I recently had stent placed on my left subclavian artery as it was 90% occluded. I had quadruple bypass surgery 13 years ago( using the left internal mammary artery grafting to the left anterior descending coronary) and recently had been having increasing jaw pains and upper back pains ( no dizziness or fainting). I had all sorts of cardiac tests (short of angiogram) that showed within normal limits Ejection fraction was normal but still I had these increasing symptoms of jaw pain relieved by rest. I remember having a neck ultrasound about 2-3 years ago wherein the technician told me that I have a subclavian steal. I had symptoms of upper arm weakness that dates back years and years before my quadruple bypass 13 years ago. Could it be that this subclavian blockage has been there for a long long time? That it was not seen on the tests (angiogram) 13 years ago because the subclavian was not visualized because the angiogram then was limited to the coronary arteries? I have other questions: I have diabetes well controlled by januvia. I take welchol as i developed rhabdomyolysis with vytorin. I had been also on plavix.
1. Is stenting the subclavian a frequent procedure?
2. How long will this stent stay in place?
3. If there is blocking again in the future of this stent what are the options?
Stents stay in place for your life time, but they CAN block. They can form scar tissue and block, or a clot can form. Same with your bypass grafts, they can block and veins can close up. I had a triple bypass and three months later I had an episode while out walking. It lasted around 4 mins, but then seemed to settle down. I had angina from that time again. I told the surgeon who said "there is nothing wrong with your bypass, ECG normal, and so there's nothing I can do". I went to my cardiologist and told him the problem and told him I know my own body better than any surgeon. He agreed to an angriogram which revealed the veins as completely shut down, but the Lima still open. Angina doesn't always reveal symptoms on ECG and it doesn't always reveal problems on a treadmill stress test. Before the angiogram I had to have a stress echo, which showed ischemia at 140 bpm.
Thank you for your comment. Coronary angiogams are usually only limited to the coronaries? or they also include the subclavian in a routine procedure? The reason I ask is that my left subclavian might have been clogged years before my quadruple bypass as they might have only catheterized the coronaries. I had symptoms of arm weakness long time ago for so many years. I cannot raise up my arms for long as they get tired easily. Are these symptoms of subclavian streal syndrome?
I've had lots of angiograms and they usually just show the coronary arteries and the aortic arch. Some (previous to my bypass) showed the condition of my internal mammary arteries located in the chest. To look at all arteries in the body would take a long time. When you are laying on the table, the scanner is above your chest, and is guided as commanded by the cardiologist. Unless he specifically wants to look at other arteries, he will concentrate on the heart.
You can have a ct angio for the other arteries which is not invasive.
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