posted by Ken Schachter, Ph.D., medical retired, California, USA, February 6, 1998
Angioplasty: when is enough enough? Since 1993, I have had a dozen angioplasty procedures with 3 stents. After my last procedure I was taken in for CABG (x3). Included in my history are 3 MI's, and carotid surgery. Other dx that might be of interest are: extremely hbp (220/140) WAS normal & diabetes. I live in constant fear: every pain, ache, etc. in my chest, belly, neck, and jaw is a potential threat to my life. Next time, do I allow another angioplasty? What are my alternatives? Can the CHAMP Gold procedure at UCSF (Cardiovascular Health Assessment and Modification Program, ed.) give me any ideas for the future? Oh, by the way, I have not smoked in over 35 years, do not drink, anymore, am a male age 56....

Responses:
 
• Wow, you've been thru it! When is enough enough? I don't know, what price life? Only you and your family can answer that. My only question is, what is your lipid status? I assume that your lipids and blood pressure are under good control. I just visited the Champs site, and if you are having problems with lipids, it might have some benefit. You'd have to call and talk to them. I know that the U of WA. has a lipid clinic and I would think that there would be one in your area. Other than that, as a nurse, I don't have any other suggestions, except to try and come to terms with your heart disease and mortality. It sounds like you are really scared that the next pain will be the last. I sympathize. That IS really scary. If you have reached the end of your treatment options, then the only option left is to live out whatever time you have left to the fullest. I hope that that doesn't sound cruel and unfeeling, because that is not my intent, but sometimes you have to accept the reality of the situation and go forward. My friend I wish you the best of luck.
James D. Miller RN, Skagit Valley Hospital, Mount Vernon, Washington, USA, April 10, 1998
 
• May I suggest that, given your situation, should another intervention be necessary, you probably would fall into the "high-risk angioplasty" category. Obviously, whether to do another intervention, should it be necessary, is a personal decision, but let me call to your attention the work of Dr. Fayaz Shawl in Washington, DC. Read our interview with him, which discusses, among other things, "high-risk angioplasty". Good Luck!
Angioplasty.Org Staff, April 10, 1998
 
• Ken that was very good and excellent advice the Webmaster gave you. The new procedure is called Mechanical Percutaneous Myocardial Revascularization or MPMR for short. You may want to try the Dr. Dean Ornish program, and can be found at www.betterhealth.com/ornish. I have had seven angioplasties, and due another in 01/00. I have not tried these programs but they say they are very benefical to patients like us. You can also try and get over these fears (easier said than done)I too have some fears, but I don't dwell on them I just try to find the best way to go along with new technology. The fear that you will die, prevents you from living a quality life. I try and live each day to its best. I'm going to give the Ornish thing a try can't hurt, and maybe it will help to reverse this CAD thing. I wish you well.
Roger Murray, Cleveland, Texas, USA, January 2, 2000

Please consider signing up for the study for the treated stents--the first phase results showed 0 restenosis.
bestt, 14 Sep 2001

 

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