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What To Expect Before Percutaneous Coronary Intervention

Cardiologists do coronary angioplasties at hospitals. Cardiologists are doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating heart diseases and conditions.

If your angioplasty isn't done as an emergency treatment, you'll meet with your cardiologist before the procedure. He or she will go over your medical history (including the medicines you take), do a physical exam, and talk to you about the procedure.

Your doctor also may recommend some routine tests, such as blood tests, an EKG (electrocardiogram), and a chest x ray.

Once the angioplasty is scheduled, your doctor will advise you:

  • When to begin fasting (not eating or drinking) before the procedure. Often you have to stop eating and drinking by midnight the night before the procedure.
  • What medicines you should and shouldn't take on the day of the angioplasty.
  • When to arrive at the hospital and where to go.

Even though angioplasty takes only 1 to 2 hours, you'll likely need to stay in the hospital overnight or longer. Your doctor may advise you not to drive for a certain amount of time after the procedure, so you may have to arrange for a ride home.

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January 1, 2010