Living Well: Stent Gives Heart Disease Patient New Lease on Life


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Ronnie Minnick is healthy, and happy doing the right thing by getting his regular checkups. But a trip to the doctor would change his life.

“And after a consultation they said I needed to consult a cardiologist,” says Ronnie.

That appointment with Doctor Jeffrey Stewart would reveal Minnick had a blockage near his heart and needed a stent.

Ronnie says he had no real symptoms but says,”I would get out of breath if I would exert myself.”

“We did a heart cath on him, ballooned him and put a stent in,” says Interventional Cardiologist Jeffrey Stewart. Doctor Stewart says there are different kinds of stents which patients always want to know about.

“This happens to be a drug eluding stent. This is one that reduces scar tissue formation in stents and reduces the likelihood of recurrence,” says Dr. Stewart.

It’s not uncommon to have no symptoms at all.

“20 to 25 percent of patients can actually have what we call silent aschemia, so they actually have heart disease they have blockage in their heart arteries, cholesterol plaque that actually causes problems but no symptoms,” explains Dr. Stewart.

Stewart suggests, know your family history.

“And you can’t pick your parents, so if mom and dad had events early in their life at roughly the same age as they were, you would at least need to be screened at that point,” says Dr. Stewart.

Ronnie Minnick says he’s feeling good these days as he’s getting ready to celebrate a birthday and suggests everyone get checked.

“Your problem is a problem we’re concerned about cause you don’t have any symptoms,” says Ronnie.

Some ways to lower your chances of getting heart disease are if you don’t smoke, don’t start, improve cholesterol levels, eat a healthy diet and get active.

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