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Living With Angina Pain. Stents and Angioplasty and Life After Stents

Updated on August 9, 2015

Agina - The Stent Strikes Back

There is a strong chance that, as you are reading this article on angina and stents, you either have a problem or you know someone who has a problem. Maybe you have had an angiogram, or perhaps you are due to have an angiogram. It may be that you have been told, or that you suspect, that you have a blocked artery.

I genuinely know how you feel. So, read my story, which began 10 years ago, in 2005.

49 years old. Heavy smoker. heavy drinker. A life full of stress

Any of this ring any bells with you?

This is one of those "Once upon a time" stories that ends with "lived happily ever after"

July 2005. My wife and I took our caravan down to Cornwall as we regularly did. We were camped at a lovely little caravan park and we had enjoyed a lovely break.

When it came time to pack up we followed our usual routine of packing and tidying away and loading stuff into the caravan, which included taking down and packing away the awning.

That's when it first started. The first twinge. Not a full-blown chest pain. Just a twinge.

It felt like I had maybe pulled a muscle so I just carried on but with a little extra care.

Over the next few weeks I started to notice these 'twinges' more and more until they were becoming frequent. When I mowed the lawn, put the bins out walked more than a short distance . . . . . . . .

I finally started to worry, so I went to see my doctor. He said it was probably a digestive problem so he started to treat me for acid reflux. Then, when the tablets diidn't work, he gave me different tablets and then stronger ones.

Still the twinges were there, only now they had developed into real pains and they were coming more and more regularly. Several times each day. I kept going back to the doctor because now I was becoming more and more sure what the pains really were and in my mind, it wasn't due to acid reflux.

They sent me for ECG and other tests, including treadmill tests. Nothing. No irregularities. And so the doctor was adamant that it was acid reflux.

An appointment was made for me to see a digestive consultant and in the meantime I was off work and struggling to function more and more with each week that passed. Then, in the November, nearly 5 months after my first 'twinges' I finally saw the digestive specialist.

The initial idea was for me to have an endoscopy.

The consultant spent about 15 minutes talking to me, asking me questions and then he finally said "I'm not a heart specialist but I don't think I need to be. It seems clear to me that your problem is not digestive but heart related and if its ok with you, I am going to refer you to a colleague of mine who IS a heart specialist"

"If there are 2 possible problems and one of them can kill you then I think we should look at the one that could kill you first before I start shoving cameras down your throat!"

And so, I saw the heart specialist who after a few questions asked me if I would mind having an angiogram. I said I had no objections.

He explained that it involved injecting a dye into the heart and then monitoring the passage of the dye through the blood vessels and arteries to see if there was a blockage or any damage.

I didn't really fully understand it all really but I agreed and so, about 3 weeks later I arrived at hospital to find that they were going to make an incision in the artery in my thigh and thread a sort of wire or tube up my artery until it was close to my heart and then, inject the dye.

They gave me some 'happy juice' which was like this beautiful warm sensation that swept through my entire body and within seconds, I didn't have an absolute care in the world. The whole procedure was exceptionally simple and, thanks to the happy juice and, of course the local anaethstetic, I didn't feel a thing. Yes, local anaethstetic! It turned out to be a fascinating experience.

I was watching the overhead monitor which they had turned so I could see it and there, on the screen, they showed me the blockage in my artery.

4 weeks after that I was admitted for the angioplasty procedure which was exactly the same as the angiogram except this time, the wire had a 'balloon' on the end and once it reached the blockage, they inflated it and it busted the blockage away and then, they deflated the balloon and inserted a chemical coated stent into the area where the blockage had been.

The stent is like a tiny wire cage which is coated in chemicals and it holds the artery open. The chemicals prevent any fatty tissue or other junk sticking to the stent and growing over it, thus keeping the artery open and clear,

I was in hospital overnight and was discharged the following lunchtime. I left hospital with statins, beta blockers and asprins. I will take these medicines for the rest of my life.

However, from that day to this I have never experienced pains again.

Since that time I have played 5-a-side football and cricket, I can swim 20 lengths, body board, go cliff walking and mountain walking and do all the things that I did before.

I have my life back.

My blood pressure is generally between 120 and 130 over 80(ish) and my cholesterol is 3.5. My doctor says I am in perfect health.

The point is . . . . before I had the angiogram I was petrified. Really, really scared.

I was afraid that something would go wrong and I would die.

I went to see the doctor and begged him to give me medication of some kind that would 'do the trick'. Anything, but NOT the angiogram or the angioplasty procedure. I wanted to live, not die.

He matter of factly told me that he could do that but my condition would remain as it is and although the trinitrate spray I was using would continue to help, I would never get better and, in time, the condition would finally worsen and I would have no choice but to have the procedure or die.

I cannot describe the fear when I went to the hospital.

And afterwards I cannot describe the relief once it was all over and it had all been easy. In fact, it was far more preferable to and pleasant than the dentist!

I went on a hospital exercise programme for 6 weeks and I was able to push myself to the limit and my heart rate never excceded 108 and my blood pressure was always normal and that gave me the confidence to live my life normally.

So, if anyone reads this and is in a similar situation. Fear not. It is really worth it.

If you do read this and you are in my situation and you are afraid or anxious or you have questions, leave me a message and I will help you. Talk you through it. Give you any information that you want.

Just go for it though. It is a life altering procedure and considerably preferable to death!

It is now 10 years since I had the stent fitted and, in a physical sense, my health has never been better.

I swim regularly and work out in the gym. My best swimming effort in one session is 70 lengths. I play cricket and football and I have surfing lessons booked for when I go to Cornwall next week. Quite often I play tennis with either or both of my twentysomething sons. We usually play 1 set and sometimes 2. I usually lose but, who cares? I give them a good game, which is more than most 59 year olds can say, stented or not!

And the greatest benefit of all is that I am alive and well and able to enjoy my new, baby granddaughter, Holly. Without the stenting procedure I never would have experienced the joy of knowing her and watching all the new things she does every week.

Having angina is a terrible, scary thing but having a stent fitted can be, quite literally, a life saver and not just from the cardiac perspective.

Not only has my stent made me physically well again, it has given me back my life, in the 'living' sense too.

I would love to hear and share your stories of overcoming cardiac problems by having stents fitted, so if you would like to contribute to this hub, please leave your comments and if you have found the article to be useful or helpful, please vote it up!

Update: March 16th, 2013

Since starting this hub a few years ago, I have received so many comments from people. Some people have written because they are worried or because they have had the procedure and are unsure about the after effects, medication problems or resuming their quality of life, so I thought I would do a quick update on my own situation.

I had yet another check up yesterday - I have one every 6 months and blood tests with BP check every 12 months and my doctor said my health is perfect in every respect.

My average BP over a 2 week period was 128/85 with an average pulse rate of 73. My cholesterol is 3.7, which is exceptional and my liver and kidney functions are all, according to him, at absolutely perfect levels.

I take Adizem, Lisinopril and Atorvastatin daily, plus asprin and suffer no side effects that I am aware of, except perhaps slight muscle tiredness.

So, stenting works and the medication works too. Well, in my case at least!

I say all of this not to boast but to reassure anyone reading that, life after stenting can be great and the medication involved certainly does help.

For me, stenting and the medication afterwards has been a way of giving me a new lease of life and I hope anyone reading this who is, maybe, in a situation where they have to consider stenting, will be reassured that stenting CAN offer a long term solution to a dreadful situation.

Further Update November 2014

Medical Insurance. I took out medical insurance a few years ago but, unfortunately, after my stenting so I had an exclusion clause in my policy, which was with Pru Health. However, I recently changed to BUPA and was pleasantly surprised that they said I needed no such clause, as it was more than 2 years (it is now 10 years) since I was stented.

I had a couple of lengthy chats with them about the fact that, although I had never suffered again since I was stented, I took medication for blood pressure, statins and another for heart rate and I was still monitored each year by my doctor, with blood tests and BP tests.

They said "Have you had any further episodes of angina?" No

"Is your doctor or a hospital currently treating you for angina" No, but what about my medication?

They said "Your medication is for blood pressure and cholesterol, certainly, but not SPECIFICALLY for angina. Lots of people take medication for blood pressure and cholesterol. If you have not had or been treated for angina in the past 2 years we don't want to know. There will be no clause in your policy and if you ever suffered a problem in the future, we would cover you"

So . . . . . . looks like, for insurance purposes, I am no longer classed as suffering from angina! I have to say, I like BUPA very much!

Thanks also to all the people who are STILL reading this hub and sending messages and emails. It really makes my day when someone gets in touch.

Bless you all.

Graham

December 30th 2014

And finally, as another year draws to a close, I hope that there are many people whose story appears in this hub who have good cause to look forward to the new year with a feeling of hope and optimism that they didn't have previously.

To all of you who have, so far, contributed to this collection of wonderful, personal stories and accounts, may I just take the time to say 'Thank You' and to those who have not yet discovered our wonderful, exclusive and supportive hub, but who are going to, at some time in the future, may I say 'Welcome'

But to all, I really want to say 'Happy New Year' and, if you are interested, or know someone who would benefit from it, I have just completed a new hub about my journey through the possibility of having prostate cancer, following a raised PSA test, last October. Just follow the link to My Prostate Cancer Diary

Graham


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    • HT Jadhav profile image

      HT Jadhav 13 months ago

      vwriter, how old you are? I had similar problem after my stenting two year before. It took me around one year to come out of this problems. I think it is case with several people like you and me so need to worry. I will write more about my case however please let me know your age.

    • vwriter profile image

      vwriter 13 months ago from US

      I'm currently dealing with chest pain and shortness of breath. I'm taking a cholesterol med and a beta blocker. I've been through a series of tests that came out okay. But I still have the chest pain (I call it a stinging pain that happens when I something) and shortness of breath and a new occurrence in the last 6 months is my pulse rate is high, averaging 93 to 104. Anyway, after the cardiologist seen all the test, she wants me to have an angioplasty procedure that goes through the wrist. Well, I also had an appointment with the pulmonologist and he said I have a mild case of asthma. So, I asked the cardiologist if that could be causing my problems. She said it could, though she said. I will give you one month and if the pain is still there we will perform an angioplasty. Then she told me, if the pain gets worse call immediately. Okay, I will admit, that scared me. I'm questioning myself if I made the right decision. Anyway, my question, did you find after the procedure your blood pressure numbers go down, specifically your pulse rate.

