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Diabetics and Atherectomy

Any surgical procedure can cause a problem for diabetics, and an atherectomy may cause abnormal blood sugar levels. Possible symptoms of this complication include difficulty with vision, shortness of breath, and sweating. Statistics on diabetics and atherectomy indicate that they have a higher risk of stroke, heart attack, and death following this procedure.

Leaving the Hospital Following an Atherectomy

As a diabetic, you are probably knowledgeable about the signs and symptoms associated with abnormal blood sugar levels. After your atherectomy, it is important not to assume that these symptoms are always related to blood sugar problems. Tell your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following:
 
  • Anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Weakness
  • Difficulty with your vision
  • Shortness of breath.
 
These symptoms may reflect complications of atherectomy, such as vessel closure or a "silent heart attack." Diabetic patients are known to have "silent heart attacks," as they are less likely to develop the typical chest pain associated with heart attacks.
 

Diabetics and Atherectomy Risks

As a person with diabetes, your risks for complications during and after an atherectomy are higher. Diabetic patients who undergo an atherectomy have a higher risk of stroke, heart attack, and death. Furthermore, there is a higher incidence of reclosure of blood vessels after the procedure. Diabetics have a one-third higher closure rate of the expanded coronary artery in the weeks and months following atherectomy.
 
Abrupt closure of the blood vessel is also more common if you have diabetes, as is a higher risk of having a reaction to certain drugs used during the atherectomy procedure and developing kidney failure or kidney damage. In addition, diabetics have delayed healing and are at increased risk for infection.
 
Because of your increased risk related to an atherectomy, it is essential for you to communicate with your healthcare team so that they can be aware of any possible problems. Your team is trained to observe, evaluate, and respond to any unusual situations that arise.
 
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