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: most “stretch 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. Oct 2017.
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.
254 thoughts on “Post-stent chest pain”
Thank you so much that everyone is sharing their experiences.
I was 34 years with 6 small children when I had my heart attack (widow-maker). They put the first stent in and I was discharged but didn’t feel better and visited three times the ER until they put another stent in because the blood flow wasn’t good.
But I still didn’t feel better. I developed pericarditis, they treated me with medication. But my condition didn’t change a lot. I still had a lot of chest pain that felt like burning, stabbing, dull and rubbing pain.
I feel the pain is more unbearable when it is cold. It impacts my daily life so much with pain that I’m on pain meds every day and not able to do anything. The pain comes with activities or chores.
It’s now more than 2 years and still no clue what’s going on.
I thought I will share my experience because I see I’m not alone with pain after stent placement.
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Hello Iri – I’m so sorry that you have been suffering like this for over two years. I’m not a physician so cannot comment specifically on your situation, but I can tell you that what you’re experiencing is not normal. I can also add that feeling angina pain (pain that is worse with your activities or chores, and better with rest) is typically worsened in most heart patients in the cold. (Even walking down the frozen food aisle in the grocery store, for example). What many heart patients have learned to do is to bundle up: always have nice warm scarves covering your chest, and wear extra warm clothing whenever you’re outdoors in the cold – even for a short time.
My concern is that something is causing your symptoms for over two years, but what? Ask your doctor about getting tested for coronary microvascular dysfunction (affecting the very smallest coronary arteries). Make sure you explain your symptoms in terms of daily function and how your symptoms are affecting that function. For example, not just “I have chest pain”, but “My chest pain is so bad that I am no longer able to _________ (fill in the blank).
I was diagnosed with this a few months after my own widowmaker heart attack. Read more about this condition and see if it seems to fit.
Meanwhile, I’m guessing your pain meds include nitroglycerin pills or spray – I would never leave home without my nitro. Nitro is your friend!
Good luck to you – take care. . . ♥
8 months after three stent placements, I started feeling burning pain in the middle of my chest. The cardiologist referred me to the Gastrointestinal doctor for potential internal bleeding due to Brilinta. The only thing that relieves the pain during each episode is Nitroglycerin. The burning pain comes and goes even in my sleep. I have to sleep sitting up. I feel exhausted. I can’t walk to my car without getting the burning pain.
I have to wait to get an endoscopy and colonoscopy for the cardiologist to do another catheterization to see what is going on. Everything was fine after the stent placement. I even played volleyball in the summer months.
The cold weather is even worst. It triggers the pain and my hands turn white. I don’t think my doctor know what is going on. I feel like I’m going to die at any moment. I just want them to find the cause of the pain so that it can stop.
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Hello Aileen – I’m so sorry you’re experiencing these awful symptoms. What is interesting is that after your stent was implanted, you felt fine for eight months. No wonder your doctor is stumped.
So much of medicine is figuring out what the problem is NOT, by ruling out the most unlikely culprits first until the actual cause is discovered.
I’m not a physician so of course cannot comment specifically on your situation, but I’m wondering if you have ever considered keeping a Symptom Journal (tracking your symptoms, intensity of symptoms, what if anything seems to trigger them, what improves them, how long the symptom flare lasts, what you were doing/feeling/eating just before the onset of symptoms, etc. Sometimes a pattern begins to emerge, which might help your doctor solve the mystery.
I’m also wondering if your doctor has mentioned Raynaud’s Syndrome (usually symptoms are in fingers and/or toes that turn white especially in the cold, typically caused by spasms in the blood vessels) and in some (rare!) cases, similar to sudden vasospasms of one or more coronary arteries that can reduce blood flow to part of the heart (causing chest pain or discomfort) It’s a rare condition, but it might be worth asking your doctor about it.
Good luck to you! ♥
I’m still getting pain after 2 months is that is that normal it’s aggravating. And I got bad anxiety so I don’t know what it is
Hello Floyd – I’m sorry you’re still experiencing this pain.
Five weeks ago, I suggested to you that you start keeping a Symptom Journal – “just write down the time of day you experience something painful, the date, how severe the symptom is, and what you were doing/eating/experiencing/feeling in the hours leading up the start of that symptom. Sometimes this list can help to show a pattern that can solve the mystery. And if your back/chest problems continue or worsen instead of gradually getting better, call your doctor’s office to let them know. When you do talk to your doctor, you’ll have something specific on paper to show him or her.”
Floyd, I am not a doctor, so that’s the only suggestion I can repeat to you now. Keeping track of your symptoms can help to narrow down certain triggers that might be causing your back and chest pain. Ask your doctor about how you can manage anxiety, too.
Call your doctor after you have started your Symptom Journal. When you do see your doctor, explain your symptoms by describing how they are affecting your day-to-day function. For example, is the pain just “aggravating” or is it making it impossible for you to do certain things you used to be able to do? Your doctor needs as much detail as possible.
Good luck to you.
I wish I was told about post stent implementation chest pain. Just had a stent installed 22 hours ago and I still have chest discomfort.
Hello Drew – like most heart patients, you likely expected that once your stent was implanted and that blocked coronary artery was “revascularized” during an angioplasty/stent procedure, you would feel better than ever. So it can be quite a shock to have chest pain afterwards.
As this article explains, post-stent chest pain is remarkably common in early weeks, given that the coronary artery has been stretched during the procedure. It will take time, day by day, as that artery heals. Good luck to you. . .
I am a 62 year old woman. Last year I had an TIA due to severely blocked (75-80%) carotid artery. Soon after I has a carotid Stent inserted. Now, 7 months after the procedure, I still have what feels like stretch pain in the neck area where the Stent was placed. This occurs several times a week.
2 months after the carotid Stent, I had two coronary Stents inserted in the LAD (left anterior descending coronary artery) due to a 95% blockage. However these have not caused any residual pain.
I hope this helps with your survey.
