Post-stent chest pain

by Carolyn Thomas     @HeartSisters 

A friend’s daughter (who happens to be a cardiac nurse) phoned to check on me a few days after I was discharged from the hospital following my heart attack. I felt so relieved to hear Kate’s voice because  something was really starting to worry me:  I was still having chest pain.

Hadn’t the blocked coronary artery that had caused my “widow maker” heart attack just recently been magically unblocked? Wasn’t that newly revascularized artery now propped wide open with a shiny metal stent? Shouldn’t I be feeling better?

And that’s when I heard the words “stretch pain”  for the first time.    .       . 

She explained to me exactly what I would later learn more about from cardiac researchers in Germany: moststretch pain” symptoms are due to the dilation and stretching of a coronary artery that’s caused when a coronary stent is being implanted inside that artery.(1)  And for the majority of heart patients, she added, stretch pain is not a danger sign.

But if you’re like me, you may still be concerned, after your stent has been newly implanted, to find that the chest pain that sent you to the hospital in the first place is still happening.

At the time, I could find no information about chest pain AFTER a stent procedure in any of the patient education material I was given before I was discharged from the CCU (the Intensive Care Unit for heart patients).

But now I was learning that this new chest pain might be BECAUSE of a stent procedure.

The German researchers agreed that post-stent chest pain is likely not a reason for us to panic. But they did acknowledge:

“This is a common problem. Although the development of chest pain after coronary interventions may be benign, it is disturbing to patients, relatives and hospital staff.”

Disturbing? No kidding. . . 

New chest pain is very disturbing to a person who has just survived a heart attack.

In the German study, researchers found that stretch pain can be experienced after different types of cardiac interventions:

  • about 40 per cent of the patients they studied developed chest pain after having a coronary stent implanted (Percutaneous Coronary Intervention, or PCI)
  • 12 per cent developed chest pain after balloon angioplasty
  • 9 per cent developed chest pain after diagnostic angiography

As cardiologist Dr. Allen Jeremias explained in his book, Your Personal Guide to Angioplasty:

”   The air pressure in your fully inflated car tires is about 2 atmospheres. By comparison, the high pressure used to inflate a balloon inside a coronary artery during angioplasty is between 10-20 atmospheres.”

Researchers suggest that chest pain in recently stented patients can be associated with continuous stretching of the treated coronary artery during an invasive procedure, which they described like this in the journal, Circulation:(2)

“Non-ischemic chest pain develops in almost half of all patients undergoing stent implantation, and seems to be related to blood vessel over-expansion caused by the stent inside the diseased vessel.”

U.K. sources add that it’s common to experience this new chest discomfort in the first few days and weeks following a stent procedure.

“This is because your artery has suffered some trauma and bruising from the stent being fitted. You can have episodes of pain or discomfort as the stent settles into place. This pain is usually felt quite locally in the chest, and is often described as sharp or stabbing. This type of pain can often be relieved by taking acetaminophen (Tylenol).”

Symptoms have been generally described by patients as mild or moderate, and also “unlike the pain of angina” that they had experienced before they came into the hospital for treatment. Three-quarters of patients with this pain described it as “continuous, squeezing pain located deep in the chest.” 

What if stretch pain continues or gets worse?

Stretch pain is typically a short-term issue while we are recuperating.  But sometimes, it is not just short-term.

The Journal of the American Heart Association reported that about one third of heart attack patients studied were still reporting occasional chest pain at six weeks or longer.(3)  These symptoms happened infrequently – about 80 per cent experienced symptoms once a month on average, but of the remaining 20 per cent, chest pain was happening weekly or even daily.

This kind of chest pain may not be just your average stretch pain.

If chest pain persists or worsens over weeks, it may indicate another cardiac issue that must be checked out. In a 2018 U.K. study, researchers turned the cardiology world on its ear by suggesting that stents may not address chest pain as we have always believed – especially for patients who have not had a heart attack.(4)  Coronary artery disease (CAD) typically affects many blood vessels, and so stenting only the largest blockage may not make much difference in a patient’s symptoms. As the New York Times described the findings of this study:

A few arteries might be blocked today, and then reopened with stents. But tomorrow a blockage might arise in another artery, and cause a heart attack.”

