7 Ways Life Improves After Coronary Angioplasty

Medically Reviewed By William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Written By Hedy Marks MPH on May 3, 2016
  • Happy couple
    Quality of Life Improvements
    Coronary angioplasty is a procedure to widen or open a blocked or narrowed heart (coronary) artery caused by heart disease. Angioplasty restores normal blood flow through diseased arteries, which allows your heart to receive rich, oxygenated blood. Angioplasty not only reduces your risk of heart attack and stroke, it can also make you feel better. Learn how your life will improve after angioplasty.
  • walking
    1. You’ll Have More Energy
    Angioplasty widens or opens your narrowed or blocked arteries so that your blood can flow through your body normally. Your symptoms of heart disease, including trouble breathing and chest pain, will improve and you should have more energy. Everyday activities should be easier to perform and you can expect to feel less chest pain.
  • Bowl of food
    2. Your Health Will Improve
    Angioplasty is a wakeup call for many people to take better care of themselves. Most people make significant changes to their lifestyle after angioplasty. They eat a healthier diet, exercise more consistently, kick bad habits such as smoking, and are generally more mindful of their overall health.
  • construction worker, construction, worker, building, foundation
    3. You’ll Get Back to Work
    You’ll recover much quicker from angioplasty compared to heart bypass surgery to restore normal blood flow. The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions sees that angioplasty patients return to work almost three times faster than patients having open heart surgery. This means less time away from work and hobbies you enjoy. Keep in mind that not everyone is a good candidate for angioplasty. Some people need to have heart bypass surgery to treat their condition.
  • grandmother-with-grandchildren
    4. You Can Take Care of Yourself
    Heart disease and heart surgery take a toll on your body and your loved ones who take care of you after the procedure. Many patients feel they are a burden to their families after heart surgery, in terms of finances, time away from work, and overall health quality of life. Angioplasty is a minimally invasive approach to open blocked arteries. You’ll have a relatively simple recovery—about a week to 10 days—with numerous benefits. Angioplasty patients are less likely than open heart surgery patients to feel they are a burden on their family and friends.
  • Women smiling
    5. You’ll Gain New Perspective
    Angioplasty may be an emergency treatment, or it may be a planned procedure to prevent a life-threatening event. It can be scary. After angioplasty, it’s common for people to gain a new perspective on what matters most to them in life. Most people see their life changing for the better after angioplasty. You may sweat the small stuff less and focus more on the positive.
  • middle aged men on beach with a football
    6. You’ll Do Things You Enjoy
    Many people take steps to improve not just their physical health but also their mental health following a health scare. Angioplasty reduces your risk of heart attack. This should reduce your anxiety and give you peace of mind about your overall health. Now may be the time for you to pick up a new hobby or return to an old one. And because you will have more energy, it will be easier to swing a golf club or travel more.
  • What About Sex?
    7. You May Enjoy Sex More
    If you’ve suffered a heart attack or heart problem, you may wonder if it’s safe to have sex. The answer is usually yes. If you can walk up two flights of stairs, you can most likely have sex. In fact, many people find that they have more enjoyable sex after a health scare due to their renewed appreciation for life and relationships. But before you have sex after angioplasty, talk to your doctor about what is safe for you.
7 Ways Life Improves After Coronary Angioplasty
  1. New Survey Shows Heart Patients’ Quality of Life Significantly Improved After Angioplasty Procedure. The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions. http://www.scai.org/SecondsCount/News/Detail.aspx?cid=96d8716a-ff74-44cd-ae8a-b42d8456f3c0#.U0P9LVew.... Accessed April 8, 2014. 
  2. What to Expect After Coronary Angioplasty. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health//dci/Diseases/Angioplasty/Angioplasty_After.html. Accessed April 1, 2014.
  3. Coronary Heart Disease Risk Factors. National Institutes of Health. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hd/atrisk.html. Accessed April 1, 2014.
  4. How Can Atherosclerosis Be Prevented or Delayed? National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/atherosclerosis/prevention.html. Accessed April 1, 2014.
  5. What You Can Do to Prevent Atherosclerosis. St John Providence Health System. http://www.stjohnprovidence.org/HealthInfoLib/swarticle.aspx?type=1&id=1583. Accessed April 1, 2014.
  6. Sex After Heart Attack. Walker Heart Institute. http://wregional.com/SexandYourHeart-WhataretheRisksAfteraHeartAttack. Accessed April 7, 2014.
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Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Last Review Date: 2016 May 3
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.