9 Lifestyle Changes to Make After Angioplasty

Doctor William C Lloyd Healthgrades Medical Reviewer
Medically Reviewed By William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Written By Linda Wasmer Andrews on November 16, 2022
  • Women doctor checking heart of male patient
    Angioplasty Is Just the Start
    Angioplasty is a procedure to open an artery that has become blocked or narrowed by the buildup of a waxy substance called plaque. The procedure can get blood flowing freely through the artery again. But it can’t fight the ongoing buildup of plaque in arteries around your body. For that, you may need a lifestyle makeover.
  • fruits and vegetables
    Eat a Heart-Smart Diet
    When it comes to atherosclerosis—the buildup of plaque inside your arteries—you really are what you eat. To reduce your health risks, the American Heart Association recommends cutting saturated fat to no more than 5 to 6 percent of your total calories. Limit trans fat, sodium (salt), and added sugars, as well.
  • Healthy meal
    Put Fish on the Menu
    Not all dietary fat is bad for you. Compounds in omega-3 fatty acids—the kind of healthy fat found in fish—may actually improve heart health. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least twice a week. You might want to ask your doctor about omega-3 supplements, as well.
  • Senior couple walking
    Stay Physically Active
    Being physically active helps you manage high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity—all conditions that can make atherosclerosis worse. Ask your doctor what types and amounts of exercise are safe for you. If you’re participating in cardiac rehab, your rehab team can create an exercise plan tailored to your needs.
  • stretching
    Warm Up and Cool Down
    Put safety first when exercising. Warm up beforehand with at least 5 to 10 minutes of low-intensity activity. This raises your heart rate gradually, which reduces the strain on your heart. It also gets your muscles ready to work. Cool down afterward with several minutes of easy walking and gentle stretches.
  • scale-less-weight
    Scale Back Your Weight
    If you’re overweight, slimming down may improve your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels. You could start seeing health benefits after dropping as little as 5 to 10 percent of your body weight. Ask your doctor or cardiac rehab team to help you set healthy short-term and long-term weight loss goals.
  • Quit Smoking
    Toss Out the Cigarettes
    Smoking can damage your blood vessels and raise your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. If you’re a smoker, giving up this habit is one of the best things you can do for your health. Call 800-QUIT-NOW for free advice and support from a trained counselor. Ask your doctor about medications that may help.
  • Depressed man
    Tune In to Your Feelings
    Depression is more common in people with heart disease, including angioplasty patients. The link seems to be both psychological and physiological. Left untreated, depression can make heart problems worse. Pay attention to how you’re feeling. If you’re often down or disinterested in things you once enjoyed, talk with your doctor.
  • stressed-man-with-hands-on-head
    Keep Stress In Check
    Managing stress effectively can improve your overall health and well-being. It also makes it easier to stick with other healthy lifestyle changes. Learn several strategies that help you cope with stressful situations. For instance, you might take deep breaths, go for a walk, do some yoga, listen to soothing music, or call a supportive friend.
  • sleeping man
    Get a Good Night’s Sleep
    One study showed that angioplasty patients who slept poorly had an increased risk of needing another procedure over the next four years. For sounder snoozing, stick to a regular bedtime every night, and avoid alcohol, caffeine, and big meals in the evening. If you still have trouble sleeping, discuss the problem with your doctor.
9 Lifestyle Changes to Make After Angioplasty

About The Author

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Last Review Date: 2022 Nov 16
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