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Going home after your daycase angiogram/angioplasty

Looking after your arm

At the commencement of your procedure, you were given medication to thin your blood, called Heparin. This lasts in your system for a few hours. Because of this, it is not recommended that you overly exert yourself immediately after your procedure.

Do not lift heavy objects with the hand that was used to place the catheters through. You are advised to rest for 24 to 48 hours.

Before you leave the hospital a nurse will place a small pressure dressing on your wrist. This may be removed before you go to bed. Please leave in place the transparent dressing, if possible. The transparent dressing can stay in place for up to 2 days, after which, you may leave it exposed, or cover with a plaster, if you wish.

When cleaning the puncture site, it is best not to rub with vigour or excessive pressure for the first week, as this may cause bruising or swelling at the puncture site.

A small amount of bruising at the puncture site is normal. If there is any swelling or bleeding, we advise that you immediately put direct, firm pressure to the area of swelling/bleeding for 15 minutes, if the bleeding/swelling does not stop go to your local hospital accident & emergency department, with your discharge letter.

You should experience some numbness in your wrist and thumb due to the local anaesthetic injected. This should wear off over the course of a few hours.

If any part of your arm or hand becomes numb that wasn’t during the procedure, please seek advice. If there is any swelling further up in your arm, please go to your local accident & emergency department.

If you notice any redness or inflammation around the puncture site that increases in size after your procedure date, this may indicate an infective process. Please seek advice from your GP.

If you experience any chest pain or shortness of breath, or any symptoms that first brought you to see a cardiac specialist, please go to the accident and emergency department at your nearest hospital. Call an ambulance if necessary.

Looking after your leg

The doctor may have used your femoral artery or vein to access your heart. This means that they will have made a puncture in your groin. The nurse will confirm for you which was used.

If the vein was used, then the bleeding will have been stopped using manual
pressure only. You will have stayed in bed lying flat for 30 mins and sat up for an
hour. If an artery was used, then a sealing device may have been used to close
the puncture, or manual pressure applied for 10 minutes.

Please follow the above guide for care of the groin puncture, as the same
principles apply.

Other important information

It is advisable to drink plenty of water following your procedure as the contrast
dye used can affect your kidneys and will need to be flushed out of your system.
You are advised not to take alcohol for 24 hours post procedure.

You should not drive a vehicle until your Doctor tells you that it is safe to do so. It
is recommended that you do not drive for 2 days post angiogram and 7 days post
angioplasty. You may not drive until you have permission from the DVLA, if you
are seeking treatment related to your heart and drive professionally. For further
information please visit:

DVLA health Information
DVLA general information

or phone the DVLA on:

0300 790 6806

Individual circumstances change, but with regard to flying, it is generally best not
to fly for at least 3 days after your procedure. Please discuss this with your
consultant before you leave the hospital. If you have had angioplasty, please do
not be concerned that the stents will set off the metal detectors. However, it is
recommended that you take a copy of your discharge letter with you, in case
anything should happen whilst you are away from home.

If we have opened a blocked artery, you will have a follow-up appointment sent
to your home address. If we have only performed a diagnostic procedure, then a
follow up appointment is not usually made for you regarding your arteries. Other
appointments still stand, though.

If you have any problems or questions in the meantime, please speak to a
cardiac nurse (or a cardiac rehabilitation nurse, if you have one).

A cardiac nurse at the West Middlesex Hospital may be contacted on Cardiac
Catheter Suite: 0208 321 2618, open Monday to Friday 08:30 to 05:30 or 
Syon 1: 0208 321 5130 outside of the above hours.