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Old 02-09-2010, 04:13 PM   #1
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Angiogram - choices?

I am 50 and have recently had a positive nuclear heart test. There is some blood flow defect to the heart muscle. Now the doctor wants me to have an angiogram. My cholesterol level came back in the normal range, I'm a smoker (but about to give up), my heart scan was fine, ecg always fine, just exercise stress tests have been a bit abnormal. I have no other disease and my weight is average.
I am very breathless and suffer chronic nausea ( no chest pain to talk of really) but the doc said they may not be related to a heart problem!

I know this can be a risky test and I wonder why risk it when so much of the previous testing appears normal...but then theres the breathing problem which is getting me down. I have said I will have the angiogram more because I couldnt forgive myself if I had a sudden heart attack ( I have children to look after at home)...but then there is a risk of heart attack/stroke just from the procedure alone!

I am just so unsure about thus procedure..scared. Am I right to be scared? Should i say no to it? I really dont know
Thanks

Last edited by benzos; 02-09-2010 at 04:16 PM.

 
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Old 02-11-2010, 05:12 PM   #2
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Re: Angiogram - choices?

Hi and thanks for replying. I know you are right. I have to have my hand held whilst having an endoscopy so goodness knows how I will cope on the day. Do you get any kind of sedation?




Quote:
Originally Posted by Vyking2 View Post
Benzos,
An angiogram is the only 100% way of knowing wether you have coronary heart disease ... you need to have this test done ... it could save your life!

All proceedures carry a certain amount of risk, your Dr would not send you for the test if he/she did not think you needed it.

 
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Old 02-11-2010, 05:18 PM   #3
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Re: Angiogram - choices?

Well, I'm worn out just thinking about it so I'll be ready for that lie down! I expect its something like diazepam. I dont meet all the diagnostic criteria for heart disease but got a bad result on the nuclear stress test. I'm breathless all the time but no one is saying whether that is anything to do with the said heart disease.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Vyking2 View Post
I don't know about the UK ... but here in Oz they give you 2 tablets they are mainly to keep you relaxed after the angiogram because you have to lie flat on your back for about 4 hours.

 
Old 02-11-2010, 05:26 PM   #4
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Re: Angiogram - choices?

I'm so glad they got you sorted. I've got a normal range cholesterol level, all ecgs fine, echo fine, blood pressure fine, not overweight, no diabetes. Were you breathless? Thanks so much.

 
Old 02-11-2010, 05:46 PM   #5
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Re: Angiogram - choices?

Thanks. Your history sounds similar to mine. I so hope I dont need a triple bypass as I have kids to look after. Have you stopped smoking? Thanks again.

Last edited by benzos; 02-11-2010 at 05:47 PM.

 
Old 02-11-2010, 06:13 PM   #6
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Re: Angiogram - choices?

Going for pre assessment this wed but was told it will probably be in next 2-3 weeks.

 
Old 02-11-2010, 06:29 PM   #7
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Re: Angiogram - choices?

Have to go and sign the consent form, general check and talk about the procedure.

 
Old 02-11-2010, 06:39 PM   #8
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Re: Angiogram - choices?

Thanks....I think I have done too much searching on the internet and its not been a good thing - ignornace is bliss and all that. Just feel like i have suddenly got to cram a lot in just in case ( and I'm so breathless its impossible). I thought because all my vital signs were good, cholesterolok etc that they maybe wouldnt even find anything that badly wrong. Oh well....

 
Old 02-11-2010, 07:05 PM   #9
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Re: Angiogram - choices?

Thanks...I appreciate your responses...nice to not be alone with this. My husband is playing it right down and even says it could be a one of these false positive results that sometimes happen!!

 
Old 02-11-2010, 09:45 PM   #10
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Re: Angiogram - choices?

Hi Vyking,

Obviously you don't have to answer these questions but did they try stents for you before they gave you a triple bypass?

Benzo I can understand your concern about the angiogram. It would be a hard choice to make especially if you're not getting any specific symptoms. But at least if you have it done your mind will be relieved. I think the anticipation is usually worse than the actual event. Certainly in my case anyway.

 
Old 02-12-2010, 06:03 AM   #11
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Re: Angiogram - choices?

Thanks trixi...dont know whats happened to all Vykings posts!

 
Old 02-12-2010, 04:28 PM   #12
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Re: Angiogram - choices?

Benzos, the administrator banned me for posting a link which contained helpful information.

@Trixibel
The narrowings were too severe for stents to be of any use, the only option was surgery.

*Wonders how long it takes for this useful post to be deleted*

 
Old 02-12-2010, 04:38 PM   #13
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Re: Angiogram - choices?

Sorry to hear that vyking because you have been most helpful and supportive and thats what I was looking for when I posted!
By the way, I had an app for a breathing test today with a nurse. I told her of my fears and the angiogram She said, you have good vital signs, think of those who are very old and have probably had a lot of things happen with and to their hearts already. She said dont you think you stand a better chance than them and its only 1 in 500? That really put it into perspective for me.

Last edited by benzos; 02-12-2010 at 06:26 PM.

 
Old 02-13-2010, 02:06 PM   #14
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Re: Angiogram - choices?

Your nurse is right
I was terrified of having my bypass and the surgeon told me the eldest bypass patient they had done was 86 and he came through it fine, I was much younger and that he wouldn't do the proceedure if he had any concerns.

You'll be fine .... after it's all over you'll wonder what you were worrying about.

 
Old 02-14-2010, 07:47 PM   #15
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Re: Angiogram - choices?

What is your family history like?

Your smoking history and your age put you at high risk of heart disease. Shortness of breath and nausea are common symptoms of heart disease in women (we often don't get chest pain).

Coupled with an abnormal nuclear stress test, I would not hesitate to undergo an angiogram (given the number of women I know who have had serious heart attacks and survived with significant damage, or dropped dead in their late 40s/early 50s). One of the women I know died at age 51; her only risk factor was smoking and a stressful job.

At age 53, my ECG was completely normal. My blood pressure was normal. My cholesterol was a little high but still normal, so my primary care doctor wasn't concerned. I was lucky enough to have some mild chest pains that neither I or my doctor ignored. If I had not had an angiogram after having an abnormal nuclear stress test, I would have almost certainly died 5 years ago: the angiogram saved my life. I had a near total blockage of the LAD (the "widow maker" artery; very few people survive heart attacks with a blockage in the location I had) which was repaired with a stent.

Yes, there are risks to an angiogram, but in the hands of an experienced cardiologist, you will be safe. Please don't hesitate, especially if you have a family history of heart disease. (My father died in his early 60s from a heart attack).

 
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