Leg: PVD in the Iliac Arteries
After the procedure, you will be moved to a special care unit where you will be closely monitored by the hospital staff. Your blood pressure and heart rhythm will be monitored continuously.
If your groin was used as an access site for the procedure, you can expect to stay in bed for several hours. The sheath will be removed within six hours of the procedure, but may be left in longer if heparin, a medication given during the procedure, is continued. While the sheath is in place, and for about six hours after its removal, you will have to lie flat on your back, keeping the sheath straight and still. You will not be allowed to bend your leg. As the sheath is removed, the doctor or nurse will apply pressure to the puncture site for 20 – 30 minutes, until the bleeding has stopped. A sandbag may be placed over the puncture site to keep pressure on it.
Should you see or feel any blood at the puncture site, notify the hospital staff immediately. Do not try to sit up until your nurse or doctor asks you to do so. It is important to lie flat and keep still preventing bleeding from your vessel. If your arm was used for the procedure, you may be allowed to sit up afterwards, but you may be asked to stay in bed for several hours.
You may drink and eat foods that are light until you are fully able to sit upright. Drink all of the fluids that are offered to you. The fluids will help flush out the x-ray dye that was used during your procedure. Your doctor may allow you to walk within 12-24 hours after your procedure, providing your puncture site is healing. A member of the hospital staff will be there to assist you.
Before you leave the hospital, your doctor will give you guidelines for activity, diet and medications. You will be asked to avoid demanding activities like heavy lifting for at least a week. You will be advised when you can resume normal activity and return to work. Your doctor will prescribe medications for you to take to prevent blood clots from forming in your newly opened vessel. Please notify your doctor if these medications cause unpleasant reactions. Do not stop taking them unless your doctor advises you to do so. Different medications may be prescribed that suit you better.
Patients who undergo angioplasty and stent implantation are usually discharged from the hospital the next day. You should arrange to have someone take you home rather than driving yourself. After you leave the hospital your progress will continue to be monitored by medical personnel. It is important to keep all of your scheduled follow-up appointments.
If you have any pain, discomfort or bleeding from your puncture site, call your doctor immediately. If your doctor cannot be reached, call 911 to be taken to the nearest hospital emergency room.
The healthy lining of the vessel will slowly grow over the stent, permanently incorporating it into the vessel wall. You will not feel the stent and your daily activities will not be affected. Patients who have had a vascular stent implant should tell this to any doctor who treats them in the future.
If you require magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the stent does not interfere with, nor is it affected by, the operation of an MRI device.
After stent placement, you will be followed closely to monitor your recovery. An ultrasound, identical to the one performed prior to the procedure may be performed to determine if any narrowing has occurred.