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Narrowing of Arteries

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ksl
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Narrowing of Arteries

Postby ksl » Mon, 09 Feb 2009 7:55 pm

In september i had my first taste of two heart attacks, the first was kind of a warning that made me think something was wrong, the second was the real thing, but no pain at all, but i did know it was a heart attack.

I am posting this actually to give you my experience of getting my heart sorted out.

It happened in UK they kept me in hospital for 5 days and gave me medication to take, communication wasn't forth coming, because it was an emergency and the emergency department had done their part in stabilising the situation.

It made me think that it was alright, but i felt like I had been kicked to death and was just recovering.

I thought how the hell should it feel so bad afterwards, and yet they just discharge me with meds, and tell me to rest. No testing or any other indication of tests for 6 weeks, however I wouldn't be around having to leave for Singapore.

On my return it was only then that i discovered a narrowing of the artery around 70%, the CT scan i had was so poor in Singapore it was worthless and my trip to Taiwan was wasted in the sense they couldn't give a CT scan so soon. But indicated the narrowing could be worse than 70% and I needed to get it done as soon as possible.

It's almost 5 months now and i'm still ticking and have been researching the angiogram, stents, and procedures, to keep myself alive in 3 Countries in Asia and the UK.

It appears the NHS in UK are just adopting procedures for stenting on the NHS, but medical eluding stents most not cost more than 300 pounds more than the titanium stents.

You may be all interested that the titanium stent is the cheapest but leaves a bigger risk of scarring and blockage... and the medical eluding stents have a higher risk of blood clotting, however if they work the scarring is minimal, the cost however is much higher.

A medical eluding stent in Singapore is 5000$ in Taiwan its 90.000TW$ and in Thailand it is 150,000 BHT. Quite a significant price difference.

I guess many are thinking why wait its your life you are playing with, but my reply would be, that the risk of waiting is not that great and the chances of another heart attack remain the same, however the heart does adapt to the situation in most cases, and the blood thinner meds are the most important factor keeping me alive.

Angioplas will eventually take over from bypass surgery most will put up to 10 stents in before doing a bypass.

But I thought it beneficial for everyone to know, that procedures are still risky especially if the guy doing the angioplas has a dodgy record of failure, it is critical to ensure he has backup, not all do....that is why i cancelled my Taiwan op at the last minute, based on insider information, that the person doing it was good, but there wasn't any guarantee he could handle an emergency and the main heart surgeons were in Japan.

Not only because of that I pulled out, but because of family illness on my wife's side, and she needed my support in such a bad period.

What i conclusion i have come to though remains the same, and that is that medication is the most important to keep you a live and not the stents by a long way.

The stents especially medical eluding stents are relatively good with the same success rate has a bypass, so there is no doubt i will be getting one sometime...although one needs to check the expense and ensure you are getting value for money, because there are no guarantees, an heart attack can happen any time, and the stent may not even save you, because it can happen any place within the pipeline and pump.

Taiwan certainly looks the cheapest in terms of having stents put in, so if anyone needs help let me know, I now know the system and the safe way of doing things, thanks to the support of a friend in the heart business, I was told not to take a risk of surgery without the right emergency experience being in the vicinity, especially if the person doing angiograms/plas doesn't have emergency experience. Welcome to the real world! :lol:

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Postby durain » Mon, 09 Feb 2009 8:33 pm

ksl, excellent posting any percutaneous coronary intervention will have risk, i mean, it is going into your coronary arteries! but as with life, if you need it to keep you alive, it's a risk you have to take.

better think twice about eating those cholesterol-laden food. :wink:

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Postby ksl » Mon, 09 Feb 2009 11:32 pm

durain wrote:ksl, excellent posting any percutaneous coronary intervention will have risk, i mean, it is going into your coronary arteries! but as with life, if you need it to keep you alive, it's a risk you have to take.

better think twice about eating those cholesterol-laden food. :wink:
I'm really glad you posted about the diet, because in my case cholesterol is not the cause of the narrowing, and quite simply everyone of us may get heart disease because of many different reasons mostly genetic i think.

But my case is calcium build up in two spots and also in the front lobe of the brain and also why i have heavy bone structure, when in my mid 20' and 30's I was very lean and had light density bones.

My mate in Denmark had a stent put in last year, he was a none smoker all his life, but his problem was cholesterol

My cause is probably a mixture of several things, i used to smoke 30 a day for 20 years of my life, I have abused my body with alcohol on quite a few occasions and have high lipid counts in the liver, which they call fatty liver, my cholesterol levels have never been too high but average, probably because of sport and exercise. hence the testing of vinegar drinking was to prove to myself that it works, dropping the LDL cholesterol to 0.45 and reducing the blood sugar. The lipid levels of the liver now, are still dropping which is good news....

I quit smoking more than once for many years at a time, had 20 last year while in UK...and i still drink 3 to 6 cans now and then at least once a month, when i get bored mostly.

