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Exercise, Sport, Physical Activity After Stent (2006 and earlier archive)

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How much exercise, sports or physical activity have you been able to do after stenting or angioplasty?

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Current Postings on This Page (109):

• I had a Taxus stent input in 2003 and no Heart Attack. Everybody tells me take it easy with Weightlifting and Running. But within 1 Month after the Stent Implant I started my workouts. I am now lifting 80% of the weights and running 75% of the speed I used to before I went for my angioplasty and feel quite good.
Salim, Alberta, Canada, December 27, 2006

RE: J., in London: "I am a personal trainer and have a new 70 year old male client who had angioplasty two years ago. He complains of a pain in his calf (of the leg treated) when walking, which causes him to stop." J., your client has CAD, so he should also seek out peripheral vascular screening. Doppler ankle brachial index/leg segmental pressures and/or vascular ultrasound may likely reveal peripheral vascular blockages that can be treated with peripheral vascular angioplasty and/or stenting.
Marshall Maglothin, CEO, The Cardiovascular Group, northern Virginia, USA, December 25, 2006

• Hi, I'm a 51 year old male and had an acute MI in March this year 2006, followed by angioplasty in October 2006 (that's the British Health service for you!!). Worried like hell up to the angioplasty, the angiogram (done in June) identified a problem in the main left artery. After the Angioplasty feel a whole lot better, was falling asleep every day between March and the Angioplasty in October. Now back to normal sleep pattern. Medication: Aspirin, Ramiprill, Clopidogrel, Simvastatin& Nikorandel. Still getting occasional chest discomfort (though nothing like the problems before the Angioplasty) and am seeing the cardiologist again in December. Always kept pretty fit, good diet, no smoking, and had no symptoms before the MI. Just fate I guess. Intend to start serious exercising again in January which is 3 months after the Angioplasty. This forum has helped shaped my view that I think I am right in not starting serious exercise un till then. Regards and good luck to everyone.
Steve, England, UK, December 5, 2006

• I had 3 stents placed in my LAD (2) and RCA (1) in April 2006 after an MI. I take plavix and aspirin daily. I haven't experienced any pain or discomfort during exercise which consists of 3-4 times jogging of about 40 minutes plus 2x a week of light weights. I am 47 years old. I used to jog with same amount before my MI. The amount of exercise and how one feels would depend on the individual.
raul, philippines, December 5, 2006

• Hi REB NY-just curious if your Afib came after your stents or did you have the history prior. I developed the Afib after the stents and have always wondered if there is any relationship between stents and the onset of A fib. Perhaps the Forum editor has some news on that issue. By the way feel it would be helpful if posters included their ages. I am 60 and approaching my 61st....kind regards to all.
Rick, New York, USA, December 3, 2006

• April 18, 2006 I had a taxus express 2 stent placed in my LDA. All remaining vessel were 100% clear. June 6 my family and I completed a half marathon. I have and do exercise weekly three days four mile walks and three days in gym on the weights. No history of heart disease in our family so it was a surprise finding the LDA blockage. I do have a history of occasional atrial fib which does not increase heart rate but does go irregular. Cards you get dealt. I am currently taking plavix, sotalol and coumadin. I expected to be off plavix and sotalol after six months but with the concerns about medicated stents this is all under review. One hopes those whom we trust for professional guidance can get on top of this stent issue. I am grateful for our technology which gives us hope and thankful for my medical advisors.
REB, New York, USA, December 1, 2006

• I recently had three drug eluting stents placed in my LAD that ended up being almost three inches in length. Post surgery, I am now experiencing a blood pressure spike of over 220 systolic after about 10 minutes of exercise. Could this stenting be causing that spike and is there significant danger to exercise? Is there any remedy?
Mark M., Florida, USA, October 17, 2006

• I am a personal trainer and have a new 70 year old male client who had angioplasty two years ago. He complains of a pain in his calf (of the leg treated) when walking, which causes him to stop. He is keen to step up his walking and improve his fitness. Can anyone advise on what is causing the pain and whether it is safe to help him strengthen his legs. I planned to improve strength and increase flexibility through gentle exercise but do not want to exacerbate any pain.
J., London, UK, October 8, 2006

• I am a 67 year old fitness instructor who has just had the stent procedure, and I am really concerned about my fitness, how much exercise I can do, and whether strength training will be dangerous for me. Also how soon can I get back to work. I do not want to risk my own health but also it would be dreadful if I collapsed in front of a class - sending a terrible message.
Lyn Willmott, Australia, October 4, 2006

Javier, Your M.O. sounds very much like my own, except that you are more physically active. I have always been about 10% overweight and with chest pains on and off at times since my late twenties. I am now 64. I have had several stress tests and a couple of echocardiograms. Next week I am due for an angiogram. I am concerned that I am going to be stented unnecessarily to fatten the bank account of my cardiologist.
D., Texas, USA, September 13, 2006

• Khan, exercise and physical activity after an interventional procedure is different for everyone. Your cardiologist is the best source for this information. Read through this topic and you'll see a range of activity. I would do as your doctor suggested (since he knows you and your physical condition best). You want to give enough time for the femoral puncture site in your groin/leg to heal, and give your body enough time to get used to the stents. Many people are back at work within a couple of days, but that may not involve vigorous exercise.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, September 7, 2006

• I am a 44 years old male. Recently I underwent an angioplasty and had three Taxus Liberte Stents implanted in Left LCX, LAD and RCA. I am not sure what precautions to take? How much of exercise to do and for how long should take complete rest to avoid any complications. My doctor has advised me four weeks rest with very mild levels of exercise. Can anyone guide me?
Khan, Pakistan, September 4, 2006

• Hi, I'm male, 50, had 3 stents inserted in January 2006. Since then by and large I've been fine and noticed significant improvement in my everyday quality of life. I'm a great walker and love walking the treadmill at home. I re-started walking after about 2 months of the PTCA, and followed the AHA guidelines. In April, I first experienced discomfort and pain not during walking but later; also light headedness, shortness of breath etc. I stopped exercise for a few days and things went back to normal. I re-started exercise and suffered similar pain and discomfort. Last 4 days I'm off exercise and I'm feeling good again. Can anybody throw any light?? I'm regularly taking all the standard medications, plus am on a low cal/low oil diet.
Bhaskar Bhattacharya, Bahwan Healthcare, Muscat, Oman, August 28, 2006

• I had my first heart issue ever about 6 weeks ago. It was a heart attack. Had two Taxus stents placed in RCA (I mistakenly had thought the CX was blocked.) after a 99% and a 70 - 80% blockage were found. I was put on Plavix, metoprolol, 81mg. aspirin and Lipitor. Since then I have noticed I don't seem to have an elevated heart rate after mild exercise, and I don't get winded at all. I thought it might be from the beta blocker. 9 days ago I saw the cardiologist and had an echocardiogram done. She pronounced my heart free of ALL damage, and perfectly healthy and normal! The heart had healed itself 5 months sooner than she had predicted. When I asked her if I have any limitations regarding exercise or stress on the heart, she said "absolutely not - whatever level you want is safe". Asked about why I don't get winded now, and my heart rate not rising much, she replied "it's because you have a healthy heart now". I feel like a new man!!
Kevin, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, August 26, 2006

• Only speaking for my particular situation, but I was told by my cardiologist that I was safe to mow the lawn and resume normal, even elevated exercise levels 6 days after the stent emplacement. So that day I mowed the lawn, and the following day I attacked the big back yard with the weed-whacker. It felt fantastic!!!
Kevin, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, August 4, 2006

• Just got the news yesterday that I will be having an angio on 8/11, with probable stents same time. I wish it was today as the anxiety of waiting is driving me nuts. This forum has been very helpful in making me realize that I can get back to running 4 miles a night on the nearby boardwalk sometime soon thereafter, can't live without it. Will miss the quarter pounders and cheese steaks, but that's a small price to pay. What has been the best diet resource for anyone in getting cholesterol down?
Gary Engelstad, Bradley Beach, New Jersey, USA, August 2, 2006

• Javier -- are you sure you are experiencing angina? Has this been confirmed through any testing? Sometimes other conditions might feel like chest pain (acid reflux, etc.) and you seem young to have had angina since you were 18. But the way to find out is to see a cardiologist (or start at your family physician) and get the appropriate tests (EKG, stress test, calcium score CT). You can read more about these tests in our "Diagnosis and Imaging" section.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, July 29, 2006