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Hi Rene – that’s interesting about your carotid stent causing neck pain, yet the two areas of your LAD stent causing no pain. I’m guessing that you likely had two different doctors performing each of these procedures so that perhaps might explain the difference. It’s hard to know for sure, but you should mention your neck pain next time you see your doctor.
Thanks for sharing that. Take care, stay safe. . . ♥
I am 75 yrs old and still having daily pressure in my chest 4 months after a stent placement. Sometimes it is very strong. I am on medication for high blood pressure and angina, along with plavix and crestor. Some days it lasts only a few hours but other times it last for most of the day.
I will be seeing my primary care doctor in a few days. Do you have any suggestions of questions I should ask him? I’m beginning to be concerned something isn’t right.
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Hello Joan – I’m not a physician of course but I can tell you generally that if this were post-stent stretch pain, most patients would be noticing that the symptoms start easing up over time as the coronary artery heals after stent implant.
If symptoms get worse over time instead of better, that could be a possible sign that another blockage is forming. Start a Symptom Journal to share with your doctor. This may help your doctor if there is a pattern. If your symptoms are related to exertion (going up the stairs for example) but get better when you rest, that is classic angina pain. This will give your doctor a clue that it might be heart-related, and you may need further testing.
Also when you describe your symptoms to your doctor, make sure to mention how symptoms affect you functionally. For example, instead of just saying “my chest hurts”, describe how that chest pressure is limiting how you used to be able to function. Also, mention that these symptoms are VERY concerning to you. Do not minimize them, do not self-diagnose (it’s probably nothing, I may have just pulled a muscle…)
Your stent has helped to keep one of your coronary arteries propped open because it was blocked. It’s not uncommon for more than one artery to have blockages, so this is what you need to rule out (and also why you’re taking plavix and crestor to help prevent another blockage). Ask your doctor if there’s anything else he can now recommend to help you.
Good luck to you. Take care, stay safe. . . ♥
Thank you so much for this information. I am a 44 year old women who had a heart attack and stent placed.
I have had a sharp stabbing pain that comes and goes and is one specific spot. It has been happening off and on daily since the procedure was done. I was told that there is no way I’m feeling anything, and my favorite was your ekg looks fine so it must be in your head.
This was so helpful and I feel less crazy now.
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Hi Christina – you didn’t mention how long ago your stent was implanted, but it’s quite possible that the pain you’re experiencing is indeed due to post-stent stretch pain. I wonder how many women have been told “your EKG looks fine so it must be in your head” !
If your symptoms get worse instead of better, call your doctor again.
Take care, stay safe. . . ♥
By the way, thank you for this great blog for sharing info. I haven’t found anything like it!
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Thanks for your kind words, Gene. Glad you found us!
It’s been 3 weeks since my stent was inserted. When the Dr opened the balloon I felt instant hurtful pressure and asked if it was normal. The Dr said, “not always” and once the procedure was over, the pressure / pain pushing out from inside the center of my chest went away.
Two days later it reappeared on and off, and now it’s three weeks and I still have it. It can last minutes, or hours. I’ve had several days with no discomfort and believed it was finally over. Yet, it comes back. I saw a cardiologist today, and explained to nurses in rehab, but the Dr sort of dismissed it as related to stress pressure.
I’m a 60’ish year old guy.
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Hello Gene – I’m not a physician so of course can’t comment specifically on your case, but I can tell you generally that what you’re describing will be familiar to many heart patients who are experiencing post-stent chest pain. You’re in what’s considered relatively early days still (just three weeks post-op). What is encouraging is that you’ve already had days with no discomfort, interspersed with days of symptoms. Typically, you’ll have more pain-free days as your coronary artery continues to heal, and fewer pain days until gradually the post-stent chest pain is essentially done.
Interesting that you mentioned the sudden severe pain you felt when the angioplasty balloon was inflated. This is what happens when a sudden inflation happens inside a delicate coronary artery, and then pain begins to lessen as the balloon is deflated and pulled out of the artery. I’ve written more on this here: https://myheartsisters.org/2012/12/01/your-personal-guide-angioplasty – including this compelling fact:
“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.”
No wonder it hurts so much! And it can continue to hurt as the involved arteries take time to heal. If your chest pain continues, or if it gets worse instead of starting to get better, call your doctor again.
Good luck to you, take care. . .
P.S. I have to tell you that if you read some of the dozens and dozens of other patients’ comments (below) you will be convinced that very few cardiologists seem to be aware of post-stent chest pain. You may want to print off this published study to show to your cardiologist and cardiac nurses, just in case, and to help them rule out any alternative potential reasons.
Thank you Carolyn, I will get the information into the hands of the cardiologist I know. Many Doctors appreciate such info from patients since they are busy and probably don’t have the time to keep up to date or read everything. I’d often given Doctors news in the past, and every one of them has been happy to have a patient learning and sharing what they find.
Since my post, I’ve had some interesting moments: one found me back in the ER. They say if you are worried about something, go to the ER. I did, and all was fine. An x-ray of my stent showed it was in good shape, no sign of restenosis.
One thing I have is constant shortness of breath, and occasional light-heady feeling, not quite dizzy. Since my attack, I’ve lost fifteen pounds and eat only the Mediterranean diet. Mainly, I feel good.
As the saying goes, the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and I speak to the nurses at cardiac rehab, and due to my constant low blood pressure (most likely due to meds) one nurse called my Cardiac Doctor and he set me up for a stress test with imaging and an ultra sound. However, I’ve had less worrisome chest discomfort lately. I think the less worry part is due to reading the experiences of others posting here and getting more insight through tests.
I work for a charitable organization in the field of education and I was about to travel abroad to a remote area where the closest modern hospital is a one-hour flight away. In a way, I’m lucky I had my heart troubles when I did, before traveling. I gave up on going, but now I’m hoping for all good reports and I’m actually more positive I can go providing I have no other trouble previously unseen.
