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Sat, Mar 2 5:11pm · My dad has to have open heart surgery. I'm so scared! in Heart & Blood Health

I worried about the same issue in 2015 when I needed bypass surgery. I live in Tucson. First of all, when I was given a name of a cardiac surgeon, I checked with my PCP and any online info I could find, asking about and looking for specifics about the surgeon. He was highly rated here. I debated going to Stanford, Cleveland, or Mayo, and if the info here had not been favorable, I would have considered one of those, but that would have meant another round (several rounds) of research. Not living in those areas made that a little more difficult because I could only count on the reputation of those facilities, which is very good of course. We (my wife and I) scheduled an interview with the surgeon himself to ask him very pointed questions (e.g., his experience, how many surgeries, failure rate, exactly what he planned to do, etc). We felt, with all the good comments about him and the interview itself that it was an acceptable risk to stay here in Tucson, which does have a number of excellent hospitals. I also worried about possible post-operative complications, which would mean having to travel back to another facility rather than going to a local doctor or surgeon. And as a matter of fact, I did have post-surgery complications and had to reenter the hospital two separate times–nothing life threatening but scary given what I had just been thru. It's a tough decision, but I certainly recommend using every resource to narrow it down, after considering what's important to you (besides success of course), like easy follow-up care, doctor continuity for any/all follow up, etc.

Fri, Feb 15 8:17pm · Weaning off Metoprolol in Heart Rhythm Conditions

Are you taking statins also? Statins can cause muscle pain and loss. If you are, there is a recommendation to take CoQ10 supplements as well.
I take both statins and metoprolol tartrate, also at 12.5 mg twice per day. I doubt my pains are due to the latter, but I've never tried eliminating them. I also cut mine to half dose because of the effect it had on my heartbeat.

Tue, Feb 12 9:54pm · Blood Thinners and Inflamation Medicine Options in Heart Rhythm Conditions

I'm on the same–metoprolol tartrate & Eliquis–and I have the same issue. I used to rely on Aleve because Tylenol never did the job. Basically, I've learned to live with the pain or to address it in other ways. For example, I had lots of low back pain, which I've been able to address (mostly) with therapy and exercise. Occasionally, I do take a Motrin or two, but I try to avoid that. And I haven't given up on Tylenol, meaning I'll try that first. You might ask your doctor about Tramadol, which is something like an opiod but not as dangerous or addictive, and not a blood thinner.

Thu, Jan 31 8:26pm · Post-CABG Blockage in Heart & Blood Health

Yes, veins for me also. 5 bypasses: LIMA (artery) for LAD, which is the main artery (and widow-maker if blocked); and 4 vein grafts from my leg for four other bypasses. All but one vein graft are closed now. They decided (Sep 2015) that I had too many high-percentage blockages for stents so the bypass route was chosen. Now I'm back to stents. My LAD is stented as of 3 wks ago (bypass inop); my RCA will get its stent on 2/21. My veins were supposedly a good size and in good shape. Now it's obvious that may not have been the case.

Thu, Jan 31 2:57pm · Post-CABG Blockage in Heart & Blood Health

I have visited with both the surgeon who performed the CABG and my cardiologist, not to mention studying this subject on various medical sites online. Lo and behold, grafts do fail, for any number of reasons–intimal proliferation (essentially vein hardening), competitive flow (essentially blood uses another-maybe partially blocked-path and the graft closes), bad veins (mine supposedly were excellent), and of course medical error. Depending on which site you visit, and which doctor you talk to, the failure is generally 10-15%, tho I've seen higher numbers on some sites. For me, 4 of 5 grafts have no flow, which is a shockingly big percentage. I still have appts with two other cardiologists and my PCP, but I don't expect any major new information.

What this means for me basically is that the original CABG was for nothing, especially since a stent was recently inserted in the 80% blocked LAD. I have a 2nd angiogram scheduled in 3 wks to stent the RCA, the other major blockage seen at this time. Another shock, tho, is that the other artery blockages that led to the CABG in the first place are flowing well, perhaps to the diet change and the statin usage. I really hadn't heard of any such possibility before so I guess there's good news along with the bad.

I'm calmer about the situation now. I have no symptoms, I'm continuing the good habits, and I'm doing everything I want to do, albeit carefully.

Fri, Jan 18 10:53am · Post-CABG Blockage in Heart & Blood Health

Oh yes, definitely seeing a cardiologist–the one who performed the angiogram (and whom I've been seeing for at least 3 yrs) and most likely another, to get a second opinion. I have been researching, and my PCP and a doctor friend both have told me that failures like this are not unusual, tho the bypasses may have been put in places that are more difficult to find. I'm just shocked to find that possible all 5 have failed in 3.5 years.

Wed, Jan 16 11:53am · Post-CABG Blockage in Heart & Blood Health

Had 5-way CABG 3.5 yrs ago, but due to abnormality on recent nuclear stress test, I underwent an angiogram 2 days ago. The original bypasses were "not found," which may indicate they have failed or are blocked. And a stent was added for blockage over 70% in LAD. Another blockage was ignored for now. Very worrisome, and I have appt to discuss in more detail soon. Has anyone else experienced this? I know bypasses can fail, but 4-5? My diet has been heart-healthy perfect, and I exercise diligently.

May 24, 2018 · Complications with Statins in Heart & Blood Health

Lots of food for thought recently, which I appreciate. Some additional status info: I haven't been outside much the last six months, but I've always been an outdoor person so I doubt that a few months of reduced activity caused the large Vitamin D drop. But in any case, I'm working to restore my previous outdoor time along with the Vitamin D supplements. I exercise almost every day, aerobically 3 days a week, weight training in between another 3 days (so 1 day off). I further streamlined my diet compared to what I had been eating, which means now mostly vegetables, low quantities of meats (all lean, lots of fish), no fried foods, absolutely NO sweets. Kind of a combo of the Paleo diet and the Mediterranean diet, and I've been on this diet since shortly after my surgery (2.5 yrs). I've always worked to eliminate stress, and since I'm retired, I'm even more stress-free. I'm not a believer in prayer (open-minded about it's effectiveness) so that's about the only thing I haven't tried. That and Ayurvedic meditation, which I'm also open to.

I had mentioned that my symptoms lessened almost immediately after lowering my statin dosage. Still true (and still taking 10 mg per day vs. 40 mg per day before), tho I continue to have vision issues. I have recently completed an eye exam, and my eyes are fine. Still trying to figure that one out. I see my PCP again in 2-3 weeks so we will discuss that. The vision varies almost daily, which tells me my diet, or meds, or routine, et al, is making this happen. However, none of these changes much on a daily basis. The search continues.