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Had heart attack. Introduced stents in Lad Artery. Feel weak. How long will it take to come to normal?

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Cardiologist, Interventional
Practicing since : 1998
Answered : 411 Questions
Two fast questions: I am an American who had a heart attack about a month ago in Macau. I was hospitalized for 12 days and doctors put two stents in my Lad Artery. I still feel weak at times. How long will it take until I feel normal again? The following question is a little more difficult to explain. My heart attack was in Macau, which is far away from my home in Henan province in mainland China were I teach English. Anyway, yesterday I went to a hospital in my home city to buy generic heart meds because the meds prescribed in Macau are too expensive. Anyway, while at the hospital the cardiologist apparently did not understand that I had a heart attack a month before. I had a major language barrier even though a student was translating for me. The Chinese doctor had an ECG done on me. The ECG showed a myocardial infarction and abnormal heart conditions. The doctors said that i should be immediately hospitalized and that my life was in danger. However, I explained, using an electronic translator, that I had a heart attack a month earlier. She seemed to understand and indicated that the recent heart attack was still reflected in the ECG results. So, she seemed to indicate that hospitalization wasn't now necessary, and I went home. So, is that correct? An ECG will continue to show abnormalities for a while during the recovery phase? I just want to make certain that I do not have a new big problem. Thanks much. Jerry Urban.
Posted Tue, 13 Aug 2013 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by Dr. Prabhakar C Koregol 19 hours later

Generally in month time you should feel quite normal, unless MI (Myocardial Infarction) has been large and has weaned your heart very much. In that case it would take up to 3-6month for you to feel good. Second and most common could be that you are not had formal cardiac rehabilitation programme and that could be one reason for your symptoms. Third and also common is medication side effects. Please discuss with your physician in China with details. They should be able to sort it out. If its infrequent and not interfering with you daily life, you just need to ignore it.

As far as your second question, yes once you have heart attack in majority of patients there will some remaining ECG abnormality. If the doctors don't have previous history they can mistake it for fresh MI and might need to admit and work up. But if you have previous ECG and no major deviation from it than there is no reason for concern.

Please get back to me you need any further clarification.
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