    • profile image

      Mike 16 months ago

      Had my first heart attack when I was 48 ,in 2001.

      Was rushed to the hospital and they implanted 3 stents...over the years I have gotten many more...I think I'm up to 9 now.

      In my family everyone succumbs to heart disease...usually at a young age and I'm the first from a long line to actually survive.

      When I asked my doctor why we don't just bypass and get it over with, he responded saying he wouldn't know what to bypass first....but with great medical care, a good diet and exercise I am enjoying my retirement now.I worked until I was 60 and now I'm taking it easy.

      Everyone's case is different but from what I have seen I think everyone should participate in the cardiac rehab program after their heart issues if at all possible.I went through the program 3 times before I was well enough to return to work, and I haven't looked back since.

      Good luck to all and while the whole procedure seems a bit daunting, you need to know its going to make a big difference in your life!

    • profile image

      Steve 16 months ago

      I am 54 and had a stent placed in my LAD nearly 3 months ago. Although I am still scared, I am getting better mentally, but I see this is a process. I was running 40 minutes a day up to the day I had the stent, which makes me nervous that I did not know I had a 95% blockage. Maybe I put off some twinges because I exercised a lot and just thought I had a muscle pull? Anyway, I still get some twinges. I have been scared to run, but I think I have to start, so I know if it gets worse during exercise. For me, it helps speaking or reading about others with similar conditions.

    • maharg1956 profile image
      Author

      maharg1956 17 months ago from UK

      From my own experience of anaesthetic and operations, I talked to the surgical team and the anaesthetist and they made the decision about whether my cough was a problem - which, in my case, it wasn't. So I would say talk to them and let them decide.

    • profile image

      irma 17 months ago

      Due for an angiogram tomorow after suffering chest pains x pains on my left jaw x arm woke up today with tickly cough x flu like symptoms should I carry on with procedure ? As pains are getting worse x more frequent I have used GTN spray on variuos occasions?

    • profile image

      Thomas 24 months ago

      Had a sent put in four years ago I was so frightened before the procedure.I found this site and you Graham having had the same thing and recovered so well got me through it.I am 71 years old now we still go all over Europe in our motorhome,and when I am home cycle 20 k every morning.As you say Graham I very seldom even realise I have a stent. To anyone who is going to have the procedure please listen to Graham his advice was invaluable .Thomas

    • profile image

      helenco 24 months ago

      Thanks for the great forum. I am 57, had bad jaw pain one night - which I fortunately had heard was probably a sign of a heart problem. It did disappear but came back the next morning which was the reason I went off to the Emergency Room. I live in Dubai and have private medical cover, so I was very fortunate that from the emergency room to having the stents fitted it was a total of 5 days! No waiting for appointments thankfully. The procedure was done through the wrist (radial artery) and was painless thanks to local anaesthetic. I was able to watch all the "action" on the monitor. I spent one night in the hospital and returned to work 4 days later. I now take crestor, Plavix, concor-co and aspirin. I swim every day and feel really well. I do get the odd "fluttering" feeling in my throat now and again, but I have been told it is nothing to be concerned about. Oh, I have also lost 15kgs in the last 5 months and stopped smoking.

    • profile image

      gavin mccaffery 2 years ago

      i had stents put in 3 years ago . dont believe the scare stories im fitter than ever

    • profile image

      Ann 2 years ago

      My husband is at this moment is in hospital having a angiogram, he has been having chest pain for over a year and didn't tell me. We are caravan,ers and having read your experience gives me hope for more years of caravanning

    • profile image

      preethi 2 years ago

      HI, good to know more about the procedure and medication. My father had a stent on august 2013. he is doing quite well except the regular complaints of tiredness. He couldnt even raise his voice so loudly. sometimes we fear he is holding someother problem, besides the regular checkups and the doctor says he is ok, but he needs to take rest, we are always worried. is there something else that we should care about. he drive his bike atleast 20km a day. do u people suggest something for this? please. thanks for your time.

    • profile image

      aravind 2 years ago

      Hi,graham thanks for starting this hub for us , I am 31 yrs old my name is aravind from India I had stent 4 days before, I couldn't expect this is going to happen to me , just like that when I play foodball friday morning in ground I started feel pain in chest then I stoped went home then bro took me to hospital luckly I was in home that day most of the time I was away from the home. The fear I got its undescribed and I am worrying that I got engaged with girl the marriage is going to happen by next month.

    • profile image

      john 2 years ago

      Hi Graham.

      Well I went to A&E with my chest pains...3 times. first I collapsed after using gt spray whilst in the hairdressers with my girlfriend..paramedic came and ambulance took me in..my bp had dropped very low. they stabilised me and sent me home. two days later taken in again in ambulance with chest pain into my neck..admitted to chest pain unit at hospital...passed out in reception. kept in overnight. had ecg, bloods, xray.. told that it was not angina and my heart was fine. said I had a viral infection of the chest lining..prescribed two paracetemol four times daily for 4 days and discharged. two days later had bad episode with palpitations and fluttering and irregular heartbeat..passed out at home. went to my GP. he did tests and found nothing. was sending me home when I passed out again. he called ambulance and I went to A&E again feeling very poorly indeed. after ecg and blood tests and being on a monitor for two hours I was told everything was clear but I had an ectopic heartbeat...nothing serious. doctor said he believes my meds are causing me probs..(I have 5 different BP tabs) so I need to get them reviewed and reduced. I just felt like I was banging my head against a wall...feeling unwell all the time and being told nothing was wrong but take another pill just to be sure. I have an apt for an MRI stress scan at Papworth hospital in two weeks so hopefully that may give some answers too. John

    • profile image

      Paul 2 years ago

      Hi Graham,

      Thank you for the words of encouragement, and all the other members on your Hub page. It's been 5 days now and except for the lack of sleep and worry, I've been feeling pretty good, finally slept through the night last night for the first time, 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep, I'm thankful for that. I go see my cardiologist tomorrow and I have a list of questions I hope to get answered, like I have read some people do not metabolize plavix as well as others and I read there is a test they can do to determine if you do or not. Also as I work in the medical field we have an agreement with a health club that is owned by the Hospital and the have a cardiac rehab department that will put you on an exercise program that is monitored by cardiac rehab nurses, I think that might be helpful. I will definitely plan on being an active member on this site and am happy to be a member with all the other good people here. To everyone here, I wish you all good health and happiness.

      - Paul C.

    • maharg1956 profile image
      Author

      maharg1956 2 years ago from UK

      Hello Paul.

      Glad the site has been of use. It has been a pleasure to do it and to read so many wonderful success stories. One of which will be yours, I am sure.

      After a while you will start to forget the stent and you will just start to 'live' again.

      Just try to do a little more each day and then, when you see that you are not having any bad reactions and the stent hasn't exploded out of your chest, you will start to trust it more and more and, in turn, you will push yourself (sensibly) to do more and more.

      Good luck. Keep in touch

      Best wishes

      Graham

    • profile image

      Paul 2 years ago

      Hi Graham,

      I'm very happy I found your site. I just ended up in the ER last Friday night with terrible pains in my back and chest, cardiologist on call called in the Angio on call team and did an emergency Cath, found an 70% blockage in my LDA. They put in a Stent and keep me in the hospital for a day. The pain is gone but I can't get over this over whellming fear that I have a metal tube in a major artery that can clog or come loose and kill me instantly. I know the odds are small but the thought keeps me awake at night, it's been 4 days and I probably haven't gotten more than 4 hours sleep a night. I know I have to change my life style but right now I'm actually more worried than before I knew I had a blockage. Hopefully it just takes time to get use to the idea that this thing in my artey is going to help me not kill me. Trying my best not to smoke but the nicotine withdraw is just adding to my stress level. 57 year old male, USA, long time smoker, with very normal cholesterol levels, no high blood pressure, no other sickness. So I assume my heart trouble was completely due to smoking. Thanks for the effort you put into this site, I'm sure it's a great help to many people, thanks again.

      -Paul

    • maharg1956 profile image
      Author

      maharg1956 2 years ago from UK

      Dear John

      If you haven't already gone to A&E by the time you read this, then go now. If you think you need an angiogram and you are having difficulties then don't wait. Go.

    • profile image

      John 2 years ago

      I think I need another angioplasty....

    • profile image

      John 2 years ago

      Thank you Graham.

      Your comments and advice are very helpful and reassuring.

      It's this damned tinnitus that is driving me mad more than anything... a complete brain fog too. and all brought on by those Beta Blockers.

      John

    • maharg1956 profile image
      Author

      maharg1956 2 years ago from UK

      Good morning, John

      Whichever way you look at it you need to see a doctor. Not all of them are the same. Try seeing one you haven't seen before or go back to A&E if the pains don't stop. Believe me, I do understand, it was several months in my case before someone said I had angina and during those months my life came to a standstill. It was a nightmare. But you just have to persevere. Keep going until you find the right answer. Keep trying different avenues. Different doctors.

      You must try to overcome the mental weariness. Focus on the fact there is a solution and you just have to keep going until you find it.

      Best of luck and do not give up!

      Best wishes

      Graham

    • profile image

      John 2 years ago

      I am so desperately weary of it all....the last couple of months have been awful for me and the docs just don't seem to be helping...just pouring more tablets down my throat that make me feel worse...my head feels like it will explode.

    • profile image

      John 2 years ago

      Hello Graham.

      I was told to stop the Beta Blockers by my doctor but I decided to stop taking the statins on my own. I was having lots of cramps and joint pain...I didn't inform the doctor of this.

      John

    • maharg1956 profile image
      Author

      maharg1956 2 years ago from UK

      Hello John.

      Did you consult with your doctor before stopping the Beta Blockers and the Statins and ask him for alternatives, due to you reacting badly to them?

      Graham

    • profile image

      John 2 years ago

      I meant to add that I do not take the statins either.

    • profile image

      john 2 years ago

      Thank you Graham.

      I will investigate the private consultation though unfortunately my funds are limited.

      The stents I have are very new apparently. The Beta Blockers gave me Tinnitus as I said before and that has not eased even though I am no longer taking them.. that is giving me some distress also. constant buzzing and ringing and fuzziness in my head. plus disturbed vision.

      I am considering other natural Beta Blocking sources such as herbal tablets and drinks and also yoga to help me relax.

      Best wishes to you also for Christmas and the New Year

      John

    • maharg1956 profile image
      Author

      maharg1956 2 years ago from UK

      Hello John

      I am so sorry that you are having problems. I obviously have no idea why you are having angina again but I would definitely see someone else for a second opinion.

