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Post Angioplasty Care

By January 17, 2018 No Comments

If you’re on this page, there’s a good chance that you or a loved one has recently undergone an angioplasty procedure. This is done to open up the arteries that may have been partially or fully blocked, restricting blood flow to the heart. The procedure is often recommended as a treatment for acute coronary syndrome symptoms such as unstable angina or certain types of heart attack. Although recovery and discharge following angioplasty is quite swift, it’s important to remember that an angioplasty is not a permanent fix. A comprehensive review of angioplasty literature reveals that over 30% of patients still report episodes of angina, 3 years after the procedure.

Lasting recovery therefore requires a complete overhaul of your lifestyle, with a particular emphasis on exercise and healthy eating. This helps to control various risk factors like hypertension, high cholesterol, or obesity that increase the likelihood of a major heart event, while at the same time strengthening heart function.

Cardiac Rehabilitation Post Angioplasty

Fitness

Physical activity is a vital component of any cardiac rehabilitation program after angioplasty and can include mild to moderate intensity aerobic exercise.  Aerobic exercise can include a variety of activities like walking, jogging, cycling, and swimming, all of which have a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system.  Exercise also improves circulation to the affected area and

The best way to adopt a post angioplasty exercise routine would be through part of a hospital’s cardiac rehabilitation program, as this allows you to resume activity in a strictly supervised environment. Your progress is closely monitored and aids nitric oxide absorption, which widens the blood vessels and improves blood flow.  Physical activity also helps offset other risk factors like hypertension, obesity, and stress that can contribute to recurring cardiac problems.

Programs like Madhavbaug’s Heart Failure Reversal Therapy (HFRT) work perfectly for post angioplasty rehabilitation, as they combine modern diagnostics, with personalized exercise plans that include yoga and advanced physiotherapy. Studies show that the practice helps raise both exercise tolerance and oxygen uptake, thereby reducing the risk of heart failure.

Diet

Healthy eating is of the utmost importance post angioplasty to encourage quick recovery and to lower the risk of complications. As shown in several studies, diets that are high in fibre, with a variety of fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts and seeds can help to lower the risk of arterial plaque build-up, reducing heart disease risk.  At the same time you also need to limit intake of salt, sugar, and saturated or trans fats to control blood pressure and avoid further blockages.

While broad based dietary guidelines like those of the DASH diet will help protect against heart disease in the future, it would be best to consult a dietitian for a specialized diet to meet your requirements and based on your health condition. In addition to conventional diet strategies, experts at Madhavbaug have also had great success incorporating Ayurvedic recommendations into heart healthy diets to yield even greater results.

Lifestyle

Lifestyle changes are often the hardest to make, but they can have a huge impact on your heart health – habits like smoking and excessive drinking putting you at high risk of future heart disease, while impeding post angioplasty recovery. This makes counselling helpful, as behavioural changes are easier to make under supervision. Similarly, stress reduction and adequate sleep and relaxation are important components of any heart healthy lifestyle. Activities like yoga and meditation can highly effective not just for physical fitness, but also for stress reduction and to improve respiratory function or oxygen uptake. Breathing exercises like pranayama are in fact often used to promote deep relaxation and provide pain relief.

Get Help!

While it is possible to make these healthy changes to your lifestyle on your own, it is much easier to do so with the guidance and support of experts. This is why most health care providers stress the importance of participation in cardiac rehabilitation programs like HFRT to improve patient outcomes and quality of life. These recommendations are also supported by research, with a study in the journal Circulation showing 50% higher survival rates among angioplasty patients who took part in cardiac rehabilitation as opposed to those who did not.

 

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