• Hi, I am a 28 year old male who has had angina attacks during periods of rest for 10 years. I do not know when this problem started or if I have always had it. This pain does not happen often. It usually happens a few times a year. I do not think this pain has happened during strenuous activity. I do not know what I should do to minimize the chances of death. At this time I am not on any medications and I exercise vigorously. I run about 5 miles in the hills every other day and I box professionally as well as wrestle. I did not know that I may have a serious condition until recently. I am very nervous. I would like to know if safer conditions can have the same symptoms as unstable angina and what can be done to prevent a tragedy from occurring. I have stopped exercising as of this week. Please let me know what I can do. Thank you.
Javier, California, USA, July 23, 2006

• Ken -- you pose a very interesting theory. We'll do some research on this, but maybe some of the cardiologists reading this Forum might offer their opinions. One thing we can say is that in the case of drug-eluting stents, the healing/covering of the stent by endothelial cells gets delayed. Dr. Renu Virmani, a pathologist and one of the leading critics of drug-eluting stents, told us she has studied drug-eluting stents that have not been covered many months after they should have. This is one of the reasons that the vast majority of cardiologists are prescribing long-term Plavix -- to avoid late stent thrombosis (for more on this, see our discussion on "Stent Thrombosis"). . But your point about the relationship between turbulence and restenosis is one we haven't heard much about, but very intriguing -- so we'll try to find something out. Great post! Thanks.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, July 17, 2006

• I am a 62 yr old male with history of angioplasties in 1980 and 1995 but also one in May 2006 along with a drug-eluting Stent. This was across a bifurcation and the diagonal branch blocked up 5 weeks later. Another angioplasty and stent opened this. I am investigating the theory that exercise (easy or vigorous--it's hard to tell) leads to increased blood velocity and hence turbulence through the stent, with such turbulence promoting factors which lead to premature blockage or restenosis. All of the common wisdom is to exercise/cardiac rehab, and I believe this helps the majority of people with heart conditions. However, it is possible that some people succumb to the negative effects of turbulent flow thru the newly placed stents. I have spent all day researching and indeed have found medical articles which support the theory that increased turbulence (and increased shear forces at the artery wall) contribute factors that are detrimental and lead to increased neointimal proliferation (growth of cells that can lead to blockage--as I understand it). This same paper cited some negatives (in rat studies!) of low shear stress/laminar flow, but the predominate results seem to point to turbulence as a bad deal. I asked my cardio about this and he paused, said not to worry about such details and to enjoy the benefits of the exercise. I suspect his pause was to reflect on the same research I have just been reading. My theory is to limit (perhaps eliminate) exercise until I pass the eight week period post stent placement, with the idea that the intimal cells will have formed a partial (or complete) covering of most of the stent and any negative effects of exercise will be minimized. I hope the forum editors will chime in on this issue.
Ken C., Ohio, USA, July 16, 2006

• I had 2 stents placed in my LAD on 3/15/06. I'm a 55 yr old male, 5'8" and 152 lbs. Prior to noticing angina symptoms I exercised vigorously, cycling 4-5 times/wk at a competitive level, and lifting moderate weights 2-3 times/wk. I have had this same workout routine for the past 20 years. No chronic health problems, whatsoever, and have never taken any long term medications. After receiving the stents I was placed on blood pressure medication, plavix, and a statin. It took me a number of weeks to become adjusted to all the meds, but I feel very good now. I recently went for my 3 month follow-up and have been cleared by my cardiologist to resume my pre-stent level of activity. I am probably 85-90% back to the level of workout I was doing prior to the stents, and I feel great!
John H., Georgia, USA, July 16, 2006

• Mohamed (and Mohammad from Australia) -- most patients are able to resume normal activity levels pretty quickly, but exercise and dietary suggestions (as well as medicines you need to be taking) are really best done in person by your doctor. He knows you and has your medical history, so can hopefully prescribe a program that's tailor-made for you. For dietary guidelines for heart health geared for your geographic area, try contacting the Saudi Heart Association ( Their website does not yet have exercise or dietary info, but their phone number is + 966-1-467-1434 in Riyadh.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, July 16, 2006

• I had an angioplasty and a Taxus stent placed in my main artery last week. I wish to know how soon I can resume my normal life and the diet I must resort to, to get back my health.
Mohamed, Saudi Arabia, July 16, 2006

• I am 53 years old male, underwent angioplasty + stent 3 weeks back. I used to walk 3-4 days/week (around 30 min slot) before the procedure. I need advice regarding going back to walking exercise.
Mohammad, Australia, July 16, 2006

• 51 year old, male. 5 June 2006, 6 stents; one in LAD and five in RCA. Procedure done due to chest pains experienced during physical exertion, i.e. climbing stairs etc. Post op. experienced better breathing and appear to have greater capacity for exercise, usually do 4 miles walk in the morning and 2 miles in the evening. Planning to lose weight by approx 10kg. Usual medications plavix, aspirin. Thought I'd share my experience.
Baldev S., England, July 9, 2006

• I noticed a posting by forum editor stating that it seems many patients are not getting advice on rehab upon leaving hospital. That holds true for me. I'm 72, just had angioplasty + 8 stents. I was given no written instructions upon being discharged from hospital, only prescriptions. I will be seeing my cardiologist this week, and have many questions. I run and workout, and need all kinds of answers on physical rehab. If answers turn out to be relevant to this forum, I will post them after my visit.
Jack Vance, retired, Saratoga, California, USA, June 28, 2006

• 37-year old male with two stents inserted. Tried to return to exercise per the prescribed time period (about one week), and nearly five weeks out, still have bad angina when I try and run. Thallium stress showed normal, but the pain continues. Doctor tells me to go to cardiac rehab -- that maybe I'm overdoing it. I did not have a heart attack and MD says heart is strong -- but symptoms persist. This sucks! Follow strict diet and still walk daily, but too much stress leads to intolerable angina.
Robert, St. Louis, Missouri, USA, June 24, 2006

• I had my stent inserted on Thursday (two days ago) through my wrist. I have not asked my Dr. explicitly if I can exercise the wrist enough to play the trombone immediately or how long I must wait. I have a performance scheduled for the 4th July and would like to practice. There has been no abnormality with the entry place and all I have on it is a piece of gauze and tape.
Marty Nichols, Rockledge, Florida, USA, June 24, 2006

• Exercise is the key!! I'm a 36 yr old male, family history of Early Heart disease. Was overweight trying to get back in shape when "heartburn" caused me to go to the doctor. Got 2 drug eluting stents, proceeded to lose 50lbs and began training for a 1/2 marathon, trained for 6 months with Asthma burning that turned out not to be asthma but another blockage on the right and circumflex. Ran 20 km 1 day (after some initial burning) and then 2 days later I couldn't run 500 meters. Back for another 3 stents and now, 6 months later I'm back running 10 km, with absolutely no pain. DO not exercise through pain that does not go away but expect some pain twinges, pangs, etc. Exercise builds collaterals!!! Also, exercise alone cannot save you, a strict diet and proper medication are the keys. Good Luck
T. S., Canada, June 14, 2006

• I am 55 years old-6'4" 195 lbs and I had a heart attack in November... had 4 stents placed in two arteries. I had an echocardiogram 3 months later showing no damage to my heart and with my Plavix, 81mg asprin, and Lipitor my cardiologist said you have no restrictions... you may return to running, weight-lifting (which I was doing at the onset of the heart attack). I have returned to running (up to 2 miles) but feel somehow less than reassured I will have another heart attack.... I suppose time will give me confidence. Are there any guidelines on how much how soon how intense???
Steve Womack, Lee County High School, Sanford, North Carolina, USA, May 16, 2006

• I am 48 Years of age. One year ago I had unstable angina. Fortunately I was present in the hospital at that time. i rushed to CCU and was given heparin before any damage to my heart.I was smoker for last 25 year. I gaveup for last one year. I have reduced my weight form 88 to 74 Kg. My hight is 5 feet & 7 inchs. I am on statin, 50 Mg tenormin, loprin and clopideron. I do brisk wale for 80 mints daly and jog for 30 mints on alternate days thear is no problem on doing this. I feel much fitter even before angioplasty. In apr 2005 1/stent was placed in RCA and three / in my LAD and left circomflex. My ECG and ETT are normal please advice wether i can continue this exercise are not i feel much batter and confident on doing exercise. My max pulse rate rise 140 p/mint while runing.
jamil, Pakistan, May 5, 2006

