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Discussion Guide

Getting a stent after experiencing an acute coronary syndrome (ACS) event, such as heart attack or unstable angina, is not the end of your treatment. It’s just the beginning. Your doctor can help you understand the next important step: taking care of your stent and heart arteries.

Below you will find some questions you may wish to ask your doctor at your next appointment, as well as a checklist of things to bring. Print out this Discussion Guide and take it to your next visit.

Stent questions.

Q. What is a stent and how does it work?

Q. How can I help protect my stent?

Q. How long will my stent last?

Q. What is stent thrombosis, and how can I help prevent it?

Q. Am I still at risk or did the stent fix my problem?

Q. What is the difference between a bare-metal stent and a drug-eluting stent, and which one do I have?

Antiplatelet medicine questions.

Q. How does my antiplatelet medicine help protect my stent?

Q. What are the most common side effects of my antiplatelet medicine?

Q. How long will I need to take my antiplatelet medicine?

Q. How does my antiplatelet medicine interact with other medications?

General questions.

Q. What symptoms should I watch for, and what should I do if my symptoms return?

Q. Can you explain the percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) procedure?

Q. What do you recommend about diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes?

Q. How can I help reduce my risk for a future heart attack?

Things to bring.

Try to gather the following items before your appointment so you're prepared. In addition, you may want to bring a family member or friend with you for support and assistance.
  • Print the Discussion Guide and write in any additional questions you have for the doctor in the Notes section
  • Bring a complete list of all the medications, prescribed and over-the-counter, that you are currently taking, including their names and dosages
  • Pack something to write on and to write with
  • Consider keeping a record of how you've been feeling, your diet and exercise routine, as these may help your doctor assess your recovery progress