Always consult your own physician for ongoing or new chest pain, or any distressing symptoms that simply do not feel right to you.  See also: ISCHEMIA Study: That Blockage Isn’t A Time Bomb In Your Chest   about the controversial 2019 research that suggested stents or coronary bypass surgery are no more effective – except during a heart attack – than providing optimal medical/drug therapy; as I noted at the time, however, fewer than 1/4 of the ISCHEMIA study participants were women. Until women are appropriately represented, researchers will continue to study (white, middle-aged) men whose experience may or may not be comparable to our experiences.

But meanwhile, my own question on stretch pain is still this: 

”   “If stretch pain caused by having a stent implanted is as common as cardiac researchers seem to suggest, why aren’t heart patients like me warned about this before hospital discharge so we don’t need to panic during recovery?”

1. Jeremias, A. et al. “Nonischemic Chest Pain Induced by Coronary Interventions: A Prospective Study Comparing Coronary Angioplasty and Stent Implantation”. Circulation. December 1998: 2656–265.
2. Chao-Chien Chang et al. “Chest pain after percutaneous coronary intervention in patients with stable angina”. Clin Interv Aging. 2016; 11: 1123–1128.
3. Fanaroff, A. et al. “Management of Persistent Angina After Myocardial Infarction Treated With Percutaneous Coronary Intervention: Insights From the TRANSLATE‐ACS Study”;  Journal of the American Heart Asssociation.
4. Rasha Al-Lamee et al. “Percutaneous Coronary Intervention in Stable Angina (ORBITA): a Double-Blind, Randomised Controlled Trial”. The Lancet, Volume 391, ISSUE 10115, P31-40, January 06, 2018.

NOTE FROM CAROLYN:  In my book, A Woman’s Guide to Living with Heart Disease (Johns Hopkins University Press), I wrote much more about chest pain and other (common and uncommon) cardiac symptoms. You can ask for this book at your local library or bookshop (please support your favourite independent family-owned shop!) or order it online (paperback, hardcover or e-book) at Amazon, or order it directly from Johns Hopkins University Press. Use their code HTWN to save 30% off the list price when you order.


Q:  Have you ever experienced stretch pain after a cardiac procedure?


Please do not leave a comment here asking me about your current symptoms. I  am not a physician and cannot offer you medical advice. Always see a healthcare professional if you’re experiencing distressing symptoms.

236 thoughts on “Post-stent chest pain

    1. It IS discouraging, Darwin – we all expect to feel better after a cardiac intervention, not worse. Stretch pain after a stent may indeed be the culprit, but don’t hesitate to go back to your doctor if your pain worsens to get this checked out.

      Take care, stay safe. . .


  1. Thank you for this!

    I had a heart attack early April and 2 stents placed. I had discomfort off and on all of the time until recently. It seems to be tapering off now but what a worry!

    I was so blessed to find you! I ordered your book for more peace of mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing your perspective, Liz. I’m so glad your discomfort is less now (an encouraging sign!) but if it worsens, don’t hesitate to see your doctor.

      Take care, stay safe. . . ♥


  2. I just want to thank you again so much for this site.

    You have not only helped me but so many others understand stretch pain after having a heart attack and 3 stent placements in 2017, and never told or explained by anyone in hospital or at discharge what to expect or what was happening since, before or during my heart attack.

    As a women in my 50’s never experienced pain during the episode… only after stent placements in hospital after.

    Again so grateful for all your logical insight no one else seems to still be passing on!!!!! Why?!!! Still don’t understand, but thankfully thanks to your site have been able to share your site with others who have had the same experience of stretch pain after stent placement.

    Thank you so much for your site & the work you do!!!
    ❤️ Kathleen W.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Kathleen for your kind words. I’m very glad you found my site. It’s extremely frustrating to me personally to keep hearing from patient after patient saying essentially the same thing: “nobody warned me about stretch pain…” When are staff in cath labs/cardiac wards/cardiologists’ offices going to start?

      How ironic that you didn’t have chest pain during your heart attack – but only AFTER your three stents were implanted! Had you known this was very likely due to the coronary arteries healing after your procedure, you wouldn’t have been worried when symptoms started.

