Angioplasty Patients: do you have an interesting story to post about your experience? (1999)

• I am a 48 year old male professor at a university. I had angioplasty done on my left circumflex coronary artery a week back. A 3mm by 13mm stent was placed at the spot of the 90% blockage. I would like to know from others who have undergone this procedure as to what their post-procedure week was like. Was there any pain or discomfort of any kind in the chest? At times, I have felt sharp but mild pain in the upper left chest area. It lasts for a few seconds. As I have also started to learn to play guitar in this post-angioplasty period, which means my left arm, hand, and fingers are being used in unusual way, there is a certain soreness and muscular-joint pain in the shoulder and lower arm area. Could it be that this left-arm discomfort is being caused by the heart? How can one differentiate between the two causes?
Aura Syed, Northern Michigan University, Michigan, USA, March 6, 1999
• Is it common for one to experience fatigue and a very tired feeling in the days after an angioplasty? My 75 year old mother had the procedure done 5 days ago. I guess we expected almost immediate surge of energy, but Mom gets pretty tired. I am wondering if this is normal. She has no other illnesses.
Leslie Welden, Bellingham, Washington, USA, October 17, 1999
• Having had angioplasty and a stent implanted 10 days ago, I have the same concerns as does Aura Syed. I too have experienced very minor discomfort in the chest area with an occasional sharp pain in the chest when for example I reach quickly for something. I've heard from a couple of people that have had this procedure that they experience no discomfort at all. This of course is allowing my imagination to run wild. My senses tell me that with 10 days of this, if something was wrong it would have increased in intensity, which it hasn't. But then I think, why doesn't it go away, If there was bruising or something of that sort, shouldn't it have healed enough by now to alleviate these symptoms? For three or four days prior to my procedure I felt great and expected to feel better yet afterwards. Very disappointing. My doctor is very hard to speak with, but tomorrow I will become insistent. His office tells me everyone is different and I should give it more time. Time for what. Regardless, I would rather hear directly from my doctor than office personnel.
Gary Harris, Virgina, USA, October 24, 1999
• Hi Everyone: My sister had an angioplasty done on Friday and return to work on today, Monday, with no recuperation. Please let me know if this is normal, for I'm very worried about her. She also had a heart attack 2 yrs. ago. What was your recuperation period if any. Please let me know, I'm so worried that she's working too hard.
Vickie Scott Weed, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, October 25, 1999
• Had angioplasty and stent 6 months ago in 95% blocked LAD and have been doing great since then. I vigorously exercise for an hour 5 days a week, cholesterol is incredibly low. Anyone know how long stent and angioplasty can last?
no name given, November 6, 1999
• I am 54 yrs, male, live in Jakarta, Indonesia. After having angioplasty my doctor said I can do light excercises, such as walking, whenever I feel fit to do so. One week after the angioplasty then I started walking. I felt warm/hot inside my chest. Then I report to my doctor, he said that I had too much lying down resting. The following days I continued walking again. There is an uphill street, about 25 meters high and 40 degree slope, I walked, then I felt so hot in my chest but kept continue walking because I said to myself "This is only because too much lying down resting". But at the top of the street I felt very exhausted and having cold sweat. For one week I felt discomfort on my chest and difficult to sleep. Then I saw the doctor and he asked me to make treadmill test. The test result is not good because the same hot chest was felt again after 3 minutes testing and then stopped. The conclusion was I had ischemia myocard. Now the doctor ask me to have another catheterization again to find out what went wrong. What I learned from this is that whenever you start feeling discomfort with your chest, although the doctor is very optimistic about your condition, never continue whatever activity you are doing at that time. Hope this information useful to other people too.
Umar Abubakar, Jakarta, INDONESIA, November 23, 1999
• I had my AP done on 11/15/99 by Dr. Levine at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, CA. I was watching the procedure on the monitor, and, obviously, it was quite fascinating. I was home the next day, with instructions not to resume an exercise program for four weeks. So far, the healing has been progressing as expected - no pain, no lumps and only mild discoloring of the groin area. There have been no chest pains whatsoever, and, a week following the discharge, I am back to almost normal work regime.
Eric Forster, Los Angeles, CA, USA, November 24, 1999


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