Newbie Concerned About Angioplasty

My first post here after lurking for a while. I just turned 50 and was recently diagnosed with a 90% blockage of my LAD following a CT Angiogram. This was a great shock as I've been active, have run marathons and generally looked after myself.

I was immediately prescribed 80mg of arvostatin, aspirin and diltiazem which has alleviated my chest pains.

I'm due to have an angiogram with a likely angioplasty next week and I'm very anxious about it. At my pre op the cardiac nurse talked me through the procedure and outlined the risks involved. I know all procedures have risks but I can't stop thinking about the downside.

I feel a bit pathetic having read about some of the conditions and challenges many of the contributors to this forum have faced but I can't help being worried about next week.

Does anyone have any advice to deal with my feelings?

Thanks in advance.

16 Replies

  • Hello villan, welcome to the forum.

    Of course you think of the downside, can't think of any amongst us who did otherwise. It is a tiny percentage though, a risk, but a justifiable one. Mine was pretty painless, had a bit of pain some hours later which was easily controlled, others have had more severe reactions some none at all.

    Other will come forward and relay there experience to help you relax some.

    Hopefully you will just need a stent or two and be back on your feet in no time.

    Good luck


  • Hi Villian67, I had a angiogram in July ( aortic Stenosis) it all happen really quickly, so I didn’t have time to think. When I was waiting outside to go in it suddenly hit me, and the nerves set in. Some have it done through the wrist mind was through the groin. I was given diazepam, it was more uncomfortable than painful for the first 5mins after that I felt nothing, fascinating to watch on the monitor, lovely warm feeling when they put the dye in. After I had no pain or discomfort. So yes you will scared, that’s normal but it’s not as bad as you imagine. I didn’t have any stents but the lady in the next bed had 2 and she felt fine with no pain. So I hope my experience helps. Take care Kaz ❤️💕❣️

  • Hi Villan67,

    I went for an angiogram a few months back.

    I felt a few stings(nothing much) as the catheter went into my wrist artery but that was is in terms of the pain I felt. When the dye was injected I felt a little nausea(but very mild and this soon passed). I was more fascinated at seeing my heart for the first time.

    You are not pathectic at all. All what you feel is perfectly natural. Whilst I didn't end up having stents I have heard it takes just 1 week to recover from as the surgery is classed as minimally invasive.

    All the best mate


  • I have the same concern, however, I came to the conclusion, it is what it is. I am not used to feeling unwell and restricted in what I do, so here is the solution. Thank goodness there is a solution. I need this to make me "me" again. They have been doing the op for years and it is a lifeline. Good luck. It's normal to have some anxiety, but the chance to be normal again is a no brainer. Best wishes.

  • I’ve had this op many times. 1st time I was 13 years of age. It’s ok but not nice. The pain isn’t that bad. I was able to get on with my life the very next day. Bed rest isn’t nice the ist time but I just get on with it.

  • Not as bad as having a filling at the dentist (hope that puts it into perspective), if you need Angioplasty and stents, same but takes a bit longer depending on what they do. Marvellous really. Just do as you are told afterwards and you will be fine.

  • Hi I to have a narrowing of my LAD artery 80% I had angiogram and I'm being treated for the time being with medication . I think if I get more angina pain I too will go down the stent route. The angiogram was fine and having a stent fitted I have been told is not much different. My brother had a Stent fitted and he hasn't looked back. His narrowing was 97% . I know I would be like you worrying about the small risks involved but they wouldn't fit a stent unless it was necessary . Try to be positive look at some of the posts on here as many have had stents fitted and are fine. I wish you well x

  • Thank you everyone for your replies. It's been reassuring to read about your experiences. I realise that all I can do is remain calm and put my trust into the hands of some excellent medical people and look forward to getting back to being active in no time!

  • About a month ago I had 3 stents fitted in my LAD because of a chronic total occlusion it was an awkward one which lasted around 3 hours, he had to have a go from two directions so went in through my wrist and groin.

    I found it very interesting and even got copies of the procedure on DVD, don't get me wrong bits were uncomfortable but I would rather have that done than go to the dentist.

  • Hello, I had an angiogram, no problems at all, but was told I needed a stent but the hospital I was in could not do it. I then had to wait nearly 8 weeks for the angioplasty, had just 1 stent. I had a small problem with the clamp thing round my wrist, got a second one, it was uncomfortably.

    What amazed me was how soon afterwards when I went for a walk and had no chestpain at all, had it done on Monday and went walking on Wednesday.

    All the best, Anke

  • You sound exactly like me. I just found out today I need an angiogram and placed on similar medication. Like you I thought I was relatively fit for 59, cycling up to 90 miles, open water swimming and regular gym Hiit training and bang out of the blue a wee bit of chest pressure when out cycling no shortage of breath and it's the chest pain clinic for me. Anxiety levels through the roof, overall I am a bit of fanny when it comes to health. Reading your post makes me feel less anxious, I find the whole thing frustrating after trying to keep myself reasonably fit. Hope you are well now and have great Christmas.

    Regards Cube

  • Hi cube, great to hear from you and welcome to the club! The angiogram wasn’t too bad. My anxiety made it worse than it needed to be so as long as you relax and zone out it will be over in no time. Unfortunately I didn’t have a stent as my LAD was completely blocked so it’s meds only for now. At least it can’t get worse! My other arteries are completely clear.

    I’m reading a lot at the moment to educate myself about living with heart disease. I’ve tweaked my diet and am working hard on stress management as this is an area I’ve not been good at. Regular walking helps me too as my running is currently on pause until I’m enrolled on an angina management programme.

    I’ve given up on asking why me when I was quite fit. Instead my energy is focused on reducing future risks and taking on as much advice as I can. This forum certainly helps in that regard.

    Merry Christmas to you too!!

  • Hi Villan

    Just picked up my meds today, statin, asprin, beta blocker which I have put on hold until I can speak to my Doc as concerned that with my Resting HR of around 52 and at sleep 45 bpm it might drop too low, advised by friend who is a Paramedic, also spoke to the Pharmacist and he agreed. Been to the gym did cross trainer, rower and few resistance machines and felt fine keeping it at 75% with no symptoms.

    Once again thanks for getting in touch. I am determined to stay positive like you and focus and what I can do and not why?

    Stay in touch and have a wonderful Christmas.

    Best wishes

    Cube (Thats my road bike lol)

  • Cube, I’m not on a beta blocker partly because my rhr is mid 50s too. I take diltiazem which I’m told is to relax the arteries. Do take the aspirin though. That’s the crucial one.

    Glad you can exercise with no symptoms. Hopefully I will be able to do so soon.

    All the best.

  • Hopefully I will avoid any problems when I speak to my GP and I get the most appropriate medication. The exercise aspect is so important to me, I hope that you get there soon, I suppose I am lucky that I am able get to the gym and clear my head. I will be rooting for you!!

  • Warming up and cooling down are very important to us hearties.

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