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vinny1957
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2004
Total Posts : 96
   Posted 12/24/2004 10:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Have read so many bad stories about stents (I had 3 implanted 9/15/04) now I'm worried confused
Has anyone had good results they'd like to share?

jim1119
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 56
   Posted 12/26/2004 8:19 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi, Vinny

I'm not sure exactly what it is that you're asking.  I'm sure there are many people that have had very good results with stents.  Unfortunately, I ain't one of them.  I had 3 stents installed in 2-03.  By mid May, all 3 were blocked 90% or more, so I had triple bypass surgery.  In July and August, 2 of the 3 bypass grafts were starting to block, so they installed stents in them.  Since then, I've had no problems.  The first 3 stents were of the unmedicated kind, and the last 2 were drug eluting.  If you got the coated stents, it ups the chance for success quite a bit.  I think the restenosis rate goes from about 30% for plain stents to about 5% for the medicated ones.

All you can do is control what factors you can (diet, drugs,  exercise, smoking, etc), and hope for the best.  Gotta figure there's a pretty good chance that you'll be in the 95% with no problems.

I really don't know how representative my case is among all heart events.  I'm pretty convinced that I was not treated correctly from the get-go.  Seems to me that stenting originally probably was an overreaction.  Should have been drugs and lifestyle changes and see how it goes.  Bypass may still have been needed, but maybe not.  Even when the original 3 stents blocked, there was no attempt to clear them--just bypass surgery.  We'll never know I guess.  I just hate to use up the treatment of last resort before getting to the point of last resort.

Hope everything goes well for you.  Try to not worry too much about it.  If something does need a redo or something, you'll know it.  Symptoms should be very similar to what you had before.  Don't take chances with it though--if you think you got a problem, get help.  Don't put it off.

I guess I haven't brightened your day too much, huh??  Just don't be overly concerned about the stents.  At least not until you have something to be concerned about--you'll probably be good as new for a long, long time.

Jim


vinny1957
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2004
Total Posts : 96
   Posted 12/26/2004 8:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks so much Jim. No, I know there's always a chance of having a redue put your comments really did help. Even though it wasn't the best at first for you, it's OK now and that helps to know that it will be right sooner or later. Thanks again!

katrinepa
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 1/11/2005 5:43 PM (GMT -7)   
M<y boyfriend, who is 61 had one stent put in in August. He had one artery that was 99% clogged, and the Cardio couldn't believe he hadn't already had a heart attack. He only went to the doc because I made the appointment and took him, at which point the Cardio sent us directly to the Emergency Room, as his tests were horrible. They put the new kind of stent in, and it is coated. He had some discomfort for about a week, but he hadn't realized he wasn't breathing properly, and the first time he stood up from the bed he couldn't believe how great he felt, how he could really BREATHE! So the new stents work well, but it all depends on how you care for yourself how well it will work in the end. They do sometimes fail, and sometimes new ones need to be put in, or surgery done. My boyfriend has not been able to stop smoking, so who knows what will happen, but think positive.

Kathleen

pandacrazy
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Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 1326
   Posted 1/19/2005 8:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Jim, how soon was it before they knew that your's were blocking up. I had mine put in 15 days ago and when I had my treadmill stress test yesterday it already showed some problems. The doctor said it could be blocking up, but he doesn't want to do a rescan of it for another 4 weeks. In the mean time I am supposed to just report symptoms. When I asked him how I am supposed to know what pain and breathlessness is from the heart and what is from the heart he couldn't tell me. I got real breathless and had tightness and pain in my chest from the test yesterday. Is that the kind of problems you had? Barb

jim1119
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 56
   Posted 1/23/2005 4:45 AM (GMT -7)   

 

Barb,

I think my symptoms began to reappear about a month after the original stents were installed.  Started out very mild and very vague.  I couldn't be sure for a while if it was in my chest or in my head.  The cardio thought head at first, since it occurred at rest mostly.  Said if it started up under exertion, that it would be time to do something.  That started happening in mid May, which was almost 3 months after the original stents.  In fact, I was scheduled for a stress test to see if the stents fixed me, 90 days post stent.  So happened I was in the hospital on that day, so I had to cancel.       scool     I guess I'm just a fast stenoser.  Seem to be very efficient when it comes to building scar tissue.  But, on the brighter side, it's now been a little over 17 months since I've been in the hospital, and I seem to have no limitations activity-wise and exertion-wise.  Still watching my diet and exercising every day (almost), by walking for 20 - 30 minutes, plus going about all my usual activities.  I did have the nuclear stress test back in September, and it showed no problems.