I’ve also found meditation and mild stretching, or yoga, helped me to overcome the worry and stress. Not all the time, but mostly remaining calm and at peace has many many benefits to ones health.
What a journey.
Hi again Gene – what a journey indeed! And you are still in relatively early days yet (since early January, right?) Most patients find that as things gradually settle down week by week, there are shorter periods of these scary symptoms and longer periods of ‘regular’ life.
Please ask your doctor or pharmacist for a “meds review” to see if any of the medications you’re taking are worsening that low blood pressure. Some of my readers with naturally low blood pressure have told me they’ve been prescribed meds for HIGH blood pressure, pre-hospital discharge – perhaps because so many heart patients DO have high blood pressure. So get your meds checked out about that light-headedness.
Also, a word about your travel plans: I’m so glad you decided against this trip to a remote area “one hour flight away” from a hospital. With your ongoing issues this month, you just don’t know yet how stable your condition is. You’re probably fine – but JUST IN CASE it might be wiser to wait.
Once you’re feeling more stable, you can travel at will and you won’t even be wondering if it’s appropriate or not. Also, remember that from now on, whenever you buy travel health insurance before a trip, you will have a disclaimer on file because you now have a pre-existing condition – which can lead to denial of any claims you might make unless your policy specifically includes pre-existing condition coverage. Check out the fine print on any travel insurance offered to you.
Wonderful that your yoga and meditation are helping you! You’re so right – the more calm and peace we can find every day, the better for our overall health, and not just for our hearts!
Take care, stay safe. . . 🙂
Oh dear, you are so lucky that you are only talking about pains etc, I have a cardiac stent, but I have not any source of income to carry on my medicines. This is the thing which you all have to laugh out loud.
For me the pains or pressures are not problems, my problem is medicine. I start feeling pains when I miss my medicine for a day or two due to lack of money.
So never worry, you all are lucky enough to bother about minor things. I know I can do nothing for you people, however I can pray for you people, I will pray for your betterment, which I can easily manage.
Hello Ihsan – yours is indeed a serious problem because you now have a stent inside your heart. I’m not a physician, but I’m guessing that one of the most important medications that you have been prescribed is the anti-platelet family of drugs (for example, clopidogrel). This kind of drug is very important because it helps to prevent a new blockage forming inside that stent.
Depending on where you live, there are some programs out there that can help patients get free or discounted drugs – like Rx Assist, for example. Check out the drugs on this long list (they have both brand names e.g. Plavix plus generic names e.g. clopidogrel) to see if your medications are listed here, and then follow the instructions to request financial help in getting these drugs. If your hospital has social workers on staff, they can also be helpful in solving financial issues for prescription meds.
If you haven’t done so already, you should also tell your cardiologist immediately that you cannot afford the medications that have been prescribed for you. Doctors need to know that the drugs they order are not being taken by some people who can’t afford them.
What you are experiencing is of course a serious problem; it does not mean however that others who are suffering unusual pain are not also facing a frightening condition. Prayers are nice, but there is no need to mock those who are in pain just to make your own valid point.
Good luck to you. I really hope you can find some financial help soon.
Take care, stay safe.
Very informative. I agree – the patients should be warned about it before they leave the hospital. I have been experiencing this pain since 27 Jan 2023 after the angioplasty.
After I read this post I took a Crocin (Indian equivalent of Tylenol). My pain reduced by 90%.
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You’re welcome, Sharat. If only this kind of very common post-stent pain had been explained to us before being discharged, we would save ourselves a lot of unnecessary worry once we’re back home – suddenly frightened by new chest pain that’s likely benign and temporary.
Take care. . .
Well I had two stints 24 days ago and still feeling it get palpitations every night. At the same time. Went to er twice. And nothings wrong I don’t know how long this will last but seems like no one on here responds to just anybody so. What ever
Floyd, I have no clue what you’re talking about when you say “no one on here responds”. You have left at least four identical comments in response to this and other articles here. I have left you long and detailed answers to each one. My responses are found right underneath each of your comments.
Please scroll down (below) to read my latest long answer to you in response to last week’s comment. It is exactly what I would say to you now if I didn’t believe it would be a waste of my time to keep responding to the same questions over and over. I’m trying to be as helpful as I can be – given that I’m not a doctor, but a heart patient like you.
I’m not sure what kind of additional information you are expecting here, and I do not know what else I can say now or in the future that will satisfy you.
Worded it wrong no disrespect to no one you know how cell phones make words auto correct sorry
Hi – I had two stints put in 20 days ago. But still get a sharp pain in the back and a little burn in my chest. Is it me? Should I be feeling this? I only saw my cardiologist once. And never again went for my check up, and I told them they said “here wear this monitor for 7 days”. Well I did that. Now I have to bring it back to see the readings. And still can’t see that doctor.
And to top it off, my EKG was normal before I had the stints. Just my blood work was off. That was the only way they knew.
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Hello Floyd – I’m not a doctor so cannot comment on your specific experience, but I can tell you generally that, as this post explains, post-stent chest pain is VERY common (about 40% of us have this after getting a stent implanted – yet few heart patients are warned about this distressing but usually temporary symptom!)
It’s good news that you were asked to wear your monitor for a week of follow up. As soon as you bring the monitor back, your cardiologist will be able to read its results. Monitoring for a week means instead of a one-shot EKG in the hospital, doctors can review how your heart is behaving at all different times of the day, day after day. If anything suspicious shows up in the monitor results, you’ll be notified by your doctor’s office.
I too had “normal” EKG results when I first went to Emergency with my heart attack symptoms. There are a number of reasons for this: It’s possible that whoever read your EKG missed something. It’s also possible that your EKG sticky pads/leads could have been put on in the wrong places (this happens alarmingly often – some studies say up to 50% of EKG tests are the results of misplacement errors – both by doctors or ambulance paramedics – which can then affect their analysis and interpretation!
