Artery-opening angioplasty is an amazing procedure. It lets a doctor open a narrowed artery and restore blood flow to hard-working heart muscle without having to cut into the chest or split the rib cage. Assuming all goes well, the recovery time is minimal and the only physical reminder of the procedure is a half-inch scar at the top of one leg.
Standard procedure calls for spending a night in the hospital after angioplasty, even though some people want to go home the same day and could do so safely. Some doctors and insurers are questioning the need for, and the expense of, the routine post-angioplasty hospital stay.
At Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York, more than 2,400 men and women have skipped the overnight stay and gone home a few hours after routine, uncomplicated angioplasty. At-home recovery proved to be as safe as in-hospital recovery.
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