British Heart Foundation
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A need for stents? Really?

So, in my previous posts (rants) I explained my husband had been taken to hospital whilst working in Aruba. He was diagnosed with 'probable' angina and given 6 lots of tablets (just take them with no explanation!) and GTN spray. He has had absolutely no pain since and had just carried on as normal with work and swimming. He has now seen a cardiologist in the UK who is planning to do an angiogram and (if necessary) will insert a stent(s) at the same time. Having read on here about people's experience of having stents fitted the whole idea is starting to really concern me. He is currently taking meds (less than before but still.......) as per our GP and cardiologist but from the one attack he had in Aruba he has had no pain or other angina symptoms at all. He has had a full blood check done at the GPs and all that shows was a slight thryoid problem (He had a partial thyroidectomy some years ago). Nothing has been mentioned about raised cholesterol or anything else. I am worried he is going to go in to hospital for this procedure active and leading a full life and come out as an ' invalid ', unable to do much including being unable to return to his job for some weeks (it is in Aruba). I don't understand why they can't just monitor him for now. It has been 6 weeks since his attack and he has been working and swimming twice a day with no ill effects. (Sorry ........rambled on a bit but not sure what to do for the best)

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Hi duckylady,

The angiogram will give them the chance to look at the arteries surrounding his heart. If stents are needed they are placed there and then, if not, aside from some discomfort for a few days, if they go in via the groin , then that's it.

If stents are required may take a few weeks recovery but it should be reasonably quick. Most are able to return to work in a week or so. Sounds as if your husband is in good shape so should be fairly quick

Take care Mark

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Thank you. I don't know if it is because things seem to be happening so fast I am not convinced. I wish I could get his Cardiologist, thyroid guy and the Dr caring for his prostate cancer in one room and talk it all through. But that isn't going to happen is it?

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Agreed, but the cardiologist here can onky go on the report yes been given. In truth the angio is the best and quickest route to see if there are any blockages. Mind you even if clear there may be other tests.

What meds is he on for the suspected angina?

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When he was in Aruba he was on 6 tablets plus a GTN spray. One of the leaflets did say don't take if you have a thyroid problem, taking one of the other tablets he was on or Clopidogrel (?) - he was 3/3!! Anyway, when we got home GP gave him Asprin, a different statin (Dutch one was too expensive) and Lisinopril. Cardiologist added Clopidogrel. (Afraid I am one who doesn't take a tablet of any kind unless forced to - not even paracetamol). I just can't get my head around him being fine since that one attack - swimming, working, DIY.. - but after going in for this procedure he could come out unable to do much at all for weeks.

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Hi, I am guessing that he is on some kind of mono-nitrates which are like a slow release GTN. So it is quite possible to have had no further symptoms.

The Angiogram is the best way forward. I was convinced that I had nothing wrong with me until my first Angiogram which showed a 90% blockage of one artery.

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Thanks MK1954. He is on asprin, Clopidogrel, Lisinopril and Atorvastatin. When in Aruba he was on Lisinopril, Clopidogrel, acetylsalicylzuur cardio aurobindo, metoprololsuccinaat sundoz retard, promocard and

apo-rosuvastatin.

Hope you are ok now and keeping well

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Your husband’s condition is not dissimilar to what I went through. I agree that the angiogram will reveal if he has CHD (blocked/narrowed arteries). If it was not for the angiogram, I am not sure I would be writing these posts here, if you would like to know more I suggest you read my detailed post below.

healthunlocked.com/bhf/post...

I think this is the first post I came across where Clopidogrel is given prior to stents being administered/fitted, I thought that Clopidogrel is antiplatelet and usually given for a specified period (one year) for patient fitted with stents.

What I can say to you from my experience that that this procedure won’t make him ' invalid’ or unable to do much or unable to return to his job. Your husband is fit and active so his current endurance levels will help him enormously to make a speedy recovery, hope below thread will give him a positive outlook.

healthunlocked.com/bhf/post...

I guess you need to be positive in your thinking and don’t build any negativity in your head. He needs reassurance and all the support he can get and positivity plays a huge part in speedy recovery.

I wish your husband all the very best.