      I can only say from my own experience and that of so many others who have written of their experiences here that stenting usually lasts longer than a few months. 9 years in my case. I have to say that I have no knowledge of dissolvable stents. I assume they are something new.

      You can get a private consultation with a consultant of your choice for only £200 or so. Just look at your local NHS site or Google cardiac consultants for your specific region or a particular hospital and you will get a list of them all. Then you can choose one you think might be best for your own situation from their personal and professional details. Alternatively, do the same thing but for Spire or BUPA.

      You don't have to be treated privately. Just have the consultation privately. It is usually just a matter of days.

      If you are experiencing a problem then I firmly believe you need to take control of it. Don't just be fobbed off by one doctor or consultant. Keep asking questions of different people until someone does something. I have heard of many people who have developed a second and third blockage after having a first one stented, but in a different place.

      So, my advice is to seek a private referral with a different consultant but at the same time, try to relax. You and I both know that stress and anxiety are major factors in angina pain.

      Good luck. Very best wishes for Christmas and the New Year. Do keep in touch

      Graham

    • profile image

      john 2 years ago

      Hi. i am 62 yrs old, non smoker since 1987..moderate drinker, physical worker. I had been suffering chest pains for some months and after 3 visits to A&E and being told it was just anxiety I was finally admitted for an angiogram. during this they found an artery to be clogged. I was diagnosed with unstable angina and I was given two stents at the same time. these are new dissolvable stents. after feeling weak for several days I improved rapidly...no tightness, no pain and I was able to lead a fit active life again. that was in march 2014. in September 2014 I started feeling unwell again..getting breathless and having chest pain. my doc gave me Monomax...this eased things a little..i saw a cardiac doc in November and he said that my arteries would not have clogged so quickly but couldn't explain why I was as bad as I was before the angioplasty..so he gave me Beta blockers. after taking these for three weeks I developed tinnitus and they made me very unwell. my doc told me to stop them and doubled my Monomax. now three days later I am having constant angina tightness and have to use my spray often.. I am feeling desperate. I thought the stents would make me a new man for more than 6 months.

    • profile image

      Naresh 2 years ago

      Hi Ikhwan ,

      Seems u r case different from mine. I have been smoking for past 25 years , in recent time its around 15 sticks per day , I have undergone angioplasty with 2 stents placed. I had stopped smoking for 15 days from angioplasty , but now i have started again. I just wanted to know , what are the side effects of smoking with the medicated stents in , will there be any chemical reaction between them.

      I feel pulling pain in my left arm and some time jaw pain ,after angioplasty ,I was not smoking then. My BP is around 140/90 , I have lemon juice in the morning and one bulb of raw garlic in dinner.

      can any one pl suggest me .

      Thank you

      Naresh

    • profile image

      Ikhwan 2 years ago

      Mr Naresh,

      Re your question regarding smoking, I wish to tell all that I never smoked. I did not have high blood pressure or diabetes, but I had a slightly raised Cholesterol level before my first stenting. Since the period of the first stent placement, I ate moderately including cholesterol food, but I never missed any dosage of anti cholesteral medicine and Cardiprin.

    • profile image

      Ikhwan 2 years ago

      Hello Graham and everybody there,

      Since my last posting, I had my angiogram on 3 Dec 2014, ie just over a week ago. The purpose of the angiogram was to examine for certain what caused certain irregularities in my stress test results, and also to check whether there was a build up of blockage at my existing stent areas.

      It was the third angiogram I had since six years ago in 2008. It was a smooth operation lasting for less than an hour. I had early agreed with the surgeon to place new stent(s) simultaneously in case of serious blockage which needed very urgent attention. The catheter was inserted through my right wrist, just like the two previous procedures.

      Alhamdulillah (praise be to God), all my three existing drug eluting stents still stood very well without any sign of deposition around it. The two stents placed in 2008 were Promus DES and the one placed in 2010 was Taxus Element DES (I was told no longer in production).

      The surgeon wasn't sure for certain what caused some irregularities in my stress chart, since the three stents stood very well.

      He, however, pointed out to me that I actually have a blockage in D 1 branch of my major left artery LAD. Unfortunately, the entrance to D1 ia currently obstructed by a stent running along LAD passing by the D1 entrance. The surgeon informed me that to get to the blockage site, he had to punch trough the wall of the existing stent, which to him is rather difficult but could be done.

      I told the Surgeon to defer placement of a new stent since it was not so urgent, located only in a branch artery and that the blockage had been there since six years ago.

      I need more third opinions before I would risk doing angioplasty on the above new site.

      For Graham and anybody who knows or having similar experience, I appreciate your opinions.

    • profile image

      Naresh 2 years ago

      Hi ,

      Its great to have lots of info and personal experiences of each and every one , However I would like to know one issue , which none had mentioned, Do you guys smoke after stenting , if so how many cigis a day compared to earlier and also what are risks , Pl

      Thanx Naresh

    • maharg1956 profile image
      Author

      maharg1956 2 years ago from UK

      Hello Ray. So good of you to write.

      I can't tell you how glad I am to hear that everything has worked out well for you.

      Thank you also for your advice about diet and exercise. I hope that anyone reading this hub will take your words to heart.

      Wishing you all the best for Christmas, the new year and well beyond.

      Take care and thanks once again for writing

      Graham

    • profile image

      Ray Harrison 2 years ago

      Hi Graham

      Long long time no speak.

      You are a real help to all of the people on here who are worried about things.

      You helped me too and this is now knicking on for 2 years ago.

      I had a single stent following a blockage and all is well.

      Cholesterol is under 4 and I now only have to go to the doctor for blood tests once a year.

      My advice to anyone is to excersize regularly and eat less fatty foods.

      Eat plenty of fish and chicken, but remember, you can have those naughty treats in moderation. Life is for enjoying.

      Well done, keep up the good work as always.

      I wish you all health and happiness.

      Ray

    • profile image

      Ikhwan 2 years ago

      You are most welcome, Graham.

    • maharg1956 profile image
      Author

      maharg1956 2 years ago from UK

      Hello Ikhwan

      I think that anyone reading your account of the last 6 years would also pray that you will be ok.

      Thank you very much for writing

      Good luck

      Graham

    • profile image

      Ikhwan 2 years ago

      Hi Graham and all,

      I stumbled upon this excellent blog on angioplasty which gives a lot of real life information of your own and by persons who have undergone the procedure. Thanks a lot.

      My purpose of writing here is to share with you all my own experience with angioplasty procedure in 2008, when I was 60 years old, and my life six years since then.

      In early 2008, on regular medical check up including on treadmill, I was advised by the doctor that my heart condition was not very good. It was not exactly a surprise to me as I did have minor chest pain and some shortness of breath upon moderate physical exertion. I took his advise to do angiogram for more detailed examination sometime in mid 2008.

      The surprise was the extent of blockage on two major arteries, one was 70% blocked and the other was over 80%. I didn't expect these at all as I did not have severe chest pain previously. The fact that I was undergoing angiogram was only as a follow up to my routine annual check up. Moreover, my cholesterol level was normal, though it did rise close to the celeing level in the final blood test just prior to the angiogram.

      The angiogram was painless and quite comfortable. Probably, I was just one of the few that don't feel much pain around the heart. I was looking at the monitor throughout the procedure and was fully conscious. The surgeon advised me to proceed with the angioplasty rightaway to avoid risk of heart attack in the event of any delay.

      The angioplasty using two drug eluting stents was a success. I was put on Plavix(anti coagulant) for one year; and Cardiprin(blood thinner) and Crestor (anti cholesterol) which I have to take for the rest of my life.

      The chest pain did not cease entirely as I still feel slight pain in the heart area now and then. But I can live a normal life. I play golf two or three times a week and go for morning walk of 4 km once a week. I also work as active as before running my own business and doing regular voluntary and other business activities.

      Early 2010, I had another surprise. My treadmill test did not show a normal result. I agreed to undergo agiogram which revealed that I had another blockage on a major artery. The surgeon sounded panick and excited. He was shocked as he did not expect a 100% blockage and probably excited as I did not experience a heart attack in spite of the situation. He did not know why I had another blockage after one and a half year of the first procedure and why I did not experience a heart attack as a result of it. However, I virtually never missed any dosage of my medicine since 2008.

      I did not have any incident since the last angioplasty in early 2010. All test results were satisfactory until mid 2013 when when the doctor advised to do another angiogram just to clear any doubts. I havent done it yet, but yesterday I had stress echo test which indicated a certain irregularity in my heart chart. I agreed to do the angiogram test next month, ie December 2014 just to find out for sure if my heart condition is normal or not.

      Till then I pray to Allah that I will be ok and continue to live a healthy life many years to come.

      Ikhwan

      20 November 2014.

    • HT Jadhav profile image

      HT Jadhav 2 years ago

      Male 41, had chest pain, jaw pain on 7 Sept 14, admitted for angiography. Three blocks 100, 80, 80 %. Stented all on 7th and 20th Sept 14. Unhealthy food, stress and no physical movement made me to pay price at relatively early age.

      After 2 months I am not comfortable and I feel non-cardiac chest pain which is not persistent but come and go while at rest, walking, urinating etc. Doctor says not to worry since in his opinion "if person is walking and if it results in chest pain which doesn't allow to breath" then it is cardiac problem and cause of worry. I am watching my diet, walking 1 hour everyday and taking all medicines (aspirin, statin etc)

      Is there anyone who has been experiencing similar pain after stenting?

    • profile image

      SerryJW 2 years ago

      Maharg1956...You're terrific. Thanks so much for the advice. I am reading it at 9:30am Sunday Denver, USA. I am not putting it off because I am scared. I have get my Medicare done before just I go in, just in case something goes wrong...This could bankrupt me. RTD is my transit here and must be approved for door 2 door transit. It is almost winter here and cold brings on my angina attacks.

      I promise...I will keep you posted...THANK YOU!,

      Serry

      3 weeks is fine...I've decided to do it...

    • maharg1956 profile image
      Author

      maharg1956 2 years ago from UK

      Hello Serry

      Thank you for writing. Believe me, I do understand the fear you are going through. It is entirely understandable. As you will have read, from my own story and those of the other people who have contributed to this hub, we all feel desperately afraid before and angiogram BUT, it really is a very straightforward and pain free procedure.

      If someone told me, tomorrow, that I needed another angiogram I would not hesitate for one second to say "Ok. How soon can you do it?"

