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Caregivers know that the patient isn't the only person affected by heart disease. How can you support someone in your life who's fighting for better heart health? Post questions or comments about helping family members or friends deal with coronary artery disease, hospitals, doctors, etc.

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Current Postings on This Page (21):

• Karen in California -- depression is not uncommon after heart surgery, angioplasty, etc. And depression can result in fatigue and similar feelings, although sometimes these physical symptoms are the result of new medications that the patient is getting for the first time. The emotional distress after a diagnosis and treatment of coronary artery disease requires treatment just as much as the physicial ailment. Assuming there is no physical problem that can be identified, perhaps your husband's cardiologist can recommend a cardiac rehab group that deals with emotional issues. Sharing stories and experiences can often be of great comfort.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, March 14, 2011

• My husband had a quintuple bypass almost 3 weeks ago. His blood pressure is very low, and surgeon has reduced the blood pressure meds. However, he has no energy is very depressed and says he feels worse now than he did before. Has anyone else experienced the depression? Additionally he suffers from severe panic attacks.
Karen, Pleasanton, California, USA, March 12, 2011

• Concerned in Tampa -- having had a heart attack, your husband should be seeing a cardiologist regularly, one who will work with him (and you) to deal with and treat his heart disease. Every patient is a bit different, and some respond differently to the various medications prescribed. Your husband is now being prescribed three different blood pressure meds: Toprol, Verapamil and HCTZ. Your pharmacist was being cautious when he saw this combination, which is good. But your husband should be seeing a heart specialist, not just an emergency room doc, and getting checked for blood pressure, etc. on a regular basis in order to monitor his condition and achieve the optimal medical therapy.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 25, 2011

• My husband is home from the ICU after having a heart attack Wednesday and a stent and balloon angioplasty yesterday. So he stayed overnight last night and I am taking care of him now. Here is my question. The cardiologist prescribed Effient 10m, Toprol XL 25, Aspirin 81 and said to continue taking his previous BP meds, verapamil 240 and HCTZ 20. When I went to fill them at the pharmacy, the head pharmacist said they could not fill Toprol and Verapamil at the same time. He called the on call cardiologist (for the ones who put in the stent) who basically told him to fill it. So now i'm very worried because the pharmacist indicated that it could be dangerous to take together. I don't know these cardiologists -- they are just whoever happened to be taking in ER patients (my husband came in by ambulance). Please, let me know if this is really alright? His heart rate (normally) is in the 70's. His heart rate after the stent was in the low 50's (I know they gave him lopressor in the CIU but changed it to Toprol 25m when he was being released and they gave him his scrips to take home.) I'm concerned that the Verapamil and the Toprol will make his heart rate too slow? But if this is ok, please let me know! I appreciate anyone who has had experience with this. Also he is saying he is VERY tired--is this because of the meds? or just a natural result of all he's been through? Thank you again.
Concerned1066, Tampa, Florida, USA, January 21, 2011

• My husband had 3 stents (1 LAD; 2 PDAs) put in last week with 90% blockage in the LAD and 1 PDA. What should we ask at our first f/u visit? Trying to educate ourselves. What do we do if his dr. does not want to send him to cardiac rehab? My husband is still very low on stamina and gets short of breathe easily and says he is not feeling all that better one week out. Is this normal? My husband is very concerned about going back to work as his work is very long hours, outside in the heat and he exerts himself a lot.
CynP, Jacksonville, Florida, USA, May 30, 2010

• A stent blocking up is called in-stent restenosis. It is often treated by inserting a balloon and opening it up, or by inserting another stent (often one coated with a different drug). These are off-label indications (but then again, it is estimated half the procedures done are technically "off label"). But this is not uncommon. Why wouldn't his doctor discuss this with him?? See our Forum Topic on "In-Stent Restenosis"
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, May 16, 2009

• I was wondering if you have ever heard of a stent being installed an existing stent. I have a friend that this recently happened to and he is very upset as he can not find any information of the technique and the doctor refused to talk with him about it. Any info you can provide would be helpful. Thanks.
CP, North Carolina, USA, May 16, 2009

• To Robin, LV Robin, from how you described it, your mom is active and tough lady, definitely a winner, not a whiner. If she complains about chest pain just two days after stenting, then I would definitely use the 911 option and take a chance that I was wrong later. Perhaps the original stenting was not successful and the pain returned as soon as the drugs wore off, perhaps she needs one more stent elsewhere, which was not evident because of the original blockage. My comment is only an addition to the Angioplasty.Org Staff, who is absolutely right in every aspect. Please be persistent and aggressive as necessary.
Tom, Encinitas, California, USA, March 10, 2009

• Robin -- have you contacted her interventional cardiologist, the one who placed the stent? Many patients who have posted on our topic "Not Feeling Well After Stenting" report pain or discomfort immediately after, which then resolves. But the fact that your mom has felt enough pain to use nitro is something you should ask him/her about. We assume she is on Plavix and aspirin. Sometimes these can cause a severe upset stomach or even bleeding, something that might be felt in the chest/throat, like gastric reflux, but you should not stop taking any prescribed medications (especially Plavix and aspirin) without consulting your cardiologist.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, March 7, 2009