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Thank you mandm65. I will read the posts you suggested. Fingers crossed it won't be too serious. Hope you are now enjoying good health

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Hi as others have said the angiogram is the only way to know the exact state of the arteries in his heart. The fact that he has had one episode means it is important to know what is happening. The medication is important in maintaining his health and will be helping to reduce his risk. I understand your concerns and sometimes it is harder being the bystander and not the participant. However research and treatment has come such a long way so he will be in good hands. The cardiologist won’t do something that they deem is not necessary. May I suggest you see your GP to express your concerns she/he won’t be able to discuss your husband but may discuss in general terms each of your worries. Also the BHF have a page that gives details for carer support and you may find this link helpful bhf.org.uk/heart-matters-ma... As others have said The good news is your husband is fit going into this procedure and so that is a bonus. Most of us had already had a heart attack before needing the angiogram so his fitness is a bonus. All of the medications and treatment procedures have gone through rigorous trials as well as NICE guidelines. So our systems are tried and tested. Look after yourself and try not to be too stressed although I know that’s easy for me to say! After my heart attack my partner just kept looking at me and wouldn’t leave! Then I was more worried for him worrying about me! Anyway take care and look after yourself as well as your husband

Zena

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HiI

After an MI I had an emergency angioplasty that showed circumflex fully blocked, and had stents fitted the only discomfort was the 2mm scar on right wrist, which was quite itchy. Apart from that was up and about next day and left hospital 3 days later in much better health. Obviously having had MI my situation was a little different, but the angiogram/plasty was a smooth procedure. It will at least give the cardiologist detailed info, and allow them to work out the best treatment for your hubby.

I wish you both the best of luck and hopefully you'll soon have all the info you need.

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Hi Duckylady

I had a stent fitted last September. I was out of hospital within 4 hours and back to work within a week. I had a few pains and twinges but these are to be expected. I now feel great.

He won’t be an invalid!

Read this link on the BHF site it might put your mind at rest:

bhf.org.uk/heart-health/tre...

Best of luck

Daren

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Thank you all for your replies. I wasn't too concerned until I read the leaflet they give at the hospital about what happens when you have a stent fitted and recovery. It was that that gave the impression he would come home unable to do anything except sit, eat and sleep for weeks. (That would be how we got here!). Having got him to be active again after the scare of the attack I don't want him to feel like that again. I know he will have to be careful but feel more positive now so thank you all again.

Wishing you all good health going forward.

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If required stents save lives, it did mine 4 years ago, i have had a better healthier life since. I now live with angina, its a condition it doesn’t define who i am.

Better to be safe than sorry.

Good luck x

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Hi Duckylady

My husband had a stent inserted 7 years ago. He is fine good thing too as he is my carer!

He had only had a couple of episodes of chest pain beforehand.

Be reassured as the other posts have indicated that the angiogram is important and will guide the cardiologist to make the judgement as to whether or not to insert a/ the stents.

My husband's brother's issues were missed he had a cardiac arrest and heart attack he now has 4 stents.

He is also by no means an invalid either!

It does mean a year being on clopidogrel and then aspirin and other drugs that maybe recommended for life. Only your husband can decide whether he wishes to except the advice that has been offered.

I hope all goes well for your husband and you.

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Thought I would just let you all know what happened as you were kind enough to reply to my post. Angiogram was fine! No stents needed. There is some calcification but he is 66 and been obese for many years. This has all made him 'wake up' and he has lost over a stone since February. Interestingly his cholesterol levels were not found to be high but he is still on statins. If anything his LDL cholesterol is on the low side. Anyway, he is now only on aspirin, avorostatin and lisinopril. He still has not had any further symptoms or pains, despite lugging around lots of cabinets, guttering etc to the skip, and has returned to work in Aruba. Next appointments in July. I just wonder how you convince a Dr you don't need statins as your lifestyle has totally changed? And if he will still need the lisinopril fir ever more? Oh well...at least things are a lot more positive. Thank you all for your support and wishing you all better health in the future x

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So pleased to hear such positive news. You both must be delighted after such a worrying time. I guess he will have blood tests at his next appointment so can discuss results with the doc and make a decision about statins after that. Also it will depend on his blood pressure so again he can discuss with The docs about Lisinopril. Really pleased for you both. Hope you can both relax a bit now. Take care. Zena x

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