      The angiogram is the first step towards dealing with your angina. Once you have had an angiogram, your consultant will know the exact picture and how best to treat you and then, of course, once your treatment begins (whatever that may consist of) you are on the road to feeling a lot better.

      Serry, just do it. Get on with it. If the angiogram is the first step towards getting better, why delay 3 weeks? If you had the angiogram next week then in 3 weeks time you would be 3 weeks closer to feeling better!

      BY putting it off you are simply delaying the day when you have to face up to the angiogram. Maybe in 3 weeks time you will find a reason to delay it once more?

      Just re-read all the success stories on here. Read about all the people who were afraid but who now have their lives back again. Let their stories inspire you and then, swallow that fear, face up to it and then . . . .go for it!

      My email is maharg79@hotmail.com if you want to email privately instead of in a public forum.

      Now, be brave and try to look at the angiogram as a doorway to a solution instead of as a barrier.

      Very best wishes to you. Do stay in touch

      Graham

    • profile image

      SerryJW 2 years ago

      I am your new friend from across the pond, in the US...I found you just surfing. I am 64 (female), have shortness of breathe for 2 years, chest constriction AND ANGINA. I am on diabetes, blood pressure,cholesterol lowing drugs,prevent heart attack or stroke and reduce angina attacks...I am schedule for an angiogram in 3 weeks, my choice. The cardiologist wanted to do it this week. I am scared to death....I almost think the angina pain is better.This blog has helped...but I am still very scared

      Serry

    • maharg1956 profile image
      Author

      maharg1956 3 years ago from UK

      Steve.

      Hello and what an absolutely incredible and gripping account. by far the most amazing yet, I think.

      I suppose the first thing to say is what a lucky devil you are. If a person has to have a heart attack, then what a way to have one!! Damn site better than after mowing the lawn!

      I am so pleased that you are recovering now and I am sure that just reading your account will be completely uplifting for anyone who does read it.

      I do hope you are back to full working order soon, I just hope your experience doesn't ruin your appetite for your love life!

      Take care and best wishes to you and thank you so much for writing.

      Graham

    • profile image

      steve 3 years ago

      Your spot on with everything that happens,in my case i had a heart attack,i'm now not ashamed to say mine was through sex, me and the wife had just finished making love,i sat on the edge of the bed ,sweat was pouring from me and my chest was like an elephant was sat on me,there was pain in both sides of my jaw,and in my shoulders,i was also belching,the mrs said you ok i said ,yes just trying get my breath,she said steve you have turned white,should i get an ambulance i said no no,i didnt want to waste there time over nothing,i said leave me il be ok,,holding the wall i made it down stairs,and sat on the couch,still gasping,my chest tight,again the mrs said please let me get an ambulance i said no,after about ten minutes i looked at the mrs and said i think you best get one,,she phoned 999 and they kept her on the phone,but told her to open the front door and come back to the phone,luckily for me there was a paramedic parked about two minutes away in a layby,i remember him walking in asking what had happened i told him we had just finished making love i was so embarrased,he didnt bat an eyelid,after putting pads on my and an oxygine mask on he gave me an asprin,,then told me to relax,he walked over to the mrs and whispered im calling an ambulance he thought i couldnt hear him but i could,the wife whispered is he ok,and he said no hes having an heart attack,now that scared me more because i heard them,he said go and wait outside love and flag them down,,now this is where i stopped breathing i just remember it was so peacfull i placed my head back and that was all i remember,the next thing i came to on the floor and looked up at the roof and thought mmm im sure i was on the couch,and there was three people looking down at me,the paramedic and the two ambulance people,one was tapping my hand saying steven open your ,,steven ,steven,i later found out that my heart had stopped for a few minutes and they worked on me giving me electric shock treatment,the next thing im in a chair strapped in and placed in the ambulace,they told me what had happened and they was going straight to broadgreen hospital instead of my local one because it is the best for confirmed heart attack,,after being rushed on a strecher with medical team running along at side of the trolley,i was rushed in to theatre and everything you said about the dye and watching it on the monitor is spot on the only thing different was my stent went through my arm and not my groin,,the nurse at the side was fantastic she was stroking my arm and explaining every step of the way what was happening,i could see the blockage on the screen,she said as soon as the ballon in flates you will feel a rush of air in your lungs and boy was she right,fantastic i could breath again and the elephant was off my chest,after a week in intesive care i was allowed home,,i'm slowly watching my diet and have lost a stone,but getting there im fifty five years old,thank god for our fantastic paramedics and wonderful ambulance and nurses and doctors,because without them i wouldnt be here.

      Regards

      steve

    • profile image

      steve 3 years ago

      thank you Graham for talking some common sense to me. Sometimes, once has to hear from a bigger brother who's been there, done that, etc. I went to the dr today. And my blood pressure fell dramatically. Last week, when I went to the hospital, my blood level was 205/110. A week later, with eating fruits, walking 1 hr each day, and taking my medicine, my blood level today was at 122/80. How did I get so fat and obese. Never in a million year did I think I would be close to having a heart attack. That doctor saved my life. He even assured me that the stent was okay and that it will go along the artery walls and that with the way Im going, I might be able to get off my medicine in 3 weeks. He asked me if I wanted to sign up for cardia rehab, to whcih I said yes. This was a way up call Graham. I will always put my health first. Evem above making money. When one works at a stressful, the last thing on my mind is eating healthy fruits. Instead, I want to eat some burger and fries, kfc, . No more. It just damaged my body. I am grateful indeed. I will make this a great thing. I'm trying to do the plant base diet to make sure, nothig like this ever occurs again. I want to live to in my 90s - 100s. But to do so, I need to feed my body, good healthy foods as well as exercise.thank you for your words of encouragement. I'm just still shock by the whole thing. Yes this experience made me realize how fragile life is. We are here today and if we are not careful, could be gone that same day. thanks

    • maharg1956 profile image
      Author

      maharg1956 3 years ago from UK

      Hello Steve

      Thank you very much for writing. Believe me, I and loads of other people who have contributed to this blog, understand exactly how you feel.

      Firstly, you had a 99% blockage. You could have done the most amazing things with your diet but you still would have had that blockage.

      Before I was stented I begged my doctor to suggest a different way; more higher dose medication, I would totally change my lifestyle. Anything at all but I was totally petrified of being stented.

      He said "Fine. I will give you the maximum dose of medication and you can eat the healthiest diet imaginable but you will still have the blockage. You will slow down the problem but it will never go away on its own. Then, one day, it WILL kill you. So, you are going to die but this way, it will just happen more slowly"

      Then he said "Just stop being silly. I know you are afraid but go and have the stent fitted. It will save your life"

      And he was right. That was 8 years and 7 months ago.

      At first I worried about a blockage forming on the stent. But they are generally drug coated to prevent that. I worried it might work loose, move along my artery, into my heart and kill me! Goodness, once I was diagnosed with a blocked artery I worried that anything and everything would kill me!

      At first I ate the healthiest foods that I could find. I had printouts stuck to all the kitchen cupboards listing the good and bad fat content of every food. I was obsessed.

      Then, the best thing happened. My hospital offered me a cardiac rehabilitation programme.

      I went to the hospital gym twice weekly for a few weeks. We did exercises. They taught me how to take my blood pressure, how to take my heart rate and how to monitor it properly during exercise and they taught me how to calculate my target maximum blood pressure.

      Before long, I was exercising hard and regularly and under their guidance I learned that I was fit again.

      I once shared my fears with the cardiac rehabilitation team and they said "Seriously, Graham, you are much less likely to die of a heart attack than we are now you have had your stent fitted"

      It is approaching 9 years now. My stent hasn't slipped and caused me a heart attack. I push myself hard at the gym when I want to. I am about to start playing squash with my son who is 29 years younger than me. In short, I am doing ok and so will you be.

      You just have to give it time and educate yourself.

      Sure, eat sensibly and healthily but don't become OCD about it. You had a problem and they fixed it.

      Celebrate. Rejoice. Someone gave you your life back again.

      The key thing about living healthily is to prevent a similar event in the future.

      Talk to your cardiologist about exercise programmes. maybe your hospital does something or maybe there is a really good gym or fitness centre near you with someone trained to work with cardiac patients.

      6 Months after my stent was fitted I had a review with a cardiac nurse. I told her that I had gone from being obsessive about healthy living to just living normally again. I said "I know I should be careful and only eat and do certain things, but, I have now sort of forgotten about the stent and just . . . . live my life as I would have done otherwise"

      She said "I should tell you all the sensible, healthy things to do but, to be honest, your way is best. Put it to the back of your mind, relax, forget it ever happened and just live your life and enjoy it"

      So, I do!

      Your fear is normal and natural but soon, once a few weeks have gone by and then a few months, you will forget too and just live your life and most of all, like me, I hope you will be just grateful for that little stent, stop being fearful of it, thank it for giving you your life back and then, go on and simply enjoy that life.

      The stenting episode has taught you how fragile our lives are and how, when we least expect it, our life can just be taken form us. It reminds us of our mortality.

      So, go and enjoy, savour, every moment with your family and friends. You have cheated the grim reaper. Well done. Great decision to go and see the doctor when you did.

      Give yourself a pat on the back for being smart (otherwise you WOULD be dead now and not reading this) hug your family and friends and then reward them by just being there. Just being you, because, you can be absolutely certain, they were even more scared than you while it has all been happening. They, like you, are still scared now. Show them and show yourself that there is no need for fear. Only relief and gratitude for being alive.

      Good luck to you. Live long and prosper!

      Graham

    • profile image

      steve 3 years ago

      Hello, I just had a stent completed a week ago and I worry everyday. I am 32 years old.. While I was at work, I began having chest pain. I thought it was the way I slept the night before. I brushed it off and thought it would go away on it's own. But it didn't. When I was resting, their was no pain, but, when I would walk, I would have pain. I went to drug store to see if their was any drug they could offer me with chest pain. But the guy told, me that chest pain are serious. And he would recommend for me to go see a doctor, just for a checkup to make sure all was well. I didn't want to go to the doctor. Since I was little, always been afraid to see a dr. But, I noticed the pain wasn't going away as much I tried to relax. Finally, I went to the doctor. The said my blood pressure was high. and my enzyme was high. I ended up spending 2 days in the hospital. I met with the cardilogist who said that he would check my atteries and that their was a drug he can put in their which would take care of the pain I was experiencing. After the operation, the dr, told me that I had 99 percent blockage in one of my atteries. Never would I think, at 32 years old I would be going through this. But when I reflect my life, I was eating trash for last several years. Pretty much ate what I had a taste for. If it was mcdonalds, kfc, name it, I would eat it. I was exercising for a while, but with work load, I didn't make any room for that for last 5 months.

