Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q. Are men at more risk than women when it comes to coronary artery disease and heart attacks?
A. Yes, men have a greater risk of heart attack than women do. Post-menopausal women may have a higher risk of developing heart attacks than those who are in the reproductive age group. Know risk factors
Q. Is it important to control cholesterol levels in the blood to prevent the risk of heart attacks?
A. Cholesterol levels in the blood can reflect a future risk of developing coronary artery diseases as well as strokes. ‘Lipid profile’ is a test that shows levels of various types of cholesterol in your blood. Know how heart attacks occur
Q. Can I reverse coronary artery disease with lifestyle changes like diet and exercise?
A. Coronary artery disease (CAD) may be managed with a combination of lifestyle changes,exercise, diet, and medical treatment. Lifestyle changes and medications alone are often not enough, and you may need percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) or bypass surgery. Know treatment options
Q. What foods should be avoided for keeping cholesterol levels under control?
A. One should avoid saturated fats which are present in excess in fast foods, fried foods, red meats, full-fat dairy products, and margarine or sandwich spreads. Ready to eat packaged foods have a higher content of trans-fat and saturated fats which are both bad for the heart so should be avoided. Read about preventive measures
Q. Can a person suffer from a heart attack without chest pain? What is a silent heart attack?
A. Silent heart attack is the type of heart attack that might have no symptoms, mild symptoms, or unrecognizable symptoms. Though the disease process is the same, in a silent heart attack, a person may not have typical chest pain, cold sweat, or breathlessness. Read about recognizing symptoms
Q. Who would help me decide about the best treatment for my coronary artery disease?
A. It is important that you talk to your family physician about your symptoms. After investigations, if the diagnosis of coronary artery disease is confirmed, your doctor mayrefer you to an interventional cardiologist, who will help you decide which treatment is right for you. Know treatment options
Q. What can I do if I am not relieved of my symptoms of coronary artery disease despite medications?
A. If you are not getting adequate relief from your symptoms with your medication, it is important to talk about it with your general practitioner or a cardiologist. In such cases, aminimally invasive procedure called angioplasty or PCI may be able to fully restore blood flow to your heart. Know about angioplasty and stent placement
Q. How is PCI different from medical management of coronary artery disease?
A. Percutaneous coronary intervention is a minimally invasive procedure in which the interventional cardiologist treats the blocks in the coronary arteries by trying to open the blocked arteries with a balloon catheter and subsequently, if needed, with a coronary stent. Medical management can treat your symptoms, but it can’t take the blockage away. Get more information about PCI
Q. How is PCI different from bypass surgery?
A. Bypass surgery is open-heart surgery. PCI is a minimally invasive procedure that is done by an interventional cardiologist with the help of a catheter into your groin or arm.Read about the comparison
Q. If I have been told I can’t have bypass surgery, does that mean I can’t have PCI(Percutaneous Coronary Intervention) or Angioplasty?
A. If you were told you could not have bypass surgery, your doctor may not have considered percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) as an option for you. PCI uses minimally invasive advanced technology. It is appropriate for more people now than ever before. Read more about coronary stents
Q. Is Angioplasty or Percutaneous Coronary Intervention only for people with complex coronary artery disease (CAD)?
A. Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) or angioplasty and possible subsequent stent implantation may be appropriate for anyone who would benefit from restoring blood flow by opening up blocked coronary arteries. Read the benefits of PCI
Q. Which patients with coronary artery disease are eligible for PCI or Angioplasty with implantation of coronary stents?
A. PCI is a minimally invasive treatment that has advanced quickly. It can provide reliable results for a broader range of people, including people with coronary artery disease (CAD) of different complexities. Read about the benefits of stenting
Q. How long does it take to come home after an angioplasty or PCI (Percutaneous Coronary Intervention)
A. PCI is usually an outpatient procedure. But you may need a short hospital stay. Recovery times are different for everyone. You may be able to leave the hospital the same day or a day after your procedure. Get to know about PCI
Q. What is dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT)?
A. Antiplatelet agents are a class of drugs that inhibit the platelets from clumping together and forming blood clots. Many heart attack patients are treated with two types of antiplatelet agents to prevent blood clotting after coronary stenting procedure to prevent complications related to the stent. This is called dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT). Know about precautions with coronary stents
Q. Can the stent in my heart move or rust?
A. Once positioned by the cardiologist, the stent does not move on its own. It is manufactured so that it will not rust. Get more information on coronary stents
Q. Can I travel with a coronary stent?
A. Patients with a stent can safely travel. Traveling is not restricted but it is better to carry your medical information along with you, as it can be useful in case of a medical emergency. Know the precautions after Angioplasty and Stent placement
Q. Why is my stent medicated?
A. In stents made up of only metal (Bare Metal stents), it was observed that the incidence of blood clot formation was higher. That is why a stent with a coating of the drug also called Drug-eluting stent or medicated stents are preferred. They release the drug at aslow rate to prevent blood clots from forming in a stent and thus prevent future blockage (restenosis) of the stent. Know the types of stents
Q. How often should I follow up with my doctor after a coronary stent placement procedure?
A. It is recommended that patients who have undergone stent implantation procedure should follow up with the cardiologist and their primary care physician 1 week after the procedure and then every 3-6 months, irrespective of additional visits necessitated by any complications or other risk factors. Read about life after a stent procedure
Q. Is my stent safe and effective in the long run?
A. A stent once placed remains in the artery permanently. With time the tissue grows around it and it is fixed to the artery wall. This will help in preventing further blockages in that artery. Know more about how stents work
Q. What if my coronary artery disease is left untreated?
A. If left untreated, coronary artery disease can cause serious complications like;
• An acute condition like a heart attack
• Abnormalities in the heart rhythm, called Arrhythmias,
• Reduced pumping function of the heart, i.e., heart failure
• Drop in blood pressure
• Sudden stoppage of the heart activity or cardiac arrest.
Timely diagnosis and treatment can prevent these complications.
Q. When can sexual activity be resumed after recovering from a heart attack?
A. In usual cases, the sexual activity can resume within a few weeks after one recovers from a heart attack. Talk to your doctor to decide what's safe for you. Know more about life after a heart attack
Q. When can I go back to work after recovering from a heart attack?
A. Most heart attack patients go back to work within two weeks to three months depending on the severity of the heart attack. Your doctor will determine when you can go back and if your current job is suitable for you. Know more about life after a heart attack
2 . https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/01.cir.102.18.2284
3 . https://www.bostonscientific.com/en-US/patients/health-conditions/coronary-artery-disease/cardiac-pci-cad-treatment/faqs.html
4 . https://www.goredforwomen.org/en/about-heart-disease-in-women/signs-and-symptoms-in-women/silent-heart-attack-symptoms-risks
5 . https://www.bostonscientific.com/en-US/patients/about-your-device/coronary-stents/faq-questions.html
6 . https://www.heart.org/-/media/files/health-topics/answers-by-heart/what-is-dapt.pdf
7 . https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/heart-attack/life-after-a-heart-attack/heart-attack-recovery-faqs
8 . https://www.bostonscientific.com/en-US/patients/about-your-device/coronary-stents/how-coronary-stents-work.html
9 . https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3576602/
10 . https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/nih-funded-studies-show-stents-surgery-no-better-medication-lifestyle-changes-reducing-cardiac-events
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