Heart Stents

TnMtnMan
By TnMtnMan Latest Reply 2012-03-06 23:49:09 -0600
Started 2010-10-07 08:34:14 -0500

Hello! Has anyone had an angioplasty and had heart stents implanted? Did they use regular or coated stents? How long ago was it, and have you had restenosis? Any other unwanted side effects? I've now had five (yes 5) stents during three different procedures about 4 years apart, so I'd be willing to share my experience if anyone is wondering about this whole procedure. Good luck!


24 replies

hagar2935
hagar2935 2012-03-06 11:19:09 -0600 Report

I had two heart attacks in March and October of 2001and have two coronary stents placed in my heart. I have had no more heart attacks or any form of complications since and I see my cardiologist for check ups annually.

I have Type 2 Diabetes and the year that I had those heart attacks was EXTREMELY stressful for me. I was caring for my dying bedridden wife who had brain cancer, my father had been diagnosed with cancer, I was the CFO of a company in a very stressful tax audit, and my diet was completely screwed up. Since then I have changed my diet and retired to reduce the stress. I am now 68 and although not a "spring chicken", I am in good control of my diet and Diabetes.

HeartHawk
HeartHawk 2012-03-06 23:41:09 -0600 Report

hagar,

That is great news and you are a great example of how stents should be used. When then is an acute situation like a heart attack then by all means a stent should be used. But, when the situation is not acute - like stable angina - optimal therapy - not stents - are the way to proceed.

Your story is more proof that you can prevent heart attacks from occurring (or recurring) in the first place with lifestyle modifications and drugs as appropriate.

HH

HeatherSmith - 63038
HeatherSmith - 63038 2012-02-19 13:09:02 -0600 Report

Im 42 and had a Major heart attack Aug 1011..thats 6 months ago, due to stress and being a type 2 diabetic…I had 4 stents added with my 1st cath, a week later I was back in hospital getting another cath and 2 more stents so I have a total of 6 stents at this time, hopefully will never need more…the main thing I have experienced is Tiredness, I am no way near as energetic as I was, I felt horrible for a good 5 months ater the stent placements, I started taking vit d3 10,000mcg and it has helped alot, I take Effient and a 325 mg asprin everyday, I have noticed leg weakness and I have falling a few times…other then that no real major issues to date…just thought I would share…

HeartHawk
HeartHawk 2012-02-19 23:06:03 -0600 Report

Heather,

Thanks for chiming in! Have your doc check for a blood particle called lipoprotein(a). This is a somewhat new discovery and a particle shown to cause heart attacks in the middle-aged people. Effient and aspirin is a common dual antiplatelet therapy but does not address the root cause of your heart disease.

If your blood flow is good your tiredness is likely due to the physical affects of your stent procedures plus some amount of depression. Also, you may have body-wide blood flow problems due to whatever caused the heart attack that is why it is so important to determine exactly why you had the heart attack in the first place. Stress and diabetes are definitely factors but I bet they are not the only ones.

Let's keep the discussion going. Once I have more info I can be more specific.

HH

LennyDenny
LennyDenny 2011-02-25 08:09:09 -0600 Report

I had angioplasty and 4 stents over a 6 month period about 7 years ago. they used the medicated stents, when I had my last heart cath. done 5 months ago they were seeing some problems with all 4 stents, they originally said they should last about 10 years before needing anything done. As you can see it's only been 7 years and I'm starting to have problems. I have been having more and more problems, now they say I have a lot of blockage in the vessels around the heart. Depending on the damage at my next heart cath I might need bypass, when I have my heart attack I was told I might not survive bypass then. I need stress tests done every year because I have a CDL license - but I have to have the chemical test done because of my COPD. We'll see what happens in May.

HeartHawk
HeartHawk 2012-03-06 23:46:16 -0600 Report

Lenny,

Just had my stress test today. All good. My strongest suggestion to you is to pursue an NMR Lipoprofile test to determne the EXACT root cause fo your extensive heart disease. THe NMR test looks well-beyond routine cholesterol numbers.

I hate to say it but traditional medicine is woefully inadequate. There is powerful medicine (all vetted and approved) out there that simply is not widely known. Go find out and use it. Don't be satisfied with stock medical responses.

HH

grammaschell
grammaschell 2010-12-22 03:16:29 -0600 Report

I had angioplasty & 3 different stent procedures ( a total of 4 stents) over a 1 yr period about 10 yrs ago , they used regular stents & they all restenosised within 30 days of the procedure. I eventually had a double bypass about 9 yrs ago because they didn"t have medicated ones yet. so far so good every yearly stress has been ok

HeartHawk
HeartHawk 2012-03-06 23:49:09 -0600 Report

gramma,

Great news! Yes, stent restenosis was a big problem before the introduction of drug-eluting stents (DES). However DES has its own problems - late stent thrombosis - eseentially clotting at the site of the stent. It all comes down to selecting the right stent for the right problem.