      Although I'm grateful that I am alive, as could have had a major heart attack at any point, I am petrified with the stents in my heart. Is this stent going to be ok? What happens if this happens to the stent, on and on. I worry. And the medicine, like you, have weaked in my muscle, and just wondering if this stents would have any impact in my life. Would I be alive 40/50 years from now? This was a wake up call. Since I've been discharged, all I eat is fruits, walk minimum 1 hr a day, and take the medicine as directed to. But, each day, I have fear. 32 years young is too myoung to die. All because of the neglect of my health. I took my health for granted. I'm grateful that I am still alive. But, having stents in heart and tkaing this medicines scares me. I will NEVER go back to eating trash food. This experience has been a wake up call. I have a metting with the cardilogist and I have lots and lots of questions. Even doubting that maybe I should haven't put the stents in and changed myy diet, maybe I won't worry so much today. But, would I have made it? Any advise you can give would be appreciated. How did you overcome the fear of something going wrong with the stent? thank you.

    • maharg1956 profile image
      Author

      maharg1956 3 years ago from UK

      Hello Paul

      I am absolutely chuffed with your update.

      I bet that anyone reading your account will be impressed and reassured for their own future life after stenting.

      Very best wishes to you

      Graham

    • profile image

      Paul 3 years ago

      Just thought i'd update Graham.

      Its been a year since my first 'episode' and 11 months from having my stent. For all those who are worried about life after stenting (and i certainly was) i would like to say this.......go for it. I am fitter, healthier, dropped a few stones and cannot believe how much better i feel. My worries were selfish in a way, would i be able to play sport (tennis, footie etc) and of course i took it really easy to start with but i am now playing about as hard as i ever have. Its about self management and being aware of what you eat and drink, and taking your medication etc but that makes it better too. I didnt ever want to be labelled and nobody would ever know that as a 48 year old, i have a stent. Ridiculous really to believe that ones mortality was in absolute jeapody. I have a family and i feel immensly lucky that having found the problem of a blocked artery (the widowmaker) and having it corrected and living life like i do, its bloody great to know it could have been a lot worse.........but i dodged the bullet.

      I can only say that for me it was a life changer for the better.

      Live long, one and all. And good luck.

      Paul.

    • profile image

      Ernest 3 years ago

      I' m glad i came across this site with very interesting topic! I was deppressed after my 3 stents fitted.

      I thought after living a healthy lifestyle i wouldn't reach this stage, well put the blame on the genes!!!

      I'm okay now after reading all the comments!

      Thanks

    • profile image

      Chrissy 3 years ago

      I am 31 yr old female with 6 daughters, I recently quit smoking about 4 months now, but recently have been getting chest pan and went for 4 ekgs in the past month and each time the doctors said that the tests came back normal, so how can I tell if I may have angina? My dad had angina and had the stents, he had it done 3 times... Im so scared, I have an appointment with a cardiologist but not until august25/2014...

    • profile image

      MV 3 years ago

      I had all the symptoms you have mentioned above and with family history also but my angiogram couldn't find any blockages but i still have pain in my chest the doctor who did angiogram said i need to go for ultrasound of the heart it might be pumping issues...hopefully they can find something

    • maharg1956 profile image
      Author

      maharg1956 3 years ago from UK

      Hello Joe

      Thank you for writing. I know how something like this can be a worry and can wear a person down. The only thing I can suggest is what I have said to others, either see another doctor for a different opinion or, pay to see a cardiac consultant privately. If you are in the UK (and I have no idea if you are) it typically costs between £150 and £250 for a private consultation.

      Go to the website for your local private hospitals (Spire or BUPA, usually) and they have a consultant list. Look through it and get a 'feel' for the one you think seems most suitable.

      It is your health and your body and sometimes we have to be assertive and take some control. I am sure your doctor is making his best diagnosis but if you are unhappy and worried, then you need to see someone else.

      I went through 6 months of misery before I finally saw a consultant. 3 different doctors had diagnosed me as having a digestive problem when, in fact, I had angina as a result of a blocked artery.

      I wish now that I had known then how easy it is to see a consultant, if prepared to pay a relatively low sum of money.

      Do stay in touch.

      Good luck

      Graham

    • profile image

      joe1975 3 years ago

      Hi ,

      Im a 39 yr old male and 2 yrs ago I started getting pain in my left shoulder. Over the next few months the pain (which was is not severe more like an ache) would fade from one spot and move to my jaw, neck or arm or chest randomly(only the left side ) .The pain would always fade from one spot before it appeared in another . I have been to the doctor so many times and have had scans for muscle and joint problems, reflux , heart scans and even the dentist for teeth issues, all of which havent helped.I do have high blood pressure and my heart beat goes out of rhythm every few weeks or so often for maybe 2-3 minutes and then settles back down. I dont smoke ,drink in moderation, am quite thin and have a physically active job.

      Mentally I am wearing out from this almost constant aching but dont know what else to do . I questioned my doctor about the possibility that I could have circulation issues but due to my age,weight etc... he said it was highly unlikely .

      I try to block this out of my mind and get on with life but every so often I really worry.

      Does anyone have any suggestions?Could I have angina?

      Thanks in advance,

      Joe

    • maharg1956 profile image
      Author

      maharg1956 3 years ago from UK

      Hello Eddie. Thank you for writing and so, so glad you are feeling great.

      Now you can get back to life and, hopefully, God will bless you with a lot more of it in the years ahead!

      Take care

      Graham

    • maharg1956 profile image
      Author

      maharg1956 3 years ago from UK

      You are most welcome, moff, and thank you for your kind words. Keep taking the tablets, relax and stay in touch.

      Best wishes

      Graham

    • profile image

      Eddie 3 years ago

      Thank you, all for this wonderful information. I had severe chest pain leading into a heart attack it was very painful luckily I live close to a hospital within minutes my brother drove me to the ER. I am 42 years old and never did I think this would happen to me, everyone in the ER were great and worked fast on me prepped me and that is when I had a stent placed inside my 99% blocked artery. I was scared I prayed during the procedure and thank God it all went great! I am feeling great I feel brand new again!

    • profile image

      moff 3 years ago

      yes graham I have lots of meds at the moment, atorvastatin, clopidogrel, bisoprolol, aspirin, chemydur and yes the famous nitro lingual spray. graham I must say this is the best site I have seen or read concerning stents and ops etc, sounds like it come from everyday people who tell the truth and tell you what to expect unlike the hospital and doctors, don't seem to get a lot of information here in England until you are in the operating theatre that's when you first see you cardiologist. to all you bloggers please keep this site up to date, it really is a fantastic site for people like me who are waiting to have a stent fitted, it helps to calm the nerves. thank you all and to you graham for starting this blog.

      regards all. moff

    • maharg1956 profile image
      Author

      maharg1956 3 years ago from UK

      Hello moff

      Thank you for writing and for providing such a great article which has such a lot of really interesting material in it.

      Firstly, yes, I have heard of people with 100% blockages. I am sure we have had some contribute to this hub before now. Certainly, we have had many who have had very severe blockages in both arteries. 100% in one and 50% in the other is enough to make you worry and anyone would understand you being petrified.

      Have they given you any medication for the time being to help manage / control your situation, including a trinitrate spray, or something similar?

      4 Months is a long time, which is why I would hope they have given you something to ease things until then.

      I have not heard of the particular double procedure you wrote about but I do believe that the medical staff are now so practised at performing angioplasty procedures that, my perception is that they are almost routine.

      Remember, you can always get a second opinion and I have no idea of your financial situation, but most private consultations cost in the region of £150 - £250, so you could always pay to see a different cardiac specialist for a second opinion, which usually takes just a matter of days. There is an excellent website for finding consultants, which I have written a hub about:

      https://hubpages.com/health/How-To-Find-A-Surgeon...

      Don't worry about being petrified. It is absolutely normal but do make sure you are getting all the relevant medication for cholesterol, blood pressure, heart rate and the trinitrate (or similar) in case you have further angina attacks.

      Do keep in touch.

      Best wishes

      Graham

    • profile image

      moff100 3 years ago

      GRAHAM,I HAVE JUST FOUND THIS FROM MY LOCAL HOSPITAL

      Heart specialists from around Britain learned about new techniques to treat patients with blocked arteries, at The Essex Cardiothoracic Centre (CTC) at Basildon Hospital. Senior cardiologists from The CTC demonstrated the innovative procedures via live screening to colleagues from other major heart centres, such as Papworth Hospital.

      Blocked arteries restrict blood flow to the heart and can cause heart attacks. The patients who agreed to appear in the live training film all have a chronic total occlusion (CTO), meaning they have a completely blocked artery that can be difficult for cardiologists to open.

      A procedure called angioplasty is commonly used to open narrowed arteries. Guided by x-ray monitors, the cardiologist inserts a hollow tube, or catheter, into the blocked artery, via a small incision in the groin or arm. A thin guide wire is then fed through the catheter, over which a small balloon is delivered to the affected area, which is inflated to open the artery. In most cases a stent is also inserted which acts as a scaffold and keeps the artery open.

      If the artery is completely blocked, it can be impossible to insert the balloon to open it. But Dr Paul Kelly, Dr John Davies and Dr Kare Tang, cardiologists at the Essex CTC, are using cutting-edge equipment, such as the Stingray Balloon, with a flattened head that allows a guide wire to by-pass the blockage.

      Dr Abdul Mozid, Specialist Registrar in Cardiology, who helped organise the training event, said: “The Essex CTC is one of the few centres in Britain to use these new techniques and our aim is to help other national centres learn how to do the same.

      “We have acquired the specialist equipment and the knowledge to treat patients with CTO and we are keen to share our expertise.”

      Patient case study

      One of the patients whose procedure was filmed on the study day was Roy Hammon, 72. A former self-employed builder from Ware in Hertfordshire, Roy had a heart attack at the age of 45, and has had two more since then.

      Roy said: “I had a quadruple bypass in a London hospital, but within six months my arteries were getting blocked again. I gave up smoking, and carried on working in my 50s and 60s, but I had two more heart attacks and my ill health really slowed me down.”