• dear sir , i am 37yrs old with a cypher stent DES stent in my mid lad about 9 months from now,for ant sep mi, on plavix, aspirin , atorvostatin, ramipril 5mg now i am doing all my routine works but not keeping mu regular exercise ,i do a little of motorised tread mill for 5-10 mins slowly when ever i am free. my weight is arround 85kgs and my height is arround 5.6" . kindly advise me regarding what precations should i take and what will be my prognosis with this stent since i have a single vessel disease and no other diseases like diabetes or hypertension etc. i am perfectly fit as before mi, and after stenting my ejection fraction is arround 45. what precations should i take to prevent further attacks thanking you , bhrgavaram.
bhargavaram, india, May 4, 2006

• I had a cypher stent in the LAD in Sept/05. My cardiologist and I had met a year or so before at the fitness club. After the procedure, I asked him about exercise. He told me to simply listen to my body: if you feel angina or gasping for breath after a certain exercise, slow down or reduce the weight. He told me to use isometrics where the style and the form of the exercise is more important than how much weight you use. Other than that, he told me there were no exercise restrictions.
Bernie L., Tennessee, USA, April 29, 2006

• I like most everyone on this forum had a stent placed in the LAD area on April 15th and returned to work April 26th.I am back to normal exercise and weight lifting and on medication. I am a 44 y/o Male. Does anyone know what the long term prognosis is for us? I know that to quit smoking, cardiac dieting and regular exercise will help. Thanks, Joe
Joe, Mission, Texas USA, April 27, 2006

• i had angioplasty in November, 2005 and one stent was inserted. Keeping good health. Strictly following healthy food chart; taking medicines (aspirin + clopidogrel + atorvastatin). I go for regular walk 30 to 45 mts. and my weight has come down by 6 kgs. Can I resort to Yoga, Dumb bells & light weight training. DOCTORS ARE NOT GIVING DEFINITE ANSWERS. Can anybody advise? Thanks in advance Nellaisivan
nellaisivan, individual, india, April 17, 2006

• Basavaraj -- the level of activity you can resume and how quickly is really something you need to consult your cardiologist about, since your clinical condition is necessary to know. But ideally one should be able to resume the activity level they had before stenting. As for precautions, you need to reduce your risk factors and diet and exercise are part of that.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, April 6, 2006

• I am 55 years old male undergone PTCA to distal RCA with special stent (33mm long) implanted on March 31, 2006. What precautions do I have to take? Can I resume regular exercise, walking, yoga. Please advise me how to prevent restenosis. thank you.
Basavaraj M, State Bank of Mysore, Bangalore, Karnataka, India, April 6, 2006

• I am 56 yrs old. I underwent angioplasty + stent in Novr 2005. I hv resorted to healthy food + 40 mts walk in the morning and 10 - 15 mts Yoga in the evening. I hv reduced 5 kgs weight in the last 4 months. My doctor says, I hv to reuce another 5 kgs. Of course I met the first target given by him. I am taking aspirin, clopidogrel & cardorone (heart rate regulation). I feel I am completely alright. This info i wld like to share with all the patients, while profusely thanking the Almighty and the Doctors, who hv performed the procedure and for changing my life style. I had very good support from my wife and two lovely daughters, whose moral support helped me restore good health. Tks & Good wishes

• It has been one year I had two stents placed after a mild heart attack,within this year my doctor has checked my heart rate and heart muscle,BP and asked me to continue by bloodthinner,bp and other medicines. I am a regular gym freak and this mild heart attak at age of 46 caused lot of awareness, I have been walking and keeping myself active with normal BP and excellent heart rate, I do not have any other medical issues nor I had until this heart attack. I am likely to see doctor in couple of days which will be exactly one year after my heart attack, what should be my typical questions to him, Can anyone please advise, I shall be thankful to you all.
Murali, Modi, Charlotte, NC, USA, February 23, 2006

• Interesting to see the varied comments. I am fortunate to have been able, since having a stent inserted using angioplasty, just over a year ago, (aged 60), to have been able to ride and walk over 1,000 kilometres each since the event. I found some recovery exercise programs on the AFROX web site that I followed meticulously and have completed two 100 km bicycle "races" and plan a third in March. One also needs (and I have!) good support and encouragement from family and friends and a Cardiologist who takes an interest, and one should want to succeed in rebuilding one's lifestyle in a healthy way.
Doug, South Africa, February 19, 2006

• There's lots of info on this forum about returning to exercise after angioplasty/stent placement, but it looks as if most everyone is interested in aerobic type fitness activities. I have been been told to schedule a heart cath/stent placement as soon as is reasonable, after having a nuclear stress test study late December 2005 showed reversible ischemia (damaged muscle..) in the left ventricle. I am diabetic (45 years), female 53 years young, and have been an active aerobic exerciser all my life, having added intense weight training 7 years ago. That dramatically improved my fitness level, reduced weight from 149 lbs. to 125 in the first year, body fat from 29% to 18%. I understand the advisability of returning gradually to one's former level of strenuous physical activity. I'm seeing advice ranging from 3-12 months. I am struggling with this;I've been active in competitive powerlifting for the last 5 1/2 years and have been nominated to represent the US in the World Masters World Benchpress competition (5th year in a row!) which takes place April 20-23 this year. I have a very good chance of medaling this year if I can maintain my current state of preparedness. Unlike most powerlifters, I do regular aerobic activity: 6 days/week during early part of competitive cycle alternating 3 days 45-120 min. @80-85% max with 20-45 min. on weight training days doing intervals. I back off on the aerobic activity gradually to the point that 2-3 weeks before a competition I am only doing 20-30 min. @80-85% max just on weight training days. I've been told by my cardiologist not to do any heavy lifting at all - EVER - he said the artery could blow out. I'd almost rather drop dead of a heart attack than give up the sport I'm so passionate about. I could back off for a while but not right now!!! Unfortunately the angina has been getting more frequent, although I rarely have it while lifting, and if I back off during aerobics, it goes away. So I'm going to be making a compromise any way I choose and there are no guarantees of outcome either way. I am wondering if anyone has experienced stent placement closely followed by any kind of lifting, and if so how much how soon following the procedure? I figure I can rest completely 3 days, then gradually add low level walking and stationary bike fitness over the next week and a half, then get back to some light lifting motions for a week, then gradually increase the intensity of one-rep max over the last 5 weeks without compromising my potential performance more than 15-20%, which may or may not put me out of medal contention. It's either that or wait until after the competition to schedule the procedure and chance a major cardiac event! Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!
Jeanne Harms, USA Powerlifting, Fort Collins, Colorado, February 03, 2006

• Coleen -- you brought up chelation therapy which is widely touted on the internet and which, although some think is a "quack" therapy, is currently being studied by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to determine if it in fact is effective. (I would pause for a moment to remember that in 1979, cardiologists who practiced angioplasty were also considered quacks.) Anyway we're just curious how your mother has fared since her Taxus stent. The drug on the stent is paclitaxel, related to chemo drug Taxol. It is eluted from the stent over the first few months, but in dosages that are very small compared to what a cancer patient might take -- just enough to stop smooth muscle cells from proliferating at the site of the stent, which would cause a blockage. Also, calcification of the arteries is not really the problem. It certainly is a symptom, but the problem is atherosclerosis which is a disease that causes blockages to form in the vascular tree of the body, sometimes the heart, sometimes, the legs, sometimes the kidney or neck. Taking antacids every day would not necessarily result in calcium buildup in the arteries. It's more complex than that. We agree about keeping a positive attitude and eating smart. Anything people can do to lower their "risk factors" is wise.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 12, 2006

• I had a stent placed in RCA on Dec. 12, 2005. I too got no definitive instructions on exercise. I do get epigastric pain from the Plavix and Aspirin. I now take them after dinner instead of breakfast to see if that helps. I understand that I will need to take them for 9 months. Anyone else get that pain? If so what do you do about it?
Jean Hartung, Middle Village New york, January 10, 2006

• In one of the responses I read the person said they have low choles. and yet still needed stent. I just recently learned that the main problem with the hardening of the artieries is calcification. Calcium carbonate being a problem. Anyone taking antiacids everyday would likely get a buildup as just one example. Chelation theraphy administered by a licensed MD. seems to be the answer in the best way to remove the heavy metals and calcification from your arteries if someone had high choles. I would recommend researching this. My mom had a Boston Scientific stent inserted in March of last year. We didn't know at that time other alternatives. The BS. stent contains a chemo theraphy drug which emits for approx. 3 months, but then a small amount stays behind (pellet) permanently. That is not something we would have agreed to getting, had we known. Eating organic food, veggies and such also helps your body rid itself of toxins also. Drinking distilled water is the best for you to drink also. My mother tries to eat all organic foods and most important is to keep a positive attitude that you are going to be fine. If you can take control of your thoughts, and you can,if you work at it, your mind will help your body recover. God wants us to think on things that are lovely and HE will do the rest. I will pray for you all. Prayer changes things. God Bless.
Coleen, Rutherford, New Jersey, January 10, 2006

