angioplasty and stenting procedure is performed in a hospital's catheterization laboratory (also known as a "cath" lab), nurses continue to provide watchful care in the recovery area. Of particular concern is closing the small hole where a catheter was placed. You will be carefully observed to make sure any bleeding from the puncture site has stopped. Nurses ask often about how your puncture site (in the groin or wrist area, where the catheter is typically inserted into your arteries) feels. Plus, they are available to answer questions and teach you how to care for your puncture site once you leave the hospital.

Most patients who are treated with angioplasty and stenting are released from the hospital on the day of, or the day after, the procedure. Your interventional cardiologist will inform your general cardiologist about the outcome of your procedure. And your cardiologist will, in turn, communicate with your primary care physician. This way, all the key players on your team are kept up to date on your progress.

After a stent procedure, your interventional cardiologist will provide prescriptions for blood-thinning drugs, such as Plavix (clopidogrel) or Effient (prasugrel) and aspirin. It is very important that you follow your interventional cardiologist's instructions for these medications. And even after you begin to feel better, you should never stop taking your medications at any time without speaking with your cardiologist.
 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.