I have stopped the strong 11% beers because of weight more than alcohol levels and taste :) and I have been advised to eat more bad cholesterol by the heart specialist.

I believe the most danger is genetic and even though all my family members mum dad and grandfather have lived until late 80's and 90's they smoked drank and never had stents to my knowledge.

Although they did have angina problems, which is a sign of narrowing. The signs are not very pronounced and many will pass it off, like heart burn or indigestion, even shortness of breath may be an indication, but with pain.

All hospital tests are very unreliable, yet they are always offered and encouraged to be taken for testing, but mainly they are income generating, because you can actually do one test, which is more reliable than the ECG and Ultra Sound and tread mill, and that is the CT Scan.

So i recommend for any heart or narrowing of artery to refuse, ECG and Ultra Sound Scans to save money and just have the CT scan, because their are too many variables involved on the other tests, that make them very inaccurate, which doctors and specialists never inform you of the inaccuracies, which is quite a gamble with ones life. When all you have to do is pay for the CT scan and get it over with.

My shock was seeing many guys in the hospital under 50 years old...

My case is the accumulation of calcium in the artery and not the fats, that are the problem... the calcium breaks off or the wall of the artery cracks and the bits flow away, but then the blood tries to clot over the calcium that breaks off.

It is quite interesting and i have learnt a lot from the experience of asking questions and digging out facts, the heart muscle is very adaptable and providing it doesn't clog up will keep on pumping, the blood pressure control is automatic and kicks in if too high or too low, although that is too simplistic many other factors are in control.

Like relaxing and not getting worked up, my main concern is getting a job done safely and not having my organs swiped at the same time a slight error may occur, so back up is a must in any emergency, while the stent is going in.

If the head surgeon is not around, you just become another statistic if the young doctor looses his cool in an emergency, not all patients would be aware of it, and to be honest the statistics of failure are very low indeed but the what if's must be asked. :wink:

My poor father in law is on his last legs, and the wify needed my support, yet others were saying i should think of my own life.

That's why i decided to post to enlighten people that the medication is given for a reason, and that reason is to keep one alive until they get around to diagnosing the problem which under the national health system could take a very long time in UK.

Just to ease peoples minds they should not worry too much and let destiny have its way. :wink: Take time out and look around for the best solution because health is a cash cow and and they will take your $ when there is no need to pay out of your nose, when no guarantees are given.

I have asked Thailand for an explanation of costs, now they are putting in the Cypher stent by Johnson & Johnson, that Singapore and Taiwan use. The other alternative is the Taxus by Boston scientific brand which is the same price.

A titanium stent is 3 times cheaper and does the same job, but leaves scarring and the heart disease can come through the holes in the mesh, to block the artery, hence drug eluding stent.

Personally my belief is much around genetic failure than any diets or smoking, hence the importance of families being aware of heart disease problems....

My wife has a very low heart beat too, around 55 which she didn't know was abnormal, and her father had a pace maker put in only a month ago for the same reason, its called heart failure
which many people have with no pain, one day they may not wake up, this subject for me was brought to my attention months ago, when several deaths here in Singapore of very young people, happened within two weeks, I think 4 or 5 died. So CT scans are the best method of elimination and not ECG, Ultra sound or tread mill testing. :wink:

When we all get older of course our cells breakdown, life doesn't get longer through evolution, but medical intervention in most cases, so when up in the late 30's one needs to be vigilent and do tests every couple of years for heart and every year for prostate for males.

Those with too much of the male hormone are at risk of prostate cancer, more so if yheir fathers had it. Lance Armstrong had it and it can be cured if caught in time. :wink: Basically i look after my body, i would my car, so i want the best mechanics if i am to pay top $. not an apprentice! if i have to have the apprentice, then I want the head mechanic to be around to fix any mistakes the apprentice makes.

Otherwise no $! I have faith in myself and do know that destiny will take me eventually, that's what life is all about, but no reason to panick, we all know our own bodies better than doctors, and the more we learn and understand, the more relaxed we become too.

Of course if one wants to live longer then intervention is needed, but hey, are all the doctors good enough,, the answer is quite clear, NO they must be supervised by a heart bypass surgeon and if not, well you risk the possibility of a shorter life :lol:

I had that one from the horses mouth, the bypass surgeon, who tells me, that all hospitals are like garages, you get good and bad mechanics, so make sure you do your home work and make sure they have their emergency procedures in place and the surgeon is in house 8-)

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Postby durain » Tue, 10 Feb 2009 1:20 am

are you on calcium-channel blockers? or beta-blockers?

for testing angina, if you dont want CT scan or ECG, you can opt for coronary angiogram. this is where a dye is injected into your coronary arteries. it will show up like a christmas tree under x-ray!

i would say you been pretty bad boy - smoking and drinking (not to mention bugis street!). the human body is remarkable in repairing itself but there's always a limit how much it can repair itself. with a little help from modern medicine and diet, we can make it thru life. you are what you eat, so make sure you are eating healthy stuff and a balance diet.


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