Heart Stents Recovery
Cardiac Services Infoline

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Heart Stents Recovery

Recovery from heart stent surgery will depend upon the severity of the condition, and the age, health and wellbeing of the patient coming into the operation. Taking an active role in your own recovery is crucial to optimising the benefits of surgery, and our specialist rehabilitation team are here to support you at every step as you journey back to health. Please ask about our dedicated cardiac rehabilitation program that you can access through your hospital.

Home preparation for Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery

A good recovery program starts with preparing for your discharge from surgery. Make sure you have organised someone to pick you up from hospital, and that your home is set up for your return. Patients are encouraged to take time to rest after surgery and allow the coronary artery some time to recover from the stenting procedure. Although the recovery time after heart stent surgery is relatively quick ranging from a few days to one week, patients are encouraged not to rush back into work or daily tasks until advised by the doctor. Home preparation may include:

  • A recovery area where you can rest and elevate your leg if needed
  • Keep all necessary items accessible such as your phone, TV control and book
  • A clear floor space where you can easily move around
  • Help with the daily tasks while you recover
  • Advance food preparation so you don’t need to worry about meals
  • Emotional support at hand

Recovering at home from heart stent surgery

Recovery times will vary by patient depending on the number of stents required, and the reasons for the procedure. Once you are discharged from hospital, it’s important to follow the treatment plan as set out by your doctor. You’ll be given a personalised recovery plan that includes instructions for exercise, medication, follow up appointments and ongoing care. On arriving home from hospital, you are likely to feel tired and sore at the incision site (either in the groin or the wrist), symptoms which typically subside within two weeks. Your doctor may recommend that you attend a cardiac rehabilitation program to help with your general recovery from surgery. Here you will benefit from a team of trained healthcare professionals including doctors, nurses, dieticians, physiotherapists, and social workers that will all guide you through the recovery period. This dedicated team will help evaluate your personal needs, including any emotional support you may require after surgery, as well as talk to you about the tools and strategies that aim to get you back to a healthy and active lifestyle. These include:

  • Any risk factors – such as smoking, diet and anxiety or depression
  • Medication requirements
  • What to expect at each stage of your recovery
  • How your family and friends can support your rehabilitation
  • How to meet your personal recovery goals

Medications required after heart stent surgery

After heart stent surgery, patients are generally given medication that will lower the risk of any complications or future cardiac events. The medication aims to stop blood clots forming, reduce cholesterol levels and control high blood pressure. These work best in conjunction with a holistic approach to health that includes a nutritional diet and regular exercise.

What to look out for at home

Talk to your medical team at once if you experience any of the following:

  • Persistent bleeding, soreness or swelling at the catheter insertion site (either wrist or groin)
  • Any chest pain or shortness of breath that doesn’t go away
  • Any dizziness, fainting or fatigue
  • Fever
  • Coughing up mucus

Average Recovery Timeline

Days 1-2

  • Monitor your catheter insertion site and watch for signs of swelling or infection
  • Keep the wound clean and dry
  • Rest for the first few days while you recover from surgery

Days 3-6

  • Avoid any heavy lifting or strenuous activities
  • Any bruising and discomfort should start to subside
  • Slowly increase your walking distance
  • Avoid standing for longer than 20 min periods

Week 2

  • Driving is now permitted on the advice of your doctor
  • Any commercial driving may require further testing and approval
  • Continue to increase your walking distance 
  • Talk to your doctor about returning to work
  • Your doctor may recommend attending cardiac rehabilitation

Heart Stents Surgery Recovery FAQs

In order to maximise the benefits of surgery, patients are advised to adopt a healthy and nutritional diet, to quit smoking and to include regular exercise as part of the daily routine. This helps prevent any further build-up of plaque inside the arteries that narrows the passageways and prevents blood getting through.
Plane travel will depend very much on the cause of surgery, and whether it was performed as a pre-emptive measure or as an emergency procedure. Before you book any travel, talk to your doctor about your plans as you may require medical clearance. It’s worth remembering that different airlines have different policies. If you are planning air travel, make sure you have adequate insurance in place in case you need medical attention while away.
It is generally safe to drink a moderate amount of alcohol after heart stent surgery as long as it doesn’t interfere with your blood pressure, or your heart medication. Talk to your doctor for advice about your specific situation.
For some patients, recovery from heart stent surgery can take as little as a few days. When you are discharged from hospital, your doctor is likely to advise a period of rest before encouraging movement as this helps the recovery process.  Patients are generally back to the daily routine by the second week after surgery.

What's next?

If you have been experiencing heart-related symptoms, book an appointment with our cardiac services specialist today.

Have questions?

Unsure about your next steps? Get in touch today, we’re here to help.

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