• Apparently, we all have the same question; how much exercise and what kind is okay after our stenting? I am 63 years old and the recent recipient of five drug eluting stents; three Taxus in my right femoral artery and two Cordis in the right popliteal. Each procedure was performed four months a part with a thyroidectomy and radioactive iodine treatment for thyroid cancer in between. I am on Plavix ("forever" as my physicians say), full strength Aspirin daily as well as three blood pressure meds and supplemental thyroid). Prior to these procedures, over the past several years, I had less and less stamina or endurance, culminating in extreme fatigue and pain in my legs and now I know the cause. I do walk my puppy every day, often twice a day, but I'd like to add other exercises to this. For example, I would very much like to know whether I could ever risk doing Pilates on the reformer again, or if the risk of displacing or somehow affecting, the stents is too great.
Nancy, Sedona, AZ, January 6, 2006

• I am a fit 51 year young woman from Sydney Australia G'day! I training 5 days per week at the gym, doing 3 weight sessions with a personal trainer per week and 2 spin classes per week (cycling). I weigh 57.8kg and on the 23r4d December 2005, I had just completed a heavy weight training session with my trainer. I went into the change room and began to feel sick, sweaty and had pain in my left arm. I knew I was having a heart attack and had one of my friends call an ambulance. I had a stent put into my LAD, which by the looks of this forum is quite common. My father died of a massive heart attack at the age of 54 but he smoked, drank like a fish and lived hard! I, on the other hand live clean. My blood pressure on the way to the hospital was 120/70 and is always like that, my cholesterol is 3.1, so unfortunate genes the doctor said. I really want to get back to my training regime as well. I would appreviate any help on this please. Happy New Year to everyone and stay safe.
Karen, Sydney New South Wales Australia, December 31, 2005

• I had a STMI three years ago.(0% blockage to LAD. Symptoms were legs going to sleep visual disturbance high BP. Agressive pain in left wrist. Since the stent was placed I worked physically hard 5 days a week-landscaping and reticulated water systems. My stress test was normal. Ejection fraction 70%. I get palpitation if I drink caffeine drinks or get dehydrated; but otherwise feel good. my resting BP is gen about 123/68 and heart rate 57 -67bpm.

• i'm 67 male and had 2 stents in main artery that was 85% blocked.went back to the gym after 3 weeks told not to exceed 120 beats during workout but to workout to my "hearts content" meaning how I felt be my guide,so 6 months later I'm on the lifecycle 45 minutes at 60 to 70 rpms and burn 600 calories per workout 5 days per week. I maintain 130 beats per minute the last 4 weeks now. Feel great and have to hold back out of caution. I'm on ace inhibitors, plavix and asprin and lipitor lost 40 pounds with lifestyle changes. Stress test was a-ok hope this helps someone.
Robert Tumminia, retired, Toms River NJ USA, December 13, 2005

• At age 49 I failed a yearly stress test and a subsequent catherization showed a 90% blockage of my mid LAD artery. A medicated stent was used after the angiplasty. I had been going to a cardiologist for years after my father and bother passed away from heart disease. I agree with a lot of what I have been reading - patients are not given enough information after the procedure. I was given the usual medicines, and a follow up stress echo 1 month after the procedure, which I passed with flying colors. It was like pulling teeth to get info out of my doctor as to what to expect, or what were my limitations. One of the area TV stations had a group of cardiologists on and you could call in and ask them questions. I asked about limitations and they told me that their goal with a patient like myself is to get them back to as close as possible to the lifestyle they had before the procedure. They both stressed how important the follow up stress test is, and assuming you do ok on that test, then you basically get back to a normal life. I asked about exercise, and they encouraged it. I asked if I could jog and they said yes. What I got out of it is to let your body be your guide. If you are exercising and you feel strange, short of breath, chest pains etc, then you stop and call the doctor or if bad enough 911 I still have many questions but some have been answered
Bill Mulroy, syracuse ny, November 29, 2005

• I thought it might be helpful to expand on my previous post and give some details of the cardiac rehab programme that I'm on. Bear in mind that this is available to me "free" under the social medicine scheme in UK known as the National Health Service. No one therefore has a commercial axe to grind; you can look on this as best basic practise, certainly in the early months after your op. Immediately after having the stents fitted, I was advised by the cardiologist that BY LAW I was not to drive a vehicle for a week. Lifting weights was to be avoided, but gentle walking was encouraged. After three weeks the exercise programme was started, two hospital based gym sessions per week, with an additional supervised country walk (2 -5 miles depending on clinical circumstances) at weekends. Before the scheme begins everyone has their drug regime and age recorded, weight taken and BP measured. From that a pulse rate range is worked out for each person. This varies greatly, which is why I find some the the postings here all has to be tailored to the individual by someone professionally qualified. You can't just pluck a number out of the air based on what you were doing prior to your op and current drug regime. Every session is preceded by a BP, pulse rate and pulse regularity check. There is a long warm up regimen with lots of muscle and tendon stretching. The exercise format is a form of circuit training, with two sets each of eleven x one minute exercises. Pulse rates are monitored after each set. There follows a warm down, relaxation period, and a final pulse check to establish recovery rates. Whilst light weights are used, weight lifting without foot movement (ie pumping iron) is specifically disallowed to avoid the problems of high blood pressure spikes. Swimming and cycling are both encouraged, provided that the warm up is absolutely thorough..once again avoid high BP events. The basic course lasts 12 weeks (varies a bit with individuals) and includes a dietary advise clinic and lifestyle management class on Monday evenings, and a series of lectures by a dietician, pharmacist, psychologist, resuscitation nurse and exercise physiotherapist. The whole show is run by a specialist cardiac nurse with several qualified helpers. I've found it a great help, particularly in confidence building, not least by virtue of meeting other old farts all in the same boat. However your particular rehab is provided, make sure that it contains properly established and monitored exercise routines, dietary and lifestyle advice, and the companionship of of fellow travellers. Regards, Eugene
Eugene Molloy, Retired, 59, male, Shropshire UK, November 23 2005

• Hi, I am 33 old had an Acute MI on 15 Oct 2005 45 min after physical exercise. i didn't thought it could have been MI and i tried to bear it for 45 min the thought to take medical help for which i walked around 1 km with that pain and then i was put into ICU and told that i have Acute MI. My angiography was done and one artery was recanalized. now i am on medical leave and tale disprin, metaplorol and clopid. how normal am i ? i started brisk walking but had pain in my left leg.
Farhatullah Chauhan, IT Professional, flat no 1057, Rajnigandha Appts, Dwarka, new delhi, India, November 09, 2005

• Hi I had a LAD angioplasty and medicated stent two days ago. I am 67 and an active runner (former marathoner) and avid singles tennis player. My doctors have told me I can return to running in about a week and a half and tennis in about two weeks. That sounds overly optimistic based on the postings I have just read. Has anyone out there returned to running or tennis that soon. Thanks
Marvin Fein, Pittsburgh, PA USA, October 22, 2005

• I am 47 year old went Angioplasty on 28.09.2005 and doing my all duties with good spirit. i am not feeling any problem at all.
b, Nhpc LTd, Faridabad Haryana, October 19, 2005

• to M. D. Thompson, Tennessee, USA, August 07, 2005 - I am 57 yr old female ,just had stent installed 10/5 and am experiencing "stretch plain" that you mentioned. Have you found any info on this? Am very anxious.
PM Frank, Brooklyn, NY , October 13, 2005

• I am a 60 year old male who was physically active with running, cycling and swimming. After diagnosis of angina with partial blockages I had 3 drug eluting stents inserted on 11th August 2005. I was disappointed with the result at first because I continued to suffer angina discomfort which became worse as I stepped up my walking pace or gradient. This lasted at least 2-3 weeks. Now, after 8 weeks I feel much better. After my 6 week post-op consultation and clearance for more strenuous exercise I started to run again and have been cycling for some time. It is hard, like starting again from scratch but I will build up very carefully. The improvement was week by week rather than day by day. By the way, don't knock walking as exercise, it's a great way to start.
Bill Bellis, Leicester UK, October 07, 2005

