Cardiac Stents

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ConnieS
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 8/15/2006 3:22 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm glad to hear you've decided to proceed with the cardiac cath...it truly is the best way to know for sure what's going on.
 
The last I knew, my cardiologist at Mayo Clinic swears by the Cypher drug-eluting stent, from his personal experience and studies he's familiar with.  I didn't have the chance to research the options until after I had one, as I had a 99% blockage.  I've had mine almost 2 years, and have had no problems.  A repeat cardiac cath was done almost 14 mos after placement, and the artery was as clean and clear as the day he placed it.
 
I do know there is good data to support that the drug eluting stents reduce the restenosis (blockage) rate from almost 30% to less than 10%, probably less than 5%.  There is some data  (though perhaps not very good data) to suggest there is a higher thrombosis rate, especially in the first 30 days, with the drug coated rather than bare metal stents, but if you take your Plavix and aspirin this shouldn't be much of a problem. 
 
If your cardiologist prefers to use bare metal stents, I'd want to know why, as my belief is that the drug eluting kind are the "standard of care" these days.
 
As for how long they last, they are made of stainless steel, if my memory serves me correctly, so theoretically they should last forever....though that is a question I quite frankly haven't had the nerve to ask my cardiologist (and haven't happened upon any research that actually discusses it).  I do know he told me if it ever closed up, he should be able to just thread another one through there and "layer" them in.
 
Hope this helps.  Good luck, and hang in there!!!  With luck, you will have no blockage, or only a minor one that can be treated with medication, diet, and exercise.

ConnieS
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 8/15/2006 3:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Oops...not sure how that happened....the above was supposed to be a reply to MusicMan.

Ellie2
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 8/16/2006 5:47 PM (GMT -7)   
There was much ado about drug eluding stents at the National Cardiologist convention in Atlanta this past Spring.  So much so that it made all the papers, magazines and TV.  Seems many of the researchers are saying that with these drug coated stents, patients should be on Plavix for life.  I was not happy to hear that.  The article went on to say."what do we do with patients that need a surgical procedure that warrants getting off Plavix for days..pre and post surgery"?  I talked with one cardiologist on line about this article and he stated that all physicans need to tell the patient about the possiblilty of having to be on Plavix possibly, for life, if they chose a drug eluding stent.  Doctors also need to inform the patient about bare metal stents/pros and cons as both types are not without problems.  Many patients are 65 and over who need stenting and the Part D medicare drug plan charges $59.00 a month as a co-pay for Plavix, per month.  Some medicare patients do not have $59.00 a month for long term Plavix.  Bare metal stents does not require long term use of Plavix, the article stated.  My sister was on Plavix for 2 years with her 2 bare metal stents.  She has been off Plavix now for almost 3 years and has had no problems with her stents.  Plavix is causing havoc with my stomach but with drug eluding stents (5 of them) I am d_ _ _ if I do and d_ _ _ if I don't.  There is a new type of stent on the horizon.  When it will be on the market is anyone's guess at this time.
 
Wishing everyone well.

ConnieS
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 8/16/2006 6:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, Ellie,

What kind of stomach symptoms are you having? I'm having some too, and not sure what it's all about...hadn't thought too much about it possibly being the Plavix, which I was told supposedly doesn't cause the GI problems that aspirin does.

Ellie2
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 8/16/2006 7:04 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Connie...

I have Gerd/Reflux/Indigestion and pains in the upper abdomen and gas and bloating...Ther list goeson.  I am miserable. PLUS, my Ferritin level is low meaning there "dcould" be some bleeding if the tummy somewhere.  Even if it is minute...itwill cause the Ferritin to be low.  Ferritin lefvels can be low in women with heavy periods but it goe4s back up...I am post menopausal so I do not fall  into that category.  I have had an EGD and I swallowed the camera pill looking for bleediong.  None to be found.  But, I am talking to my Cardiologist and my Gastro doctor as we need to get something done about this.   I am taking Nexium and drinking Maalox and I am sick of it.   I feel it is the Plavix.  I am taking very low dose baby aspirin and never had a problem taking this alone before..But, perhaps with both  Plavix and Baby aspirin it is doing a number on me.  Three weeks ago I was so miserable I went to the ER to make sure it was not my heart.  I passed both sets of heart Enzymes so heart was ruled out.  I checked myself out of the hospital as I knew I just had gone thru a battery of tests and I did not want them repeated.  Sometimes, I wish I did not have a drug coated stent.  I was told 2 years for Plavix back 2 years ago but since the latest finding....my Cardio says "No, you cannot get off Plavix". But, if I am bleeding somewhere...they will have to go back to the drawing board and perhap put me on Coumadin instead...Just my thoughts....


ConnieS
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 8/16/2006 8:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Interesting....my problems are very similar, especially the gas and upper abdomen pain (which often seems like chest pain). I was recently found to have gallstones (which I suspect were caused by the Lipitor etc.), but am not having the classic gallstone symptoms so most of the doctors I've seen don't think they are the problem. I had chest pains walking up the steps to my mom's apartment last Tuesday, and they were similar enough to my old angina pains I decided not to ignore them, especially when I had a weird lightheaded episode later that evening....so I'm going through another MIBI nuclear stress test tomorrow and Friday. I hate those things, as 2 out of the 3 times I've had them I ended up in the hospital having an angiogram.... (I think the chest pain was actually gas pain, but don't know for sure).

My internist put me on Prilosec late last week, and last night I had the weird "flushing" reaction to Niaspan....which I only had once before, and that was when I had just started it last November. I can't figure out why I'd have the reaction after so many months on it...if it keeps happening I'm going to blame the Prilosec.

I HATE all these meds, but I guess some of them are required to keep me alive, although sometimes I think the treatment is worse than the disease....

DREAMGIRL
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 600
   Posted 8/17/2006 9:29 AM (GMT -7)   
:-)  Hi ladies we all sound like a bunch of clones.  i personally went off the plavix after 9 months and i have the drug eluding stents too. it has been 20 months and i am not reblocking. i just take the 81 aspirin with food daily.  i do not know if i beleive the info on plavix, sometimes i feel like they have us by the b----s, we are too scared to question the docs, and lots of times the figures are very low, like 1 or 2% of people show an overall better result on the plavix for life. for now i am sticking with aspirin.  i also take prilosec,  hummm, it doeshelp. i have the exact same symptoms you two do, never had them before the stents, maybe there is a connection there? i wrote another new post about hair loss and b12 read it. up until now i thought the prilosec was causing my hair loss, it might be but it could be the fish oil.
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