The blood test you mention looks for a completely different warning sign: they look for a certain cardiac enzyme in your blood called troponin that is usually not present in normal blood. When troponin is present, it is almost always due to heart muscle damage due to a heart attack – so doctors take a high troponin test very seriously.
Right now, you don’t know if your back pain and ‘burning’ feeling in your chest are due to this Post-Stent Chest Pain problem or not. I suggest that you try keeping a Symptom Journal – just write down the time of day you experience something painful, the date, how severe the symptom is, and what you were doing/eating/experiencing/feeling in the hours leading up the start of that symptom. Sometimes this list can help to show a pattern that can solve the mystery. And if your back/chest problems continue or worsen instead of gradually getting better, call your doctor’s office to let them know. When you do talk to your doctor, you’ll have something specific on paper to show him or her.
Good luck Floyd!
Yeah thank you it’s not bad pain just something to mess with my blood test. But they said I didn’t have a heart attack. Bro I think so right. Doctors told me it was the 31st. I wait in the ER for a bed for 12 hours, than I get a room. And doctor said we don’t do nothing unless it’s an emergency till the 3rd. I was like really this is not a emergency? Wow.
Thank you for addressing this. I had a stent placed in my left coronary artery, 90% blocked, Type 1 Diabetes, 43yrs 57.
I feel worse now than before getting the stent. I feel it wasn’t long enough 2cm x 15mm. Can feel sharp pain of meshed metal stretching when I move. Will wait a few weeks to go back to my MD. Just the weight on my chest is 25lbs or more. Subclavian & carotid must be blocked too. My head is hurting. When I stand, so dizzy I have to sit before I fall. Can’t walk very far. Can’t eat very much, heart work.
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Hello Darla – I suggest you make an appointment to see your doctor rather than waiting a few weeks. I’m not a physician so cannot comment specifically on your case, but it seems to me that you’d want to find out if there is another reason for your discomfort sooner rather than later.
You didn’t mention how long ago your stent was implanted – it’s common to experience chest symptoms while the coronary artery is healing especially in the early days and weeks. Patients can’t really tell by themselves which artery is blocked without diagnostic tests – your doctor can help refer you for those tests if required.
Good luck to you. . . ♥
I’m new to your blog, but have I got a tale to tell.
First of all, I got your book from the Victoria, BC library and now have it on order from a quaint little book shop in Cook Street Village. That’s how I found your blog was through your book.
Early in June 2022, 6 days short of my 71st birthday I was experiencing unusual chest pressure across the very top of my chest, arm pit to arm pit, with what felt like I needed to burp.
This went on off and on for 6 days in a row!
My biggest lesson I needed to deal with was DENIAL!
My whole attitude was beyond smug, you see I’ve never smoked, drank, messed with drugs.
Plus I’m a very trim lady with no signs ever of having high blood pressure or any issues with cholesterol. And no diabetes.
In the month of May 2022, I had a check up by my personal physician and once again I got the thumbs up on how healthy I was!
So now back to DENIAL:
On the 6th day of my so called discomfort, I’ve got a meeting to attend at 1:00, but my chest pain is trying to warn me that’s not a good idea to go to that meeting.
DENIAL says listen just give yourself a little more time reading on your library book, then just get up and go, you’ll feel better once you get out.
I’m in the elevator going down to my car but I’m feeling like my body is going down faster then the elevator.
So DENIAL says hey, if you see your friend’s car (a nurse that also lives in this building) that’s a sign to just go up and knock on her door. There’s her car, but my next story I told myself was okay, just get in your car and have a seat – which I did, and I broke out in a cold sweat and stopped lying to myself and managed to knock on her door barely
She takes one look at me and says you are having a heart attack!
Just the look on her face scared me into believing her. Off we go to the ER just a couple blocks from here and because she was my advocate and guardian (Angel), I was rushed right in!
DENIAL DENIAL DENIAL does not give up that easily!
Look at me, I’m your poster person for excellent health, something is wrong here? Why the big fuss?
Okay, the third doctor comes in to see me and I’m not too sure what he is talking about?
So I’m thinking okay, just to be nice now, and I said if you are going to keep me, may I go home and get my toothbrush please?
He just stares at me, and I said I promise I’ll be right back?!
Finally, he says Lady you are right in the middle of a heart attack which by the way you have been having for 6 days in a row, you are very Lucky to be alive!
Okay, but what about my toothbrush?
You can tell I really love my teeth!
He’s probably wondering by now if he is being punked.
I’m just giving him my sweetest please look I can muster.
Next he tosses his hands in the air (now keep in mind he is a very nice young intern) and says okay, you do that and as soon as you step out that door, you will die!
DENIAL says but you only live a couple of blocks from here?
Which gave him enough time to come back with No, that’s not a good idea but I can not tell you what you can do!
My next question is, is there a vending machine where I can get a toothbrush?
Here comes my big reality check. . . the next thing he says to me is “We do not have a medical directive for you for our records – we need to know if you want to be resuscitated should you flat line”?
That’s it, I snapped out of it so fast that I almost gave myself whiplash!
DENIAL. . . but look at you girl, you are the perfect picture of heath, plus you are a organic vegetarian!
My response to him was Hello, Yes, I want to live. I’ve spent my whole life living a healthy lifestyle to finally enjoy this time in my life with a healthy body!
He leaves with his notes and I’m looking for a kind nurse who will help me find a toothbrush!
3 stents later, and at this time 4 days of lousy food here and I’m weighed and it’s 99 lbs. I’m scared and one nightmare of a doctor who went out of her way to let me know she didn’t like me.
I hope Karma really does exist!
I could write a very long article about how she got great joy out of being cruel. Example, while I’m in the ER waiting for a bed upstairs on that first day I asked her for some written information on this heart procedure I’m going to be getting? I don’t have an iPhone or iPad with me.
She flat out said I don’t have any; they will give it to you upstairs before they take you in for you angiogram.
I’m not asking her for my toothbrush!
