Lifestyle Changes After PCI and Protected PCI™

Protected PCI and Senior man with bicycleMr. Barrett had a Protected PCI™ procedure. After his follow-up stress test, his cardiologist recommended he stop smoking, change his diet and exercise more. Mr. Barrett would like to do all he can to prevent future heart problems. Here is some helpful information:


There are many chemicals in cigarettes and cigarette smoke that can damage your heart and blood vessels. The chemical, nicotine, is known to affect your heart and blood vessels by increasing your blood pressure, heart rate, and your risk of blood clots; decreasing the amount of oxygen flowing to your heart, and changing the structure and function of your blood vessels. When you stop smoking the damage to your heart and blood vessels may reverse and your risk of heart disease drops.


Common dietary changes recommended for patients with heart disease are to limit:

  • the amount of salt to 1500 mg (1.5 g) per day
  • the liquids you drink to 2000 ml (2 L) a day

Salt enables your body to retain water. Excess water makes it harder for your heart to pump blood around your body. To keep yourself hydrated and your heart healthy, the amount of water and salt are restricted. Other dietary suggestions are to decrease the amount of fat in your diet like using lower fat milk products; eating more whole grain products, vegetables, fruit, fish and smaller portions of meat; and substituting lower fat snacks and desserts.


Exercise is an important part of recovery from PCI. After your follow-up stress test, your cardiologist may refer you to a cardiac rehabilitation program, which can provide exercise support and monitoring as you recover. At the end of the program, you may receive a personalized exercise program. Stay with the program and gradually include aerobic exercise such as biking, jogging, swimming or walking in your routine. If you feel short of breath, tired or have a problem while exercising, stop and consult your cardiologist as soon as possible. Here are some additional heart healthy exercise tips:

  • Wait at least 90 minutes after eating to exercise
  • Take 5 minutes to warm up and cool down before and after aerobic activity
  • Start exercising slowly and gradually increase your activity level

These lifestyle changes may help prevent future heart problems, as reported by a Swedish study.

Next Steps





How is the Impella 2.5™ Device Used?

The Impella 2.5™ is the World’s Smallest Heart Pump and is intended for temporary (less than six hours) use to maintain stable heart function. The Impella 2.5™ can potentially lower certain risks in patients with severe coronary artery disease and diminished (but stable) heart function who are undergoing a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) such as an angioplasty or stenting, but are not candidates for surgery, as determined by a team of doctors that includes a heart surgeon.

Please see important risk information for the Impella 2.5™ at


Important Risk Information for the Impella 2.5™ Device

Protected PCI™ is not right for everyone.

You should NOT be treated with the Impella 2.5™ if your doctor determines you have certain pre-existing conditions, such as:

  • Severe narrowing of your heart valves
  • Clots in your blood vessels
  • Replacement heart valve or
  • Certain deficiencies in your heart valve.

Many of the risks related to the Impella 2.5™ device are the same as those with the procedure being completed and the placement of any pump used to help the heart. Risks related to use of the Impella 2.5 can include certain allergic reactions to medications, infections, blood clots, injury to heart tissue, valves or blood vessels, bleeding, low blood pressure, low platelet count and/or damage to red blood cells. Some of these conditions could be life threatening.

To learn more about additional risk information associated with the use of the Impella 2.5, speak with your doctor and visit