about 4 days ago, I had a medicated stent placement procedure done. I am a 38 year old female who had to be very persistent with my cardiologist and others about my symptoms and a resolution. I am not overweight and appeared to be in good health. My symptoms included chest pain, radiating pain in my neck up into my ear, jaw pain, tingling and numbness in my hands, left arm pain, extreme tiredness, PVC's with a cough, and knowing my body well enough to know something had changed within the last few months. My doctor kept telling me I was hyperventilating, which was so far from the truth. My father had his first heart attack at 41, his brother at 39, his sister at 41, and other siblings has had stents and/or open heart surgery in their 40's. My mother had 6 blockages and had open heart surgery about 8 weeks ago. With my persistance, they decided to do a stress test on me. That came back normal. Just a lot of PVC's. I informed them that my father had a ekg, and echo stress test done and it came back normal and he went home that evening and had a massive heart attack. I asked my doctor to perform a cardiac cat scan, where he found what he said a soft plaque blockage of 30-50%. He gave me some nitroglycerin and told me to take that next time I experienced the chest pain. I did that, and it stopped the pain for a short time which then returned. His nurse told me to go to the ER, where they admitted me and set me up for the heart catherization the following day. They found a 75% blockage in the LAD artery, and it took 400 psig to open the artery (which was supose to be soft plaque and 30-50% blocked). I was informed after the procedure that many women with actual heart related problems often pass stress tests. Many test actually come back normal and heart caths are the most accurate way of diagnosing blockages. I write this to let women know that you need to be persistent with your cardiologist. You know your body better than they do, and if you feel something is wrong follow that instinct till the end.
For those facing the heart catherization/stent procedure. I was really nervous going into it. It is actually a very easy procedure. I did have a lot of discomfort as they inflated the balloon and when they inserted the tube. The other part about the procedure was the pressure they apply to the entrance area to stop the bleeding. That was a little rough. But really glad it was done.