I recently had a heart cath. I am 62 years old. I was told we have 3 main heart arteries. One of mine was 60% blocked. I was put on a pill for this. Would this be minimal blockage, or more serious. I was also told no follow up treatment was necessary.
'usually' a blockage is considered for intervention when it reaches 70% or greater. 60% is not minimal, but with the right medication and lifestyle changes you can slow down the rate of growth substantially.
You have been given a very large wake up call to mix in heart healthy behaviors and diet to your lifestyle. I didn't take 60% blockages as seriously as I should have and soon my 50% blockages became 90% blockages with a heart attack. In addition to the medications you are taking, I would be sure to exercise daily, and lose weight if necessary. Certainly, pay attention to a heart healthy diet by eliminating fast food, and throw away the salt shaker. I'd add omega-3 fish oil to the diet, 2000 mg daily is generally recommended. As for no follow up, hopefully you are seeing your cardiologist every six months or less. If you exercise daily, you are doing your own followup, in a way. If you note a difference in your ability to exercise, or experience shortness of breath and/or chest pressure, that is a reason to expect the blockage has increased. If you compare your arteries to water pipes, one can understand how a dirty pipe plugs up much faster than a clean pipe. You need to exercise to determine a baseline of how you feel. As I understand, you should show no change in exercise ability with 60% blockage, but you do start feeling changes about 70 - 80% blockage.
Thanks for your input. I am wondering if blockage is based on total of the 3 main arteries to the heart, or one? In other words overall I have a 20% blockage to the heart with a 60% blockage in one artery. I am taking this serious. I don't use salt ever as far as adding it to food. In the hospital my sodium was a bit low. I have never had to deal with swelling etc. No heart disease in my immediate family.
The restriction percentage is usually stated per blockage (lesion). I don't see how you can calculate it on a total? If for example you have a blockage of 90% in your distal LAD, there is no way you can calculate the deficit in blood supply to the whole heart. There are hundreds of tiny vessels which are too small to see on an angiogram, so you can't see if these are fully open. The best test for oxygenation of heart muscle is a nuclear perfusion scan. This uses a radioactive isotope which attaches to red corpuscles and the scanner picks them up, showing all the areas they have entered and the volume. An angiogram is good for the larger vessels.
I am knew to all this as you can tell. I was basing those percentages on the 3 main heart arteries. I heard the doctor mention we have 3 of those and I have a 60% blockage in one of them. 60% of one would mean 20% of all 3. I guess I am looking for a positive side of all this...LOL. Thanks for your help. My husband had open heart surgery about 10-11 years ago. He has had no problems since. He is now 7 years old, playing golf and going strong.
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