Chest Pain after stenting

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Submitted by Dr T on October 19, 2012 – 10:20pm

Question: 
I am a 51 year old post menopausal female who had a moderate heart attack six months ago. My Circumflex artery was 100% blocked and stented three days after the event. I also have 60% blockage in the  Ramus artery which is being treated medically.Post event test have shown minimal heart damage and a recent nuclear stress test revealed a very good progonsis, I went 12 minutes on the treadmill reaching a 14% incline without chest pain. I do however, have daily chest pain in either the center of my chest, deep in my left side or on the upper right side of my chest where the heart attack pain was. This pain is usually felt during periods of rest or everyday activity, I do not get this pain during my regular exercise routine. Occasionally, I will feel a tightness if I am walking up a gradual incline. I also have fleeting jaw pain as well as sharp ear pain which was also prominant during the heart attack.My cardiologist is telling me this pain my be from the small vessels or not chest pain at all. He did put me on Ranexa last month and this has helped to subdue the discomfort but I am wondering if I should accept this prognosis and move on with the rest of my life or look for other answers. The cardiologist quote on staying the course with medication was “if its not broke don’t fix it”, but I still feel a bit broken with this pain and fatigue.

Hi Karen,
Stents fail! Your symptoms are consistent with angina. Ask for another stress test or a 2nd opinion if your cardiologist refuses. With a normal heart function, medical therapy alone would have been just as – if not more – effective as a stent. You now have a new problem (stents) that may or may not be working. You can calculate the optimal treatment in your case here.
Hope this helps,
Dr T

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