I replied But I don’t understand why I’m getting this procedure, do I really need it, is there another noninvasive procedure that could be done, please I need some answers, what’s the name band of the stents and where are they made, plus very important I need to know the name of the dye content because I’m very allergic to must chemicals, I want and need to educate myself?!
That just made her really mad, after all she thinks she’s God!
Besides I don’t believe God would ever act like that.
Her dismissive attitude towards me made me want to just get up and walk out of there, heart attack or no heart attack, where’s my toothbrush?
Now I’m mad and all my vital signs are off the chart!
Okay, this is starting to feel like a heart attack!
The next evening I get a room upstairs and 5 days later I get my 3 stents, then the next day I get to go home for real healthy food!
Final note maybe:
I never saw that awful woman doctor again after that first day in the ER, but was told that she would be my main contact for my heart condition follow ups.
It took a while, but I personally saw to it that in no way was she ever allowed near me again!
The day the doctor came in to discharge me, he went through great detail explaining how I needed to use my nitroglycerin spray, but then forgot to add it to my pharmaceutical list and as he leaves the room, I said to the nurse please catch him before he leaves to add that on my list!
She didn’t care and took her sweet time, came back in and said he’s gone just call your doctor when you get home and have her call it in.
Next, I’m booted out of there and it felt like wham bam thank you ma’am!Figure it out for yourself by the way here’s some written info (what a joke)
Downstairs while my nurse friend is loading me into her car, I told her about what just happened concerning me trying to get that nitroglycerin spray.
She hits the ceiling!!!
To this day I still do not have a cardiologist, no help for rehab and it’s a nightmare because no one has answers for my questions, which I still have a lot of and it’s October, 4 months later.
But Carolyn Thank You for your book and blog!
You are the only connection I have for help!
Please don’t give up on us!
I’ve gained a lot of insight into that it’s not just me out here by myself. Your story about that doctor being rude to you gave me reassurance that I had done the right thing about refusing to allow that awful woman doctor in the ER to try to take claim to my case and when I finally got all my records from the hospital concerning those 6 days I was there, and in that detailed report Not one word was written about the conversation that awful woman doctor had with me or even that she acknowledged who I was which validated my beliefs about her knowing intentionally what she did to me, but yet thought that by putting her name on the end of that last page she could still dig her talons into me.
I don’t think so!
By the way she was not a cardiologist either.
The cardiologist who did my 3 stents was a very kind and gentle soul! I’ve tried to contact him since he did my angiogram, but to no avail.
I’m closing with some good news: my neighbor the wonderful nurse who saved my life did make arrangements to get me my toothbrush the next day with some other goodies!
I’ve learned that at anytime I go to a hospital I must have an Advocate to oversee my needs, very important!
Plus I’m dealing with stent pains but everyday I place my hand over my blessed heart and apologize for all the pain I put it through and how much I love and appreciate it!
I’m tiny but mighty with a brave heart ♥️
Look out for DENIAL!
And Always carry a travel toothbrush with some travel toothpaste with you, you never know when you’ll end up in the hospital!
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Hello Christa – I must tell you that I found myself laughing out loud (not AT you, but WITH you) while reading your classic examples of denial even in the midst of a heart attack. You’ll already know from reading my book that this kind of denial is very common and very powerful. Your toothbrush focus was a predictable distraction from the reality that was too threatening to comprehend. (Glad your nice neighbour brought you that toothbrush!)
I had a similar response in Emergency when the cardiologist on call told me “Mrs. Thomas, I can tell from your T-waves and all of your diagnostic tests that you have significant heart disease!” He explained about next possible options for testing and treatment, and that I’d be going upstairs to the cath lab (I had no clue what goes on in a cath lab at the time). I nodded and listened to him as if I were capable of understanding (I saw his lips moving and I heard sounds coming out of his mouth – but I couldn’t comprehend much after “significant heart disease”). I think I may have signed the consent form (every patient before admission must sign a legal consent form).
So I interrupted him at one point and asked if, while I’m here today, should I make an appointment to come back to the hospital at a later date for these tests and procedures? You can imagine his answer!
It’s extremely common, especially for heart patients who, like you, are fit and healthy without obvious cardiac risk factors to become very upset by almost everything about the hospital admission process. Even the suggestion that this catastrophic event might actually be happening can infuriate such patients. Instead of being upset at the random unfairness of the diagnosis, they often become upset at the staff, at the food, at the hospital policies, at what people say (or don’t say) – even being told they have to stay overnight in the hospital when they do not WANT to stay there can push some patients right off the deep end. So often it’s misguided anger and fear underneath. That’s the beauty and the danger of DENIAL, even as it warps our perception of what’s going on. I wrote much more on this very common phenomenon here – please read this.
I’m not a physician, of course, so I cannot comment about your specific experience in the hospital – except that I really liked your lesson learned about bringing an advocate (and a toothbrush!) with you. This is great advice for all medical consultations from now on.
Thanks for your kind words about my book and this blog. Take care, stay safe, and best of luck to you. ♥
Thank You for your kind response to my email.
I did read your book in a day and a half. I couldn’t put it down!
I felt like there was some sort of a secret club out there that I now was a member of. I’m hoping the little bookshop will be able to have your book for me by the end of this week!
When I read about “Healthy Privilege” in your book, I felt very sad that people could feel that. When I see people with a disability or in pain, I take it to heart! It’s not pity, it is actually real pain! Plus if someone is crying and I don’t even know why, I start crying too!
So my intentional comment about being beyond “smug” meant that I could be told I was sick with anything else but blocked arteries and I’d say okay, I can see that easily, really.
But never a heart attack!
My blockages were big time and those stents run through my heart like a express highway in California! I’m dealing with stent pain but am grateful that my little heart ♥️ got me through it. 🙏
My next 71 years I’m going to be busy making up for all the pain I put my heart through!
If we had met in a deli and started talking pre-heart attack and you told me your condition, I’d start crying. And would give you my phone number in case I could ever be of any help.
