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British Heart Foundation
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Left main coronary artery block and disease of small blood vessels

Hi there

My first time here, I’m a 39 year old female and found out on Friday that my left main coronary artery is blocked and I have diesease of the small blood vessels. I was told this by the cardolologist that referred me for tests originally and not my new cardiologist that has been doing all the investigative tests and he said I need to speak to her upon her return from holiday next week.

Obviously the news is playing on my mind and I’m trying to resist the urge to research via google (never a sensible idea)

I just wondered if anyone on this site has received the same diagnosis and what the next steps are likely to be based on these conditions?

Thanks in advance x

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Hi Twinniemummy

I'm in the process of dealing with something along the lines of your problem..

But...there is a lovely lady on here with a huge amount of imformation and knowledge when it comes to the tiny vessels.

Her username is "Milkfairy" ...look her up and send her a message. Did your doctor mention Micro vascular angina?

I'm here if you want to talk.

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You don't say how they diagnosed you?

Have you had an angiogram to confirm this? Or a CT scan? ...I can't see how they can diagnose a blockage with out one of these.

Do you mean your LAD artery.

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Hi Rob6868

Thanks for your messages, I’ll definately reach out to milkfairy thanks for that 👌🏻

Long story of how I got to today but I’ll try and make it brief .. .

Had a TIA in May 2009 and told I had a hole in heart and eptopic heartbeat but not definitive link to TIA. Prescribed Bisoprolol and left to it. Stopped taking them when I fell pregnant with bubbas.

This year started having symptoms (around Aug) and aunt Diagnosed with Hypertropic Cardiomyopathy so referred for testing.

Had Echo and saw cardiologist in October, showed more eptopic heartbeats and a Left Bundle Branch Block. Since then I’ve had a 24 hour ECG, CT Scan, Perfusion MRI last week and on Monday this week I was called in for a second MRI but resting rather than the stress part.

Hoping the cardiologist that has been looking at all the tests will be in touch next week as they were on holiday tues-fri last week.

Cardiologist I spoke to on Friday was the referring cardologist and was looking at what he could see on screen (not sure the MRI results from Monday are on there)

So only have a snippet of information and just need to be patient but it’s on my mind a fair amount and I’m just anxious to receive all the information on what’s going on and how it can be fixed. Suppose that’s totally normal and everyone has been through this.

Sorry to hear you are in the same place at the moment, hope you get some answers soon 🤞🤞

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Hi, obviously everyone is different but I thought it might help you yo know that my husband has lived with a blocked aorta for almost 21 years. As it is totally blocked a by pass is not an option as its managed by medication. He does now have heart failure but that's due yo his heart being damaged by his heart attack & has nothing to do with the blockage. I hope you don't have to wait too long for your tests

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Thank you Lezzers, though not fabulous for your hubby it’s reassuring to know this and pleased they have been able to manage it with meds - is there anything they can do to help with the heart failure?

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His HF is also managed with medication. He has an ICD in case his heart stops but he refuses to worry bout it all, he leaves that up to me to me!!

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🙈🙈 that sounds scary re heart stopping but good on him for not analysing, and bless you got worrying for the both of you, lovely that he has your support x

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Hi Twinniemummy...you sound wonderfully positive. Lovely to read your messages! You asked about microvessel blockages, amongst other issues. I had these diagnosed a few years age. My understanding is that, if the vessels are too small to stent, then meds are the main treatment. It has taken a whole to juggle these, to get a good effect.

Also that the small vessel blockages simply contribute to the overall efficiency of the heart, just like the blocks of larger vessels.

With exercise I was told that, over time, you seem to be able to build up some alternative vessels, so I’ve been exercising like mad!

Like you, I do have other heart problems, but have learned a lot about what works and doesn’t, and found a way to manage OK.

You will, too.

Keep in touch. We are interested and rooting for each other!

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Hi Kristin

Thanks for your message , very reassuring.

So pleased you have found a way to live with your heart condition - hopefully I will follow suit once everything is revealed.

I really appreciate your message and will of course update as more is revealed, in the meantime I’ll focus on everything but and try not to keep checking my phone every 2 minutes for a call/ message from the hospital 🙈 x

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Probably wise!

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Hi Twinniemummy2018

Lovely to see the picture of your smile!

You certainly have a lot going on and I acknowledge that this maybe making you feel anxious.

You are very wise not to visit Dr Google's Consulting room. The Cardiac nurses on The BHF helpline are very supportive and I suggest you give them a call.

It sounds as though it may take the Cardiologists sometime to put the jigsaw pieces together in your puzzle to say what they believe is going on.

Cardiologists also have lots of opinions and sometimes they don't agree with one another.

I live with Coronary vasospastic angina causing Microvascular angina and Coronary artery spasms. So no blockages but temporary narrowing of the blood vessels treated with medication.

It is a poorly understood and recognised condition and it took a while to get my diagnosis and the treatment I need.

I do have a good relationship with my local Cardiologist which helps.

Do you have one Cardiologist who responsible for your care at the moment?

I hope you get the answers you need soon. The waiting and not knowing is the challenge!

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Hi there Milkfairy

Thank you so much for your message it made me smile - I’m embarrassed by the picture (thought it was for my profile pic and not the message thread) 🙈

I have two cardiologists involved at present, the cardiologist that referred me for tests and then the other that has been reviewing each test result and then requesting additional tests so it’s all a little confusing to be honest.