• Greetings. I am 55 years of age. On 8/24/05 I had a heart attack. It felt as if a chicken leg went down the wrong tube, my teeth started aching, I developed a coating of sweat across my chest/shoulders and my hands felt like it was about 40 degrees in the house. Popped a couple of aspirin and had the better half drive me to the ER. They threw me in a copter and whirled me to the local hospital and directly into the cath lab where they inserted a drug coated stent into a 100% blocked artery. I returned 3 weeks later and had two more stents implanted. The surgeon stated an enormous artery was 95% blocked and too large for the drug coated variety so a regular stent was inserted. Another drug coated version was inserted in a smaller artery. Basically, my instructions were minimal, i.e. no lifting anything over 5 lbs, etc. They more or less referred me to the rehab folks at the hospital. After speaking with the rehab folks I decided it would be cost and time prohibitive to jumb into the program and I have a treadmill, excercycle, health rider, weights and a lot of other equipment at home. I have competed in judo from age 6 through 50 and currently hold a world record in the "strict curl" in weightlifting for my age and weight. Thirty pound dumb-bells for me are like feather/warm-ups amount for me. Everyone I speak with acts shocked if I asked about when I can start lifting a little bit. I really hope I can start lifting again one day and perhaps competing in judo once again.
Walter, Metro Fight Club, Whitmore Lake, Michigan, USA, October 7, 2005

• I'm a 35 year old male and had a heart attack last Nov. My heart rate fell to 34 beats per minute-they took me in and put a medicated stent in my circumflex art. I was in icu for 3 days-then 2 weeks later in the hospital again for 3 days. Every since then I have been feeling pretty good. Before the heart attack I was getting into trail running-running about 2+ miles every other day. I lost about 44 lbs, was feeling great and running for about 5 months. Then it hit me.. but this year I started running again, and did my first 5k this past summer. It was an accomplishment, but it never leaves my mind that I may die next time I go out. I have a stress test tomorrow the 23rd, so I will see how this heart is doing.
Terry, Englewood Ohio, USA, September 22, 2005

• Paul -- we agree!! We are a not-for-profit site and we are not doctors. But pooling the knowledge of what all of our users have been advised would be of great help. Thanks for the post.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, September 19, 2005

• This forum would be more useful if people would (a) ask their doctors these questions, and (b) report back what they found out, and how things are going later. I had a mild MI in mid-August and PTCA, followed by a second cath about a week ago to finish up work that would have put me in dye and x-ray trouble due to time, the first trip to the cath lab. I smoked my last cigarette about two hours before the MI, and right now into my second groin-entry-wound recovery in a month, no problems either time, just followed the instructions. I am 59 years old, male, and in otherwise good health. I feel fine and have plenty of energy, there was no significant damage to the heart caused by the MI; this was confirmed by radiological stress test (isotope imaging before and after treadmill) prior to second cath. I am particularly interested in long term results with disease mgmt, cholesterol control, and the plavix-aspirin regimen which I have been told is "for life" by a very experienced interventional cardiologist. Good luck and good health to all.
Paul Gooding, Phoenix, Arizona, USA, September 18, 2005

• Eugene -- excellent advice!! Your doctor was definitely correct and, yes, we are also surprised at the lack of post-op rehab advice that many patients who write in seem to have experienced.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, September 11, 2005

• I am surprised that so many people have had angioplasties performed but have not (apparently) received any proper post operative rehab advice. From my own recent experience I offer the following. My consultant surgeon was keen to point out that the stents were merely treating the symptoms; they didn't cure the underlying problems of lifestyle. They had to be addressed by changes to diet, exercise, and medication. Exercise. Each individual needs a tailored exercise programme. It's not something that can be plucked out of the air; age, weight, previous fitness level, and above all medication need to assessed before a regime is started. It's senseless to measure exercise pulse rates when you are on beta blockers, without professional advice. Lifting weights isn't per se a good move; it leads to higher blood pressure levels than is advisable. Medication. The drug regime that I'm on is common enough in the UK; a high dose statin, beta-blocker, aspirin, and clopidogrel. Most people need to be on something similar. Lifestyle. I never smoked anyway, but it's an absolute no no. The surgeon gave me an LDL target of 2 (UK money!) and a BP of 120-130 to be achieved through a combination of the drugs, diet and a hospital based fitness regime. Done that. Diet. Surgeon's basic advice...."Anything that walks on grass leave alone; if it swims eat it". I estimate I was 40 lbs overweight with a BMI of 28. I've now lost 18 lbs in about 12 weeks.
Eugene Molloy, Retired, 59, male, Shropshire UK, September 08, 2005

• To Indi Khera, I would be very pleased to know your latest state of progress. I had no previous history (60 years old) and was very active (X-country and fellrunning, cycling, swimming). After the usual angina symptoms I had 3 stents installed on 11th August. After recovering from the procedure I am slightly disappointed because I felt the angina pain approaching if I stepped up the exercise. Although I am improving slowly I would love to know if I can look fwd to vigourous exercise eventually.
Bill Bellis, Leicester UK , September 02, 2005

• Hello everyone. A lot of unanswered questions here - I can only give my experience. I am a reasonably fit 47 year old man, and a regular exercise swimmer. I had a total blockage in my RCA and had 2 stents inserted one week ago today (Wednesday). The doctor said I could resume swimming as hard as I liked from the following Monday. I did so gently on the Sunday, and have wound it up daily since then. All the chest pain and shortness of breath is gone, and 40 lengths now leaves me less winded than 5 did last week. I'm on low dosage Asprin, Ramiprill, Astorvistatin and Clopidogrel. No discernable side effects from any of them. The proceedure itself was no problem. I was able to walk gently within 4 hours, and cut the lawn the following afternoon (but didn't tell the doctor that). I was told that the only reason tht I couldn't do more, sooner, was the slight risk of re-opening the femoral artery cut, and nothing to do with the stenting. I am delighted with the result, and would approach the same proceedure again with no fear whatsever.
Tristram Torrance, Oxford, England, August 31, 2005

• Dear Mr.Rehan Siddiqi It is extremely unfortunate that some one with your activity profile had to under go the procedures. In my opinion all you have to be vigilant about is restenosis(re occurrence of the formation of plaque in your arteries). A controlled diet/excercise program along with your prescribed medication can be very helpful. I am 50 years of age and had my angioplasty done(one stent in the left artery) on July 26 ,2005 and since then I have been more devoted to my brisk walks(about 45 mins a day) and a low cal/high fiber diet. in order to attain better awareness on this subject, I do a lot of net surfing and have managed to gather some useful info/tips; I believe it would be wonderful if we can touch bases and exchange our views. This might be helpful for both of us. With kind regards --
Capt.S.K.Umer, Bulk Shipping, Karachi, August 27, 2005

• I had a stent placed for an 80 percent blockage to my RCA on August 4th. I too was told the no lifing over 10 pounds for 7 days etc. I had a the newer trans radial approach so I didn't even have to lie flat afterwords. I would like to know when I can resume walking and exercising again. I have searched the internet and this seems to be the only site that I get directed to.
charles m brown, Rockville, IN, August 10, 2005

• Hi, I am a 48-year-old male who has always been very active and average 4 times per week in the gym where I lift weights and run approx 3 miles on the treadmill. Recently I had a silent MI and after angioplasty, my cardiologist found 99% blockage in my LAD. A 3.0 x 23mm Cypher stent was inserted. I saw my cardiologist at the end of June, six weeks post-surgery, who reported my blood test results to be fine. I was told I could resume my workouts, but in a moderate manner. Since the stent was placed in May, I have had two occasions of which I have taken nitro pills. Each time the ECG's, bloodwork and other tests have shown no problems. My troponin is at .2 with the CK markers being a little high at 246. At almost three months now, I still feel this minimal yet aggravating "rawness" and "heartburn-like" discomfort that comes and goes with no rhyme or reason. Obviously this causes anxiety, worry, and depresses me to the point that I really have no energy for the gym, much less my work. I have researched and found that certain tests have been documented that have proven "stretch pain" because of the stent. How long and when do I get my real self back? If any of you can relate, please respond.
M. D. Thompson, Tennessee, USA, August 07, 2005