By the way when I saw my dental hygienist and told her about my experience in the ER wanting my toothbrush, she said that sounds just like you and next time you are stuck in the hospital call me I will bring you up a toothbrush!
I get my teeth cleaned 4 times a year, it’s my only luxury.
I’m told I don’t need to come in so often but my response is please just put up with me, I know you can find something in there!
Then I remind her if I were a horse with these teeth at my age, I would still fetch a pretty penny 😁
But Carolyn trust me, I do have other health issues and if one more thing falls off of me, I’m changing my name to Lucky just like that joke about that poor old dog.
I believe I know why I had hurt my heart, it’s all the very stressful jobs or projects I took on while always being a crusader! I’m like a Chihuahua on steroids!
But I’d do it all over again, those were Soulful Lessons that went right to the marrow of my SOUL plus my Heart. ♥️
I enjoy your stories about your grandchildren and your roses 🌹 and how you are taking baby steps to take good care of yourself! Plus all the stories from everyone, are very helpful!
I’m looking forward to owning your Wonderful Book!
You’re a Great Inspiration for all of us!
My Deepest Gratitude 🙏
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Hi Christa – once again, I found myself laughing at your comment – this time at your description of your hygienist’s reaction.
You ARE a member of a secret club now (many women have told me this!) except it’s a club that none of us ever wanted to join. You may remember reading this in Chapter 4 of my book (here’s a link to “Welcome To Your New Country”. )
Most heart patients can relate to the late Dr. Jessie Gruman’s comparison of her many health crises with moving to a new country: “I felt like a healthy person who has been accidentally drop-kicked into a foreign country. I don’t know the language, the culture is unfamiliar, I have no idea what is expected of me, I have no map and I desperately want to find my way home. . .”
As you mention, emerging studies now link chronic stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline with the kind of coronary artery damage that can indeed lead to cardiovascular disease – which is why I think it’s curious that you would now say – despite what you’ve just gone through – that you’d “do it all again”. That’s what Dr. Barbara Keddy of Halifax calls “goodism” (a trait that women, unfortunately, are often praised for). She calls Florence Nightingale, for example, “the poster child of goodism and self-sacrifice” (again, a selfless woman who worked day and night to help the sick – even at the expense of her own needs).
Here’s a link to this topic in case you’d like to read more (it’s not in the book).
I’m glad you found my book useful. I wanted to write the book that I had looked for – but couldn’t find – as a freshly-diagnosed heart patient.
Hang in there – take care and feel better every day. ♥
I know you are very overwhelmed with everyone’s needs.
I’m shocked at your kindness to respond to any of my emails. 🙏
As you have probably guessed by now I couldn’t stop crying at your comment about “goodism”, plus the link you sent me concerning the article.
Thank You 🙏 I did read it and am beginning to wonder even at my age have I been naïve all my life that I can’t comprehend why I think that “goodism” isn’t just a way of life?
It gives a whole new meaning to Bleeding Heart ♥️
Maybe I’ve come back this lifetime to the wrong planet?
My Mother and I were 2 peas in a pod. Any sick or stray animal she would gather up and bring home even when she was a widower from the age of 34 and never dated or remarried again, raising 3 very young children under the age of 6, with very very limited funds.
She’d see to it that we all got food when she didn’t.
She died at my age of a brain aneurysm, which has weighed heavily on my heart. ♥️
So the word “goodism” was never a word to her either, it was a way of life!
And I am Blessed to be her daughter!
You are so Very Special to share that information with me, it really helps me to Heal!
I bet in the dictionary there is a picture of you right by that word, really!
Once again I do Appreciate you taking the time to respond to my emails!
Today was my worse day so far trying to manage my heart ♥️ pains, so your return email couldn’t have come at a better time!
Last quick story about my dental hygienist, just as she was finishing up with me I said “Ok, here’s the plan…..if you should hear that I died, quick get up to the hospital and say…. Wait a minute, check her mouth if her teeth haven’t been brushed she’s not dead yet!”
Please be Gentle with Yourself🙏
With Deeply Heartfelt Gratitude ♥️
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Thank you!!!! I had two stents placed for a NSTEMI (Widow maker) early July 2022. I have been blown away as a 63-year old woman to find out how little information there is to help me walk out this new journey of living as a Post-Heart Attack patient.
Every doctor and nurse I have had contact with seems to not know anything about dealing with post-stent pain. I have been to the ER twice now in the last two weeks with the same symptoms I had when I had my heart attack – only to be told I am not having a heart attack.
Nothing about why I am still having pain, or discomfort and taking nitros several times a week, because my cardiologist told me to. What a tragic state of affairs. I find myself so emotional over the lack of care.
Blessings to you and all who suffer.
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You’re so welcome, Teresa – I’m not a physician, but I can say generally that it is very likely what you’re experiencing is post-stent chest pain. I too am stunned that – as you can tell from dozens and dozens of other readers’ identical comments here – few doctors and nurses seem to be warning stent patients about this very common and benign post-stent chest pain before they are discharged from hospital. If you had been given basic information before you were sent home in July, you probably wouldn’t be so frightened when this totally unexpected pain starts up.
You didn’t know about it back then, but you do know now.
And knowing how common this recuperation side effect is might help you feel less emotional from now on. Focusing on what the doctors did or didn’t say back in July won’t make you feel any better. In fact, it is guaranteed to make you feel worse. You might want to try focusing instead several times a day on how that previously blocked artery has now been beautifully opened, allowing freshly oxygenated blood to flow easily straight to your precious heart muscle with every heartbeat.
If your symptoms worsen, don’t hesitate to see your doctor – just to be on the safe side. And do not be afraid to use your nitro if it seems to help. Nitro is your friend. And most of all, remember that you are NOT ALONE – many, many of us have had this very annoying yet temporary issue.
