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Discharge Instructions for Carotid Artery Stenting

When you get home after your procedure, do the following:

  • Monitor the injection site for bleeding. A small bruise is normal as is an occasional drop of blood at the site.

  • Monitor the limb that was used for changes in temperature, color, numbness, tingling, or loss of function.

  • Take your prescribed antiplatelet medicines as directed. These medicines will help prevent blood clots from forming on the stent. However, they may cause you to bruise more easily.

  • Shower instead of taking tub baths for a few days. But, wait for your doctor’s OK to get the wound wet first.

  • Avoid lifting anything over 10 pounds for a few days.

  • Take it easy, but try to get back to your normal routine as much as possible.

  • Ask your doctor about driving, returning to work, and other activities.

When to call your doctor

Call your doctor if you have any of the following problems:

  • Problems at the incision site, such as swelling, redness, bleeding, warmth, leaking of fluids, or increasing pain

  • A cold or painful leg or foot

  • Severe headache

  • Weakness or numbness in a leg or arm

  • Difficulty talking, or difficulty finding the words to say what you want

  • Changes in your vision

  • Dizziness or imbalance

Go to the emergency room if your doctor’s office is closed.

Health care provider greeting man in waiting room.

Your follow-up

Within a month after the procedure, you’ll have a follow-up exam and tests. These tests may include an ultrasound and a brain function exam. Then you’ll be monitored with ultrasound or another imaging test every 6 months for 1 to 2 years. After that, you’ll be monitored at least every 12 months. You may also continue to take antiplatelet medication. In some cases, the carotid can narrow again. If this happens, it can often be treated again with balloon angioplasty.

Call 911

Call 911 if you have any of these stroke symptoms:

  • Paralysis or weakness on 1 side of the body

  • Numbness or tingling on 1 side of the body

  • Difficulty speaking

  • Loss of vision in 1 eye

  • Drooping on 1 side of the face

  • Dizziness or imbalance

  • Swelling or persistent pain in the groin

 

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