• Hi I am 44 years old, a keen hockey player and go to the gym 3 times a week. I was reasonably fit, was not getting any chest pains or breathing problems. I have a family history of high cholesterol and my father had a heart bypass at the age of 50. My Heart rate is 60 bpm (relaxing) , BP is 123/85 (which is normal) and my ejection fraction is 70% (diagnosed during the angiogram).3 months ago i was diagnosed with a 100 % blockage in my RCA. The cardiologist stopped me from going to the gym and doing any exercise (apart from a gentle walk around the block) to prevent me doing any damage to the heart muscle. I had 2 drug eluting stents inserted last Wednesday (20th July 2005) during a 90 min procedure. I was allowed to leave hospital the following day, Thursday 21st July 2005. The cardiologist suggested I stay away from the gym for about a week to let the puncture wound in the groin seal properly, and then I can resume my physical activity as before. Therefore I plan to start going to the gym on Monday 1st August and gradually build up my fitness and resume playing hockey in about 6 weeks time. I hope this helps because like you guys I was dreading not being able to go to the gym and being told to stop playing hockey post op.
Indi Khehra, UK, July 26, 2005

• Hi. I am 56 years old. On 12th July 2005, I felt shortness of breath with BP shooting upto 195/135. Immediatetely I went to doctor and in the angiogram next day, the LAD had 75% eccentric long mid segment stenosis and the LCX had tight 99% stenosis in the mid portion.Two stents of Cordis/ J&J were deployed in the angioplasty done on the same day. Now after two weeks, I feel OK. However, since yesterday, I am feeling low pain around left shoulder and chest. If I take up long walks now, will it be OK? Or should I wait.
PR Gandhi, Indian Rayon and Industries Ltd., Halol/Gujarat/India, July 25, 2005

• Hi. I am 49 years of age and am a competive cyclist. I have been just diagnosed with having two blockages in right artery which will necessitate me have a stent placed in right artery. I had no chest pain or any symptoms. Blood Pressure normal etc. I have family history, father died at 50 and my brother has angina My Gp said heart may have adapted through years of competitive exercise How long after stent is inserted can you expect to get back to competitive exercise. I would be grateful for any information that can help me with recovery program as cardiologists idea of exercise is walk around block. I would normally cycle 200--300 miles a week and go to gym twice a week many thanks John
John Duffy, Leydens, Dublin Ireland, June 23, 2005


• Yvonne, this is a user-generated Forum. People post questions, others answer -- occasionally we come in with a comment or information source. But this is not an "Ask The Doctor" forum -- we're a not-for-profit site and the Forum exists for patients to air their concerns and help each other. We'd most appreciate any insight or experience that you might want to add.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, June 09, 2005

• Where are the responses to these concerns?
Yvonne Daniels , Fayetteville, NC USA, June 08, 2005

• Rose, just wondering -- with a 95% blockage on the LAD, did the cardiologist discuss treatment with angioplasty/Stenting??
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, May 29, 2005

• Hi, I'm 57 years old and had what I thought was gastric reflux for the past 4 weeks. May 15, I went on a 5 mile walk with my husband and had to stop frequently due to chest discomfort in a very small area of breastbone which went away when I stopped walking. I casually mentioned it to my daughter, a radiologist, that night.I followed her advise and tried, unsuccessfully, to reach my doctor Monday morning. I went to the ER. Due to my symptoms and a family history of heart disease ,I had a cardiac catherization.I had a 95% blockage of the proximal left anterior descending artery (LAD). My doctor sent me home with 6 medications and on strict bedrest for 1 week. After that I can increase my activity by 1 mile per week.I'm glad I found this site.
Rose Galla, Scarsdale, New York USA, May 20, 2005

• I am interested to see the answers to the above questions/situations ! 2. In particular I want to know if a patient with stents inserted about 4-5 months back, is allowed to do jogging / running ?
Adarsh K. Singla, Gurgaon, Haryana, India, May 19, 2005

• Hi, I 55 and had angioplasty 18 Feb,2005. Had 80% blockage LAD. Was working out when chest pain hit, of course I thought it was just heartburn, since I had had it off and on for 2 days. Even told my husband if I got heartburn again I would go to doctor. Well pain went away, so I jumped back on gazelle. About 5 minutes later I got a sharp pain, became sick to my stomach and left arm when numb. I got to telephone and called 911. I got my dogs into the house and then went outside to wait on ambulance. Well 48 hours later I have a stent. The only information given after stent placement was: Do not lift more than 10 pds for a week, no sitting in bathtub, take all your medications and by the way resume normal activities after 2 days, letting your pain be your guide. Well did all and am walking 1 hour a day, 5 to 6 days a week, and I am exhausted. I just cannot seem to feel rested .Is this the norm? Is there a magic time frame when I will began to feel normal or is this it? In all fairness I am taking about 7 medications, same as ya'll I'm sure. I just want to know whats down the road. My doctor is great, but must have missed the bedside manner class. So I turned to the internet and found ya'll. God bless ya'll. Any informtion would greatly be appreciated.
Wanda Honeycutt, retired, Holly Grove, AR, April 21, 2005

• I am a 54 year old instructor. Although I was athletic in the past, about 2 years ago my schedule changed and I was unable to continue going to the gym or maintaining any high level of physical activity. I this week I had a stent put into my left coronary artery. I am wondering what sort of exercise I can do and when I can start. Thanks.
Steele Ford, Oklahoma City, OK, USA, April 16, 2005

• I am a 61 year competitive racewalker and hike leader. Feb of this year I started noticing a slight shortness of breath in the 90% of max HR zone. The stress test EKG also indicated some irregularities at the higher heart rates. The thallium indicated the lack of blood supply to the bottom of my heart. I went in for an angiogram and it was discovered I needed 1 stent in the LAD and 3 in the Mid RCA. The sheath removing nurse over applied pressure to the wound and caused a terrible Subdural Hematoma and because it was the second day of procedures, the pain from the soreness almost caused me to pass out. But using some breathing techniques I had learned in Yoga I managed to stay conscious.
     It's now been 1 week since the procedures and I walked last night at a heart rate of 120 for a distance of 4.5 miles. My wound is black and blue and a lump about the size of a quarter has developed.. The hospital and doctors are useless when it comes to recommendations. They seem to choose the conservative advice Don t do anything until we see you in 10 days .
     My position at this point is and well remain unless something changes it:
- I will train at a heart rate of 120 (60% of Max) for 4 weeks (1 hour per day)
- At week 5 I will alter schedule to 50% days = 120 bpm and 50%= 125 bpm
- At week 6 50%=125 bpm and 50% 130 bpm
I plan to continue this until I reach 80% of MHR and at that time begin to increase distance using the same strategy of 50%. Of course the overriding factor in all of this is Listen to your body Only you know your body and it s your responsibility to make sure you do everything to stay well and healthy.
Jim Norvill, Atlanta GA, April 13, 2005

• Hi, I am f. farzaneh an medical doctor(gp) from iran. i have 30 years old. my weight is 92, and my height is about 161cm. my bmi is high, i know. in 7 march 2005 i have an unstable angina pectoris and high positive stress test (exercise test) that i have to balloon angioplasty and undergo stent (cypher). i must reduce my weight but i can not effort very good and i have not good state yet therefore i want from u that give me n route for reducing my risk factors thanks
farshid farzane, doctor, tehran iran, March 31, 2005

• Hi I'm 59 years old and had a stent placed in the circumflex artey 3 years ago. I had been reasonably active until around age 53 with frequent jogging. My knees gradually put a stop to it and I became far less active. A very mild heart attack led to the stenting which was done at Beth Israel in Boston. This all took place over a matter of a few days, so it pretty well rang the bell on mortality created an instant believer in watching my diet, as well as fear and curiousity as to what I could reasonably hope to do on a physical level. My cardiologist at the time seemed rather cavalier about activity, neither restricting me or encouraging healthy living. Excercize and diet did not appear to be high on his own personal priorities, so I felt pretty much on my own to find some guideposts. Three months after the stent I joined a wellness program through Beth Israel that provided a systematic approach to diet, stress management and regular exercize. The program was extremely helpful in easing me into a more active lifestyle, while putting underlying fears in a more reasonable context. I felt more in touch with my body and capable of gauging how far I could reasonably push myself. I now engage in all physical activities I enjoy, while following a daily regimen of biking during warm months and using the treadmill during colder ones. I use yoga and moderate weight training as well. I feel and look better than I did ten years ago. I'd recommend a structured wellness program as a wise and reassuring approach to regaining one's self confidence after stenting or any procedure where something as vital as the heart has been touched.
Robert Curran, Mass. Rehabilitation Commission, Taunton, MA, 02780, March 30, 2005

