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What causes numbness in thumb post angioplasty procedure in left arm?

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Posted on Mon, 30 May 2016
Question: Hi.
I am a 56 year old male. Had a stent inserted in LAD on the 11th through left elbow and placed on plavix and 321g aspirin daily. I also take a number of blood pressure meds (4) Lasix, diovan, spironolactone and digoxin. My blood pressure declined but my average heart rate has risen from 72bpm before angioplasty to 82bpm after.

Had felt pain in right arm during angiogram causing doctor to shift to left arm to complete the procedure. Since the angiogram, tip of right thumb remained numb and when lifting right arm overhead or reaching with to pick up anything I experience pain radiating from right thumb to elbow. Will these symptoms resolve on their own or should I visit cardiologist about it? When I had told doctor about it he said it will resolve with time! However, I do feel pain from that thumb to my elbow unexpectedly when I leave hand to my side naturally. Pain lasts for a minute or two and subsides but numbness in thumb persists and is ongoing.

My left arm from shoulder to neck still hurts occasionally and I also have an occasional sticking pain in my chest. I sometimes feel a burning pain along the left arm into my chest as if I am going through the angio procedure. Should I be concerned about these symptoms? Do they mean anything? Is it normal to have them after this type of surgery? Never had any kind of surgery before this or hospital stay.
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Answered by Dr. Benard Shehu (3 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Following advice

Detailed Answer:
Hi and thank you for asking!
I read your query and understood your concerns.

What you're experiencing are common complications of angioplasty procedure especially when it is done on both elbows (as in your case).

The symptoms are related to irritation of arm nerves which as I said earlier is a common complications and this irritation will be resolved within 4-8 weeks and everything is going to be ok again.

This is why you shouldn't worry about your symptoms. If after 2 months the symptoms will persist then you should contact a neurologist to exlude any further nerve damage.

Hope this will be of help!
Wish you health!
Dr. Shehu
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Benard Shehu

Cardiologist

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 2257 Questions

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What causes numbness in thumb post angioplasty procedure in left arm?

Brief Answer: Following advice Detailed Answer: Hi and thank you for asking! I read your query and understood your concerns. What you're experiencing are common complications of angioplasty procedure especially when it is done on both elbows (as in your case). The symptoms are related to irritation of arm nerves which as I said earlier is a common complications and this irritation will be resolved within 4-8 weeks and everything is going to be ok again. This is why you shouldn't worry about your symptoms. If after 2 months the symptoms will persist then you should contact a neurologist to exlude any further nerve damage. Hope this will be of help! Wish you health! Dr. Shehu