I finally got to know an outcome of my next stage of recovery…and made a mistake of doing a bit of research on the web.
I have a totally blocked artery. Fortunately my heart has compensated and grown another artery path near to the damaged area so blood is being supplied. This puts me in a mid way position between a routine stent operation and bypass. It seems it’s going to be a complicated stent procedure, but I’m told being performed by a very good specialist.
So I have a look on the web and the first thing I see is an advert right at the top “Stents are very dangerous” It goes on to sell some wonder medicine that thins out the damaging plaque to unblock the arteries and make you all as new. If I was a blocked sink I guess it’s the difference between calling in a plumber for either rod plunging which normally works well, or a more complex repiping, or just buying some drain block acid.
I start to look at medical sites and many talk about the ease in which stents can be put in…one referred to surgeons doing stents in the same ease they change tyres. But do doctors actually change tires? 😉
There’s a risk with a stent that the body may not like it and react, or that the stent cannot be manoeuvred into place correctly and cause complications, or that you have a stroke. The odds of dying in hospital are, according to a British Heart Foundation leaflet, about 200 to 1.
There’s some recent research that suggest if you don’t have the stent at the same time as you experience the heart attack there’s not a great benefit from having one fitted later to prevent further attack. Their research indicates that you have as much chance of survival taking the medication that’s prescribed.
So I’m now in a dilemma. Do I have a stent or do I take my chances? I am currently getting chest discomfort when I exercise, but it’s not unbearable. Do the plaque dissolving methods work or is this just another age reducing/baldness curing un-wonderdrug?
I will be seeing the specialist for a pre-stent assessment. I have a few questions. I’ll add my findings here.
If anyone’s been through any of this already please feel free to send me a comment it will make for useful reading for anyone who ends up in the same position in the future.