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Discharge advice for patients following coronary angioplasty femoral approach

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What happened during this procedure?

A small hole was made in the artery in the groin going down to the leg, which seals itself after the catheter is taken out. An Angio Seal may have been used to close the puncture site.

If you have an Angio Seal card, keep it with you for the next 90 days. If by any chance you come to hospital it will be very useful.

How should I care for my wound at home?

  • You may remove the dressing 24 hours after the procedure. Cover the site with a plaster until the skin heals after about four days.
  •  A bruise may develop, and extend as far down as your knee. It is usually blue / purple in colour. This is not a cause for concern.
  • If an Angio Seal device has been used to plug the puncture site you may feel a pea size lump in your groin. This is normal. If a lump develops under the skin around the area of the incision that is larger than this, please contact us (see below for details).

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 on your abdominal muscles for up to two days.
  • Do not drive for one week following your angioplasty. However, your individual circumstances may differ. If you have had a heart attack this advice will differ so please ask your doctor, nurse or cardiac rehabilitation nurse.

What should I look out for?

Observe the area for signs of infection. This may present as a hard, tender swelling around the incision with redness and increase in pain. Please contact us if this occurs (see below for details).

In the highly unlikely situation of your wound starting to bleed, lie down flat and get a family member or friend to apply pressure on and above the bleeding area. The pressure should be applied for 10 minutes without peeping. This is the time a clot will take to form. If you release the pressure before 10 minutes the clot is unlikely to form. If the bleeding does not stop after 10 minutes, call an ambulance immediately.

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 groin 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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