      Take care, stay safe. . .


  3. I had a stent placed two days ago and had never previously experienced chest pain. I woke this morning with chest pain and was, understandably, worried.

    Nothing in my discharge papers helped, so thank you for this article. It has eased my mind somewhat.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello TJ – as you can tell from so many reader comments here, NOBODY seems to have been warned before hospital discharge about how common post-stent chest pain is.

      It’s important to remember that this kind of chest pain means the artery walls are healing – so typically benign. But meanwhile mention it to your physician and keep monitoring any symptoms in case they become worse over time.

      Take care, stay safe. . .


    2. Hey TJ, I can relate. I just got my stents implanted 3 days ago and feel that residual pain.

      It’s a good thing I found this site. Good Luck with your recovery!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, I thought I was crazy with my ongoing pain. Great article. My follow-up appointment with my cardiologist happens tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Carolyn
    This site has been so helpful. I thought I should give back some information that came as news to me. I had a heart attack on March 11th with one stent being put in for a 80% blockage. I saw my cardiologist after 5 weeks on April 22nd where he did a treadmill test and stopped it pretty early as the assistant noticed some niggle in the EKG; she refused to tell me what it was, but the cardiologist said that he wants to be sure that the blood flow was normal and referred me for a nuclear scan. I had no shortness of breath or chest pains while on the treadmill. The cardiologist again said that there should be no pains due to the stent. I was super worried now, and I mentioned about reading on blogs etc about stretch pain, but he said that this was not common. My worry increased as I keep getting niggling pain and the EKG showed something under mild stress. I was sure that I was going to get another heart attack.

    I did the nuclear scan on the 27th April and that doctor was super helpful. This time I did the full 10 minutes as per Bruce protocol and was panting when he turned it off and did the scan after stress. The EKG was showing something different, but the blood flow was totally normal.

    This doctor then explained to me that a stent in many cases throws the electro signals completely awry and that’s why they look at the blood scan. He also said that the stent will cause pains as the body is healing and because the stent is drug eluding, it also causes inflammation which also takes time to heal. He was so detailed in explanation, I wished that this doctor was my cardiologist!

    Net: folks who have stents will give false positive results in EKG and so there maybe nothing to worry about unless the blood flows show blockages or poor heart muscle working. Luckily my ejection fraction was more than 75% which the doctor said was excellent and I was able to take my heart up-to 170 beats on the treadmill, which he said was a good sign too. A huge load off my mind in the EKG output which was false positive because of the stent. Just thought of letting folks know.

    Thank you for this blog, it has been immensely helpful in providing a tremendous relief to the mind!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Sree. My first reaction to your very interesting story was: thank goodness you met that second cardiologist at your nuclear scan! No wonder patients are confused by such diametrically opposing opinions from “experts”.

      I don’t know either of your docs, of course, but I’d hazard a guess (based on considerable research out there) that the first cardiologist was uninformed about post-stent pain.

      75% ejection fraction is like getting an A+ for heart patients!!!

      Take care. . .


      1. Thank you! Didn’t know a thing about Ejection Fraction until I saw that the doc had circled that figure, which got me worried and I asked him about i. Thank goodness it was a “good” number, and higher the better I guess.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. When I was discharged, not much was mentioned in terms of what foods to avoid, etc. Prior to the stenting, I used to have cold pressed green juice every day (mostly spinach, carrots, celery, ginger, green apples) made at home with a slow cold pressed juicer to supplement my vegetables intake.

    A friend told me that this may not be a good idea as I am now taking a anti-coagulant and a platelet thinner. Anyone else have any recommendations on food? I am a vegetarian who eats eggs, but now have completely cut out on eggs, even the occasional hash brown has been cut out, reduced my added oil in food to just 2 teaspoons per day etc. I have cut out even drinking red wine which I love and I used to have maybe 2 glasses every couple of weeks or a single malt whiskey drink once a month. Perhaps I am being over cautious?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Sree – I must have missed this comment when you sent it in but I’d like to respond now – better late than never. As you know, I’m not a physician so cannot offer you medical advice or tell you if you’re being ‘over-cautious’, but I can share a few generally accepted points.