HH

Shirl01
Shirl01 2010-10-29 23:37:44 -0500 Report

Hello - I just had a heart stent placed two weeks ago. They used a Rx coated stent. I am hoping with taking Plavix that I will not develop restenosis. Are your stents just not lasting and if that is the case, what are your symptoms and how long did they last? I was feeling perfectly fine before my small MI - so I am a little sensitive right now to reoccuring events and would like to know if others have had plaque rupture more frequently, once it starts.

TnMtnMan
TnMtnMan 2011-02-25 10:40:13 -0600 Report

Hi Shirl!
Well, it really varies by each person. I am now up to a total of 14 stents because my coated stents seem to block again every 3-5 years. I take Plavix, Aspirin, FishOil, and Vitamin E, all of which aid in blood thinning, but I still get blockage. Unfortunately I can not tolerate any form of Statin drugs, so iI am having a hard time controlling my cholesterol (Taking Niaspan & Welchol). Keep in mind there are numerous factors that affect restenosis, and in my opinion it is more of an art than a science, and you will just have to watch & wait (and try to reduce your cuasal factors). Just make yourself aware of possible symptoms of MI & stroke, and do not be afraid to get medical help at the first sign of trouble! Here is a resource that may prove helpfull.
http://www.stroke.org/site/PageServer?pagenam...
Good Luck!

Shirl01
Shirl01 2011-02-25 10:52:54 -0600 Report

Thank you for your response. I am managing my risk factors as much as possible. I have read up on some of the causal affects and am on Plavix, Aspirin, Fish Oil and an Ace Inhibitor. I have low cholesterol (naturally) and am keeping it low with Crestor. I have a genetic marker that I guess makes bad cholesterol much stickier (medical term - ha!) which is called Lipoprotein (a). Thank you for the links as I will read up on more of the symptoms of both MI and stroke. Scary stuff for sure. Good luck with your ongoing challenges. I truly hope that I only ever need one stent - but the chances of that seem pretty remote from what I have heard. Thanks again for responding.

HeartHawk
HeartHawk 2010-12-15 12:56:06 -0600 Report

Shirl,

Coated stents were developed precisely to solve the problem of stent restenosis. However, another problem developed with coated stents in that they had a higher risk of thrombosis or clotting at the site of the stent. For this reason it is important to follow your doctor's instructions on using anti-platelet therapies like Plavix.

Your first heart attack means that you know you have heart disease and risk for future heart attacks. Now is the time to work hard on reducing your risks factors. It is possible to reduce your risk for future heart attacks SUBSTANTIALLY (in many cases to near zero).

Read my replies to the others in this thread for some direction.

HH

ca0371
ca0371 2010-10-25 12:38:59 -0500 Report

Almost 13 months ago I had a Heart Attack. My only risk factor was stress, I created the family history. So this is all new to me. I had a Cath. procedure to figure out what was going on & had 1 drug coated stent place. I've had no problems beyond some angina. Reading this discussion now has me a bit concerned. What is the average life span of stents or does it vary depending on the person/severity of disease?

HeartHawk
HeartHawk 2010-12-15 13:00:28 -0600 Report

CA,

I think Tinman's experience in this thread says it all. Yes, stent "life" varies wildly among patients.

Although I work with cardiologists and have studied this area for 10 years I am not a doctor. But, my first blush reaction is that stress is the only risk factor you KNOW about. I would suggest you talk to your doctor about having advanced lipoprotein testing. I would be willing to bet you might find things like high lipoprotein(a) or and abundance of Small LDL in your profile.

HH

ca0371
ca0371 2010-12-15 19:19:21 -0600 Report

Thanks for your reply HH.

I checked my most recent labs & found that my lipoprotein(a) is <10 & my LDL is 62. I have had so many labs run & everything comes back normal. It's been really frustrating! My Cardiologist is stumped & has tried refering me to Mayo. However, my insurance company doesn't see a need. I will continue my fight. Now looking into Genetic testing, as a possible Spontaneous Dissection was seen. :)

HeartHawk
HeartHawk 2010-12-15 19:36:29 -0600 Report

CA,

Frustrating indeed! How about your HDL and Small LDL levels? I'll check around on potential root causes of spontaneous dissection (was it along the stent insertion path?). I am meeting with the head cardiologist of the TYP program on Friday and I willl raise the question and post any answers I might get.

HH

ca0371
ca0371 2010-12-15 19:58:54 -0600 Report

HH,
Thank you for your help!

Here are my #'s : Cholesterol is 135, Trig.'s are 55, HDL is 63 w/ TC/HDL being 2.2. My CRP is <3. I haven't heard of small LDL. I'll pose that question next time I go in.

I had the Cardiac Cath after my enzymes came back indicating an MI. At the time I was told I had a 30-40% blockage that broke loose & created an aneurism. The Stent was placed to "fix" it. Once it was placed, the rest of my RCA collapsed. They used 2800 mcg of nitro & 1500 mcg of Cardene to get it opened. A balloon pump was also inserted. The SD was noticed at Mayo. I did get there for 1 visit before my insurance coverage changed from PPO to HMO.

I was 38 at the time & told my Cardiac report reads like a 75yo & had I been 75, I wouldn't be here. I'd really like to find the "why" to prevent another!

