Angioplasty, also called balloon angioplasty, and vascular stenting are minimally invasive procedures performed by your physician or an interventional radiologist. The procedures are used to improve blood flow in the body’s arteries.
Before having the angioplasty done you may have several tests performed, such as x-rays, an electrocardiogram (ECG) and blood tests. Make sure to tell your doctor what medications you are currently taking and about any allergies you have, especially to the contrast material necessary to create the x-ray images of your blood vessels.
You will be told not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the night before your angioplasty. In most cases, you should take any medications that you usually take, especially blood pressure medications (but ask your doctor first). These can be taken with some water in the morning before your angioplasty.
If you are on any blood thinning medication such as Coumadin, you should check with your doctor about if and when you should stop the medication. It is very important to check with the doctor or interventional radiologist about which medications you should take.
In most cases, you should plan for an overnight at the hospital, and have someone drive you home when you are ready to leave.