      Heart patients taking anti-coagulants are often warned about not consuming dark leafy green veggies (like kale, for instance – because they may interfere with the coagulating properties of the drug). Cardiologists used to warn heart patients not to eat eggs – ever! Over the years, as better studies have emerged, patients were allowed one egg per week, then three eggs per week. Most food science research now suggests that the dietary cholesterol found in egg yolks, shrimp, etc does not affect blood cholesterol levels. My cardiologist told me “one egg per day” is fine. That red wine you love has been shown in a number of studies to actually be cardio-protective (meaning not only won’t hurt you, but may help!) Recommendation is one glass max/day for women, two glasses/max/day for men.

      A really good nutritional resource for heart patients that I like to recommend is Registered Dietitian Cheryl Strachan, who has had a special interest in working with heart patients for many years. Her common-sense cookbook “30-Minute Heart-Healthy Cookbook: Delicious Recipes for Easy, Low-Sodium Meals” is excellent. Cheryl’s also a vegetarian, but does include meat recipes (because she’s from Calgary!?!)

      Take care. . .


  7. I hope the comments here apply even to men who have had a stent procedure done. I found the comments and some of the experiences related here match up perfectly to my own. . .

    Such a helpful site, I think this link should be given out by all cardiac hospitals to their patients.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think so too, Sree! And yes, anybody who has had one or more stents implanted can experience this post-stent ‘stretch pain’, both men and women. And both groups are rarely (if ever) warned before hospital discharge about this very common response!😠


  8. Just had L.A.D STENT PUT IN. THEY CALLED IT A WIDOW MAKER. Cardiologist said they opened it up and it’s pumping like new, yet I have the same pain in my chest.

    My wife is telling me it’s my nerves, and I am just being paranoid. They put me on 200 mg acebutelol twice day and one 20 mg Lisinopril once daily plus plavix and atorvastatin.

    To me my BP seems too low, 115 over 60 and heart rate about 80. I am so paranoid. These sharp fast pains and the feeling of my heart beating through my chest. I just had this stent put in on 3/31/2022 and am writing this on 4/4/2022.

    I hope the stent didn’t collapse or something. Dr google has my stent collapsing and heart exploding and stroking out even though my cardiologist says everything is perfect like new . WTF UUUHHGGG. And of course thanks to the junkies in America, they won’t prescribe anxiety meds that work anymore….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Doug – I’m not a physician, so of course cannot comment on your specific situation, but I can tell you generally a few things that may ease your mind during these early days.

      First, as you can tell if you re-read this article on post-stent chest pain, this “stretch pain” is extremely common in those of us who have had a stent implanted inside a coronary artery (about 40% of stent patients experience chest pain like this). It can feel frightening because, as I wrote in this article, almost none of us are warned before we’re discharged from the hospital that this very common after effect may occur at all – so we’re shocked and terrified when it does. t’s a shock to most of us because we fully expect to feel BETTER after a blocked artery is unblocked during angioplasty, not worse. . No wonder you are feeling overwhelmed and scared. This is all new to you!

      The researchers tell us that most post-stent chest pain is common and temporary while the coronary artery is healing after being suddenly stretched during balloon angioplasty. This is normal as the tissues recover – just as you would experience pain and discomfort had you undergone surgery in the O.R. – it doesn’t mean something’s wrong, it just means your body is recuperating. And most doctors believe that lower blood pressure is actually far easier on the heart than high blood pressure is.

      I hope you have been referred to a supervised cardiac rehabilitation program. If not, ask your doctor for a referral. This program will help you both physically and psychologically adjust to this “new normal”. For one thing, it gets your whole body moving – which actually helps with your healing. In fact what the heart needs now is “work” not rest during this time. I wrote more on this reality here.

      I too survived a widow maker heart attack – and that was 14 years ago. Your heart is not “exploding” – no matter what you read on Dr. Google. Instead, seek out credible trustworthy medical information – starting with your own doctor. Instead of scaring yourself online, open your front door and go for a long walk in the fresh air, every day. Breathe and look around. You will feel better – you’re in very early days yet. Focus on just getting better slowly but surely, day by day.