Hope everything will work out for you. 

Oh, about symptoms------the first go-round (2-03) was chest pain, achy left arm, and achy jaw.  (and achy, breakey heart) hehehe  In the May episode, I had ONLY chest pain, like someone pressing hard in the center of my chest.  Following the bypass, I had only left arm pain.  Looking back, I'm not real sure that was a symptom at all, but it did get me back to the hospital, and they found the veins closing off.

Anyhow good luck on your re-stress test.  Be sure to study!!

Jim


pandacrazy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 1326
   Posted 1/23/2005 7:07 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Jim, that's interesting to know that it can happen. The doctor told me it is very unusal to have problems with it this soon, but I reminded him I'm the patient that is usually the exception to the rule. I always get the remote side effects from meds and have unusual or remote symptoms from what ever I have. Like when I had my gallbladder problems it took them 3 months to find out it was bad because it didn't have stones in it. They had to do a test that they rarely do and found out it was just not working right. It seems like the heart can really vary as far as symptoms. I don't under stand why my doctor doesn't think that the symptoms that brought me to the hospital were from the blockage when they went away as soon as the stent was in place. According to the AHA warning signs that's what it was from. My problems seem to be from exertion. I get the breathlessness and tightness with some chest pain. It's all so confuseing because I wasn't even sure when I went to the hospital the first time what it was because it was mostly left arm, shoulder, neck and jaw with the breathlessness, not much in the chest at all. Just a little tightness off and on. I think doctors tend to think womens problems are more in their head also. That is the reason I told them my mom died in a car accident instead of killing herself because I wanted to make sure that they checked my heart out good in the ER. I have encountered doctors that don't listen as soon as they find out that my mom died that way. I think it was a stupid thing to do and don't ever intend to do anything that dumb. I got too much to live for. I want to be around for my grandbaby and maybe more grandchildren someday. My mom missed all that. Thanks for your input it is helpful to know what others have gone through. It helps to know that I'll eventually get to where I can do stuff I did before. It's driving me nuts to see all the snow outside that we got this weekend and not be able to cross country ski. Sure hope they get this figured out and fixed before summer because I love the water slides and that would really be hard. Well catch you later. Let me know if you have any more insights or information for me. Barb

BetterLife
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 1/25/2005 1:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Have any of your guys heard about stem cell therapy for ischemic heart disease? i came across it while i was reading the Fortune magazine. if i am not wrong, i think the company that is offering it is called Theravitae.

pls let me know if anyone knows anything about this company and stem cell therapy. Thank you in advance guys.

pandacrazy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 1326
   Posted 1/25/2005 7:11 AM (GMT -7)   
What is ischemic heart disease?

Dravyn
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/25/2005 9:00 AM (GMT -7)   
I am 31 and need some help with this.  I had a stent put in the LAD artery in 8/04.  Now less than 6 months have passed and I have started having pains in my chest.  I been to the ER and had EKG's done.  Lab work done.  Can't find anything wrong.  I have followed up with my family doctor and they want to re-stress me.  Anyone else have anything like this before?  The pain that is.
 
Thanks

pandacrazy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 1326
   Posted 1/25/2005 4:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi maybe I can help you a little. I had a stent put in my left ascending artery on 1/4/05. It was a total shock to even the cardiologist who told me he was 99.9% sure he wasn't going to find anything. I went to the ER after having pain in my left shoulder, arm and neck for 24 hours along with shortness of breath after moving around at all. I kept thinking it was my asthma and my fibromyalgia. The doctor in the ER did a ekg and blood tests that showed nothing. My regular doctor said he would have sent me home after that, ( glad I didn't wait a few more hours to go see him) but the ER doc said he still wanted to do one more test to make sure. He ordered a treadmill stress test with the nuclear study. As soon as the results were back they admitted me because there was an abnormal dark spot on the left side of my heart. The cardiologist still didn't think he'd find anything. I had a 80-90% blockage that was up high enough where it would have done alot of damage to the left side of my heart. So as you can see the blood test and ekg don't tell everything. Look up farther in this thread and you can see from my conversation with Jim that I am already having problems and Jim started having problems early on also. My cardiologist said that if they are going to block up it is usually in the first 6 months. If it was me I would insist they do a stress test with a nuclear study. That is where you go on the treadmill and then the last minute you are on they inject dye and then you lay on the table while a machine scans your heart. Every one here has been very helpful and encouraging. If you have any more questions just ask or if you need some encouragement or just to vent. I check in a couple times a day. Good luck. Barb

BetterLife
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 1/25/2005 8:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Ischemic heart disease is when the heart is deprived of blood at the area where there is occlusion in the vessel.

