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British Heart Foundation
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Worried about the lack of information

Hello - I hope someone here can give me some information as I seem bereft of it at present. I am new hear so please bear with me.

Four weeks ago today (4th June) I had a heart attack. I was taken to the Royal Berkshire Hospital where I spent four days. An angiogram revealed that I need a triple bypass.

I chose to have my op at the John Radcliffe in Oxford - I work in Oxford and it's where my partner lives.

Basically nobody has given me an idea as to any timescales. I still don't have an initial appointment with my consultant, so I do not know how long after that op I am likely to have my triple CABG, I do not know what the recovery time is and what the timescale is for me to be returning to my job (I am a teacher). A little bit of information would be wonderful, as it would ease my stress levels.

I might add that there are two things that I can, and have done for myself - it is now day 29 since I smoked my last cigarette and I have lost 20 pounds in weight (still another 45 to go!

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Well done for stopping smoking and weight loss, I'm afraid I can't help you with your other problems, I am sure someone on here will be able to help it's a great site and has given me the confidence to ask more questions, everyone here has been so helpful and I am sure you will find the same.

Joan

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Thank you Joan. This is the first ever time I have been properly ill so it is stressful to say the least - not great when you've had a heart attack

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I had a heart attack three weeks ago and was looked after at the Radcliffe. Very good cardiology unit in my opinion.

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Thank you, this is the type of responses that this group needs, the reasurance that everything is going to be allright, give our not so well community some confidence and make them and their families relaxed. Surgery works so much better when you and those around you can crack a few puns, I know, been there, done that!

And to Jeffersox, it is up to you to ask the questions, unfortunately the medical staff does not know what you are aware of and won't offer advice for fear of upsetting you. ASK, it is your prerogative.

Good luck.

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I can’t help you with time scales but work on anything from 0 to 3 months. You can usually get a bit more info if you contact the cardiology secretary and you are flexible and take cancellations etc. You could also look around and see if other cardiothoracic centres can be a bit quicker. Typically you will be admitted within 6 weeks of seeing the cardiologist but it’s a bit hit and miss as priority (read urgent) cases can bump you back. On the recovery, work on about 3 months (I’ve assumed you’d be on your feet a lot and likely in a stressful environment). You will be unable to drive for anything between 4 and 6 weeks (assuming no issues).

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Well set out, good advice.

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In the next few weeks I am due to have CABG and AVR at the JR Oxford. It was Sep last year that I had an angiogram and my case was first discussed at the Cardiology Multi Disciplinary Team meeting at my local hospital that same day. Within five days I received a report.

I think your next step would be to phone/e mail the PA to the Cardiologist at the RB Hospital to ask if your case has come before the MDT yet. If you find you have been given a referral to Oxford then contact the PA to the Consultant there.

It's easier to do of course when you are retired, and it's easier to take a call on the golf course than in the middle of a lesson.

You have to be pro active!

Margah

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Thank you! I think the RBH were daft in saying it would only be a few weeks. I am in contact with the JR - the consultant's secretary has apparently requested a date for an op but it hasn't come in yet.

Maybe I am being impatient, but I feel awful not being in school when there is always so much that needs doing.

I think I should come to terms with being off sick for a good while after the Summer Hols

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The turn over rate at JR is fairly quick I believe. I had my triple last April after having a heart attack, but I jumped the queue and had my op within a week as I was deemed urgent. But rest assured the team there make decisions quickly based on clinical need. It is good news that you will be put on list. However, if you feel your condition is worsening call 999. The care at JR is second to none. Team of consultants are excellent as are staff on wards.

How you get a date soon. Speak on phone to BHF really give good advice.

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Hi Jeffersox great news about your smoking and weight loss, its a step in the right direction. I had an angiogram at GWH Swindon in March and was kept in hospital as I was at high risk of a heart attack. Was transferred to JR in Oxford less than a week later and had my bypass op in the Oxford Heart centre which is the best heart centre in the country. It may be that they want you to get in to the best possible shape for the Op as I heard that if you smoke you will have a bad time with fluid on the lungs after the op and other factors that will help your recovery. There is a lot of information on the BHF site and also if you google bypass op oxford there should be a pdf that explains before and after the op. I am sure if they felt you were in any immediate danger they would get you in. If you get any pain then I would go to A & E immediately. Best of luck with your journey x

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