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5520965 tn?1506012640

What is it like to have cardiac catheterization / stenting?

Recently underwent a nuclear pharmacological stress test that revealed some issues on the inferior and inferolateral portion of my heart. Mentioned scarring with partial reversibility with mention of suspicion of an MI, so it must have been one of those silent ones. She noted I'm at higher risk, so without her saying specifically I'm assuming that means for a major MI.

So she set me up with an interventional cardiologist whom I will be hearing from soon to schedule the procedure. I've watched a couple of YT videos, but I'd like to ask others who've underwent this.

1: It seems they put you under conscious sedation - how aware will I be, and will I feel anything during the procedure.

2: They say it will be a 23 hour stay in hospital and 2 days recovery post-procedure, so I'm assuming going to work would be out, yes?

3: How long did it take you to recover and was their any post-procedure pain - and did they provide you with a prescription to deal with that?

4: Will they likely have me go through some cardiac rehab / PT afterward to get me on a better track?

5: What are some of the things I need to watch for - I have frequent chest pain / angina but I mean, how do I tell the difference between chest pain that is chronic vs when my heart is in trouble and need to get to the ER or call an ambulance?

One day I wake up thinking it can't be me that would have a heart attack, next day I am told I probably had an MI and I guess I'm still in shock and trying to grasp all that it means for now, and the rest of my life.
2 Responses
5520965 tn?1506012640
Well the coronary cath procedure is scheduled for 7/17. Been discussing the procedure with my cardiologist so have a better idea what to expect.
973741 tn?1342346373
Wow, I'm sure this is making you quite anxious.  I haven't had this procedure specifically but will give you some thoughts on your questions.  Conscious sedation means you will be awake but kind of out of it.  You probably won't remember much if anything but during the procedure, you will be in a depressed state of awareness.  You can respond to commands. You can breath on your own.  I have had this type of sedation and have no recollection of the procedure. My husband had this kind of sedation and also had no recollection and he took a couple of hours to 'surface' again after.  You will be in the hospital for when you come to so you will be monitored.  

You'll have your procedure and they are basically going to keep you over night and the next morning to monitor you to make sure all is well before sending you home.  If there is a problem, you'll stay longer.  But this is what they expect.  And definitely take off work for the two days they say you are to recover and be flexible if you need any more time than that if you don't bounce back as fast as typical.  You probably will.  But everyone is different.  

Something that really stuck out to me was the question mark you have about something said to you.  That's always something to make sure doesn't happen.  "without her saying specifically . . ."  You need to know specifically even if it is scary information.  You need to ask follow up questions and fully understand. Sometimes that is hard as the patient.  Got anyone that can go with you?  AND, you are can call any doctor's office and speak to the doctor or at least the nurse afterwards when you wonder WHAT exactly you are high risk for.  

Which brings me to your other questions. Questioning the doctor is important!  Those questions are excellent and I would ask them of the doctor and have someone to write down what they say with you.  And ask follow up questions.  You are entitled to know what is going on and what to expect.  The doctor does this procedure on many patients so can give you not just one person's perspective but the overall typical patient's experience.  They will have many more examples to look at to share with you what to expect.  

I have read that a lot of patients do not do cardiac rehab/pt and doctors would really like more to do it as it almost always improves outcomes.  Talk to your doctor about it but think that is often recommended for situations like yours and you should do it if it is.  

Your last question is important.  You need to ask for their specific answer to this.  WHAT is a complication.  WHAT is normal and not normal.  And WHEN do you take action.  I also say, always go with your gut. You may feel like you are overreacting but it is always best to be safe than sorry.  Always.  
1 Comments
Thank you for your reply.

Yes, I am anxious about the procedure, even having had a background with very minor medical training (First Aid First Responder - beginning CPR, dealing with wounds etc until more trained personnel arrives), and my spouse is a former EMT. I know all will be better when I get to the other side of this. It's the anticipation that's getting to me. Good to know I'll be under conscious sedation.

My spouse is taking some time off the day of the procedure and after to be with me as I recover. It should be a a fairly quick recovery from what I gather.

Agreed I do need to ask my cardiologist for some more detail as to what she thinks I'm at higher risk for. As for determining when to go to the ER, clearly since I had a silent MI already I missed some of the signs, attributing them to either my chronic chest pain, or some other malady. I'm on protonix for GERD, so probably thought it was just indigestion.

Not to sound overly dramatic, but, given all I'm probably lucky to still be here, it could have been much worse, which is what I'm hoping to prevent.
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