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Serious complications are uncommon, but may include infection, damage to the heart or blood vessels, and blood clots. Anticlotting medication is given after
The patient usually goes home the day or evening of the procedure, but sometimes an overnight stay in the hospital is necessary so monitoring can be continued. Patients should have someone to take them home after the procedure; driving is not recommended for at least 24 hours after the procedure.
Fatigue and weakness are common after the procedure. The patient should limit activities for the first two days after the procedure and can gradually resume normal activities by the end of the week.
For the first week after the procedure, pushing and pulling heavy objects (as in mowing the lawn) should be avoided, and lifting objects more than 20 lbs (9 kg) is not permitted. Stair climbing is permitted unless other instructions have been given.
Balloon angioplasty and the placement of a stent do not prevent coronary artery disease from recurring; therefore, lifestyle changes are strongly recommended and medications are prescribed to further reduce this risk.
Death is very rare (1%) as a result of the stent placement procedure.
Sometimes a blockage returns to the treated coronary artery (restenosis). If restenosis occurs, it usually happens within the first six months after the procedure. If the patient has previously experienced restenosis, there is an increased risk that it will recur. Repeat blockages can be treated with other interventional procedures; coronary artery bypass graft surgery may be needed.
Author Info: Cindy L. A. Jones PhD, Angela M. Costello, The Gale Group Inc., Gale, Detroit, Gale Encyclopedia of Surgery, 2004
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