Waiting for a by-pass. Advice needed ... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation

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Waiting for a by-pass. Advice needed please.

IamMe2
IamMe2

Hi, I was told last October, during a routine check, that I was a heart attack waiting to happen and kept in hospital for 2 nights, during which time they discovered that I had a blocked artery and needed a by-pass; the good news being that I had created my own, I was given the option of staying in hospital for up to 2 weeks whilst I waited for it. I declined, as feeling okay I didn't want to be a bed blocker! I received a letter, copied to a surgeon, saying that the consultant would like it 'done and dusted' by 16th January 2018. I saw a surgeon in November, who asked me a few questions, looked at my right leg(?) and sent me on my way. I had a letter from him saying I was on his waiting list. Nothing more until the 5th of March when I contacted, or tried to, anyone that could give me details of what was happening, I received a response today saying that my natural bypass puts my heart in a stable position, but I will still need surgery. I have tried to get advice on what to do to strengthen my heart muscle and to get operation fit, or to be able to prevent the op altogether, but no-one seems able or willing to tell me. My GP just told me to keep taking the tablets and that she would see me on the other side! I work full time at a non-sedentary job and do my 10,000 steps 4 days a week minimum whilst walking the dog. Any advice for a 62 year old non smoking non drinker? Thanks.

16 Replies
oldestnewest

Hello

Nice to meet you and welcome to the almost never ending saga of the NHS not communicating very well with it's customers.

I would try to contact either your Cardiologists Secretary or your Surgeons and explain your situation, it's amazing what they know.

Have you had any tests since your first diagnosis ? sounds like you had an Angiogram to discover the blocked artery and not a lot else since. It is possible that blood can find different routes around your heart muscle and start to correct it's self, but I believe it is limited. Was you admitted to Hospital for Chest Pain Investigation, or did your GP request the Consultation with the Cardiologist?

Regarding getting fit for the operation a lot depends on your symptoms, and I would think you may need specialist advice for what to do.

Regards Frank W just another punter with no medical knowledge only travelled the Route.

IamMe2
IamMe2 in reply to Prada47

Thanks Frank, ironically enough it was the Cardiologists' secretary who finally got the draft (unsigned) letter to me that promoted me to find advice elsewhere, yes, you are right,it was an angiogram, a couple of packs of pills and off you pop, oh and the threat of an imminent operation which has never happened. I have tried the surgeon, the cardiologist, the waiting list people and no-one can tell me anything. My GP told me that 'the only alternative to what I was doing was to stop taking the medication -'in which case I would soon feel unbelievably worse' before telling me that she would 'see me on the other side' (I assume she meant of the operation).

If I have created my own by-pass why do I still need the op? And why do I feel increasingly tired and breathless? Is it psychosomatic? Am I turning into a raging hypochondriac? Have I misread the whole situation and really all I need is to take up marathon running and eat aspirin for breakfast?

Phew! What a rant! Sorry!

stevejb1810
stevejb1810 in reply to IamMe2

Hi

Trying to deal with your breathlessness etc, two possible causes; one is the medication (which is the likely one) and 2 you are getting worse (I think it unlikely given you are quite active. In terms of preparation, it’s exercise (do what you can but don’t go mad - a brisk 30 minute walk 3 or 4 times a week is usually considered adequate. I know you do your 10k steps but it’s not the number that’s important, it’s how you do them that matters.

Start sleeping on your back if you don’t already (all will become obvious if and when you have the op). Practice deep breathing - it’ll become important- learn some relaxation techniques (it helps when you can’t sleep).

Fingers crossed you won’t need any of these things in a hurry, butno harm in being prepared.

Steve

IamMe2
IamMe2 in reply to stevejb1810

I do everything briskly - it's the nature of the beast! I also make a point of running up and down the stairs between 6 and 10 times, on the trot, on a regular basis. Good at not sleeping and relaxation strategies! No good at sleeping on my back! Divorce would be imminent!

stevejb1810
stevejb1810 in reply to IamMe2

Lol, maybe you need to slow down. It sounds like you are doing more than enough exercise so I wouldn’t be looking to do anymore. Some good news, I stopped snoring post op ..... so maybe you’ll get away with sleeping on your back.

Hi there,

My angiogram also showed the formation of "collateral" arteries, however I was told that they wouldn't be enough to supply sufficient blood so I ended up with a quad bypass. Hope all goes well

Phil

IamMe2
IamMe2 in reply to Phil-52

Oh dear, that sounds awfully serious. I hope you are on the mend now.

Phil-52
Phil-52 in reply to IamMe2

That was nearly two years ago . I'm Back to normal now. Completed various 10k races 1 half marathon, play squash and swim regularly. Can't thank all our doctors and nurses enough

IamMe2
IamMe2 in reply to Phil-52

Impressive - I can't run that far PRE op - let alone post! Seriously, glad that you have made such a good recovery.

Phil-52
Phil-52 in reply to IamMe2

I only mention that to assure you that a bypass is NOT the start of the slippery slope. It really can improve your quality of life. Really hope all goes well

Phil

IamMe2
IamMe2 in reply to Phil-52

Thank-you

Hi IamMe2, I’m 5 weeks post op bypass. I went in for an elective angiogram after getting breathless and was not allowed home. I think it was the best thing for me as around a week later I had the op. The consultant said I should stay put and block the bed as I would move to op quicker. I had a good experience, hope yours gets sorted soon. Best of luck

IamMe2
IamMe2 in reply to wiltsgirl

Thank-you for your good wishes, as you know I chose not to wait in hospital, I think more out of a 'this can't be happening to me' thing than any other reason. If I had never met my parents I would have sworn one of them was an Ostrich! Anyway, here I am,still in denial and still waiting, although in all fairness I am now booked in for next Friday 27th April, exactly 6 months to the day that I was told I needed the by-pass! The pre-assessment was a cake walk, my blood pressure is normal now, I was rather hoping the plumbing had become clear of plaque but 'they' seem to think this is not on the cards so having no wish to follow my father and paternal grandmother into an early grave it's full steam ahead! (Bet the op gets cancelled at the last moment!) I hope you are making a good recovery and continue to do so.

wiltsgirl
wiltsgirl in reply to IamMe2

Its great news that you are booked in, my angiogram was cancelled once, but so glad it went ahead. I too had my father die early so I thought it was important to have it happen too. I am sure you will be fine, keep us updated and best of luck.

Plum53
Plum53 in reply to IamMe2

Hi just read your post . Wishing you good luck with op and a speedy recovery. X

Hi IamMe2 hope your surgery goes well today

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