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Discharge advice for patients following coronary angioplasty radial approach

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What happened during this procedure?

A small hole was made in the artery by the wrist, which seals itself after the catheter is taken out.

How should I care for my wound at home?

  • Rest that arm after the procedure and avoid using it for the next 24 hours.
  • You may remove the dressing 24 hours after the procedure.
  • You may find you have a small bruise around the site; this will fade over the next few days.
  • As the anaesthetic wears off you may feel some discomfort in your arm. Painkillers such as paracetamol should help with this if needed.

Should I limit my activities?

  • Avoid hot showers for 24 hours and hot baths for 48 hours (hot water encourages bleeding).
  • Do not lift any heavy objects or do anything that exerts pressure for up to a week.
  • Do not drive for one week following your angioplasty. If you have had a heart attack this may need to be longer so please ask your doctor, nurse or cardiac rehabilitation nurse.

What should I look out for?

In the highly unlikely situation of your wound starting to bleed, use your thumb to press hard over the dressing. This should stop the bleeding in ten minutes. Then keep your arm rested on a pillow for an hour. If the bleeding does not stop after ten minutes continue to press on the wound site and get someone to call the ambulance service. Tell them that you are bleeding and that you have had a coronary angioplasty.

What happens next?

A detailed report will be sent to your GP.

  • Aspirin and clopidogrel (or ticagrelor or prasugrel) in combination will be prescribed to reduce the risk of blood clot in the new stent. You will be supplied with a box of both drugs to take home. If this has not happened please contact the Cardiac Care Unit immediately on 01273 696955 extension 64484.
  • If the hospital Doctor would like you to be seen again in the outpatients clinic an appointment will be sent to you by post
  • Please refer to the Angioplasty booklet you have been given
  • Feel free to chat to your nurse about any concerns you may have or any health education you feel you may benefit from

Contact details for the Cardiac Care Unit?

If you have any concerns about your wound site, or specific to your cardiac procedure during your first week at home, please call the Cardiac Care Unit on 01273 696955, extension 64484. You can call this number anytime.

For more general concerns please speak to your GP.

This information is intended for patients receiving care in Brighton & Hove or Haywards Heath.

The information here is for guidance purposes only and is in no way intended to replace professional clinical advice by a qualified practitioner.

Publication Date: January 2022

Review Date: October 2024

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