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Old 05-22-2019, 07:21 AM
pullin is offline
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Coronary stents: recovery questions


Not looking for medical advice, just experiences. Is there a noticeable improvement in energy, breathing, etc. after having stents put in? I'm curious if those who've had them could tell the difference immediately afterward.

I've had two stent procedures in the last couple of weeks, but am confined to limited movement for a while due to problems with my femoral site. Since I can't get out and "test drive" my new heart, I thought I'd ask if anyone here could relate their experience with this. I'm impatient and curious (and stuck sitting around the house watching Netflix for a week).

Boring details: 3 stents, two procedures a week apart (1 radial, 1 femoral). 98% blockage in one case, 80% in the other. I'm 62 with no family history of heart problems.

Bonus question: Does the medical community no longer think diet is responsible for clogged arteries? None of the recovery instructions or advice from the cardiologist and staff covered diet advice. It was never mentioned.

Thanks for any responses.
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Old 05-22-2019, 07:41 AM
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I had a single stent placed five years ago. Prior to the procedure I had episodes of unstable angina (chest pain) and a "small heart attack". I went home the following day and have had zero chest pain since. I actually returned to work 2 days after the stent procedure (I was told to avoid stress and I was stressed about not working).

Diet was never mentioned.
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Old 05-22-2019, 08:03 AM
Enola Gay is offline
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OP, Which coronary arteries did you have stented? I presume the LAD, but what were the other 2? Also what were you symptoms, if any, prior to your procedure?

And, diet post stent placement is usually not restricted for recovery, but your cardiologist should put you on a 'heart healthy' diet long term.
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Old 05-22-2019, 08:41 AM
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Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
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That would depend on so many particular factors; were you having angina/ischemic symptoms prior to the procedure? Are there lesions too severe to have been stented? Was there actual heart muscle death (heart attack)? What was your heart function like prior to stenting (ejection fraction, valvular function, etc)?

If you had one or two problem lesions which were causing you to have angina/distress with exertion, you may find quick relief from that now that they are open. If your heart situation was more complicated than that, you may not notice much difference.
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Old 05-22-2019, 08:43 AM
pullin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enola Gay View Post
OP, Which coronary arteries did you have stented? I presume the LAD, but what were the other 2? Also what were you symptoms, if any, prior to your procedure?

And, diet post stent placement is usually not restricted for recovery, but your cardiologist should put you on a 'heart healthy' diet long term.
Consulting the cards they gave me to carry afterwards: One stent in something called "MID LAD", and two stents in "RCA". It was the RCA that was 98% blocked. I went back and checked to be sure I'd heard that right -- confirmed it was 98%. That sounds really grave to me, but I don't know what is typical in blockages like this.

One nurse in the recovery area mentioned we should consider a more "heart healthy" diet going forward, but there were no details, nor instructions in the recovery packet. Also, no one asked about my current diet, so I assume the advice was simply generic.

FWIW: My wife and daughter have made me into a "project" now, and are on a mission to ensure I eat really healthy from here on. I was initially annoyed, but decided I should lose a few pounds so I'm going along peacefully with all the rabbit food. I have a follow on exam in a few months, maybe they'll cover diet instructions then.

Last edited by pullin; 05-22-2019 at 08:44 AM.
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Old 05-22-2019, 08:55 AM
pullin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan View Post
That would depend on so many particular factors; were you having angina/ischemic symptoms prior to the procedure? Are there lesions too severe to have been stented? Was there actual heart muscle death (heart attack)? What was your heart function like prior to stenting (ejection fraction, valvular function, etc)?

If you had one or two problem lesions which were causing you to have angina/distress with exertion, you may find quick relief from that now that they are open. If your heart situation was more complicated than that, you may not notice much difference.
Please understand, the terminology here is all new to me, but I'll try to cover what I learned.

The word "lesions" was never mentioned in any of the tests, nor the procedures. Is that the name for the blockage, or small diameter region of the artery? I never had a "heart attack" that I was aware of, just episodes of my heart "galloping" (tachycardia, according to them) and shortness of breath/dizziness with even minor exertion. During the episodes, BP went up to 140/200 and rate was 140/minute. Normally I was 80/130 and 60 or so beats/minute. I was having trouble walking more than 20-30 yards, and climbing more than one flight of stairs without rest. I was driving home and an "episode" started right as I passed my doc's office. I pulled in and explained the problems and they got a first hand look as it was happening. Then a month of tests (echo? cardiogram and MRI iirc) and the cardiologist said I was too out of breath for a stress test, so off to the angio-plasty and stents. For undetermined reasons he chose not to do both arteries at once.

On edit: Thanks to you and everyone for the replies. I'm in new territory here.

Last edited by pullin; 05-22-2019 at 08:56 AM.
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Old 05-22-2019, 09:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pullin View Post
One nurse in the recovery area mentioned we should consider a more "heart healthy" diet going forward, but there were no details, nor instructions in the recovery packet. Also, no one asked about my current diet, so I assume the advice was simply generic.
When I had mine (5 years ago) I was put on a statin post-op, despite my numbers being excellent prior to stent placement. My cardiologist told me that statistically, a statin for a year post gave improved survival stats, despite labs.
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