Hi everyone! Its been almost 3 weeks sense I had 3 drug-eluting stents placed in my right coronary artery. I sometimes have little pains here here and there either in my heart area or arm or hands. Just a few days ago have I begun having trouble taking deep breaths. Much like I had before the stents. I asked my cardiologist and he said it shouldnt have anything to do with my heart but if I wanted, they would perform another cath to check. I declined at the time. Lately I have been waking up with my pinky and ring finger numb...but I think that has to do with a nerve problem. Again today I have just small pains once in a while in my chest area..and somewhat find it hard to take deep breaths. Has anyone who has had stents felt this way after the procedure and have been ok? Thank you so much for taking time to hear my problem. Also, I have to go again to the cardiologist in the morning because of these pains...I know he is going to ask me if I want another cath done...should I???
3 weeks would be pretty fast for restenosis to have occured but for safety sake I would probably have the cath. I believe the artery can collapse around the stented areas. I had chest pain and shortness of breath after my stent and mine did eventually block from scar tissue, but I also had those kinds of problems after bypass.
A good rule of thumb is that when a stenting fails (and yes it can happen in as little as a couple days) the pain and discomfort are IDENTICAL to the original presenting pain.
As HORRIBLE as the thought of reangiogramming is, it will be necessary if the old problem returns.
But don't go through it for just the occasional twinge or inability to draw a complete breath...these are usually chest wall thingys. Make sure you are taking your blood thinners though, just in case.
Other things to consider are the possibilities of a slight Plavix bleed somewhere other than your heart that can cause pain but also likely is that nerve pinch that's numbing your pinky might also be causing the inability to breathe.
I just got over a DOOZY bout of costochondritis and or thoracic nerve pinch...a deep breath felt like I was being run through with a saber. If it had happened right after my stenting it probably would have scared the bejesus out of me too!
No I did not have the drug eluting stent. As Lenin mentioned I did have a return of symptoms similiar to before the stent only for me it was actually worse. Weak legs, chest pain and shortness of breath and was at rest as well as on exertion and eventually a squeezing feeling like a belt being tightened around my upper body with accompanying shortness of breath. I would actually describe the chest pain as more like pressure. I was in a cardiac rehab program and I remember that at times I felt like my legs were just unable to hardly go and I thought it was a side effect of angioplasty and stenting that would eventually go away. The symptoms got progressively worse and were much more bothersome than pre-stent.
Well I must admit...I am just a lil nervous. I had the shortness of breath as well as pain in my chest..arm..and jaw the day I went in for the stenting. But the pains I get now are somewhat similar but they dont occur at the same time like before. Today I have no chest pain...occasionally in my shoulder..but it hurts worse when i turn my head..so I know its muscular. The problem I seem to notice most is the shortness of breath..and funny thing is..that I dont seem to have it when I am in a cold area...such as the air conditioner running on a low temp. I addressed my problems with the cardiologist..but he doesnt seem to be concerned. So I think the next person I will see..is a GI specialist..cause I also notice that if I belch (*excuse me*) that that will also help me to breathe easier for a lil while. Also, even tho I am on prilosec..for some reason I have been having heartburn..dont know what thats about. And one last thing..I get occasional pains in my back teeth..like I had before..but not as strong. I did have another cath after the stents because of these pains..and the stents were fine...so I dont think I should do it again..do you? Thanks soooo much for your time!!!
No, don't do it again, God. But down the road a bit a good idea might be a stress test with nuclear markers to see if all areas of the heart are getting the nutrients they need.
I've been putting mine off and I should really have the same thing done since its nearing the 18 month mark.
I gotta tell ya Lenin...I have absolutely no faith in stress tests including the nuclear one. For 4 years I have been thru the cardiac wringer. I had taken all of those tests including the nuclear and they have always found absolutely nothing wrong with me. 4 days before my cardiac cath I was released from a hospital with "the heart of a 20 yr old" after and extremely frightful stress test where they shoot a med in you to speed up your heart rate instead of doing the treadmill. So once again I cheated on another test and find out 4 days later from a different facility that I had a 90% blockage. You know what else..I read on this board about people who are having or had stent procedure after stent procedure. Why would anyone need to keep having them? I thought..once they found the problem and fixed it..that was it....I am nervous for what my future holds for me now!
There is a VAST difference between the plain vanilla echogram and a scan with nuclear markers. The nuclear imaging WILL show areas of the heart that are deprived and thus causing pain. However one can still have a reasonable blood flow with blockages and these will not show up. BUT if a person gets pain...then a blockage will show because some part of the heart is deprived of the nuclear material along with food and oxygen. Of course all this presupposes a COMPETENT practitioner.
I came out PERFECT on a plain vanilla stress-echogram at the time that I had a virtual complete blockage of the RCA (and it hurt like Hell on exertion during the test.)
I agree the only SURE test is an angiogram performed by a specialist, but the markered imaging is VERY useful and SOOO much easier than an angiogram.
Stents fail two ways, clotting and furring. Clotting usually occurs FAST and is deadly serious; furring is replaquing inside the stent. Slower but results are the same.
Aspirin and Plavix (if you MUST) do a lot to prevent the clots and continued SUPER TIGHT blood lipid vigilance will take care of replaquing (WE HOPE.)
The first year after the first stent feels a bit like there's a time bomb in the middle of your chest...the concern gets less and less with thime, but should NEVER decrease to the point where we go back to the habits that glued the arteries up in the first place...that route only leads to the grave.
Whoaaa now I'm a lil nervous about that clotting thing! I do take the aspirin and plavix along with vytorin and atenolol. How do you know if you have clotting? Does it happen with the drug eluting stents as well? Lately I have had some trouble taking deeeep breaths and various odd pains either in chest or arm..(which seemed to be muscular) but when I asked my cardiologist about them...he just seemed to poo poo them off and not be too concerned. I know I always have the option of letting them go back in..but I dont want to if I dont have to. What do you think?
Dont worry; with aspirin, Plavix and sirolomus (the usual med in the stent), you are VERY unlikely to throw a clot.
The way you know you have a clotted stent is that you usually fall over with a major heart attack...diagnosis is VERY easy (sometimes a little humor helps!)
I think your pain is a nerve pinch in your back...maybe take aspirin a couple times a day (like 4 or 6.) That kind of pain disappears as quickly as it popped up.
Thank you soooo much Lenin for bringing me piece of mind. I think that since I survived for almost 4 weeks since the stenting...I may just survive another 4 weeks. lol. Besides now I have other health problems I have to deal with..so the heart matters will have to be put on hold. BTW the stents I had are cypher stents..is that the same thing as what you mentioned? You are an awesome person. Thank you for taking your time to address my concerns!