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Coronary angioplasty greatly increases blood flow through the previously narrowed or blocked coronary artery. Your chest pain generally should decrease, and you may be better able to exercise.

Having angioplasty and stenting doesn't mean your heart disease goes away. You'll need to continue healthy lifestyle habits and take medications as prescribed by your doctor.

If your symptoms return, such as chest pain or shortness of breath, or if other symptoms similar to those you had before your procedure recur, contact your doctor. If you have chest pain at rest or pain that doesn't respond to nitroglycerin, call 911 or emergency medical help.

To keep your heart healthy after angioplasty, you should:

  • Quit smoking
  • Lower your cholesterol levels
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Control other conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure
  • Get regular exercise

Successful angioplasty also means you might not have to undergo a surgical procedure called coronary artery bypass surgery. In a bypass, an artery or a vein is removed from a different part of your body and sewn to the surface of your heart to take over for the blocked coronary artery. This surgery requires an incision in the chest, and recovery from bypass surgery is usually longer and more uncomfortable.

Sept. 13, 2016
References
  1. Longo DL, et al., eds. Percutaneous coronary interventions and other interventional procedures. In: Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 19th ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Education; 2015. http://accessmedicine.com. Accessed June 20, 2016.
  2. Angioplasty. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/angioplasty. Accessed June 20, 2016.
  3. Angioplasty and vascular stenting. Radiological Society of North America. http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=angioplasty. Accessed June 20, 2016.
  4. Carrozza JP, et al. Periprocedural complications of percutaneous coronary intervention. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 20, 2016.
  5. Levine GN, et al. 2011 ACCF/AHA/SCAI Guideline for percutaneous coronary intervention: A report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines and the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions. Circulation. 2011;124:e574.