After suffering some angina pains, subsequent angiogram revealed severe blockages in 4 of my major heart arteries...90 to 95% blockages. Cardiologist, after consultation with colleagues, advised stenting. Used self eluting stents, 6 in total. Successful procedure performed by wonderful cardiologist. Last of the stents inserted about 4 months ago. Minor discomfort since then, with the occassional sharp pain, mostly in the back. Feeling good, and back to normal routine. Would love to hear about other peoples experiences regarding their stents. Seems to be almost nothing around on the net relating to personal stories.
My story is a bit like yours. I was found to have blockages in 2 arteries - one was 90% and the other 95%. I now have 3 drug-eluting stents in place and feel great. My angioplasty was 7 weeks ago. I'm back swimming, walking 2.5 miles top speed, exercise bike, and I'm "stair climbing" - this week going up & down 5 times non-stop (flight of 14 steps). I increase the stair climbing each week.
I have had NO angina and am able to exercise without getting out of breath too much. Also I'm less tired generally than I've been for a year or two. Great result! I'm so pleased with my recovery as I had a retro-peritoneal bleed 2 hours after the angioplasty so that left me pretty washed-out for a couple of weeks but I have still got back into action well.
So that's 2 success stories. Didn't we do well to avoid bypass surgery!!!
I have 8 stents- six in the RCA and 2 in the LAD. I do not have the new drug eluting stents. The two in the LAD were put in just before they came out. I take Plavix every day (a blood thinner) and I believe with the Lord's help that medicine is the reason the last stent has stayed open.
This is my history. 2 stents in Oct 98, 2 Stents in Mar 99, angioplasty in May 99, 2 stents in Aug 99 and bypass in Dec 99 all of the RCA artery. The stents were staying open less than a month in some cases. Then in 02 I almost died and learned that my bypass had failed and the LAD was 95% closed. One stent in July 02 and 1 in Nov 02. In Nov 02 was when I started taking Plavix every day instead of the routine several days after stent and I have been able to avoid another surgery so far. My RCA is 100% closed and I have a mitral valve prolaspe so I have angina every day. Thru all of this I have had 12 heart caths and do not look forward to another. I have also developed a serious latex allergy. I truly hope you have great success long term with the drug eluting stents.
One stent here a big sirolimus eluting one to open my 3.5 mm RCA which was 98+% closed (I think 100% from what I saw.) I have a "couple more" in the 50% range but I get no more angina...I had it one day and it was gone the next.
I am trying to keep my HDL over 40 (or better, 50...got 48 last time) and I DO keep my LDL below 90 and triglycerides below 100. I pray that the 50% plaques grow no larger and I'm doing all I can to prevent it.
I faithfully take 10 mg. Lipitor and low dose niacin.
Pat, do you clink when you walk? "SIX in the RCA".......AMAZING. Why did you have to have that bypass?
Thanks to the other 'stenters' for your responses. A comforting feeling to make contact with all of you. I too had a bad bleed, fortunately in the right arm, where the wrist had been used as the stent insertion site. Took about 4 weeks to get the haemoglobin levels back up to near normal, the exercise not helped by being a vegetarian - no quick way to increase iron levels in the bloodstream, apart from chewing on a few nails. But a relatively small price to pay to avoid a bypass!
Have been on Plavix [75mg] and Aspirin [100mg] since having the stenting done, and to date no 'stomach' problems.
Have had a long history of high cholesterol, and an aversion to statins. The usual aches and pains! Recently tried Ezetrol. Again bad side effects, involving lower back pain, and severe stomach pain after 5 days of being on the medication. Back again now trying Pravachol. Seemed to be the best tolerated. Still some aches and pains, but figure that its a good trade off to maintain the current state of my arteries.
In Australia, figures for cholesterol, HDL, LDL etc given in a different format eg My total cholesterol was given as 8.6, so am finding it difficult to relate it to American system of presentation. Does anyone know what the conversion factors are?
Thanks again for the feedback. Take Care.
I had two stents put in back in 1999 so they were the old ones too. But I have been fine with them. I still had chest pain now and then so really never sure.
