Myocardial Bridging: Heart Patients and Social Networking

Reyna Robles

Reyna Roble

Angioplasty.Org’s Heart Patient Forum contains 10,000 posts in 200 topics; it receives 50,000 page views a month, from Boston and Biloxi to Britain and Bangladesh. Patients share stories and questions about heart disease, stents, angioplasty, bypass surgery, allergic reactions, medications and the occasional “odd” topic — in this case “Myocardial Bridging.”

Well, not so odd to Reyna Robles, one of the many women who have posted to this topic, trying to find help, trying to find others in their situation, trying to find answers.

Myocardial bridging is an anatomical abnormality, one where the coronary artery actually is routed through the heart muscle, instead of sitting on top of it. While a number of people may have this anomoly, only a few experience the sometimes debilitating symptoms — in these cases a significant part of the artery is buried in the muscle. The problem is that the standard tests, stress, nuclear stress and even angiography, often show no problem — the results are normal — and these patients, often women, are told that there is nothing wrong; sometimes they are told the symptoms may be stress-related, or “in their head.”

Luckily, patients searching the Web for information on this condition find our Forum Topic, “Treatment for Myocardial Bridging” (it’s usually in the first two or three “finds” on Google) and they read other patients’ stories, symptoms and, most importantly, treatments.

Reyna (screen name “Swissdots”) first posted to our Forum over a year ago. As she wrote to me recently:

“I was in the midst of finding help for my MB issues. Those were difficult times and I was in so much pain. This forum was helpful to me. It was the communications with Bill & Melinda as well as the patient stories which I found to be most helpful. I was relieved to know I was not alone. Something therapeutic about that….

“I have learned that one must be courageous & persistent. The Angioplasty.Org forum was instrumental in my journey to wellness. Thank you for making the forum available to people. It is making a positive tangible difference in our lives.”

Of course, the real credit goes to Reyna for persevering. And to Women’s Health at Stanford which she connected to, and to its Clinical Director, Dr. Jennifer Tremmel, who diagnosed her problem, and arranged the surgical procedure with Dr. Michael Fischbein: a procedure which changed Reyna’s life. Reyna’s story has been featured in Stanford Hospital’s Health Notes, and also in the Stanford-produced video below:

Reyna also posted her success story to our Forum. There have been a number of other patients who have shared their successes, some at Stanford, some at other institutions.

The main thing is something Reyna said, and it’s something that many many patients have expressed on our Forums: it’s therapeutic to know that you’re not alone with your problems, that others, around the world, are experiencing similar feelings and symptoms. These connections, made possible by the internet and social networking, are most definitely good medicine!

You can read my interview with Dr. Jennifer Tremmel on a completely different topic in Angioplasty.Org’s special section on the Transradial Approach, another innovation in the treatment of patients (especially women) with coronary artery disease.

And heart patients can get more information on a number of topics in our Patient Center.

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5 Comments

Filed under Myocardial Bridging, Patient Experience, Social Networking

5 Responses to Myocardial Bridging: Heart Patients and Social Networking

  1. Rick P.

    This is Rick’s wife. He is currently in the hospital at Mayo inMN. Just dx with a MB of LAD. They don’t think this would cause his pain, but I don’t agree, especially with everything I am reading. He had had problems for many years and he hates going to the Dr and ER because they look at him like he is crazy. What are we to do?

  2. Cathy Mitchell

    I have many questions. A Coronary angography revealed mid-LAD having myocardial bridge and no flow limiting lesions noted. An LV ejection fraction was normal. LV ejection fraction of 60%. No complications. This was on 10/05/2005. I read this on the report given to me by the hospital. I have been put on medications, I went to the hospital with chest pains March 3, 2012, my EKG came back normal but I was emitting enzemyes, on March 5, 2012 I had a LAD Promus Element 2.75mm x 12mm stint put in, more medications. On March 23, 2013 I was taken to hospital by ambulance high blood presure 180/120 chest pains, once again EKG was normal but I was emitting enzemyes again I was in ER for 12 hours until bed was ready, I was taken for another angiogram March 25, 2013 and another LAD stent 3.00mm x 16mm was put in below the first one, my cardiologist told me that everything was fine except I seem to be reacting to the stent and he had to put another in as I was blocked 80%. I ignored the itching I was having and wondered why, now I itch almost constantly all over my body, it is quite irritating, I wonder if I need to have something different done. I plan on talking to my Drs. and asking but once I found out about this site and read, I ‘m stuck, not sure what to do. Maybe someone can give me a suggestion. Thank you, Cathy

  3. Cathy Mitchell

    Right now I am taking meds for the itching, have had blood test and waiting to go to allergist. Going to see what is suggested and then back to cardiologist. Not sure if this is right direction but I will continue to read this site along with others. I have printed my first post and will try to post on Patient Forum as suggested. Thank you, Cathy

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