Posted 12/6/2008 5:28 PM (GMT -8)
Two days ago, my cardiologist placed a stent, within two other stents. I had a MI in july, in an area that was stented -- right coronary artery. At the time, the ER doc placed an uncoated stent (normal procedure when there is clotting) within the originally stented area and another that attached to it, enlongating the stent. Recently, I started experiencing angina and I met with my doc and he went in yesterday and discovered restenosis, with a 95% blockage in the restented area. He likes to have his patients fairly alert, so I witnessed the entire procedure. The doctor described it as “very difficult.” Using the normal procedures, he couldn’t get through the stented area. Apparently because the uncoated stent was so new, the edges of the bare metal interfered. It may have been shorter, but it seemed like more than an hour — a very tense time for him and me. He kept trying different wires, different balloons, to open up the blockage. In the middle of the procedure he stopped to talk to me to tell me that what he was facing was extremely difficult. He kept working at it — the nurse assisting him later said he “bulldogged it” — and finally was able to place what he called a large, coated stent, which he could use because he found no clotting. This morning he explained that he began with the normal procedure, then moved on to riskier techniques. He mentioned that he wouldn’t want to have to face this again. I could see how visibly relieved he was after he placed the stent. And I can’t tell you how relieved I was after the drama. I assumed I was in good hands. And maybe I am — these things are hard to know. But I went home late this morning and feel very well, though the memory of watching all of this stays with me. My questions to those of you who may be more experienced than me:
1. This is three stents in the same area. Is this OK?
2. The treatment I received, the difficulty of the procedure -- is this normal considering the circumstances?
3. Anyone know of long-term success of so many stents in one area?
4. Should I be concerned about traveling to mexico for 3 weeks beginning Dec. 22?
Any help appreciated.