      Take care, stay safe. . . 🙂


    2. This is similar to my case too… I am 61 and had a attack on 11th March 22, a stent put in LAD (left anterior descending coronary artery) which was 80% blocked… there is one more blocked 50%, and another at 30% which they didn’t touch…

      3 weeks later, today I feel some pain in the chest, not the complete chest like a heart attack… just one location near the heart. I also have a pain between the shoulder blades in the back… sort of behind the heart area like a cramp. Went for a 5km walk, was ok, but just a niggling pain and am super anxious if this is one more heart attack happening.

      This site sort of clears this up a bit… but still anxious as nobody told me that one can experience this pain again after a stent!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hello Sree – you are not alone. As research suggests, about 40% of all patients who get a coronary stent implanted will experience some period of “stretch pain” while the tissues are healing. I believe that the anxiety you describe could be significantly prevented if only hospital staff would simply warn all stent patients about post-stent stretch pain before hospital discharge. As you can tell from so many of the reader comments here, it seems few if any have heard warnings like this! No wonder it’s so shocking and frightening for heart patients.

        I’m not a physician so cannot comment specifically on your experience, except to say that chest pain on exertion (e.g. taking a 5k walk) which goes away with rest is a classic sign of angina (reduced blood flow to the heart muscle). Cardiologists tend to pay attention to addressing what they call the “culprit lesion” (in your case, that 80% blockage). It may sound crazy, but research suggests little evidence that any blockage under 70% is likely to cause symptoms of angina – or if it did, it would be only during extreme exertion. You were likely prescribed nitroglycerin (spray or tablets): do not be afraid to take this ANY time you’re feeling that “niggling pain” in your chest.

        The important lesson from your case is that you now know that you have more than one coronary artery with some evidence of blockages. This means that you, more than many other heart patients, must be careful to take all of your heart medications as directed, and to follow all recommendations from your cardiologist to help lower your risk that those small blockages will become bigger ones some day. You’re on the right track with your long walks.

        Interesting study years ago by Dr. Rainer Hambrecht: he compared two groups of heart attack patients: one group was treated with stents, the other rode bicycles several times a week. The results were astonishing: nearly 90% of heart patients who rode bikes regularly were free of heart problems one year after they started biking. Among patients who had an angioplasty instead, only 70% were problem-free after a year. Five years later, Dr. Hambrecht published follow-up research; it confirmed that regular exercise is superior to angioplasty at preventing future cardiac events.

        Remember that most stretch pain is benign and temporary. If chest pain becomes worse or more frequent instead of less over time, tell your doctor.

        Good luck, and stay safe. . .


        1. Thanks a ton Carolyn. That was a super helpful explanation. I am able to do brisk 5K walks with no pain, nor do I feel out of breath. The pain in the chest also is not happening that often now. So hopefully I am healing well.

          I am taking aspirin, Ticagrelor and Statin as prescribed without fail. Hopefully I can reduce my dependence on the statin as my cholesterol was only at borderline levels before heart attack and I was not taking any statins, but after the stent the doctors do not want to take any chances and have prescribed Statins.

          Liked by 1 person

  9. Great article, I have found this information very helpful. I had 5 stent implants one month ago and have been having chest pains from the beginning and like everyone else no one ever told me about stretch pains. I ended up going back 3 days aftermy first procedure and having a 2nd procedure because of the pain. I had triple bypass surgery 9 years ago and never felt like this.

    As a side note, with all of this, I never had a heart attack.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Peter – FIVE stents, and yet not one word of advance warning that those five stents might have stretched those coronary arteries!?!

      As you can see from dozens of other readers who have left comments here, you are not alone. I wonder when Cardiology and Emergency Medicine professionals are going to compare notes on preventable hospital admissions, post-stent and connect the dots so that discharge plans include a written acknowledgement that post-stent chest pain happens to about 40% of stent patients, and is typically temporary and benign.

      Take care, stay safe out there. . .


  10. Hi everyone. 3 months and a half into my stent procedure, LAD was 80% narrowed. Until today, I continue to experience chest pain, sporadically, taking at least half a day to subside. Like many, I had numerous visits to the ER. ECGs and cardiac enzymes were normal. My post-stent stress test was normal too.