CA

HeartHawk
HeartHawk 2010-12-20 22:19:19 -0600 Report

CA,

Still waiting for an interpretation from the cardiologist (Dr. William R. Davis) I spoke with but there is something that just does not ring true. What was it that led your cardiologist to recommend a catheterization in the first place? How was it that your chest pain was interpreted as angina? Typically, you need an 80% blockage or more to fail a stress test. A 30-40% blockage generally causes no angina whatsoever (arteries have A LOT of extra capacity).

For example, take a look at this case history. Sound familiar?

Case study shows how "just-in-case" CCTA in a low-risk patient may spectacularly backfire

http://www.theheart.org/article/1164425.do?utm_campaign=newsletter&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_source=20101220_EN_Heartwire

You also mention that your "cardiac report" read like that of a 75 year old. What specifically did your cardiologist say in this regard?

HH

ca0371
ca0371 2010-12-21 20:50:41 -0600 Report

HH,

While in the ER, they initially were not sure what was happening (blood clot or heart attack). They tried several EKG's but were unable to get a good reading because I was shivering so bad. I presented at the ER w/ Chest Pain, pain ratiating down both arms & shivering uncontrolably. This stopped after 45 min., then started up again 2 hrs later. I was in the ER the whole time. When the 2nd "wave" of symptoms hit, I also vomited. They kept me overnight waiting on my Troponin numbers. I was told that i'd have a choice of stress test or cath. When the Troponin results came in indicating an MI, I wasn't given a choice.

I think the 75yo reference was in regard to how much nitro & Cardene was used. I was told that it was my age & otherwise good health that helped keep me alive.

I've had episodes of mild angina since. Seems pretty controlled w/ L-arginine & Zantac. I tried Imdur but the side effects were horrendous.

CA

HeartHawk
HeartHawk 2010-12-23 00:08:49 -0600 Report

CA,

The preventive cardiologist I spoke with (Dr. Davis) seems to feel similarly that Small LDL is a likely culprit to pursue absent some other unusual genetic problem. Otherwise, your symptoms are classic.

L-Arginine is an eNOS (nitric oxide) stimulator to that makes sense but the Zantac would only treat heartburn. Did your doc prescribe nitro as well? L-arginine is useful but not for acute bouts of angina as it is a long-term nutritional supplement

What does your doc say the source of your continued, post-stent angina is? Theoretically, the stent shoud have cleared this up.

HH

P.S. After perusing your profile I see you participated in the Milham Park heart walk (looks like you were a speaker). I lived in Texas Township near Kalamazoo for a while and they had a Milham Park event. Same one? If so, small world!

ca0371
ca0371 2010-12-23 15:47:57 -0600 Report

HH,
Thank you for looking into this for me! The Zantac was prescribed to help with high chest/low throat spasms. They've told me I have severe vaso spasm of the coronary artery. I've tried different forms of nito, including Imdur & don't tolerate them very well. They leave me w/severe headaches. I don't have acute angina, more or less it's just twinges now & again.

I will be undergoing follow up w/a Rheumatologist. My ANA antibodies came back positive. So perhaps Lupus is/was a factor as well.

I was one of the Survivor speakers & featured in the promotional advertising for this years Start!Heart Walk at Milham Park. Next years event has been moved downtown & is on April 30. Small word indeed!!

CA

HeartHawk
HeartHawk 2010-12-23 22:34:14 -0600 Report

ca,

Yeah, I did a whole rheumatology workup that came back negative. Still searching for more root causes. Most recently, I have seen a functional medicine doc that tests unusual things including heavy metals and even parasites! Because I work as a health consumer advocate I have served pretty much as a human guinea pig! LOL!

I would definitely keep after a rememdy for vasospasm. It is a little understood area even among cardiologists. Sites like this and others that have robust communities that share individual experiences will be your best resources for cutting-edge remedies.

HH

tinman101
tinman101 2010-10-08 13:38:01 -0500 Report

Tes I have had angioplasty. I have had 35 angiograms since 1991, 2 by-pass surgeries with 10 grafts,and now have 14 stents. some are bare metal but most of them are coated. Three different types of coated stents. My last by-pass was in November of 2007 and I have had 9 tents since then. I have just past 6 months with out having another. I beleive I could write a book on the subject. Good luck hope your last longer than mine have.

HeartHawk
HeartHawk 2010-12-15 13:12:56 -0600 Report

Tinman,

Wow, I think you may hold the record in my experience - a record that needs to stop getting higher! This may be a little self-serving as I also write for a heart disease prevention and reversal website called Track Your Plaque, but, I cannot in good conscience fail to let you know about it because I follow the program myself and have written about the impressive results I have seen in other followers.

The site is a paid membership program but has many free resources and articles. Just Google "Track Your Plaque" to find links. You can also e-mail me at hearthawk@wi.rr.com and I may be able to provide additional access beyond the basics. If you do check out the info there be certain to check in with your docs first before using it. NO website can be a proper substitute for prefessional medical care!

Hang in there,

HH

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