• We've gotten a number of questions in this topic about level of safe physical activity and exercise after having angioplasty. I am curious -- are hospitals and physicians not giving patients these recommendations? The amount of exercise and activity post-procedure should be tailored to the clinical condition, age, etc. of each patient, so general recommendations may not be that helpful. If you've had an angioplasty, please share your experiences with us here about the recommendations and follow-up you have or have not gotten from your physician.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, March 29, 2005

• Astounded that so many have unanswered questions. I had a heart attack 95% blockage stent etc. Next week I start an eight week rehab programme of exercise and education. It's free and run by my local hospital.
Thomas Mc Mahon, Dublin 7 Ireland, March 29, 2005

• I had my angioplasty last week. This is the last thing I imagine could happen to me. I am playing tennis for last 20 years. It was nice to read the responses. I will be very happy to get information about angioplasty
M. Rehan Siddiqi, Forman Christian University, Lahore, Pakistan, March 26, 2005

• Hi. My dad underwent angioplasty and stent therapy 2 days back. I would like to know what kind of exercises and diet he needs to follow once he's home. Can anyone please let me know on this? Thanks in advance!
Jill, India, March 16, 2005

• I am a 77 yr old female. I had coronary stents on Feb 5 and one on Mar 2. Bleeding difficulty with the second procedure at the entry site. Still some swelling and tenderness. Dr ok to travel on 3/18. Any suggestions as to limitation on playing golf a couple of times?
Jane Defoyd, Retired, Austin, Texas, USA, March 12, 2005

• Hi I am scheduled for a Cardiac Catheterization in 7 days and my Dr said I may need a stent. I am 66 and compete in Triathlons 2-4 times a year and am scheduled to compete in the National Sr. Olympics June 14-17 2005. What is a realistic expectation to go back to training?
Kenneth McKinney, Phoenix Triathelon Club, Sun Lakes Arizona, USA, February 04, 2005

• hi i am male 57 i had stent inserted in my right artery about a week ago i have been thinking of getting a treadmill and excercise bike can any of you tell what type of program i should start with and how to build on it it would be greatly appreciated
Paul Lavety, , Frankfort Indiana USA , January 24, 2005

• I am 71 years old with a history of passing out, mostly without warning. For years I have been examined and had just about every test. Last Nov I passed out at a meeting and the paramedics took me to the hospital. Again nothing could be found wrong with me. They did an eccocardigram and found irregularites in my heart. An angiogram was followed by an angioplasty and a stent. 2 months later a thallium stress test revealed another problem. Antother angioplasty found a small blocked artery that was opened. I have never had any symptons of heart disease. 6 months later after another ts test revealed a "problem" I had another angioplasty. They found the small artery 100% plugged and said don't worry about it. They also found a small plug in front of my stent and balloned that and then went into the LAD with ulrasound and said I had plac on both sides. I am now on a self imposed diet plan. My leg on my right side has a "charlie horse" type pain.. After the last 2 angioplasty's I returned to acitve walking (5 days a week did a 5k) and activities with no pain. Will this "hurt" go away?? p.s. I haven't passed out in 13 months
Bill Watts, La Canada Flintridge, California, USA, December 12, 2004

• I just had angioplasty and a two stents in the same artery this past Thursday, Dec 2nd. I have been told not to do any activity that would result in a pulse rate exceeding 120 for the first month. After that I plan to engage in regular exercise to include treadmill and light weights. Does anyone know of any precautions that should be taken once this is undertaken?
Vince Bova, San Diego CA, December 05, 2004

• I'm 62 years old, just had 2 stents put in and a angioplasty. I still have shortness of breath, is this normal. I had the procedure done on 11/17/04.
Virginia Gillispie, South Charleston, West Virginia 25309, December 01, 2004

R M A C, HOUSTON/TEXAS/77053/USA, August 03, 2004

• I am 36 Years old IT professional who suffered an MI on 29th March 2004. It was in the inferior wall. I had undergone Angiography and it was found that there is only one block in my RCA ,stenosis is 35-40 %. Hence the Interventional Cardiologists, Dr. Satyavan Sharma and Dr. Anil Potdar, decided that angioplasty is not required. I am on minimal medications for future avoidance of risk of MI. I wish to return to Gymnasium for lighter excercises and Tread Mill etc. soon. I would be happy if I can get a feedback on the above soon.
Suneet Kumar Garg, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, 10 May 2004

• I am 35 years old and just got back home from a several day stay at the hospital. I am an avid endurance athlete for the past 20 years and out of the blue, had terrible chest pains. I ended up having over a 90% blockage in my LAD and a 30% in another artery. I had angioplasty on both and one stent put in. My question from here is why would a perfectly healthy person get such a severe blockage with NO other indications of this occurring (i.e. Cholesterol is 138, low blood pressure, low heart rate, no family history, etc… not a single test leads the doctors to understand why this happened)? My second question is about getting back to training, specifically weight lifting, swimming, and cycling (i.e. how soon, how intense, etc.?) My heart feels fine even though it's only been 5 days since the procedure. The only thing that is still bruised and sore is my leg from where the angioplasty was inserted. Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated.
Scott, Orlando, Florida, 05 May 2004

• Hello. I have a similar case to you all here! I am 40 years old and at age 39, I suffered an event of an AMI in the right coronary, which was treated with angioplasty and stent placement. I was diagnosed a Killip I AMI. It happened during aerobic dance exercising, which I constantly enjoyed. Needless to say I was devastated at first as I had been very active in my entire life since very little, having been raised in a tennis playing family. I had been going to the health club almost every day for many years, and my workouts included both aerobic and isotonic excercises. Well during the first month after the incident, I was instructed by the doctors to limit exercising to walking every day for one hour, plus attending cardiac rehabilitation in the hospital. It was very difficult for me at that time to limit all my activities to such slow level! I remember during rainy days I had to got to the indoor gym to walk on the belt and see all the people performing steps aerobics how much I desired to do so... Well, but then in the second month, yoga and fitball classes were allowed. After the third month, light weightlifting and light aerobics were added. Then, after the fourth month, I had a stress test performed where the results indicated that I achieved 93% of my maximum heart rate, reached 14 Mets of oxygen intake thus prognosing "excellent tolerance to exercise with no chest pain reported", and "no significant changes in the ST segment of the ECG". So the doctors then allowed for increasing, more demanding activities such as spinning, step aerobics and squash. The Cardiologist, together with the Physiatric Physician at the Hospital's rehabilitation program, calculated the "safe" heart rate ranges. I was also appointed to run in the National Marathon for patients with CAD to be held next October. I now go to the gym everyday, and my regular weekly workouts include daily aerobic exercises which include activities such as step aerobics, dance aerobics, squash, and isotonic exercises (weights) four times a week for muscle tone. I think what has helped me the most was the ability to progressively regain my confidence and prove to myself that I still can do all the activities that I have enjoyed in my life.
Eduardo, Bogota, Colombia, 11 Apr 2004

• I am 51 years old.I am an associate professor and am involved in petroproducts blending industry. Just last week I had 90% clogging detected in my main artery and a stent was inserted. I used to do biking and do little exercise combined with jogging. I would appreciate if I can get some suggestion when I should be able to start my exercise and whether I should or shouldn't do the exercise.
Amrit Nakarmi, Nepal, 20 Mar 2004

• Greetings! I am a 45 year old 10 year diabetic who had angioplasty and stenting in my LAD and LCX last October 2003. Since then I have not come back to exercising as yet. I have regained 15 lbs and I am now 150lbs. What kind of exercise should I do?

