British Heart Foundation
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Angiogram Update

I posted for the first time a couple of weeks ago about my forthcoming angiogram/stent and how nervous I was. I went in late last week and to say I was anxious would be an understatement. I had quite a bit of sedation to get me through the procedure. It was uncomfortable at times rather than painful.

In the end the cardiologist couldn’t put a stent in. Turns out my LAD is 100% blocked but my RCA is well collateralised and other arteries are clear. Apart from upping my meds, the plan is to leave things as they are unless my symptoms worsen at which point consideration should be given to a single LIMA bypass.

My head is spinning. I thought by now I’d be planning for my return to exercise (am a keen runner). Instead I’m exactly where I was a week ago, treading water. Apart from needing to lose the 10kg I’ve put on since my symptoms began, I can’t think of any other changes I can make. I don’t smoke and drink once a week. I know I need to manage my stress levels too.

Is anyone else in a similar position? I’d be interested to know what has worked for you? I’m only 50 and would quite like to stick around a while longer.

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Hi Villan67,

I had a simalar experience to you. I'm 45 and was diagnosed with CHD. Didn't smoke, drank once a week and was normal weight for my age and played a lot of tennis.

My angiogram showed RCA 95% blocked, LAD blocked (they didn't specify percentage), and one of my left side diagonal arteries partialy blocked. My left circumflux artery had grown collaterals to feed the right side of my heart. The consultant said that stents were not really an option so he recommended a triple heart bypass which i had just over 3 weeks ago.

For a little bit more assurance I would speak to your GP who hopefully can explain the results as they will now be on your medical record. I'm assuming that because only one of your arteries is blocked it can be controlled with medication. How bad are your symptoms?

When i had my operation, one of the anethetists told me about this Dr in america who clinically proved that chd could be arrested and even reversed by eating a plant based diet. He's name is Dean Ornish. I've read he's book and you have to turn in to a vegan to do it. Whilst I would like to reverse my CHD, I'm not prepared to do it as I haven't got the discipline(some people have) Checkout nutritionfacts.org.

All the best. I can 100% empathise to what your going through.

All the best

Nick

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Forgot to mention, I believe the cause for me was high blood pressure due to stress and worry. (My family had now histroy of CHD as far as I'm aware)

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Nick

Thanks for taking the time to reply. I’m glad you are on the way to recovery. One thing I’ve completely underestimated is the emotional impact of the diagnosis on me and more importantly my family.

Like you stress and anxiety has been around me for many years. I’m reading Dr Ornish’s book, The Spectrum, as it happens. Great minds!! I like that it covers areas beyond exercise and nutrition. Ive already tweaked my diet. The big thing for me though will be managing my stress levels so meditation or yoga is something I’m looking into.

I’m hoping to get some time with my referring cardiologist in the next few weeks to talk about whether I should have a Lima graft or hold fire and rely on meds and lifestyle changes.

All the best.

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Yes definitely, the emotional impact is huge.

I've just started to do some mindfullness meditation which I'm hoping will help with the stress and worry of it all. Hopefully it will help you too.

Well reading up on the LIMA graft, it has a proven good long term patency rate which means that it is not prone to future blocking.

Yes, the cardiologist will advise on the best course of action. Its a really difficult decision, on one side you can just take the meds but on the other you have a choice of re plumbing. I had a very simalar conundrum, however, I had blockages in several arteries so the choice was easier for me. Good luck in whatever you and your family decide.

Cheers

Nick

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Hi I'm sure many on here have had similar experiences. Mine happened about 12 months ago. I was supposed to be receiving 2 or maybe 3 stents as all three arteries were causing angina despite medication. I was preped and the surgeon came to see me to reassure me that what he was about to do was routine. I was wheeled off and 45mins later, wheeled back without even one stent! Long story short, they decided best left alone for now and up my meds. This should have been good news, well not for me. I had mentally prepared for after the stents, excercise, brisk walking, all good things. I actually broke down in tears at the disappointment, which sounds bizarre, but the thought of continuing as I was, was just too much. Fast forward 12months, my meds have been upped (take 7 different tablets daily) and I can walk albeit a little puffed, but enough to walk my dog, can clean my home, ironing, gardening all at a slow manageable pace but such an improvement on before, when my day would start at 8 and finish at 2 due to the symptoms. I suppose what I'm trying to say, we have to accept that the professionals know best and just follow their lead.

Believe me, you will eventually get your head around it and move on. Good luck X

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Great to hear from you. I’m walking every day now and trying to focus on what I can do rather than what I can’t. My meds have also been upped but I’m not liking some of the side effects. So much conflicting information on the internet especially about statins. Will discuss with cardiologist at follow up.

All the best.

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You should be offered cardiac rehab. Ask your GP to refer you. It's a very good way to get your confidence back. Exercising in a monitored setting so that you can see how your heart reacts to increased activity. If you go on to Phase 2 of the programme you will exercise in a gym using most of the equipment.

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Thanks for the advice. I didn’t realise I’d be eligible for cardiac rehab without an intervention procedure. Will call the cardio dept this week and try and get on it.

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I cant speak highly enough of the Cardiac Rehab I received (and still follow). This restored full confidence in my physical abilities which in turn reduced the stress that is induced by the unknown.

As a runner I am sure you will take to rehab like a duck to water!

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I don’t drink at all it’s not difficult to stop drinking. I stoped drinking at 22ish. Nothing wrong with eating healthy not just to lose weight and exercise. I have to build my stamina up slowly cos of my heart condition but I do walk often. I have never drove at all and walk and use public transport, it keeps me fit.

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