I am a 41 year old healthy male with no risk factors: never drank or smoked, normal LDL, HDL 50, not fat, and have exercised pretty religiously my entire adult life. My father did have a CABG at age 48 but had every risk factor, so I thought I was in the clear. Two weeks ago, I was at my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class when I noticed that I had pretty significant pain in my chest. Thankfully, I went to the ED where I was found to have some EKG changes and I had bumped by cardiac enzymes. I underwent a cath the next morning where I was found to have 80% stenosis in my LAD and otherwise no disease. A drug eluting stent was placed and I have been doing relatively well since (physically great - psychologically not so much...). I have four children with the youngest being 19 months.
I had a few questions:
1. What is the longevity of the stents, and without any other disease, should I be concerned about something happening again soon?
2. How strenuous of exercise can I perform? I feel like my cardiologist is used to speaking with older folks who have not been as active as I have been, so do not have a good feeling for what I can do. I am going to undergo a stress echo to check things out before I go too crazy, but are there any limitations after that?
There is no way to tell the immediate or long term future unfortunately. You very likely had a Drug Eluting stent which doesn't usually re-block with scar tissue, compared to bare metal ones. If it's any help, my earliest stent was inserted in Feb 2007 and is still doing a great job, no sign of any disease there.
I would also like to point out two very important things you don't mention regarding risk factors. Blood pressure and emotional stress. Just keep an eye on both of those :)
With regards to your second question, you need to give your cath incision site time to heal, especially if the groin area was the entry point. Martial arts involves stretching the legs, a no no for a while until the femoral artery in the leg has healed. An angioseal will be in place, which takes 3 months to slowly dissolve. Your Cardiologist is not thinking in terms of older people, he is considering the fact that some of your heart muscle needs to recover. Remember your symptoms of angina (chest pains) were a sign that the heart cells were in distress, basically half suffocating. They need time to recover. The rule of thumb for this is usually 3 months. Even though blood flow to those cells is now returned to full, they don't need to be further damaged before they have time to repair. I hope this makes sense.
Your prognosis though is excellent :)
Where in the chest did you feel your pain. What were the changes in the ECG. I am just curious because I get those same symptoms. I get sob, chest pains, and some leg pain too. Happy to know your ok, and you sound like your heading in the right direction to the road of recovery.
I am 44 year sold and have trained in BJJ for six years. In March I had no exercise related angina and after some test found out I partial blockages in my LAD and a total occlusion in my RCA. The RCA had collateralized itself I.e. grew some helper arteries to try to help out. The RCA blockage caused a mild heart attack. 5 days after finding out this news, I had an angioplasty where they placed three stents in my LAD. They did not touch my RCA as the felt any damage would have already been done and full blockages are often tough to clear. After the procedure my chest pain continued, so they performed an angioplasty on my RCA and placed two stents. Surprisingly the RCA had opened up slightly making the procedure much easier than they expected.
It's been almost two months since my second angioplasty. I finished a cardio rehab and actually plan to roll for the first time in almost 3 months tomorrow. I am very nervous as I've read about the concern of disturbing a,stent, but I feel like I need to at least try and see how it feels. I a.
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