    My cardiologist insists that it is certainly muscular. Granted that sometimes certain positions aggravate it, but for the most part, there is no rhyme or reason for it.

    I was reading this blog and I can’t help but ask this question – if it is indeed a post-stent stretch pain, how long does it last?

    Thanks everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello ZP – over three months of daily chest pain lasting half a day, many trips to the ER yet “normal” test results? None of that feels “normal”. I’m not a physician but I can tell you generally that what we call post-stent stretch pain is typically shorter in duration than three months. SOMETHING is causing your symptoms – but what?

      You mentioned something that might be a clue: “certain positions aggravate” the pain. This is often the first question asked by ER docs when patients show up with chest pain. For example, even in the middle of severe chest pain caused by a blocked coronary artery, pushing or moving or touching the chest would not typically affect the pain. That’s a clue that your symptoms might indeed be muscular.

      Many people with chest pain are misdiagnosed with costochondritis, an inflammation in the upper rib joints. The symptoms are that similar to cardiac chest pain. Read this post, and then ask your physician about this possibility.

      Again, I’m not a doctor – but your cardiologist may be on to something. Note that in New Zealand, costo symptoms are treated with hands-on physiotherapy. Watch the video with Steve August who describes the chest pain of costochondritis as a “straightforward musculoskeletal mechanical problem in which the costovertebral rib joints at the back are somehow jammed.” Yes, the BACK, not the chest.

      Good luck to you in solving this mystery.

      Take care, stay safe. . .


  11. Thank you!
    I just had 5 stents, 3 on the right @ 70%, and 2 on the left 90% blocked. I’m a 43 year old in what I thought was pretty good health. Learning now we have a family history. But was taken down at Christmas 2021 with chest pain.

    Reading your site has explained why I feel like it is still painful. And having to learn to trust that I am okay again. But the anxiety, that’s my worst part. Afraid that it’s not fixed when the pain occurs, afraid that something new is wrong.

    Learning to come to peace and acceptance of this new normal. Had my first follow up on Friday and they said I look great, but that doubt always creeps into the back of my head. When no one tells you, the term stretch pain.

    Thank you for sharing this, I understand now that I am at the beginning, and that this will be a long journey.
    My best to all…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Taylor – Five stents! That must have been quite a shock for a 43-year old in good health! You are still in what doctors consider “very early days” as your body continues to heal from your procedure.

      I believe that there are few things in life more anxiety-producing than chest pain – especially after you’ve already had a cardiac diagnosis. “Is this something? Is it nothing? Should I call 911?” are very common reactions among heart patients to almost any future twinge in the chest. As Len Gould, cardiac psychologist (and a heart patient himself) likes to say: “Before my heart attack, every chest pain was just indigestion. But afterwards, every chest pain is another heart attack!” No wonder you’re feeling anxious.

      You’re so right – right now, you’re learning to trust that something you likely never gave much thought to (how your heart is doing) is working well. And you’re also learning to trust your doctors when they tell you everything “looks great”. In fact, with five former blockages now re-opened, your heart is likely doing far better than before Christmas because blood flow to your heart muscle has been restored. I wrote more about this in “The Day I Made Peace With an Errant Organ” – which might help you with this perspective.

      Like many (most?) heart patients, you weren’t warned in the hospital that stretch pain is very common, usually benign and temporary as your body heals. Knowing in advance how common it is would help to reassure patients once they get home. This is very unfortunate failing in cardiac patient care – as you can tell from so many of the other reader comments here.

      Hang in there, Taylor. One day at a time. And if you haven’t yet been referred to cardiac rehabilitation, get a referral from your doctor and GO!

      Take care, stay safe. . . 🙂


    2. Taylor…hello . I just had my 3rd stent (1st one in widowmaker, 2nd in right).. I have consistent little stabs and even some longer lasting chest pressure that can be scary. But for the most part, they’re nothing. Some of those post stent meds bring a lot of unpleasant, even alarming,side effects. It might help if you keep a small journal to write these down as they happen, so you can remember to ask your doctor.

      Taylor, when we have a heart attack, that day, you lose a big part of your life habits and must change things for our new life…but you do still have life..

