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Discharge Instructions for Peripheral Angioplasty

You had a procedure known as peripheral angioplasty. Peripheral arteries deliver blood to your legs and feet. Over time, your artery walls may thicken and build up with plaque (a fatlike substance). As plaque builds up in an artery, blood flow can be reduced or even blocked, causing peripheral artery disease and problems in your legs and feet. Peripheral angioplasty is a procedure that helps open blockages in peripheral arteries.

Home Care

  • Don’t drive for 2 to 3 days after the procedure.

  • Rest for 2 to 3 days after the procedure. Most patients are able to resume normal activity within a few days.

  • Don’t lift anything heavier than 10 pounds for 5 to 7 days.

  • Take your temperature and check your incision site for signs of infection (redness, swelling, or warmth) every day for a week.

  • Keep a dressing on the incision site for at least 24 hours, or as instructed by your doctor.

  • Take your medications exactly as directed. Don’t skip doses.

  • You can shower the day after the procedure.

  • If you have sutures, avoid swimming or taking a bath for 7 days after the procedure or until the sutures are removed.

  • Unless directed otherwise, drink 6 to 8 glasses of water a day to prevent dehydration and to help flush your body of the dye that was used during your procedure. (Talk to your doctor first if you are on dialysis or have heart failure.)

  • Eat a healthy diet that is low in fat, salt, and cholesterol. Ask your doctor for menus and other diet information.

  • Begin an exercise program. Ask your doctor how to get started. You can benefit from simple activities such as walking or gardening.

  • If you are a smoker, make an effort to break the smoking habit. Enroll in a stop-smoking program to increase your chances of success.


  • If you have stitches or staples, see your doctor to have them removed 7 to 10 days after your procedure.


When to Call Your Doctor

Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following:

  • Fever above 100°F (37.8°C)

  • Signs of infection at the incision site (redness, swelling, or warmth)

  • Drainage from your incision

  • Changes in color, temperature, feeling, or movement in either foot or leg

  • Constant or increasing pain or numbness in your leg

  • Leg swelling that does not improve overnight

  • Bleeding, bruising, or a large swelling where the catheter was inserted

  • Blood in your urine

  • Black or tarry stools

  • Dizziness or shortness of breath


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