At Home

In general, if you are discharged the same day as your procedure, take that day to rest at home.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR AT HOME:

Call the office of the doctor who did your procedure right away if you notice:

  • A sudden increase in swelling or bruising around the puncture site
  • The puncture site starts to drain pus
  • You develop a fever or if your temperature goes higher than 38°C (100°F)

If the office is closed, call the Heart Institute Nursing Coordinator at 613-696-7000, press 0 and ask to speak with the Nurse Coordinator.

Call 911 if you:

  • Have bleeding that does not slow down, even after you press firmly on the site for several minutes
  • Any sudden onset of shortness of breath
  • Your arm or leg feels numb or tingles
  • Your hand or foot feels very cold or changes colour

Caring for Your Puncture Site

Keep the area around the puncture site dry for 48 hours after your procedure. Wear loose- fitting clothing for a few days.

Avoid taking a shower or any activity in which the area may get wet. If the bandage gets wet, replace it with a dry one.

The bandage can be completely removed 72 hours (three days) after your procedure.

Bleeding

If there is a small amount of bleeding, lie down and apply pressure for several minutes to the site where the bleeding is coming from. If the bleeding stops, remain quiet and keep the leg straight and still for two hours. If you are not sure about what you should do, call the Heart Institute Nursing Coordinator at 613-696-7000, press 0 and ask for the Nursing Coordinator.

If there is a large amount of bleeding, or if the bleeding does not stop, call 911 immediately. Do not drive yourself to the hospital; do not have a family member drive you to the hospital. Lie down and continue to apply pressure to the puncture site until the ambulance arrives.

Mild pain around the puncture site will gradually go away after a few days. If your puncture site becomes more painful, starts to swell or becomes warm to touch, call your doctor or, if the office is closed, call the Heart Institute Nursing Coordinator at 613-696-7000, press 0 and ask for the Nursing Coordinator.

Activity

Depending on how you feel, you can start getting back to your normal activities the day after your procedure. If you have any questions about specific activities, make sure you ask your doctor.

If the puncture site is in your groin, try to limit the amount of stair climbing for a couple of days after your procedure—this will help with healing.

For 48 hours after the procedure, avoid lifting anything that weighs more than 10 pounds. If you have to sneeze or cough, try to apply pressure to the puncture site at the same time— this will reduce the risk of bleeding. The easiest way to apply pressure is to make a fist and place it firmly over the puncture site.

If there has been no bleeding or other signs of trouble at your puncture site, you can return to all your usual activities after a week. If you are not sure, call the office of the doctor who did your procedure.

Returning to Work

Before you go home, talk to your doctor about returning to work. If you have a job that involves mostly sitting, you will probably be able to go back to work within a few days. If your work is more active or involves heavy lifting, you may have to stay home a bit longer.

Driving

You must not drive yourself home. Make arrangements to be driven home by a relative or friend. If such arrangements are not possible, a taxi may be acceptable if approved by your doctor. Do not drive or operate any motorized vehicle for at least two days following your procedure.