      You can be anxious, depressed, scared, but hang in there….ya gotta learn how to take care of your new life, because you’re just starting over. I will be wishing you the very best …you are already ahead of me…..I’m 66!! Take care of yourself!!

      PS..On Amazon there is a book called 109 Things You Can Do for a Healthy Heart. EASY read. and small daily thing you can do, that will really help you. This book can be a good friend.

      Take care of yourself and BEST OF LUCK.


  12. I had two stents place in the LAD (Left Anterior Descending coronary artery), 99 and 85 percent blocked on December 1, 2021. It’s now Jan 2, 2022.

    I’ve been taking Brilanta. I get a feeling of “out of breath” while exercising, and a burning sensation in my chest when in a cool environment. But no crushing, painful chest pain occurring before the procedure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Richard – you’re in what doctors generally describe as “early days” post-treatment (one month). I’m not a physician so cannot comment on your specific symptoms, but I can say that symptoms on exertion and/or cold temperatures are indeed common among heart patients. These should gradually begin to decrease over time. If they don’t, or if they get suddenly worse, see your doctor.

      Since my own heart attack in 2008, I continue to have chest pain symptoms in the cold, so have learned to really bundle up warmly (especially to cover my chest) on cold days – or even when walking down the frozen food aisle in the grocery store!

      Take care, Happy New Year and good luck to you!


  13. Hello Carolyn
    I am 5 days post stent placement, 2 in LAD, 2 in RCA, just sitting tonight watching TV, and had a pain reminiscent of the heart attack. After furiously looking on Dr Google I found your article. It provided me with reassurance I may not be back at square 1.

    Thanks to you and the others who have shared here.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello Mitch – chest pain immediately after having four stents implanted is indeed frightening. You’re in early days yet, so the timing seems appropriate for stretch pain. But if your chest pain episodes get worse or more frequent, see your doctor again. I wish cardiac staff would warn heart patients BEFORE hospital discharge that stretch pain post-stent is common, almost always benign, and temporary.

      Good luck to you. . .


  14. Hi Carolyn,

    On 9-1-21, I had a stent procedure. My LAD was 85% blocked. No heart attack. My Heart doctor said I needed 2 more stents but wanted my heart to rest for 60 days. On 9-3, I went to the ER for Stabbing Chest pain. My numbers were good and I was released. I had another incident and went to the ER on 10-12-21. Same thing. My tests were good and I was released.

    I did some Googling and read the info on your site about stretch pain. Your information was a relief to me. On 10-27-21, I had the other 2 stents placed. In late November I started cardiac rehab. After 2 sessions, I was feeling good and tried some slow jogging on the treadmill. I went for 15 minute, no issues until 4am the next morning. I had some moderate stabbing chest pain that went away. At 630 am it happened again. At 7am I went to the ER, got lots of blood work and several EKGs. Everything checked out fine and I was released.

    Now I have reduced my daily walks and started walking slowly on the treadmill. I know the stretch pain is not life threatening but it is still very scary. I want to eventually get back to running but it looks like it is going to take longer than I thought. My6 cardiologist is so busy, I can only see his PA. I told them about the situation and they said to do nothing now and just observe the situation.

    No one in their office has mentioned the words “stretch pain” to me.

    Al Wallace

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Al – I’m very glad to hear you’re in cardiac rehab, where your exercise can be monitored and your progress supervised. Good for you! I’ve found that the key seems to be finding that sweet spot between enough exertion to strengthen the heart muscle vs. over-exertion which can bring on symptoms. You’re so right – stretch pain IS scary, yet over time should gradually decrease in severity and frequency as the body heals. Just take it nice and slow – and enjoy the ride! You WILL get back to running – just maybe not this week!

      When I was in cardiac rehab, I was so keen to be “normal” again that I was determined to speed through rehab as fast as possible, while ignoring my extreme exhaustion, chest pain and shortness of breath – until the rehab nurse told me one day to slow down. In your case, a cardiac event that requires three stents takes time for the body to heal – both physically and psychologically.

      Keep “observing the situation” as your PA advised, but don’t hesitate if your symptoms increase or worsen significantly to seek medical help. If your cardiologist prescribed nitroglycerin for chest pain, don’t be afraid to take that next time the chest pain hits.

