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 a fatty substance (plaque). As plaque builds up in an artery, blood flow can be reduced or even blocked. This causes 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 or if you are taking opioid pain medicines.

  • Rest for 2 to 3 days after the procedure. You will likely be able to go back to your 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 (cut) site for signs of infection (redness, swelling, drainage, or warmth) every day for a week.

  • Keep a dressing on the incision site for at least 24 hours, or as directed by your healthcare provider.

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

  • You can shower the day after the procedure.

  • If you have stitches, don't swim or take a bath for 7 days after the procedure or until the stitches are removed.

  • Unless directed otherwise, drink 6 to 8 glasses of water a day. This can prevent dehydration. It can also flush the dye used during your procedure out of your body. (Talk to your healthcare provider first if you are on dialysis or have heart failure.)

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

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

  • If you are a smoker, try to break the smoking habit. Join a stop-smoking program to increase your chances of success.


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

When to call your healthcare provider

Call your healthcare provider right away if any of the following occur:

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38°C), or higher, or as directed by your provider

  • 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 doesn't 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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