How Long After Angioplasty Can I Exercise (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Up To Six Weeks

Angioplasty which is generally used to term percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA), and balloon angioplasty, is a minimally invasive endovascular procedure that is very helpful in widening obstructed or narrowed veins or arteries of the body. The method is used mainly to treat arterial atherosclerosis. The treatment is used widely in all parts of the world.

The method’s basic principle is that a small wire is used with a deflated balloon attached to it. The wire is then inserted in the obstructed or narrowed blood vessel, and then the balloon is inflated. It results in the widening of the obstructed area and helps in improving the blood flow through the vessel.

How Long After Angioplasty Can I Exercise?

Charles Dotter, an interventional radiologist from the United States, is credited for first describing angioplasty to widen the vessels. He introduced the method in the year 1964. His contribution in this field led to the development of more new medication techniques, and improved angioplasty methods were also discovered with his help. The experiment was first carried out on an eighty-two-year-old woman, and the results were found successful in retaining the blood flow in her veins. The artery remained open until her death which proved the efficacy of the treatment for longer durations.

There are various types of angioplasty. Coronary angioplasty is done to treat obstructed stenotic arteries of the body. This type of blockage is generally seen in patients suffering from coronary heart disease. Peripheral angioplasty is carried out for the veins present outside the coronary arteries. Renal artery angioplasty is performed in patients suffering from loss of renal function and hypertension. Few other methods are also present, but these three are the most widely performed angioplasty procedures.

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Type Of ExerciseTime After Angioplasty
Regular exercises such as yogaFour Weeks
Intensive exercises such as weight liftingSix Weeks

Medical experts recommend not performing any exercises after undergoing angioplasty. To start resuming regular exercises such as yoga and running, a patient should wait for a minimum of four weeks. Intensive exercises such as weight lifting and walking on steep slopes should be prevented for at least six weeks after completing the angioplasty procedure.

Why Does It Take That Long After Completing Angioplasty To Resume Exercising?

The process of angioplasty is straightforward, but it must be carried out with a lot of precision. A small incision is made in the skin, and then the wire is inserted in the vein. Local anesthesia is also given to the patient so that the person doesn’t feel any pain and remains static during the entire procedure. After that, the balloon is inflated with a mixture of water and contrast dye. After the blood vessel is widened, the balloon and the wire are removed from the body, and a small amount of pressure is applied on the vessel to keep it open for a few minutes.

After the process is completed, the patient will feel much better as the amount of oxygen reaching the heart has increased. An ample amount of time should be given to the body to heal completely. Performing exercises might hinder the healing process, and the patient can also feel a bit of pain in the blood vessel which was treated. However, the patient can slowly increase the exercising time. If the patient feels any discomfort after doing any exercises, the medical practitioner should be contacted immediately.

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There are also few complications of angioplasty. Some of them are the launching of the debris into an individual’s bloodstream. Sometimes the X-rays used during the treatment might also cause burns in the body. Some patients have also complained about renal injuries after completing the procedure.

Conclusion

Finally, it can be concluded that angioplasty is a process that is carried out to treat blood flow problems in the body’s blood vessels. The technique helps reopen the vessels completely without the requirement of surgery. This method was first used for blood vessel treatment in the year 1964.

On average, a patient must wait for at least four weeks before resuming any day-to-day exercise. However, if a person is interested in doing any intensive exercise such as weight lifting, then a gap of six weeks is a must. Medical experts should be contacted immediately if the patient feels any discomfort after angioplasty.

References

  1. https://pubs.rsna.org/doi/abs/10.1148/radiology.135.3.7384437
  2. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199610243351707
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