AlmostClever wrote:Be prepared if you do get a stent:
It is very important to maintain the proper INR levels!
Initially, this should require a simple blood test every few days to monitor your INR level so that adjustments can be made to the dosage of blood thinner (Coumadin, Warfarin) you take daily. Once you achieve the correct dosage, blood tests can be done less frequently.
BE AGGRESSIVE when beginning blood thinning therapy!
It is important to maintain INR levels between 2.0-3.0 (normal blood is 1.0).
You will probably be given shots to bring up your INR until the oral meds kick in.
If you do not achieve and maintain these levels quickly, you risk clotting!
Ditto that. FWIW, when I went in for my follow up (planned well in advance, not an emergency) angioplasty in April, I was given a pretty good shot of anti-platelets right on the table, before even leaving the op room, then a script for Plavix to follow up on. My blood was so thin, that getting upright after an hours flat bedrest caused my incision to gush open, a minor inconvenience, one more hour's rest and was good to go. I was pretty confident at that point that at least my platelets were rocketing by each other, though I don't know why they were in such a rush.
For those going on Coumadin, it's a completely different story, as you state, and has been stated many times on TIMS, INR monitoring is absolutely necessary for actual blood thinners vs. anti-platelets, all hypercoagulation issues aside of course.
If I were doing this now, with not having a clue where my #'s are, I'd pay out of pocket if I had to for some hard coagulation numbers. Ignorance is bliss as they say, but it's up to each person to take responsibility for the knowledge they possess and act/don't act on it. That's one more question for the list too which I'll admit to not even asking myself last August...
Also what has been stated, and bears repeating often, is to try to maintain your eating habits pre-post op for INR stability. The meds are then adjusted to accomodate that. Some eat all that Vit K rich stuff, some do not for example, the key is stability, not avoidance or inclusion when it wasn't part of your regime prior to the introduction of the meds. My INR's went all over the map the first couple months, but I'm a crazy eater too so that was mostly my fault. Luckily the lab people I went to were cool fun so I looked forward to going there as often as needed. Updates went to both Dr. Dake AND my GP on at least a twice weekly basis.
I was a bit shocked myself when I heard people talking about stenting in Poland or wherever, and just coming home with a Plavix scrip if that and/or aspirin, which kind of assumes no monitoring, as there's nothing to monitor for anti-platelets. Yikes, this thing is difficult enough as it is, WITH monitoring, AND going local, remove those two parts of the equation, and you are truly flying blind.
Be careful out there, and test everything you read, no matter the source, and make up your own mind in conjuction with your medical professional near home, regardless of where you are treated.