• Returning to running without giving artery proper healing time will result in restenosis. After 3 months start walking. At 4 months brisk walking. At 7 months do full stress test. Then if all is ok, build with mild jogging exercise, but do not go beyond 170 beats/min. I have been a competitive runner before angioplasty. Developed restenosis I believe because of too rushed a recovery schedule. After 2nd plasty (brachytherapy) I got smarter and did some reading. I am now at 11 months, feel great, do 30 minutes aerobic jogging/ cycling 6 days a week. I am playing recreational soccer again. At 14 months (springtime)i hope to start road runs. Highly recommend the Matthias Rath/ Linus Paulings' cardiovascular vitamin therapy I credit my recovery to them more than the medicine of today's cardiologists. I began taking the vitamins 2 weeks after the angioplasty. After two weeks I felt noticeably better.
Nick Mongiardo, USA, 25 Nov 2003

• Rick, I hope you are doing well now. I had a very similar experience to yours. I had been training at a higher level than usual during the winter of 2002 in preparation for road running season, but eventually for sub masters track events (age 45-50) for 400 or 800 meters. I also played soccer recreationaly. My times in March were the best ever for me in road work. In April I started to get the first heart symptoms. The eventual diagnosis led to an a stent in the LAD. After 3.5 months and after the nuclear stress test/ pictures, I was cleared for any and all exercise. This I believe was improper direction since I immediately felt some reoccurrence of symptoms on light 200M jog. This led to an angioplasy in December (brachytherapy). I am in full agreement with you that doctors are grossly underestimating recovery time required. The pictures are poor indicator of progress in my mind because the patient is using anti- platelet therapy so that naturally flow area will show to be open. Vascular damage that was undoubtedly present before the first angioplasty and then aggravated by the stretching of angioplasty and insertion of a stent requires quite a bit more time then the doctors are mandating. I am now eight months from the last angioplasty and have no symptoms with bike riding, singles tennis, and am even playing soccer. I do not allow myself to get really breathing hard yet. Perhaps this is just fear. I feel that I do not want to exeed for very long 150 beats per minute, or in continuous exercise about 140 beats per minute. I will keep these limitations until 13 months are behind me. I did nothing very strenuous for the first four months of 2002. Also I would highly recommend the vitamin and supplement recommendations of Dr. Matthias Rath and Linus Pauling as well as the B6, B12, folic acid regimen already encouraged by mainstream medicine.
Nick Mongiardo, , Norwalk, Connecticut, 08 Sep 2003

• Hi Dax, came across a fellow Malaysian in similar position...swimming regularly in 50 mtrs pool non stop 15 to 20 laps about 3 to 4 times a week, but still had a 90% LAD Block on 30/4/2002 . Put in a stent By Dr. Kim Tan Of USM, Petling Jaya. Now I have been walking more for an hour for about 6.5 KM about 4 times a week...swimming on and off...but now returning to the gym for muscle toning. So far reports are good...all cleared of any collapse of the stent.. and Dr. Kim Tan said I can climb Mount Kidding!!! Love to hear from u...Stan
Stan, nil, Malaysia, 31 Aug 2003

• Hi, I am Gretchen. I am 47 years old and like body building and am a spinning instructor. Two weeks ago a stent was inserted in my right artery. I would like to know if I can continue with my exercise regime and how long after the procedure can Istart with the exercises. Any other advice and fitness tips will be appreciated.
Gretchen Smit, South Africa, 17 Jun 2002

• I had an angioplasty with stent on my LAD coronary artery 90% blocked. But I am extremely physical in swimming..a nonstop 20 laps of a 50 metres pool every week for 3 days, if I did not do this , I will be in the gym for an hour lifting weights.Can I ever return to all these? will be good if someone can help.
Dax Tan, gec, Malaysia, 5 May 2002

• I am a 50 year old football official. I get into relatively good shape during football season but slack off at other times of the year. I am having an angioplasty and probably a stent placement for a blockage in the right artery. Does anyone know if there will be any problem in starting a regular cardiovascular exercise and running program and/or any problem getting on the field and running as an official again? Are there any other officials out there who have gone through the same thing? My only warning was severe pain that lasted for several hours....during sleep, not exercise.
Richard Rice, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, 2 Mar 2002

• Great to hear you guys are fighting fit! Your testimonies have been a real inspiration to me today. I am 36 and was devastated when I was told that I needed angioplasty. Things got even worse a few weeks later when I was told that I needed another angiogram and possibly further work done on my arteries. The fact that you are doing so well gives me great hope.
Philip Cowan, Scotland, 15 Dec 2001

• I just saw your question on road racing and angioplasty through a Google search. I had an angioplasty of the LAD coronary artery two days ago. I am 51 and ran the NY marathon last year and was training for it again. I did a 20 mile long run two weeks ago. I would like to know if there is any research that says if I can go back to training, and when Thanks.
Marathon Runner, Florida, 3 Oct 2001

• Dear Bruce --I am 51 years old, I was a competitive runner until I was about 26 -27 years old. When I was that age I ran the 1500m in 4:08-4;12 and the 800m in 1:57- 1:59 at the university level. I have always kept active since then, ie mountain biking, running once or twice a week, exercising every morning with light weights, and streching, I am a social worker half time investigating child abuse while the other half time I engage in sculpting and painting. The sculpting is very physical and I felt with all this activity I would be the last to experience heart problems . In July of 2001 I had a 99% to 100% blockage in my left artery. It was lucky I was in the hospital for observation for three days and deteriorating (my heart rate, blood pressure and cholesterol were all low and suggested I was in good health) I had an unscheduled angiogram followed by a angioplasty with stent. At present I am preparing to get back into running and more competitive exercise, as well as watching my diet. I have been doing a lot of walking (one hour a day with light jogs for 200 meters while walking. I experience slight pain, occasionally and once or twice some sharp pain in the chest area, I stop and rest or walk slowly when this happens. I attribute this to residual pain and skeletal pain as well as the drugs I am taking that can cause some pain, nausea and or headaches. One thing that has happened since my stent implant is that I dont get as tired and I seem to recuperate quicker. .I seem to have more "zip" in my physical activities even though I am still taking it relatively easy. At present I am waiting to get in to the cardiac wellness clinic at Linsay park in Calgary so they can set me up on a program and monitor me. I am hoping I can slowly work my way into competition again, if not high intensity at least low intensity . I think you are right, running may not cure or prevent what we have but I think It allows us to know our body and be more aware of what's happening to it as well as help us survive any future heart problems we may have . It probably better to have a strong healthy body when we have a heart problem than an unhealthy weak body. I would be interested in knowing if you are on a special diet ? and how you are doing with the heart monitor, does it make a difference? have you smoked or drank in the past or presently? Awaiting your reply
Fred Spina, Calgary Alberta, CANADA, 27 Jul 2001

• I am a 70 year old tennis player and am having an angioplasty on March 1. What can I expect in terms of physical activity recovery time?
robertsterman, 25 Feb 2001

• Your question is interesting to me. I believe that you can return to full activity and at the same level of intensity as pre-angioplasty. Health care professionals have given me this answer in no uncertain terms. Provided, of course, that a 4 to 6 week period of healing is allowed; and also that a proper re-conditioning program is undertaken. On the other hand I have been told that, also by professionals, exceeding a recommended training maximum heart rate of 65% to 80% of maximum heart rate (in your case 98 to 120 beats per minute) does not provide benefits comensurate with the additional risk. Can you tell me if you have been able to do any training during the 4 to 6 week convalescing period after MI. I am 59 yrs and like to be active in all kinds of sports. I had MI in May, good convalescence (I thought) through June and July, unstable angina in August and a second MI in August. Angiogram did not show blockage for second MI. I am now scared to undertake ANY activity, thinking that perhaps I did not take it easy enough during June and July.
Rick Crockett, Optical Dispensaries, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, 1 Sep 2000

• Hi, I am 39 years old and had angioplasty with 2 stents in the right artery. Genetics: father passed away at 42. I had 2 blockages of 99% and 90%. Dr Les Osrin did the operation on the 12/04/2000 in the Medforum hospital in Pretoria. It has been very successful and + - 2 months later I ran my 7th annual ultra marathon in 8 hours and 17 minutes. It is the well known comrades marathon and probably the most gruelling 56 miler, 90km in the world. My ECG and other tests were fine. It is almost 6 mhts post and time for my mibi scan. If that is clear and no signs of restenosis I can return to flying duties (flight purser) with our airline.
Lucas Stander, S.A.A, SOUTH AFRICA, 3 Aug 2000 

• I would like to engage in a discussion about the level of activity a person who has undergone angioplasty can do. I am a competitive runner having done so since 1977. I am 53 years old. In 1993 I had my first angioplasty in the left descending artery of the heart. After that I continued to race, run marathons, and do track. In May 1999 I had a second angioplasty in roughly the same area as before but this time a stent was inserted. Since that time I have continued to enter 10 mile to marathon road races and do track (ex. 200 meters in 28 seconds). I cut back some of the mileage. I have suffered no after effects i.e. chest pain. My cardiologist has recommended that I do not compete (I am trying to compete at a lower intensity level with use of a heart monitor). My training heart rate is between 130 to 140 heartbeats per minute. When I race the heart beat will be at 150 to 160 as I will not pick up the pace until I am into the race i.e. 1/3 of the way). I wonder if it is worthwhile testing my vo2 intake. I would like to find a safe medium to minimize my risk of sudden death but I still cannot understand why this would happen when I am told a person sitting behind a desk can suffer the same result.
Bruce Mintz, Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA, February 19, 2000

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