      Good luck, stay safe. . .


  15. Hello Carolyn! My name is Genaro. I had 2 stents put in 6 months ago and still go through stretch pain regularly. As a man, I can say that it’s painful. I want to thank you for opening my eyes about the so-called stretch pain.

    I was never informed about it at any time. But now I know what it is, and I have you to thank.

    Thank you so much.


  16. Well it’s Thanksgiving day, and I had 4 stents implanted on Monday afternoon, 3 days ago, and 2 implanted in 2015. NO ONE EVER TOLD ME ABOUT STRETCH PAIN!

    SO RELIEVED TO HEAR ABOUT THIS 🤗 because I feel the chest pain just walking to the bathroom. Actually I was in pain during my procedure and in the recovery room, I was crying it hurt so bad. I was told the Dr. had to do a lot of work, such as breaking up the plaque…and I had to work through the chest pain. I thought you have to be kidding me, they gave me more Nitro and Tylenol for the headache I was bound to get from the effects of the medication.

    So anyway here I sit, 3 days later, no pain thank god, while sitting, hoping, praying I can change my lifestyle habits and start a better way of living free of chest pain in the years to come. I will keep you updated.

    Thank you so much for the article, it has given me MUCH HOPE !!!
    by the way I just turned 56 on the 11th of November 🦃 Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Kelly – I’m glad you found my site! You’re not alone – if you read some of the comments below, you’ll see many many others who say “NO ONE EVER TOLD ME ABOUT STRETCH PAIN!” Given how common researchers tell us that this post-stent chest pain is, it’s hard to believe that so many healthcare professionals working in cardiology do not know this. Yet every person like you or me who do experience this, and learn more about it, are helping to spread the word to others, in the hope that one day nobody will be unaware of this very common after-effect of having a stent implanted, because the likelihood will routinely be explained before hospital discharge.

      Hope you continue to feel better – good luck with your decision to change some habits! You can do it!!

      Take care, stay safe. . . ♥


  17. I was so relieved when a friend found this article and sent it to me.

    I am 6 days since my heart attack and 4 days after having two stents put in my artery. The whole time I complained in the hospital to all medical staff, doctors and nurses about the continuing sharp jabbing pain I was still having in my chest, specifically my heart.

    They would just tell me, “But your numbers look good”. I didn’t want to hear that my pain continued and I had been told I had a widow maker artery that was 45 percent blocked but they only do stents in arteries that are 70 percent blocked. I just knew my pain has been leading up to the
    “big” heart attack.

    I feel relieved reading this article and promptly send messages to both my doctors so perhaps they could learn something new from it too. I am very grateful to the author and every comment.
    Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Angie – I’m glad your friend forwarded this article to you. The thing that makes stretch pain really annoying is that research suggests it’s VERY COMMON – yet so few physicians or nurses seem to be aware of it as a potential culprit when hearing reports of ongoing post-stent chest pain. Many heart patients worry needlessly for weeks after hospital discharge, believing that another heart attack is imminent, all because nobody warned them how common this post-stent symptom actually is.

      You are still in very early days yet – I hope that your sharp jabbing pain will ease up as healing continues over time. If it doesn’t, or if it gets worse, see your doctor. Good luck to you…

      Take care, stay safe… ♥


  18. Hi again Carolyn,

    My post-stent stretching pain lasted exactly 3 months. My Cardiac rehab nurse didn’t give it much credence.

    Not only that, I received a call after 3 weeks (instead of weekly check-in) while I was brushing my teeth. When I called back I couldn’t get through to the nurse, left a message, no call-back.

    Best part: in my post-review report, she stated exactly that patient brushing teeth, will call back. I am wondering if this was a joke or does someone actually care, is paying attention to the patient, or just checking a box ‘done’……

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi again Romi – I’ve run across some medical studies that were so obscure that “patient brushing teeth” might actually have been something they’d record! 🙂

      Just imagine: a research paper on how often a heart patient is busy brushing her teeth when a nurse phones.

      Sounds like a tickbox needing checking off to me. . .

      Take care, stay safe. . . ♥


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