When a person’s arteries are clogged, it can cause symptoms like chest pain and shortness of breath. Clogged arteries can also result in a heart attack. One of the treatments used to open blocked arteries is called coronary angioplasty. Angioplasty is a surgical procedure and, as such, requires preparation as well as after care. If your parent’s doctor has advised that your parent needs to undergo angioplasty, knowing about the procedure and how to prepare will enable you to ensure your parent receives the care they need.
Angioplasty is a procedure in which a tiny balloon is inserted into the blocked artery and inflated to open it. Before the procedure, the doctors will perform a cardiac catherization. The catherization may be done through the leg or through the arm. Your parent will be given medication to keep them relaxed and the area the catheter (a long, narrow tube) will be inserted into will be numbed with anesthesia. The catheter is guided toward the blockage. There are a few different types of techniques the doctors might use to open the artery. The doctor may simply use a balloon to press the artery blocking plaque against the walls of the artery to allow better blood flow. They might also insert a stent, which serves to hold the artery open. Other methods involve breaking up the plaque.
Preparing for the Procedure
On the night before the angioplasty, it’s important for your parent to follow the doctor’s instructions. They will not be able to eat within six to eight hours before the procedure. Many times, doctors recommend that they not eat after midnight. The doctor will instruct your parent about any changes to their medication schedule. Angioplasty generally requires the patient to remain in the hospital overnight. Your parent will not be able to drive the next day, so transportation will be needed. Your parent’s elder care provider may be able to drive them home if you are unable to.
Caring for Your Parent Afterward
When the angioplasty is over, your parent may need to remain in bed for several hours depending on whether the catheter was placed in the arm or the leg. If the catheter is placed in the arm, your parent will not need to stay in bed. The doctor might prescribe medication to prevent blood clots. Your parent will be unable to lift anything heavy for a few days after the angioplasty.
While your parent recovers, they may need to take it easy for a few days. Having an elder care provider spend time with them at their home will allow them to rest. An elder care provider can help them with tasks around the house, such as preparing meals and light housecleaning. They can also remind your parent to take medications and drive them to any follow up medical appointments.
If you or an aging senior are considering hiring in-home elder care in Denton, TX, please contact the caring staff at Ray of Sunshine today! (940) 442-5374.