      Roy got married in December last year, but was feeling increasingly unwell and short of breath. “The pains in my chest were really bad, and it was so much worse in the cold weather,” he said. “Three more of my arteries are blocked, one completely. I thought the specialists at my local hospital might suggest I had another bypass operation but they said I was not suitable for that because I have too much scar tissue. Then my cardiologist said he would make inquiries with the team at The Essex Cardiothoracic Centre, as they are always coming up with ingenious new ideas. I came here and met Dr Mozid, who explained that there were some new procedures that might help me.

      “I am one of life’s busy people; I always want to be active. My wife Vicki is a lovely lady and I want to share some more good years with her, so I am grateful for anything that could make that happen.”

      The procedure to clear Roy’s CTO using the Stingray balloon was carried out by Dr Paul Kelly, Consultant Cardiologist. It completely restored blood flow to the blocked vessel and Roy returned home the following day. Two weeks later, he says that there has been an improvement in his condition. “I am definitely feeling the effects of the procedure, in a good way. Every day I seem to be getting better; today I have been out in my greenhouse all morning, pruning and watering plants.

      “Everyone at The CTC looked after me very well before and after the procedure, and I am very pleased to be feeling better.”

      regards all, moff

      Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 March 2014 12:56

    • profile image

      moff100 3 years ago

      hi graham, first time on this site. I went for cardiac catheterisation last week, turns out I have a 100% blockage in my right artery, I'm now waiting to go and have angioplasty done, but the doctor told me it will be in 4 months time, that seems a long time to wait to me, he also told me that another artery was 50% blocked, has anyone had 100% blockage, any message will help calm me down as I'm now petrified I have been told that they will go in both groins one to go under and the other to go over, I read somewhere this can be dangerous, any thoughts, anyone had this done. this all started when I had a pain in my chest and went to A&E I was monitored and countless test for 36 hours and was told its defiantly not your heart and sent home, 2 weeks later I was back again this time for 12 hours, more test and told again its not you heart, on my doctors insistence I had a stress test that's when my blocked artery showed up, if my doctor had not insisted seems like I would be a walking time bomb for a heart attack.

      regards moff

    • maharg1956 profile image
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      maharg1956 3 years ago from UK

      Hello Shelley

      I think the going back to work question is a very difficult one. In my case, because no one could tell me exactly what the problem was and because my job involved a lot of stressful situations, I didn't return for 5 months, until my problem had been identified and sorted out. I just couldn't keep going in, feeling unwell after a day or two and being off and so on. Also, as I had no idea what the problem was, I didn't want to be exposing to myself to stress which might make the problem worse. In the end, I am confident I made the right choice.

      I have a colleague going through exactly the same situation as you (and the same as I went through). He keeps coming in to work then, feeling unwell, battling on and then after a few days, is signed off for 2 - 3 weeks, then the same cycle starts all over again. His doctors, like yours, are going down the CT scan route and blood tests.

      So, it is a difficult situation but I would definitely say that you need to consider your health before your job. I just wonder why doctors are now seeming to all they can to avoid an angiogram for people who they identify as having angina? I can only guess at cost.

      The key thing is that you make a decision that you are comfortable with and one which gives you some form of peace of mind. It is YOUR life and YOUR body.

      Best wishes

      Graham

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      Shelley1741 3 years ago

      Hello Graham

      Thank you for your reply. I live in Newcastle in the UK and my treatment is not privately funded!

      I thought about asking about going back to work on here as my doctor can not give a definite answer to the quest as they had no results from test yet. Was wondering what other people have done in this situation .

      I was thinking along the same lines as yourself and waiting on results as although the chest pains have subsided I still get breathless when walking up hills or stairs, and the worry is that once back to fulltime activity the pains will return.

      As you said the best person to judge this is yourself, and to listen to what your body is telling you.

      Hope all is well with yourself and thank you again.

      Shelley

    • maharg1956 profile image
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      maharg1956 3 years ago from UK

      Hello Shelley

      I have a colleague who recently had a CT scan for suspected angina as a CT scan, apparently, shows up and problems very clearly. Personally I have no idea as to the benefits of CT over angiogram. I know that when I was diagnosed I had an echocardiogram performed to check the condition of my heart, to see if any damage had occurred.

      I would think a chat with your doctor would be best as far as work is concerned. I think the length of delay is probably down to the country you are in and whether your treatment is funded privately or not, which always seems to be a factor.

      I suppose the reality is that you are the best person to know how your body feels and whether or not you are up to going to work. I know that when I was in that situation, I took the cautious approach until I had a proper, clear diagnosis.

      Best wishes

      Graham

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      Shelley1741 3 years ago

      I also have had chest pains that started as twinges and over a few weeks got progressively worse. I was sent for a CT cor artery calcium scoring which I thought was an angiogram but only a normal CT scan was preformed. Is this normal? I am going for a echocardiogram tomorrow. I was hoping for some advise as I have been off work for 10 weeks now but have had no pains in the last 2 weeks and unsure as whether to return to work or not as I have been told the test results will be at least another 2 weeks. Has everyone else waited this long? Any advise would be appreciated.

      My pains do not happen when exercising or walking but the day after doing things.

      thank you

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      Diane S. 3 years ago

      I had a catheterization a month ago. I was having chest pains while exericsing a few times. I went to the emergency room to have it checked out. It turns out I have 20-25% blockage in my LAD artery and some blockage in another. The catheterization did not hurt AT ALL! No pain afterwards either. They put a sort of "plug" where they inserted the tube in my artery and it will gradually dissolve over 90 days. It totally prevents bleeding. I started reading "Reverse Heart Disease Now" a book written by 2 cardiologists who have had massive success reversing and preventing heart disease, kind of the opposite of what mainstream cardiologists say. Read it and see for yourself. Also read the "Anti Inflammation Zone" by Barry Sears. He says the same thing that it can be reversed.

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      Favre73 3 years ago

      Hello Everyone,

      I am 40 years old and suffered a Heart attack on Jan. 23,2014 this was a Thursday Morning.

      Wednesday I was working in New Orleans La. and noticed a burning sensation in the center of my chest. It sort of felt as I was breathing in cold air with a touch of Heart burn. I called my Primary Care Doctor on the Mississippi Coast and explained what was going on and I was told to come in for a visit.

      Upon speaking with my Doctor and telling her the symptoms I was having, she told me that there was no medical term for the symptoms I was describing. She told me that it was probably effects of the bronchitis that I had been diagnosed with back in September and that I needed to go home and put a humidifier in my bedroom. This "diagnosis" seemed a little strange but she is the doctor so I did what she told me to do.

      That night, I went to bed with a humidifier in my room, only to wake up with more chest pains and even worse than they were that day. I sat up for a bit and finally laid back down, hoping the pain would subside.

      The next morning I wake up, not feeling as bad as I did the night before, but still had a slight burning in my chest. So I decided to drive to my office in New Orleans, which is about an hour to hour and thirty minutes from my home (according to traffic). When I arrived, I still felt the same as I did when I left home.

      An hour or so later, I stepped out of my office to visit the Field. I walked about 20 steps and the burning pain seemed to get a little more intense; so I stopped for a minute, took a few deep breaths, and walked back to my office to sit down.

      I started putting a timeline of some sort together to see what was triggering the pain. I did a few more short walks and noticed the pain would come back. If I was sitting down, the pain would go away.

      Thinking I could have a severe chest Infection, I drove myself to Tulane Hospital, Lake View Clinic. Upon entering, Triage asked what was going on with me. I explained my symptoms and immediately I was rushed to the back.

      ER Team gave me an EKG that came back "Very Scary" said the ER Doctor, so i was given a 325 aspirin to chew and a Plavix and was told he was waiting on blood work to come back.

      Once the blood work came back the ER Doctor explained to me that I had a Heart Attack and that I could possibly have another.

      As you can imagine, I was pretty scared and confused because all the stories I heard of others having heart attacks was nothing of what I experienced.

      The ER Doctor told me I needed to be transferred to Tulane Medical University to the Cardiac Care Unit!

      After arriving at Tulane University, I was cared for like never before. The nurses were so nice and professional and the entire staff of the hospital was very helpful and cared about my well being. Things seem to move really fast. Nurses and doctors in and out of my room doing test and drawing blood. I was told, first thing in the morning they would be taking me to the Cath Lab. They also informed me that they would fix my blockage if they could, if they could not fix it, they would come out to let my family know that they would have to perform open heart surgery. Either way, they assured me, they would help me.

      Not going to lie, I was very Scared entering the Cathe lab!!

      After surgery was completed The Chief Cardiologist visited my room and explained that I had 2 Blockages; a small artery on my right side was 100% blocked and he could not correct it at this time, but the artery had made what they call collateral arteries on its own , and the left side of my heart was getting no blood flow as it was 90% blocked. He did fix this one by stinting the artery. I felt no pain during the procedure .

      Today, I feel like I am 20 again. I can walk or run without pain. For years I have complained of pain from my shoulders to my feet and today I have none of these pains.

      Please anyone of you above that is experiencing the slightest of pain or discomfort. Go the The ER. If needed, Get The Stent! It saved my life and it could save yours too!

      Something the Chief Cardiologist told me, "Everyone experiences a heart attack with different pain. No two people are alike." "If it doesn't feel right, get it checked, your body is talking to you!"

      I wish you all well!

    • maharg1956 profile image
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      maharg1956 3 years ago from UK

      Hello Seymore

      I have heard of several people in your situation, which is similar to my own in many respects.

      In my case, all the tests were fine because, apparently, my heart was in excellent shape due to my being extremely fit and because I was really fit, it was able to perform well with a lower level of oxygen, hence, when I took the treadmill test and other tests, including ultrasound, I showed up as normal.

      It wasn't until I had the angiogram that the blocked artery was discovered.

      I think that makes sense because I imagine that a person who is very overweight and unfit and who is subjected to treadmill and stress tests will very quickly encounter difficulty whereas, someone who is very fit and healthy will sometimes not show any problems during that type of testing.

      I think we also have to remember that not every type of pain that is in the chest results in a cardiac type problem, some are rooted in a digestive problem and other issues.

      I hope you will let us know what the outcome is when you finally get a conclusive answer.

