return to work?

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-2003
return to work?
Fri, 12-19-2003 - 10:14pm
Hi - my husband had a heart attack on Sunday. By Tuesday they did a heart cath and angioplasty. My first question is this: Is it normal to do those two procedures separately? He had the cath in the morning and then the angioplasty at 6:00 that night. The doc knew BEFORE the heart cath that he was going to need angioplasty. Don't they usually do those two at one time if possible.

Secondly, I'm curious to know when you or your spouses returned to work after the angioplasty. I've heard various things from just a couple of days to six weeks. I'm assuming the people that returned after just a couple of days did NOT have a heart attack but the angioplasty was for prevention of a heart attack.

Thanks for all your help - I'm new to this heart disease stuff as my husband is only 45, is otherwise healthy (underweight!) cholesterol okay, no high blood pressure. BUT he WAS (note I said WAS) a 2 pack a day smoker.



iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Sun, 12-21-2003 - 12:38pm
I didn't have a heart attack but did have angioplasty to deal with a 95% blockage. I had my cath first and then the procedure a couple of hours later. They actually don't necessarily know that the patient needs angioplasty for sure until they do the invasive test -- depending on what they find, bypass surgery may be required. Also, delays may have to do with the schedules of the surgeon or the cath lab (the latter in my case -- I just went in for a diagnostic test, they weren't sure what if anything they were going to find).

My cardiologist told me I could go back to work in a week if I was ready. I wasn't. I started working part-time from home a little after a week, then part-time at work a couple of weeks later. It was probably close to a month before I was back 100% fulltime. But I often need a bit more time than advertised to bounce back from a surgical procedure.

A guy I work with had a heart attack and angioplasty, I can't remember when he came back, but it was shorter than I would have expected. He seems to be doing great.

By the way, I'm in my mid-40s, normal weight, normal blood pressure, exercised every day, never smoked, and had "borderline high" cholesterol (over 200 but less than 240). Although there's some heart disease in my family, the whole thing is pretty new for me, too! (I had my procedure earlier this year). Good luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-30-2003
Tue, 12-30-2003 - 1:30pm


Hello and welcome.