I am happy not to have had bypass, but that test though it didn't hurt scared the H&%$ out of me. Wonde why they can't sedate you more. She told me she had never seen anyone so scared!!! Well geesh they were in my heart!!!
Good luck to you, thnk there are lots of us out here..
Last edited by sunshine12; 06-04-2005 at 05:24 PM.
I don't kink when I walk with 6 stents in the RCA but there seem to be a time when I set off the door alarm at Eckerds when I would go in the store. It was probably a coindence. Also I had stomach x rays done and forgot to tell them about the stents and they were standing around looking puzzled at my x ray. I finally said, by the way I have 6 stents and they looked very relieved and said they couldn't figure out if I had something really bad or they equipment was messed up. After 6 stents in the RCA and finding in a cath that they were 95% closed, I was told that they couldn't put another stent in where it would help me, thus the bypass. If I had known I would have to live with a 100% closed RCA anyway, I wouldn't have gone for the bypass. Of course the surgeon said that using the mammory artery should be good for 20 years. Now I have nothing healthy enough on the right side to re do even a bypass.
I just recently had 3 medicated stents put in my RCA. I am 39 years old and trying to figure out how to recover mentally. I had aches and pains including in my jaw the following week after the stents were placed. They did another cath and saw that the stents were just fine. I believe my pains were from the cholesterol meds so I began taking them every other day instead. As of today I find myself struggling to take deep breaths ..and occasionally I may have a small twinge of pain in arm or jaw..but no pains in chest area. I tell you ..this has been a very scarey time for me..and it helps to hear from people who actually survived much worse than I have. God bless all of you and your support. I just pray that I will be able to find mental stability and stop worrying. I just want to live a normal life. One other thing.. I had pvc's before the stents..and still have them now..is that normal?
Happybunny....Many thanks for the information. Can now start to make comparative sense of some of the cholesterol figures I see posted in the messages.
Thank you for sharing your experience. So glad to hear about the rapid progress you have made since your angioplasty and stenting. We are so fortunate to be have been able to access such wonderful medical/technological procedures.
Take it easy, and let your heart be your guide.
Lenin.......Reading Was before Pravachol. After 2 months on 40 mg of Pravachol reading had dropped to around 4.5. Cardiologist then suggested that current wisdom dictated that readings for people with CVD should be of the order of 3.5, and that I should double my dose of Pravachol. I am on the Pravachol because I could not tolerate the other statins. Was very uneasy about doubling the dose...effect on liver/muscle function etc. and I made decision NOT to increase dose after looking at charts which indicated that doubling the dose of Pravachol would ONLY decrease my total cholesterol by about 3%. Not a good trade off! So, back on the Pravachol [40mg], after a bad experience with Ezetrol [Zetia], and being very careful with my diet.
Newbie stenter here. Soothing to be in here. Well here is my story:
Im 36, male. Was a chronic smoker. On this June 1st, I quit, but the craving was was becoming too hard to resist. I decided to start some heavy workout to sweat out nicotine and went for a routine medical checkup b4 i start pumping iron.
To my utter dismay, bloodwork results were real bad- Total cholesterol of 311 and LDL of 250. My doctor started statins and referred me to to the specialist hospital, since she didnt "like the way things look like".
My tread mill test proved provocable ischemia and was followed was an angiography that revealed a block of 85% that got removed by PTCA and a stenting was done.
All this happened in a matter of 5 days, that i still find it hard to believe this actually happened to me. During hospital i was thinking what i was undergoing was some nightmare and i would wake up soon..
Well, I am newly married. I need to build my life back to normalcy. I will stick on to my medication without fail till restenosis risk period gets over. I walk 4 kilometers a day and watch my diet like a hawk. I still get that nasty craving to smoke, but Im determ ined not to give in.
It gives me immense relief to communicate with people who knows what im undergoing..
My mom had stents put in last year and one of them collapsed...
she stills has the angina pains and is going in for another stress test and to see if they can do anything for her.
she needs a triple bypass but is not healthy enough to go thru with it she thinks, she has really bad diabetes.