      Best wishes

      Graham

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      Seymore 3 years ago

      Recently had some chest pains of my own. Noticed them while walking with about 20 pounds of weight. Went to my DR. and he noted that my BP was high. 179/110 so decided to have me take an EKG that came back as moderately abnormal. The abnormal part was that my heart "might" not be getting enough blood. They sent me to Cardiology for a stress test the next morning. Cardiology gave me blood pressure and cholesterol medications and said to come back in 10 days for the stress test when my BP was down. They said that they werent sure what to make of it. My heart sounded find. No swelling ankles, no shortness of breath or fainting, no fatigue. Just occasional periods of what I would call slightly painful palpitations and sometimes slight pressure located in the upper center of my chest just below my throat. They showed up when I was carrying weight as I said and "sometimes" when I am eating. They also took a blood lab and it came back with everything in range. So I guess its a good thing that they didnt throw me into ER and that my cholesterol is in range. My stress test is still ten days away. This has been working on my mind pretty hard as Im not sure where this is going. I am 53 and have always been pretty healthy. Ate right and worked out until about three years, but have been under "heavy" stress seven days a week since then. Just recently had stress subside then this shows up. Any comments?

    • maharg1956 profile image
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      maharg1956 3 years ago from UK

      Hello Rehan

      Thank you for writing and sharing your husband's situation.

      I do understand what a worry this must be. I am 58 and my Father died of a heart attack aged 63 so when I got angina I wondered what might happen to me also.

      I think you must try to look at this as positively as you can. Your husband had 4 blockages BUT, they have been discovered and treated and now that they have, the stents plus the medication he is on, to help prevent further problems, should help him to live a normal life.

      None of us knows how long we will live. For all I know, I may live to be 80 or 90. On the other hand, I may die tomorrow. This is the reality for every one of us, so we must simply live each day and not worry about what might happen in future years.

      Some people have no warning. They just have a massive heart attack one day and die, while others develop all sorts of other problems which kill them. People like your husband and the rest of us were fortunate. We were given a warning and as a result, your husband, like me, has been given the treatment of stents and medication plus, crucially, a warning.

      I can see no reason why he, or any of us, who were lucky enough to be given a warning should not live a normal life span.

      Enjoy your time together. Live for today and forget about worrying how long he may live. Just look forward to spending the rest of your lives together and be grateful for the warning and the cure that followed.

      Best wishes to you both

      Graham

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      rehan 3 years ago

      hi

      My husband have undergone angioplasty last months .he is just 37 years old.His BP,cholostrol level all are OK.But had a chest pain and pain in the jaw..After doing angiogram,came to know he has major 4 block and undergone angioplasty..My concern is .he is just 37 and worried abt his lifespan..he doesnt smoke ..does not take junk food and excersise regularly..doctor told its all gentical as his father had heart attack in the age of 57...

    • profile image

      Henry 3 years ago

      (Hub system would not allow me any more words in previous post?).

      One of the many depressors for me is that I got my BP and cholesterol down to good levels partially using supplements and now I am reading that most supplements will be contra indicated post stenting because of their negative interactions with the various blood thinners?

      Any shares in this area? Many, many thanks, Henry

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      Henry 3 years ago

      Hi Graham

      What a relief to read something positive about stenting in the sea of Google horror stories.

      I am recently diagnosed 70%+ blocked CAD (single vessel disease) and about to go Angiogram/Angioplasty+stent on Tuesday (I am an Englishman Abroard living with my wife in Melbourne Australia).

    • maharg1956 profile image
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      maharg1956 3 years ago from UK

      Hello Chooky

      My word, what a battler you are! To have had to endure so many setbacks and still come back fighting. What an inspiration you are.

      The only suggestions I have are either to see your doctor and talk it through with him / her or try to get your specialist appointment brought forward or arrange a private consultation with the specialist which, in my experience, would mean less than a week's delay and cost £150 - £250

      Please stay in touch and you just keep on fighting!!

      Best wishes

      Graham

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      Chooky 43@hotmail.com 3 years ago

      Hi! I am older! 70. Was stunted after I had a heart attack during chemo for Non Hodgkins, 10 yrs now. Was doing well, then got breast cancer 5 yrs ago-- still doing well. Got that pain in centre of chest. Unstable angina. It comes, it goes, so my dr sent me to hope cottage in Penrith about 3 yrs ago -result great, stent fine. But the pain keeps on & I am beginning to feel that I know it is my heart. I am no wimp! I fight like there's no tomorrow. See heart specialist in May. Any suggestions??

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      Major Baleegh 3 years ago

      Dear Graham

      It's been over 16 months from the day when I had one stent placed in my blocked artery, afterwards some days later I experienced pains in my left foot which after a while fades away, then I developed pain in my left shoulder which also faded away, now after all this time I still not been able to quit smoking. Frankly speaking, I never tried to quit and there is no shame in saying that never I had thought of quitting as well. So any word about life after stent with smoking, any guy having the experience who would like to share please does notify me. I am living in the city limits and there is so much traffic and there are no parks or recreational places available close by where I can go for a walk as advised by my physician which I think is a great problem with me. I do often experience pains in my left arm with very rare intensity and frequency, I do have itching in my chest hairs but that too is not so frequent.

      Dear Graham do you think that quit smoking is the only solution to have a peaceful life after stent is placed in the artery, or there can be any other way to have a perfect joyful life after stent while keeping smoking as part of daily routine, I tried to use e-cigarette but its taste is quite different than the regular cigarette. Furthermore I uses laptop in the position where it is placed in front of me and I lay in front of it in a manner that I lay upside down, do you think is my position is wrong in using laptop that causes pain in the chest I intended buying a desktop to use chair instead of lying down on the bed to use my laptop. I think that might cause pains some time in my left arm which can be avoided by change of posture, please do reply for that a well. In overall perspective life is quite good after stent and no chest pain of any sort at all, but some minor pains do occur time to time which I think is negligible as compared to the main chest pain which is over for good.

      My medical tests reports are up to the required standard, I had my cardiac CT scan a couple of weeks ago and it was revealed that all my arteries are fully open and there is no blockage of any sort. My blood pressure is 130/80 and my pulse is 75. My cholesterol is well below 200 and it is around 125-130. My triglyceride which used to be too high that was around 700 with maximum range of 200 has now come down to around 300 which is quite low as it used to be, moreover my blood sugar during random test is approx 140 where as during fasting it is above the limit and it ranges from 160 to 180. After from all this medication and all stuff life is quite good and I am enjoying with my wife and kids and I wish all guys who have stents passed should enjoy this life to the fullest, Thanks.

    • maharg1956 profile image
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      maharg1956 3 years ago from UK

      Dear Rowena. Thank you too!

      You are very welcome

      Graham

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      Rowena17 3 years ago

      Hi Graham

      Thank you so much for your reply, it has really helped to put things into perspective. You are so kind and patient and incredibly dedicated to reply to all these posts - I am just so glad I found this link. I will post again after the angiogram (which, thanks to you, I am now thinking of it as just another necessary diagnostic test that will hopefully give me some answers, instead of some dreadful nightmarish experience that has to be endured under incredible duress!!)

      Thank you again, I feel so much better.

      All the best

      Rowena

    • maharg1956 profile image
      Author

      maharg1956 3 years ago from UK

      Hello Rowena

      I am sure we can all empathise with your fear. I had that many worries and concerns before my angiogram!

      I healed perfectly and everyone I have spoken to also healed perfectly. Very soon afterwards I had a little pea sized lump where they made the incision and I still have it to this day. It isn't as dramatic as in the horror films and murder films where the artery is cut and blood spurts onto the ceiling or anything like that!

      All I remember now is that I lay on a bed for a couple of hours with a dressing over the area and then the nurses checked the incision, which was tiny. It was healed and that was that!

      It all heals remarkably quickly and once it is healed, that is that. It stays healed!

      Best of luck and get in touch whenever you need to.

      Graham

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      Rowena17 3 years ago

      Hi I am due to have an angiogram done in 10 days time, never had one before and I am absolutely terrified. Have enjoyed reading your account and all the other comments and they have helped me. The only thing I am still very frightened of is the fact that they will be going into an artery and what happens if it starts bleeding again when I get home. I am so worried that I might somehow knock the wound site when I am asleep and it starts bleeding and eventually bleed to death in my sleep!! I know it sounds dramatic but can't get this awful feeling out if my head. Did you heal okay afterwards? I just think that I too am going to die and I can't sleep for panicking.

    • maharg1956 profile image
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      maharg1956 3 years ago from UK

      Dear Michelle. Yours is the most remarkable account of love and devotion I think I have read. As a parent, all I can say is that I imagine all parents, everywhere, would pray for a daughter (or son) who would be as incredible as you were in their hour of deepest, darkest need.

      I am sure that once your Mum is on the way to recovery and learns what an amazing daughter she has, she will be filled with so much pride . . . . .

      Thank you for writing and also for your advice to everyone. I am sure that anyone who reads your words will be moved to take them seriously.

      I hope everything works out well for your mum, and for you also.

      Do keep in touch

      Best wishes

      Graham

    • maharg1956 profile image
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      maharg1956 3 years ago from UK

      Hello Treds87

      I honestly don't know the answer to this. I am not sure what you can do for someone who refuses to allow you to call a doctor. I am sure that having an argument will do neither of you any good, especially your Mum, although I am sure anyone can understand why you would have an argument.

      All I can suggest is that you call her doctor and speak to him / her, explain the situation and ask for their advice about how you should handle the issue. I suppose that if you thought her chest pains were so bad that they constituted an emergency, then I assume you could call for an ambulance.

      But the best I can think of is to talk to the doctor or talk to your own doctor and seek their advice.

      Graham

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      Michelle 3 years ago

      Hi all, I just want to encourage everyone out there to see your doctors at the slightest discomfort. My mom, age 69, has been suffering stomach pains for a while now. She is a smoker, never ever sees a doctor no matter how hard I try to force it. Well, last week we were moving her into my home as my father passed and I walked into her living room after not seeing her for a few mins and she was face down on the couch. I started chest compressions til ambulance came. She died twice in the ambulance but they say my compressions saved her life. They ultimately put 3 stints in her and told me they cannot believe she was walking around. They did not know how long her brain had been without oxygen so they lowered her body temp by icing her and then put her in a drug induced coma and paralyzed her as well. She was taken off the sedation a few days ago and she finally woke up. She is currently experiencing memory loss which I hope is temporary. I have not slept in almost a week. Whatever care she needs I will be there and take care of her but I know had she gone to the dr early on, we would not be in this position. If you will not go for yourself, go for your children and your grandchildren. Please, I cannot express the fear and pain I have experienced over the last week. My mom is my life....I am not ready to let her go.

