Is this normal care after stents?

1 answer | Last updated: Nov 05, 2016
Jai asked...

My husband has coronary artery disease. He had three stents put in six years ago and another last year. The first three were plain and the fourth is a drug eluding stent. This past February he had a brief episode where his left arm dropped to his side and he couldn't raise it above a certain point. He went to ER expecting it was a stroke but it was a tiny brain bleed. By the time the diagnosis was made (within a few hours) it had already sealed itself and within weeks had almost dried up. In two weeks he's scheduled for a nuclear stress test. If all goes well, after that his doctors want him to discontinue taking Plavix, also decrease his daily aspirin intake from a regular one (325) to a baby aspirin. All this has me very nervous. His stents have remained clear and, other than the tiny brain bleed which may have been totally unrelated) he's doing well as is. I'm very concerned. Any knowledge, experience, advice?

Expert Answers

Carolyn Strimike, N.P. and Margie Latrella, N.P. are cardiac nurse practitioners specializing in the prevention of heart disease and stroke. They have over 40 years of nursing experience in Cardiology between them. The main goal of their work is to counsel, motivate and empower women to adopt healthy lifestyle choices.

Glad your husband has recovered from the tiny brain bleed, which actually is a type of stroke. How to care for stents has become a very difficult and controversial situation due to recent studies that recommend continuing Plavix and aspirin longer with drug eluting stents. Your husband will need to discuss the risks and benefits of stopping the Plavix and aspirin with his cardiologist.