Best of luck to you. . . ♥
Just thought I would add my experience. Had a stent placed two weeks ago and starting that night, I noticed a weird localized sensation in my chest. At first I thought it might be the muscles between my ribs. Later I realized it was my heartbeat like you might feel when lying on your left side but more vague. I feel it also lying on my back or sitting up and never felt it before. Initially told I could not feel my stent.
Now since it is located right where my stent is located it is due to stretching of the artery. It feels like a slight localized vibration, with every beat. Nothing like the angina discomfort. More of an annoyance than anything.
Hopefully it will settle down and go away with time. But just want others to realize that you may feel your stent.
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Hello GM – you’re still in very early days post-stent, so it’s not surprising that you’re experiencing this very common response.
I’m not sure if what you’re feeling is the new stent itself, or the resulting coronary artery trauma during the stretching of the artery during balloon angioplasty and then the placement of your stent. It makes more sense to consider the procedure, not the stent, as the culprit because we know that both the sudden balloon expansion and the coronary artery trauma caused by stretching can cause temporary physical effects on that artery.
It’s also common for heart patients to become hyper-vigilant after a cardiac procedure, which I wrote about here. Because of this surreal experience (a foreign object now lives inside our heart!) it’s normal to focus on every twinge, every bubble, every squeak as we wonder: Is this something? Is it nothing? Should I call 911?
Over time, we typically start to ease up (constant self-monitoring is exhausting!) especially when the sensation is not like the physical pain of a blocked artery preventing blood flow to the heart muscle.
But if those sensations continue or worsen over time, don’t hesitate to mention them to your doctor.
Good luck. . .
Just a followup. Almost 3 months now and I still feel it. Like the ringing in my ears. I just try to ignore it because if you focus on it, it is more noticeable.
Still waiting for things to settle down. Had a followup cardiac ECHO that was normal.
Still mostly an annoyance than pain, but something that started right after the procedure.
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Hello GM – thanks so much for the update. We don’t always get follow-up messages! Your experience is an interesting one: three months seems like enough time for the coronary arteries to recuperate from having the angioplasty/stent procedure. If I were in your shoes, I’d probably suspect the same thing: odd symptoms seemed to coincide with the stent procedure. I’d also be assessing symptoms to see if they seem to be getting a little bit better, week by week – or a little bit worse. “Better” is the direction you want – even tiny improvements can start to add up over time to make a difference in your quality of life.
So true – if you focus on something, that will be what you pay more attention to, not less.
If your symptoms stop being an “annoyance” and turn into “pain”, that’s a sign to call your doctor.
Good luck to you – take care, stay safe out there. . .
Are you publishing any other updated comments as these have been most helpful?
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Regularly! Last updated comment was 10 days ago…
Thank you for the informative article. I am a 50 yr old male and had 1 stent put in due to left main 85% stenosis found. My procedure was elective, but now I am regretting the decision I made.
The doctors never really told me about the post PCI side effects prior to getting one. All the doctors say I made the right decision to get a stent because I had a severe blockage. However, with 2 weeks in, I still have chest compression and mild pain, but they feel different from angina pain.
I hope the side effects eventually go away. In one YouTube video I watched, the doctor mentioned that a patient who suffered chest pain post-PCI got better after dropping statins. I am on a statin and my docs are against dropping it.
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Hello John – you are in very early days yet with your newly implanted stent – which means your coronary artery is likely still healing from the procedure. I suspect that cardiologists are more concerned about getting a blocked coronary artery unblocked than about the patient’s discomfort later on during recovery – based on the very common response from patients like you and me who were never warned about post-stent chest pain.
Try not to dwell on your decision to get this stent. You made the best decision you could have made at the time, given your diagnosis and the doctor’s recommendations. Once the artery heals, you’ll likely be amazed and relieved when things feel “normal” once again. Re your question about statins being responsible for your symptoms: I’m not a physician of course but I’m aware of one case study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology suggesting that a 54-year old man’s left-sided chest pain eased up when statins were discontinued. But that is just one case study. Most muscle pain associated with statins is reported in larger muscles on both sides, and side effects are typically addressed by adjusting dosages or switching to a different brand of statin.
I too hope that these symptoms will go away as your body heals. If they don’t improve, or if symptoms worsen, don’t hesitate see your doctor again.
Take care – good luck to you. . .
Wow I am so glad I ran into this article. My dad just had a stent placed about 2 days ago and is now complaining of this sharp chest pain.
Reading this and everyone else’s experiences gives me some kind of comfort, but upset because there isn’t enough information given to the patient regarding life post-stent placement.
While he was in the hospital, he kept asking prior to getting the stent placed and after what are the side effects of having this stent placed? The cardiologist said “nothing, don’t worry about the side effects, what you need to worry about is taking your medication every day, you cannot miss a dose”.
To begin with, we had a pretty bad experience throughout my dad’s hospital stay with doctors not communicating, but to have the cardiologist be giving us that kind of attitude is unacceptable.
It wasn’t until a nurse from the cardiac rehab facility within the hospital came and explained more thoroughly some things to watch out for like diet and good medication adherence. But still again she didn’t talk about side effects my dad may feel at home like the chest pain.
There is still lack of communication in that regard and it’s upsetting to see that this is an ongoing issue everywhere.
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Hello Michelle – It’s unfortunate that even when your Dad asked direct questions about post-stent side effects, the response was “nothing – don’t worry about side effects”.
I’m not a physician, but I’m guessing that there are two possible reasons for this kind of dismissively patronizing reply: either the doctor is simply unaware of post-stent “stretch pain”, or the doctor believes (as many doctors used to believe) that patients are so gullible that even the mention of a possible post-procedure issue is going to make these hyper-sensitive patients suddenly develop side effects.
There are two frightening issues at play here: distressing chest pain during a time when patients reasonably expect that their cardiac symptoms have already been “fixed”, and what might be genuine ignorance of a commonly experienced post-discharge pain on the part of healthcare professionals.