Teri16
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 2/11/2005 10:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi!
 
Re Stem cell therapy, there have been some new breakthroughs dating back from 2004, but recently I read this piece...
 
 
Teri :)


 
 
"Because he is he and I  am I."......E. V. Lucas

Post Edited (Teri16) : 2/11/2005 11:06:14 PM (GMT-7)


Teri16
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 2/11/2005 11:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Re Stents...I've had 2 implanted, one metal 2001, and the other being a medicated cypher stent in March 2004. With the blockages still continuing, I did end up having a triple bypass Aug. 24th, 2004 and have been doing so much better.

Though, I can cite you cases like my own Father who's had a stent in his abd. aorta for many many years with absolutely no problems and recently at 78 he had it replaced.

Sometimes, we only hear the worst case scenario stories-I wish you all well!

Hi Vinny-congratulations to you and much good luck!!

Teri
 
 
"Because he is he and I  am I."......E. V. Lucas


pandacrazy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 1326
   Posted 2/12/2005 9:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Barb, my name is Barb also. I had a one stent put in January 4th. I've been having some problems already and the doc said it could be blocking up. I'm hoping it is just my asthma. I certainly can't afford the time off for bypass surgery. I work 2 jobs to make ends meat and don't have any sick time at the one and not a whole lot left at the other for sick leave. I'd rather have another stent put in. Oh well only time will tell. I go for my six week check on the 14th. I thought that was kind of funny that I'm going to the cardiologist on valentines day and then to cardiac rehab after. That is an interesting question about the medicine in the stent. If I can remember to ask about it I will. I don't remember stuff well these days. The high blood pressure med has turned my brain to mush. Oh wll am trying to cope day to day. Barb

dishonj
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 2/13/2005 6:35 PM (GMT -7)   
Dear Dravyn,  I had 2 stents placed in October 2004 in the RCA and 1 placed in the LAD during November.  I had a good stress test during mid-December 2004.  I had some chest pains (like an ache or pointed pressing on one spot) nearly every day for about a month afterthe stents were placed.  It dwindled significantly over the next 3 months, but comes back if I do some fairly heavy exertion (getting my heart rate up over 130 or 140 for several minutes).  The pains last a few days and then go away.  During that time I have a hard time sleeping on my left shoulder, but am okay on the right.  My current workouts do not seem to cause a problem (about 45 minutes on the treadmill at 3.6mph) but when I got up to 60 minutes last week, the pains were back and I had to stop exercising for about 3 days to get rid of them thoroughly.  Like you I am concerned about this and questioned by cardioligist's nurse practitioner.  She seemed to thing things would be okay at least until I see my cardiologist on the 22nd of February.  Please keep me posted of your progress in this area, as I will you.  Good luck.  There seems to be few people with answers to these problems.  Thanks John

pandacrazy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 1326
   Posted 2/13/2005 8:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Barb, your lucky you live where it is warmer. I seem to have problems with chest pain when the temp drops below 30 and I live in Wisconsin so that is a problem. I never had it before I had the stent put in. From talking to people on here it sounds like it isn't such an unusual thing for stents to block up. That would be just my luck. I had quite a scare tonight. My husband wanted to call an ambulance. I never saw so much blood. It even soaked through to my jeans. Have you ever had that happen? I'm 42 and never soaked a pad like that and my pants with blood. I called the nurse direct and they said if I get dizzy to come to ER or if I go through 4 pads in 4 hours. Hope I don't have to go tonight. I'd rather just talk to the doctor when I see him tomorrow. I see enough of the hospital with rehab. Don't need any unscheduled trips there. Were your first stents the medicated ones? I'm going to ask tomorrow how long those last. Nice talking to you. I look forward to hearing more from you. Barb

pandacrazy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 1326
   Posted 2/14/2005 11:39 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Barb, I guess we didn't have much choice in the stent thing. I went to the hospital at 6am and had a stent in by 4pm. I was told if they hadn't found it I would have had a major heart attack in a very short time and either died or had a lot of damage to the left side of my heart. So I am very lucky in that respect. I've had some problems already with breathing and chest and arm pain. Not sure if it's heart related or not. I was told the stents could block up. No chance of pregnancy. That would do me in with all my health problems. No thanks anyway mine are grown and I can't wait until daughter moves out. She's 18 and a senior. Not very supportive. Although I think my son might have gotten through to her a little last night. She didn't talk to him very long. She didn't want to hear it. He's worried about all the stress she causes me. He's going to be 22 in April and has grown up so much because of the Marines and then marriage and my sweet little granddaughter. He leaves in 9 days for Iraq. I told him he better take good care of himself because my heart couldn't take anything like that. I wish his wife and baby weren't so far away in North Carolina. She is a Marine too.