I spoke to the referring cardiologist on Friday who told me what they had found so far (he couldn’t see the results from Monday’s MRI) and he said probable next steps is an angiogram so I guess I’ll know more after that.

You are absolutely right though, it’s the not knowing that is the challenge. I’m a very organised person (borderline control freak 😜) and I am a single mummy of 7 year old twins so I’m a little anxious of what the future holds but hopefully all will be revealed in good time and a plan set in motion

I’m sorry to hear it’s been a long and difficult road getting the treatment you need to help you feel well. Is your condition all under control now you are on medication?

Thank you again for your time responding - feeling a little lost so it’s reassuring to know I’m not alone and it’s normal to feel anxious about it all x

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The gold standard is an Angiogram and looks like you are on for that. I had a LAD 97% blocked and thought it would be instant stent etc. Actually what's happens is they calmly look at things and decide on what sort of procedure best. Mine took about 3 months from getting lined up with Angiogram appointment to getting a stent. I am sure with your twins you are very busy but try get some supervised cardio work in as new blood vessels do grow to bypass the smaller blocked ones. The BHF or your local Surgery maybe able to set up an early appointment with the cardiac rehab clinic. Do take it easy post angiogram and maybe stent. Not too much lifting and carrying. You are now in the club and have lots of support out here and also at the Cardiac care clinics. Don't fret and worry there is life after initial diagnosis ( Eventually there is life after children as well apparently !!)

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Thanks for your message - hugely reassuring. Wow 97% do you feel better now you’ve had your stent fitted? Has it alleviated all symptoms?

Thanks for the tip re exercising too. I love going for runs but unfortunately when my symptoms started it became a bit scary and I’ve not been out running since August. I work full time as an Event Manager which has me on the go a fair amount and I try to walk daily to counteract the lack of running. Any tips on other non strenuous activities? I was thinking maybe swimming? I’ll reach out to local surgery too re seeing if I can start the programme soon 👌🏻

Really appreciate all your advice and will take it all on board (and I’m holding you to there being life after children ha ha) I spend so much of my time ferrying my tinies to clubs, birthday parties, footy practice, play dates, making nativity costumes and negotiating bedtimes that I can’t imagine what I’ll do once they are all grown up and have flown the nest 😁

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Glad I had the stents of course. I did have some angina after the stents inserted and carried a spray which I used on a few occasions for about 2 months. I was pushing myself along onto fast walks and light jogs. I then realised i was getting anxious if I went out without the spray despite the fact I had not used it for a while. I think you have to the bold steps and have a positive outlook and not be guided by the fear that heart disease brings. I think with your busy schedule Tai Chi would be good. I have been doing it a year and find it excellent to concentrate on other things in a busy week.

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Hi twinniemummy,

I was age 40 when I had unstable angina. 98% blocked I was so frightened could even talk without attack, was kept in hospital for 3 weeks.

But wanted to let you know when stent was fitted I felt fantastic started speed walking lost weight

I’m sure you will feel the same when they get you sorted out

Hope your not waiting to long bless you xx

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Wow your experiences sound so scary, so pleased the stent helped and you are feeling better.

I love your positivity - it’s inspiring and reassuring 👌🏻 How soon did you start speed walking after the stent was fitted?

Fingers and toes crossed it won’t be too long until the diagnosis so we can get going with a plan on how to sort it.

X

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I just started with steady walks a couple of weeks after and gradually built it up that was 20 yrs ago.

Going back to see Cardiolgist tomorrow night as having a few problems hopefully they will sort me out again.

Keep us up to date with your progress good luck hunni xx

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Good luck with today’s appointment, I hope all goes well

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Thank you twinnie x

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Hi, yes the waiting is really hard. I have had 3 of 3 big tests they've scheduled for me, one more tmw, really hoping for some answers before Christmas. Good to hear you've got some answers but it's the follow up, lifestyle effects that you need to know. Good luck I'll watch with interest.

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Should be 3 of 5 tests sorry.

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Well good luck with today tests - I hope all goes well and they can figure out what’s happening and create a plan quickly 🤞

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I had the left ventricle blockage and had a heart attack had a stent put in and put on rivarauxaban, clopidogril, atarvastatin and ramipril. I'm fine now. Before my heart attack I am a power walker and had to keep stoppping as I was out of breath. I go to circuit training on a Monday and Wednesday which is great and has helped me a lot. I saw my dr today and he tells me I'm fitter now than I was before the heart attack. My brother has the same thing as me but never had a heart attack and has been given medication to take and is fine. Don't worry at least, they've found what is wrong so they can treat it.

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I experienced heart attack while on holiday in rural India, the angiograph report showed 3 vessels block. My cardiologists said this is blockade in 3 left arteries, they will stent in one that is about 70% blocked, will leave another as it is since it's only 30% blocked, they will ignore the third one as it's muscle looks dead

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I had a 90% block of that artery - stented in December. All very emotional and weak. 2 months on and I’m finally feeling like myself again. I wake up in the morning thinking about other things again. Not rushing my recovery - but cut a hedge, played golf and swam in last 48 hours. Not totally back to full strength yet, but getting there.

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