I hope that your Dad’s symptoms will be both benign and temporary. If his chest pain doesn’t ease up, or if it worsens over time, make sure his doctor knows about it.
Good luck to both of you…
My background as a PA/attorney/medical and legal educator makes me an annoying patient at times, as I’m always full of questions, I challenge orthodoxy and don’t accept rote and mechanical responses.
Still, sitting here tonight after (painful) stent placement earlier in the day, I’m researching the topic and thinking about the irony of having what’s probably stretch pain when I never had any cardiac-related pain before the procedure!
It’s really annoying, and more so because neither the information that I was offered spontaneously nor the answers I received in response to my questions led me to understand that this might happen.
Your note jibes with studies that I’ve just read, and I appreciate the additional information.
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Hello Peter – I had to laugh at your background (PA/attorney/medical-legal educator). You are precisely the kind of person who knows what you need: basic information about risks/benefits, side effects, long- and short-term outcomes. To have that basic info withheld (either deliberately or because medical staff are simply unaware – this is the only possible conclusion I’ve been able to arrive at to explain WHY stent patients are not informed about the potential for post-stent chest pain BEFORE hospital discharge). This may be an artifact from the good old days when physicians widely believed that patients were too gullible to inform them in advance about possible side effects they would all go home and somehow imagine, so better not to mention side effects…
Is that why so many of my readers share a common experience – that of NOT hearing words that adults deserve to hear? Something simple like:
“Oh, by the way, here’s something that you may experience after you get home, it’s happening because _______ (insert research results here). This is typically temporary and benign while your arteries are healing…”
Easy-peasey. Takes just a few seconds to say this. Would be a true comfort to the 40% of heart patients who experience post-stent chest pain by addressing in advance needless worry and stress…
Meanwhile, it’s so ironic that you did not experience chest pain BEFORE your stent at all. Take care, good luck to you. . .
Trust me, I had the same experience. To make matters even worse, I am a doctor and a clinician-scientist.
Imagine what my frustration levels would have been. I used to teach my postgraduate and undergraduate students about this procedure and I always took it too lightly that everything would be alright post-operatively.
My whole life was up-ended back then after that fateful day on 17th November 2021. We need to seriously do something about this. As an academic and a doctor, I feel nothing has been done to address this and doctors nonchalantly demand patients man up to their new reality, none of which was addressed earlier on.
I suggest we team up and do something about this once and for all. Some form of social activism, anything. I am open to suggestions. I no longer want to sit back and watch others suffer.
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Well, this is a first. . .
Dr. CraftyWizard, you’re the first MD to share your own experience here about what countless heart patients have been going through, post-stent. I appreciate hearing from you.
I think your observation about clinicians taking post-stent chest pain too lightly is SO true. It’s as if interventional cardiologists believe that their responsibilities end as soon as the patient leaves the cath lab. What goes on at home for those patients simply doesn’t interest them.
If it WERE of any interest at all, these docs would ensure that all staff in the cath lab, in the CCU, in the Discharge Lounge (if their hospital even has a Discharge Lounge!) were not only well-informed about this very common post-stent reality but made sure that no heart patient would leave the hospital without a written note in any take-home follow-up material describing what MIGHT happen once they got home.
As an MD, you’re in a privileged and powerful position to undertake your new project. You’re not, like me, a dull-witted heart attack patient who has been writing and speaking about this for years with little or no effect – except to hear from countless patients who have been shocked and frightened by their post-stent chest pain).
My suggestion: consider contributing your own story to a journal. For example:
– submit an 800-word (max) Opinion piece to the BMJ, or:
– a 1,000 word (max) “On My Mind” Commentary piece to Circulation , or:
– a 650-word (max) Opinion piece to Nursing Times – or any other journals that are read by nursing staff (since the last person to interact with a newly-stented heart patient is typically a nurse at discharge).
These are just a few journals off the top of my head – you can do some homework on other publications read by the medical professionals who are sending their heart patients home without adequately educating them on the predictable reality of post-stent chest pain.
They need to hear from heart patients like you, one of their own.
Good luck to you on this new social activism! And please keep me posted if you do submit your own story for publication so I can help to share a link to it here for my Heart Sisters readers.
It was such a relief to find this post. I had a stent placement two days ago and yesterday I was very concerned that I was worse.
I totally agree “why aren’t heart patients like me warned about this before hospital discharge”? When I was discharged, they said you shouldn’t feel anything in my chest!
Thank you for this and my wife thanks you.
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You are welcome, James. I hope this helps to lighten concerns for you – and of course for your wife, too! If your symptoms continue or worsen, do not hesitate to contact your cardiologist.
Best of luck to you both. . .
Thank God I found this site.
In early June 2022, my husband had a stent placed in his heart main artery that was totally blocked. Although the doctors claim the procedure was successful, he has been complaining of irregular heart beat, chest pain and shivers.
We had to call an ambulance to go back to the same hospital and he was admitted. Nothing done, no information provided. His irregular heart beat is worse at night. We had to cut our vacation trip short because of these symptoms. When we went back to his cardiologist, he dismissed us saying everything was okay. My husband still has the problem.
for the this site, we feel better. At least there is some explanation. I wish they told us at hospital discharge, all the stress we are going through would have been avoided.
Hello Elleni – what you’re describing is a very stressful experience for both the patient AND the patient’s family! Heart patients expect that they’ll feel much better after a procedure to unblock a blocked coronary artery – not worse!
I’m not a physician so of course cannot diagnose what’s going on, but I can say generally that some of your husband’s symptoms (the irregular heartbeat, for example) many not quite match what researchers describe as being typical of post-stent chest pain.
If his symptoms continue, this scenario may be worth getting a second opinion from an electrophysiologist (that’s a cardiologist who specializes in heart rhythm disorders). Something is causing your husband’s distressing symptoms – but you just don’t quite know what that cause is yet. I hope you and your husband will solve the mystery soon.
Take care, and stay safe. . .