Heart Disease Forum
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Avatar universal

surgery always?

hi I'm a 40yo male, 6'2" 270lbs. For about the past month I have been experiencing slight pains in my chest, left shoulder/forearm, left armpit, left back shoulder blade, and up the left side of base of neck (seems to be most prevalent of pains).  The pain is more of a nuisance than anything, it;s not severe at all, and doesn't last long, just a dull, localized ache-but very scary. I also have had sporadic palpitations.

I do suffer from panic/anxiety, so that doesn't help at all.  

Just this past weekend I was placed on BP meds (forgot name), and cholesterol meds (Zocor 40mg).  BP is actually normal lately, resting pulse rate is usually around 75.  BP was normal at Doctor visit too.

good news is, I have been eating better, dropped about 20lbs in last six months. My bad cholesterol was around 250, it was over 300 about a year ago. However I have never had these type of pains.

This weekend I had normal EKG, I am scheduled for an echocardiogram (chest/carotid) next weekend.

last year I had an echo, and chest x-ray, all which came back normal. about 3 years ago i did a treadmill test, normal as well.

long story short, if possible now :) I am very worried, I have my 3rd baby on the way, and just scared.  I'm committed to staying on meds, which I had strayed from in past, and just having a healthier lifestyle. Very scared of possible surgery. Wondering if that is usually the case for such a diagnosis, or will lifestyle/meds do the trick.

I look forward to any words of advice. good luck to all out there.

2 Responses
Avatar universal
Congrulations on your weight loss!  Nonetheless, despite our efforts, lifestyle changes don't necessarily obviate genetics and age.  You really should discuss your symptoms with your doctor.  
Avatar universal
OK, frankly your weight, age, and gender do put you at some risk for cardiovascular trouble, as I'm sure you know.

On the good side, though, you've recently had a normal EKG, and not too long ago a normal echo.

Really, there's no point in being extra worried right now, because you will have another echo this weekend  (I hope it's a Stress Echo?), including a peek at your carotids.  Your concern is understandable, though, because all this heart business is probably starting to feel pretty real just now.

Your newest tests might show that you can be managed with medication, diet, and exercise alone--or they might show that you need a surgical procedure.  If your carotids need to be reamed out, I can tell you that my inlaws both had that done when they were in their 80s, and it really was not a big deal.  If you need heart work per se, well, that is also pretty routine these days.  And you are young enough that you should sail through anything along those lines.  It all depends on what your most recent exams turn up, and we don't have enough info to make much of a guess about that.

But between now and your next echo:

1.  If you're really worried about anything--anything--at all, call your doctor to ask for advice, and second,

2. If your pain is accompanied by faintness and breathlessness plus a *profuse, absolutely drenching cold sweat,* nausea, or the sensation of an elephant sitting on your chest, call 911 immediately. That's the standard advice for bad stuff, but the chances are that you aren't going to need anything so extreme.

Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Is a low-fat diet really that heart healthy after all? James D. Nicolantonio, PharmD, urges us to reconsider decades-long dietary guidelines.
Can depression and anxiety cause heart disease? Get the facts in this Missouri Medicine report.
Fish oil, folic acid, vitamin C. Find out if these supplements are heart-healthy or overhyped.
Learn what happens before, during and after a heart attack occurs.
What are the pros and cons of taking fish oil for heart health? Find out in this article from Missouri Medicine.
How to lower your heart attack risk.