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
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.
Originally Posted by Vyking2
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.
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....
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.
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.
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.
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).