Hi, recently visited my doctor who gave me a ekg and reported I had some blockage in the "lower heart". She is sending me for a Thalium Stress test. My question is: Can my heart have a blockage inside the lower chambers or does she mean the EKG shows possible poor flow into the chamber(s)? Does the heart itself get "blocked"? What can be done to "unblock" a heart? The reason for my initial contact was that I noticed my BP was very high and I've been stressed out the last few weeks at work. I'm already on Lopressor 50mg and she added Norvasc 10mg. I'm very new to all this and it worries me greatly. Can much be done if I have a blocked lower heart? What's the prognosis for recovery from something like this? P.S. I've 57 Male and overweight. Although, I've lost about 10 pounds since the holiday's and am on a very sensible eating plan now. thx.
I believe the "blocked" indicates coronary artery blockage that impedes blood flow to the heart tissues. Usually the blockage is due to plaque buildup and causes a narrow passage of blood flow.
Treatment can be medication that dilates the vessels for a better flow of blood/oxygen. If medication isn't adequate then a stent implant can be the therapy or if stents aren't an option then there is bypass surgery.
I have a totally blocked coronary artery that has been naturally bypassed with other vessels, and a 72% circumflex artery blockage. I have been on medication for going on 6 years without any problems.
You may not require any treatment if you are not experiencing chest pains or other symptoms of occluded vessels. High blood pressure should be controlled as that condition can cause vessel occlusions.
In case you are not into anatomy, I will put this into more basic terms for you. The blood flowing through the hearts chambers is not the issue. Your heart uses oxygen like any other muscle in the body to create energy and it's necessary to keep the muscle alive.
On the surface of the heart there are some small arteries called coronary arteries. These are feeds from your blood stream which give blood to the heart muscle, giving it the oxygen it needs. If a blockage forms in one of those arteries, the muscle lacks enough oxygen and gives you discomfort. When heart muscle is lacking in oxygen, it's called ischaemia. Heart muscle will begin to become damaged and if left for long enough the muscle will begin to die. Once dead, it will never regenerate. If there is just an ounce of life left in the muscle, and the artery is opened with a stent or the blockage is bypassed in surgery, then the muscle will slowly recover, back to normal.
Your prognosis is very good. If you didn't receive immediate emergency surgery then it is very likely your heart has no dead tissue and there is plenty of time to perform other tests to get a complete picture.
Sorry, I forgot to explain the options in detail.
The first option that will be considered is medication. If this doesn't seem to be a good option, then they will look at something more aggressive. Due to your age, I would think they would go to the more aggressive approach to improve your quality of life. The next option is a stent which is a tiny metal tube (wire mesh) which is inserted into your artery where the blockage is. It is opened out to act as a scaffolding inside the artery, holding the plaque away from the blood, allowing a good flow to pass through. This is put into your artery from the groin area, a long wire (catheter) is passed through the artery in the inner, top of your leg and guided up to the coronary arteries. It is then guided into the area of the blockage and a balloon inside the stent is pumped up to open the stent. The balloon is then deflated, the wire removed and the stent stays there all your life.
If you have several blockages or a blockage which is particularly large, then they may offer you a bypass option. This involves opening the chest and using veins/arteries from other parts of the body to bypass the blockage. Imagine a copper pipe blocked in the middle. They basically take a new piece of pipe from the source and connect it into the original pipe just past the blockage. Now blood can flow freely into all areas of the coronary artery.
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