• My Mom is 69yrs old, very active all her life making sure to get her 8-12 hours a day of work in here at home as if she has a time clock to punch in at. IN SHORT, She had some chest pain they put a stent in. She has been home for 2 days and having chest pains up to the throat, using nitro yesterday morning and this morning. Now burning in her chest. We have stairs, she has over done it a tiny bit, scared her just enough to not want to go up or down but NOW she is just resting and having pains. Is this a 911 call or normal? I'm confused as to what to do and so is she. The Dr. told her 3 days rest, 14 days slow going and then she'd be perfect. She was all for that when she said yes to the surgery. I don't know what to do for her? I'm very sad, what do I do?
Robin, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, March 7, 2009

• Terry -- the information you need is what type of stent (drug-eluting or bare metal) and when was it implanted. Plavix and aspirin are recommended for 4-6 weeks for bare metal; 6-12 or more months for drug-eluting. Whether or not she should be put back on Plavix is something you should consult her cardiologist about. Also read over our Forum topic on Plavix and Stents.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 11, 2009

• My mother is 70 years old and has a stent to unclog arteries, high blood pressure and diabetic. A tumor had metastasized and was found on the left side of her brain. She cannot walk or communicate. The doctors first indicated radiation therapy would be performed; however, they performed brain surgery this morning. Please keep in mind it was indicated the procedure would be conducted without taking her off Plavix. I'm now being told she was taken off the Plavix recovering in the ICU of the hospital. Please indicate whether this procedure should have been done based on the risks. Wouldn't the radiation (non-invasive) therapy shrink the tumor without performing the brain surgery? What should be done to put her back on Plavix to avoid any risks? Your immediate reply regarding this matter would be appreciated.
Terry M., Sanford, North Carolina, USA, January 4, 2009

• My husband, who is 53 had a DES stent put in two weeks ago. The cardiologist put him on Plavix and ASA, which makes sense. But he put him on a beta-blocker even though he does not have high blood pressure. Also placed on Zocor and Niaspan. He is getting weaker by the day but no chest pain. I am sorried sick. He has always worked out and watched his weight. Only one artery was blocked adn the others were "wide open". Called cardiologist and he wants to see him tomorrow. I wondered if anyone had seen anything similar?
Melissa, Melbourne, Florida, USA, September 5, 2006

• Jean -- soreness in the groin area is common and should go away in a few days. However, if it does not, or there is any increase in pain or bleeding, or a spreading purplish color (a hematoma) call your doctor to take a look. Any other symptoms, like chest pain or allergic reactions should likewise be reported to your doctor. These types of adverse reactions are small in percentage, but if they occur, should be looked at.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, March 28, 2006

• my 60 year-old husband has had a stent inserted last week, during an angiogram. Can anyone please tell me what to look out for in the post-operative stages? He is very sore in the groin area.
Jean, New Zealand, March 26, 2006

• "T" -- Glad you are researching your procedure BEFORE having it. We recommend that you visit our PatientCenter, if you haven't already. Specifically read our overview of the procedure, "Angioplasty 101". Also look over our feature on "You and Your Physician" and print out our list of "Questions to Ask Your Doctor" and ask the ones you don't yet have the answers to.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, December 27, 2005

• I am a 34 year old with a family history of high cholesterol. I will be checking into the hospital for an angio this Friday and need to know a few things to prepare for my operation: 1) What are some of the key question i need to ask my doctor? 2) What are decisions that need to be made while i am in the Cathe room.
T., December 26, 2005

• my father is 93 and we have just been told that he needs a pacemaker put in, he will be told by the dr in a few days. my question is being his caregiver and his daughter, how do i help him understand this is the best thing for him so that he may live longer? i need answers before we take him to his dr. so that i can be supportive. thank you
libby bechtold, caregiver, apple valley, ca, July 27, 2005

• Hello, My mother is recovering at home after having a Taxus Express II cardiac stent implanted on Mother's Day. She says that she is healing well and feeling fine, but she will NOT allow me to come visit her ( I have two young children. She is afraid that my concerns/fears will cause her too much anxiety right now and she is asking me to stay far away. I live two hours away from her in another state. She lives with my stepdad, who I know is providing excellent care but he is NOT her best medical advocate. My mom is a nurse and promises me that she can take perfectly good care of herself and does not want me to interfere. I wanted to try and learn all that I could about recovering from cardiac stents. I also wanted to ask anyone if they know of any long-term problems with the Taxus Express II stent?? This stent is one of the new drug-Eluting ones. Any and all responses are most welcome. Meredith Boulet
Meredith Boulet, Just a concerned daughter, Palatine, Illinois USA, May 10, 2005

• Have him on blood thinners, l-arginine which keeps the arteries expanded (talk to the doc before). Have nitro and aspirin handy and keep blood pressure low.
Dileep, Newark, Delaware, USA, April 01, 2005

• My father - a diabetic - while vacationing in Australia had a heart attack (1/19/03). They have put him on blood thinning drugs and have recommended he goes through angioplasty surgery soon (before leaving the country). My father wants to return to the United States prior to undergoing surgery. Is that safe?
Leanne, California, United States, 20 Jan 2003

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