I'll be done with rehab in 3 weeks. I learned alot from the stress class and a few things I didn't know from the nutrition class. The nutritionist was impressed with my knowledge of nutrition. I teach a class on weight loss at the senior center where I work. I love helping others out. I have to get going and straighten out my exercise room so I can use it once I am done with rehab. I have all sorts of equipment. It's been a mess for a long time now though. Can't hardly get into the room and some of the stuff I can't even get too at this point. I have next weekend off so plan on working on it then. Always so much to do. Well better get going so can get ready for my appointment. Barb

pandacrazy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 1326
   Posted 2/14/2005 7:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Barb, yes I am on Plavix and aspirin. That's what the cardiologist thinks is causing it since I had a pap & pelvic 5 weeks ago that was normal. I gushed a bunch of blood before I went to the doctor today and felt really ill after that like dizzy, shakey and like throwing up. He ordered a blood test to check blood count. I had another episode after my appointment. I went and talked to them at cardiac rehab in the hospital and they said I should take today off. I don't think I would have made it through exercise today. I came home and layed down for 3 hours. I'm feeling better now. I feel bad I didn't get to go out to eat with my husband. I would have considered it if I hadn't had to drive. My husband is in a wheel chair and our seats don't turn in the van so it is a big hassle for him to get into the drivers seat. I'm hoping someday to get a seat that turns. The doctor really struggled with the decision to take me off the Plavix. He decided to keep me on it for now because I reminded him that my mom had problems with blood clots and so did her dad and some of her siblings. What a hassle. You sound like you are the queen of unusual problems too. I drive my regular doctor nuts. Wow how cool my brother in law just called and wants my husband to go with him with our van up to Green Bay to see if his buddy can do something with our van so my hubby can drive it with out my help to get in and out. His friend owns a business that does that sort of stuff. That would sure be nice since I had to drive myself to the hospital when I went with my heart problem last month. That was not cool. Talk to you later. Barb

dishonj
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 2/14/2005 8:19 PM (GMT -7)   

Dear Barb Taylor,  Hang in there. I've been following your exchange with Barb and am simply impressed at your tremendous strength and fortitude.   Here is some good news.  I had three stents placed during October and November and thus far no problems with restenosis.  I have some heart pain once in a while, but no significant problems.  I talked with another friend to day and his two stents have been fine for the year since he had them.  When I read about your problem with bleeding yesterday, I should have mentioned the Plavix and Asprin.  I've been on them for about 4 months and bleed or bruise if anything even brushes me.  I am very lucky in that my cardiologist invented the Johnson & Johnson drug eluting stent and his partner invented the stent back in the 80's.  Both of my cardiologists are adamant about 1 thing.  STAY ON THE PLAVIX!  They have done more stents than just about anyone in the US and they think it is critical to a good safe recovery.  Here is another thing.  Sometimes the drug eluting stents reclog (restenosis).  This seems to happen pretty rapidly ( a friend of mine with type 1 diabetes had restenosis in about 6 weeks).  To fix this the cardiologist went back in and inserted a different type of drug-eluting stent into the ones that failed.  The different stent uses a different drug and reacts with the patient in a more favorable way.   In following this it seems that no one knows which will work for a given patient so they try one and if it fails they use the other.  The good news is that my friend has had no restenosis with the other type of stent. Should your stents begin to clog, talk with your cardiologist about using another type with a different anti-rejection drug.  Hang in there.  You are incredibly brave and we need more people with your courage.  Good luck to your son as well we will keep him and you in our thoughts.  John D


pandacrazy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 1326
   Posted 2/14/2005 8:44 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi John, that is really nice of you to say about me. I just try to look for the good things in situations to get through life. I have a husband that is just a saint. I feel sorry for him that he has to put up with so many health problems with me and now this. We have stood by eachother for 23 1/2 years now. That makes a really big difference. We tease eachother and say no one else would be able to put up with us. A good sense of humor and a positive attitude is what helps me get through it all. Not to say that I don't get down. I was bummed out for a short time after it happend and then when my stress test wasn't so clear I got bummed out for about a week. I was uneasy about going off the Plavix. I'm glad the doc decided to keep me on it. If I have problems with my stent I'll be sure to talk to the doctor about the other medicated stents. That is really good to know thanks for sharing that info with me. I go back May 17th for a stress test. I have pain off and on. Mostly from strenuous activity. At least we are aware of the problem and are keeping an eye on it. The doctor talked about maybe having me go off the Plavix just during my period if problems persist. I hope not. I really don't feel comfortable about going off the medicine at all. I'll keep you posted. Thanks for your words of wisdom. Barb

dishonj
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 2/17/2005 7:27 PM (GMT -7)   