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      treds87 3 years ago

      Hi, my Mum has had angina for over 10 yrs. She already has stents in place but recently she's started getting pains again and her blood pressure is crazy high. tonight he had pains so bad she called me a 4am, but wouldn't let me call anyone, and we just end up having an argument.

      Help me, tell me what I should do? Can I call her gp and get them to get her to go in...

      I don't know what to do.

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      eskiemama 3 years ago

      I had a stent put in back in October, as I had a 100% blockage. I still have a 70% blockage somewhere, which they are watching! All I can say is that since October it's been nothing but anxiety, anxiety and more anxiety!!!! I swear I have pain somewhere every damn day! Dr keeps telling me there is nothing wrong, that I should feel good with the 100% blockage taken care of! And of course any pain............ whether it be collar bone, chest or arm.......... it puts me into a frenzy! Which I'm sure most likely makes the pain worse!!! I'm wondering when this anxiety will go away!!! Even when I'm not thinking about it, I'll get a twinge and that's all it takes.............. then I get pain for days!!!!! I just want to get back to normal and stop thinking everything I feel is going make me end up back in the hospital!

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      Kerry 3 years ago

      I am a 66 year old female who for the past month and a half has been experiencing mid sternal chest pain, even when resting. Had an echo stress test on 1-9-14 and the very same day the radiologist called my Dr. to say it was abnormal, I see my Dr. Monday. I live in a rural area where there are no cardiologist and would have to wait another 2 weeks to see one who comes to the area intermittently. I plan on going down state to see heart specialists where I used to live in the hospital I used to work at but all of this will take some time. I am very nervous as I do not know what is wrong but can only assume at this point it is CAD, feel like I am walking on eggs and just knowing something is wrong with your heart is enough to drive one crazy. . .anyone else feel this way?

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      shah 3 years ago

      Hi guys....it's me again. I had palpitation and rushed to hospital. Sdoc put holter to observe for 24 hours. Result was good. Cholesterol was 3.5 and blood result does not show anything serious. But I wonder how and why did the palpitation happened? Any ideas.....I quit smoking for two months but recently have been taking a few sticks daily. Is it becoz of the smoking. It means NO SMOKING for the rest of my life....anybody experience palpitation and how do you guys overcome

      Doc gave me additional medication lexotan 1.5mg to take half in morning and half before bed.

    • profile image

      eskiemama 3 years ago

      Just to make things clear, all the info I got on the medication I was taking was in the patient pamphlet I received with the prescription!

      I could have handled the muscle/joint pain, but noticing I was having symptoms all pointing to kidney problems, was the reason I stopped taking to see if things changed!

      Things have definitely changed........... so now I know what I need to talk to the Dr. about! My goal is to talk to someone this week, even if that means calling them every hour!!! Hopefully he can find me something that works for me!

      I actually hate reading anything about the medication I'm taking. All the side effects bring on so much anxiety, so I try not to read them unless I really have too!

    • maharg1956 profile image
      Author

      maharg1956 3 years ago from UK

      Hello eskiemama

      I know that there are side effects with various medications that are prescribed and I have read a lot about muscle tiredness and pains are among the commonly reported ones.

      If you have tried calling your doctor a couple of times without reply, I would suggest you actually visit the surgery and ask to see him or, if he is not available, another doctor. I don't think anyone would tell you that it is a good idea to just stop taking medication that has been prescribed for you with a specific purpose in mind, nor is it the best idea to decide what you think you should be taking instead.

      I think it is good to be well informed and to read up on various medications, as long as we don't then start to self diagnose and prescribe.

      I agree that there has been such a lot written about statins that at times, it can all become quite confusing. One day they are good, the next day they are bad but it is the same with just about everything in the media. White bread good then white bread is bad. skimmed milk is good one day and the next, it makes you fat! Apples are good for helping to control cholesterol (apparently, according to recent press stories) but bad for your teeth!

      It is so difficult to get an accurate and reliable view on anything, which is why it is dangerous to pay too much attention to what is written in newspapers and on the internet.

      So, go to your doctor's surgery and talk to someone.

      Graham

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      eskiemama 3 years ago

      I was taking 40mg of Lipitor and after reading about some of the side effects, I decided to call my Dr to ask if maybe some of the things I was experiencing were in fact from the Lipitor. Well that was over a week ago and I'm still waiting to hear back. I've called back a few times, only to end up with their voice mail because of the high volume of calls!!! Still no call back!

      I decided to try stopping the Lipitor to see if anything would change! Well it's been almost a week and I actually feel so much better. I was having sever muscle/joint pain in one of my shoulders and my urine was a very very dark color, especially in the morning! I also noticed I wasn't urinating as often as usual, in fact some days I wasn't going all day long! I was also having a lot of collar bone pain which the Dr was telling me was nothing. But that too has subsided since I stopped the Lipitor! I was thinking of only taking 1/2 the tablet until I can actually talk to the dr, but I'm not even sure if the tablets are ones that you can take 1/2 of . If it's a time released tablet, then I know you can't break those in 1/2 as they won't work properly!

      Now I've tried to call my dr again and again, as I know I need to be taking something, but I still can't even get ahold of anyone even to make an appointment! Does anyone what I could suggest he put me on when I call? I really have no idea what to suggest and I've read so many things about statin drugs that I'd much rather he put me on something else!

      Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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      k.raju 3 years ago

      i had fitted stent on 29th dec 2009 yesterday i went to the doctor he prescribed clopivas ap 75, zivast 10mg, and korandil 5mg please give suggestion for good diet and physical exercises

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      Peter 3 years ago

      I had 3 medicine stents put in in Florida 3 years ago as I had 3 blockages at 85% Witch were totally missed by my doctor even after three different stress test. Since I had the stents I have had two maybe three more angiograms as At one point I was going into emerge with horrific chest pains and in my left arm once a week only being told it was not heart,having gall bladder removed didn't help. Finely after a lot of research on here I read that statin drugs can give you muscle pains I complained to my doc and he said your cholesterol is 3.5 I want that under 2 so he doubled my statin two weeks in more chest pain then ever also high kidney function as I read statin will plug your kidneys So I went of my statin and two weeks later my pains left I take krill oil instead at the moment my LDL is 3,2 and I know that has to be lower but hoping it will with the diet I am on my triglycerides were down and perfect.I had another angiogram a year ago and was told no problem seen but being I had all total about 5 angiograms the dye is very bad for the kidneys also I only had one angiogram that was not painful and how come I don't get any sedation for that?? Last week after I used my snowblower and it was not hard work as I just walk behind it like walking my dog I got chest pain across chest and in both arms went to emerge my BP was up to 190 over 95. one spray of nitro and my pain left was sent home. So why after my angiogram showed ok am I having what seems like angina? Also having a lot of stomach problem and burping a lot so like the person before me having the samething but I don't think my tummy would spike my bp that much my normal bp is 115 over 70 I suppose because I went into a panic my bp could have gone up also. So right now I don't know wich way to go. I love being active but scared to bring on chest pain????

    • maharg1956 profile image
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      maharg1956 3 years ago from UK

      Hi Andy and good luck to you as well.

      I really hope your life just gets back to normal now and that, before long, you have forgotten all about stents and heart attacks.

      All the best and I hope you have a great Christmas

      Graham

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      Andy 3 years ago

      Hi, i have been reading most of these and now feel as if i can get on with my life.Five weeks ago i had a heart attack and had two weeks later a couple of stents,i am 49 yrs of age and a gardener so plenty of excercise,this came as a complete shock,i did like a drink and i was a smoker but we all think it wont happen to us right !!! My family have been superb but my emotions have been so up and down towards everyone, but as i said earlier i now feel i can move on thank you for this page and thank you everyone who has posted. Good luck to you all.

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      shah 3 years ago

      Hi guys.....just got out from hospital having chest discomfort. ...due to simvarstatin 40mg. Doctor changed to crestor 20 mg and feeling much better. Anyone heard of the garlic+ginger+lemon+apple vinegar+honey mixture. It seems to be working for a lot of people who are in the sane boat as us. Try and maybe could benefit you guys.

      Salam

    • eskiemama profile image

      eskiemama 3 years ago

      Hi all!! Hope everyone is well. Just returned from a follow up with my dr. I had a nuclear stress test done and all was good with that! I also had an ultrasound done on the carotid arteries. There is a slight plaque buildup but its very minimal! I still have a 70% blockage and a 50% blockage. They are watching them both and if the twinges I feel occasionally continue he will be doing another stent. It makes me wonder why they didn't put that stent in when they were doing the other one! I would actually rather get it done and over with instead of "watching" it! Anyone have any thoughts on weather or not I should suggest to maybe getting it done instead of waiting? I would love to hear other's opinion!

    • maharg1956 profile image
      Author

      maharg1956 3 years ago from UK

      Hello Andrea

      Hope your health has improved as a result, though. How are you now? How long ago since you had the stent fitted?

      Graham

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      Andrea 3 years ago

      40 year old female normal weight, normal diet, smoked a pack a day...with 100% LAD occlusion...now have a stent and multiple meds for the rest of my life however, the procedure and doctors were amazing. This is scary stuff and articles and people like you all help!!!

    • maharg1956 profile image
      Author

      maharg1956 3 years ago from UK

      Hello Shah

      So glad you are ok and also pleased we were all able to help just a little.

      All the best for the future

      Graham

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      shah 3 years ago

      Just to add.....do not miss your medication. Listen and talk to your doctor. Sometimes supplements works....but be carefull. To name one which helped is tasly product danshen plus ..... ask your doctor for advise. Quit smoking if you are still smoking........

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      shah 3 years ago

      Guys.....it really helps reading your comment. I had an attack in feb at my workplace. Rushed to hospital and yhen later to specialist. The same night underwent angio and found right main arteri 90% blocked. Placed a stent and rest for 45 days with proper diet and daily exercise on treadmill walking for 30 mon. Last month I had a palpitation just before bed. Lasted for an hour or more. Rushed to hospital again but found all was ok. After 2 weeks again palpitation same time. Stayed in hospital did all rest and found that heart beat sometime goes fast and sometime misses. Did angio again and found all good. No new block and the previous sten still in tack. This page had brought a little positive outlook for my goodself. Keep sharing experience and one thing for sure.......look forward for a better tomorrow. Anyway I'm from Malaysia.

    • maharg1956 profile image
      Author

      maharg1956 3 years ago from UK

      Hello Raj

      I am so glad we have been able to help in some small way. Good luck for Friday and do let us know how you are once you are back home and feeling better.

      Best wishes to you

      Graham