no symptoms, sporty, 80% LAD blockage to CABG or not?

My husband is a 50 year old, very fit (mountain bikes 4 * 1.5 hours per week, 1* 3 hours and plays squash 2 times) - he is a pilot so regulary does stress ecg's which all showed no problems and superfit. His family has CAD history so he took a preventative CT scan which showed calcium score of 144 and possible 60% blockage. He then went to cardiologist who did ecg with him and said he had no problems and expected everything to be ok - but then when they did angiogram it showed a 80% blockage of LAD as well as 2 other small blockages. The blockage was 33mm which was too long to stent so he said it would be CABG however as he has no symptoms whatsoever - no angina even with heavy excercise he did not do surgery but prescribed aspirin, crestor (he has been on for 10 years) and pritor. I have seen all the studies that indicate no medical reason to do surgery when there are no symptoms - but I am petrified of him having a sudden heart attack - so am wondering if there is a medical reason NOT to do the surgery. He is now taking the medicine, on a low fat diet and has reduced his exercise intensity (was previous going up to 189 on a tough ride although his resting heart rate is low - all with no angina)..... any thoughts? We have got two other opinions one from a CT surgeon who said no operation and one from a physician (plumber type) who basically told us my husband is a timebomb waiting to drop dead unless we do CABG!?!?

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  • What a dilemna for you . I am absolutely no expert on this, I'm just mindful of this latest statin press which says that half of heart attacks come out of the blue. I would take a cardiologist's opinion much more seriously than anybody else's.

    I was reading that regular calcium artery scans are a much better predictor of risk than anything else. Maybe the cardiologist is just keeping things under observation.

    You mention a family history of CAD plus the fact that your husband has been taking Crestor for 10 years, so is there any indication that he might have an inherited form of high cholesterol?

    No-one on this site can give you expert medical advice, just share experiences and sympathise with such conflicting advice.

  • Sorry to hear about your husband's problem. For the uninitiated amoung us (me) could someone post a list of the abbreviations that are used in these posts please. e.g.what is CABG?

  • hi

    CABG is coronary artery bypass graft, it's when they have to open up your chest ...open heart surgery. CAD is coronary artery disease.

  • I was in a similar position 22 years ago at 43 years of age. I had no symptoms like angina or breathlessness. I was fairly fit. I used to go jogging and swimming. However, my bad family history led to blood tests, ECGs and an angiogram. I too 80% blockages of the coronary arteries. I decided to go ahead with the CABG, and after recovery I was moving much more easily. Also I realised that I had missed a major symptom: I would fall asleep inappropriately, typically at table in company. This symptom was cured after the surgery.

    I can't make up your mind for you, but I am still alive (taking high doses of atorvastatin) so it was almost certainly the right decision for me.

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