Dear Barb,  The fact that you have pain after strenuous exercise is a question I have been asking anyone I can find who has stents.  I have such pains.  They do not come during the exercise, but about 12 hours to 24 hours after.  They can last for several days.  These are not the same pain (angina) that I had before the surgery.  I was able, during surgery when the balloon was inflated, to reexperience the angina pain under a controlled condition. (Angina is a blockage of oxygen / blood flow to the heart--this occurred naturally with blockage and under surgery when the balloon blocks the blood flow when it is inflated.)  I took great care to remember exactly where and how I felt pain.  I have asked my doctor about the exercise induced pain and have received absolutely no advice or help.  They seem to alwasy quote the fact that arteries have no nerves and therefore the stents cannot cause pain.  I beleive that the stents cause pain by being beaten against the heart and / or the pericardium.  These things are about an inch long and must be fairly ridgid.  The heart beats about 6000 to 8000 times an hour against the stent during an hour of activity.  Frankly, I think this causes something like an irritation of the cardiac area.  Good news is, it seems to happen less after a period of time and a lot of low level aerobic exercise.  I had a lot of this pain immediately after surgery (could not lie on my left side without this pain, but okay on the right.)  One month after surgery, I really over did it in an aerobics class and had pains for about 5 days.  I began a treadmill program at about 3.6mph and maintained a heart rate under 130 for the duration of the workout.  I had some pains at the start, but after about 2 weeks they went away.  I over did it again a few weeks ago, tried to go too long before I was ready, and bang, back came the pains.  I am now up to 45 minutes and no pain with the hopes of going to 60 minutes this weekend.  I will present this data to my cardiologist next week and see what he says.

Do you have these pains during exercise, but not before?  Are they similar to mine, or are they like angina?  Thanks so much for providing this information.  You are really doing well. 

 

P.S.  I attend a support group for heart patients called Mended Hearts.  This is a nationwide organization and may have a group in your area.  They have been very helpful to me in overcoming some of the fears associated with this disease and pointing me toward groups and people who can help.  Hang in there, John


vinny1957
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2004
Total Posts : 96
   Posted 2/17/2005 7:51 PM (GMT -7)   
First of all welcome, we're glad your here. Your insight and willingness to share is helpful to everyone. Hope you continue to improve, keep us posted, ok? And thanks too for the information on Mended Hearts. I've been looking for such an organization here in Denver, Colo. but haven't found one yet. I'll look for them tomorrow. Thanks again, it's nice to have you!

dishonj
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 2/18/2005 8:14 PM (GMT -7)   

Dear Vinnie,

Just a little infor on finding Mended Hearts in Denver, see below.  Support groups aren't for everyone, but my mother-in-law, one of the first surviving heart valve patients put me onto this and often the speakers and attendees provide me with good information.

Mended Hearts Denver, Rocky Mountain Chapter #42
www.mendedhearts.org
1522 E. Mineral Pl.
Centennial CO 80122-2911
Phone: 303-797-1466
Contact: Wayne Klish, President
Alternate Contact: Vivian Vernon, Treasurer
Alternate Phone: 303-361-9786

Support group for anyone, including family and friends, who has had open-heart surgery or any type of heart problem. Meets 1st Thursdays, 7 pm, at Presbyterian-St. Lukes in Denver. Call for details. Mended Hearts is affiliated with the American Heart Association

For Barb T, if you are anywhere near Eau Claire or Marshfield, here is the Mended Hearts data for that
 
Mended Hearts
Mended Hearts is a nonprofit, educational volunteer service organization of people who have heart disease or have undergone cardiac surgery. The group meets the third Thursday of each month from 7 to 9 p.m. in Dining Room 1 at Luther Hospital. Family and friends are welcome.

For more information, call 715-838-3269.

Marshfield Mended Hearts Chapter 246
Mailing Address:  Marshfield Clinic, 1000 North Oak Avenue, Marshfield, WI 54449
Contact: Nancy Moede, RN
Phone: (H) 715-676-3669 (W) 715-387-9002

Hope this helps all,

John  D

 

 


vinny1957
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2004
Total Posts : 96
   Posted 2/19/2005 6:46 PM (GMT -7)   

Thanks so much and I'll pass this on to others.

Vinny

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