Heart Bypass Surgery - How Did It Start? (Page Two)

It's a long story beginning at a dance fourteen months prrevious

How Did It Start??

Page 1 - Introduction | Page 2 - How Did It Start | Page 3 - What Was The Problem?
Page 4 - What Is The Procedure? | Page 5 - Day By Day Events Up To Recovery
Page 6 - Recovery Proceeds Well | Page 7 - Favorite Pictures

How things change so suddenly...

During A Dance March 18th 2010...

About a years ago while dancing at Topper's, Sue had some chest pains so we headed to the Emergency Room... They could not find anything!

We then went the next day to the heart doctor and alas, he could not find anything... We are puzzled.

Six month later the pains were coming and going so we again went to the heart doctor and he ran many tests including tread mills and nothing! He did prescribe nitro-glycerine to eliminate the pains (treated the symptom). She has been using that quite discretely for the past six months.

Did You Know? - Nitroglycerin (NG), (United States spelling) also known as nitroglycerine (UK spelling), trinitroglycerin, trinitroglycerine, 1,2,3-trinitroxypropane and glyceryl trinitrate, is a heavy, colorless, oily, explosive liquid obtained by nitrating glycerol.

Since the 1860s, it has been used as an active ingredient in the manufacture of explosives, specifically dynamite, and as such is employed in the construction and demolition industries. Similarly, since the 1880s, it has been used by the military as an active ingredient, and a gelatinizer for nitrocellulose, in some solid propellants, such as Cordite and Ballistite.

Nitroglycerin is also used medically as a vasodilator to treat heart conditions, such as angina and chronic heart failure. It is one of the oldest and most useful drugs for treating heart disease by shortening or even preventing attacks of angina pectoris. Nitroglycerin comes in forms of tablets, sprays or patches.

Fast Forward Six Months

The pains increased so we again went to the doctor last week and he ran a new "nuclear heart test" and found that Sue's heart was only pumping about 50% of the blood volume each beat. That meant a "lazy heart" which means a blockage that is not providing the heart muscle the energy/nutrition is needs to function properly.


The images measure the blood flow in the barious heart muscles .

A nuclear stress test measures blood flow to your heart muscle both at rest and during stress on the heart. It is performed similar to a routine exercise stress test, but provides images that can show areas of low blood flow through the heart and areas of damaged heart muscle.

A nuclear stress test usually involves taking two sets of images of your heart — one set during an exercise stress test while you’re exercising on a treadmill or stationary bike, or with medication that stresses your heart, and another while you’re at rest. A nuclear stress test is used to gather information about how well your heart works during physical activity and at rest.

The Final Test

Angiography is an x-ray technique where dye is injected into the chambers of your heart or the arteries that lead to your heart (the coronary arteries). The test lets doctors measure the blood flow and blood pressure in the heart chambers and see if the coronary arteries are blocked.

How does it work? Doctors perform a cardiac catheterization procedure in which a long, thin tube (called a catheter) is put into an artery in the leg and threaded into the heart. Once the catheter is in place in the heart, a dye is injected through the catheter and into the heart.

The dye helps doctors see how the heart chambers and the coronary arteries are working. The movement of the dye through your heart and coronary arteries is recorded as an angiogram and viewed on a television monitor.

And The Envelop Dr O'Neill...

Doctor O'Neill ordered an Angiography or arteriography which is a medical imaging technique used to visualize the inside, or lumen, of blood vessels and organs of the body, with particular interest in the arteries, veins and the heart chambers. This is traditionally done by injecting a radio-opaque contrast agent into the blood vessel and imaging using X-ray based techniques such as fluoroscopy.

We expected to find a small blockage and expected the insertion of a stent to force open and thereby widen the blocked area....

What we found was a significant blockage in two arteries that support the left ventricle.... a 90% and a 70% blockage... Where they found them does NOT allow stents to be used!

Now what????

The doctor said the blockage was so severe that he wanted her to remain in the hospital and wired up until the surgery could be scheduled.

So, she is scheduled for a dual-bypass surgery within the next 5-6 days (they are waiting for the blood thinner medicine to wear off)

Coronary artery bypass surgery, also coronary artery bypass graft (CABG pronounced cabbage) surgery, and colloquially heart bypass or bypass surgery is a surgical procedure performed to relieve angina and reduce the risk of death from coronary artery disease. Arteries or veins from elsewhere in the patient's body are grafted to the coronary arteries to bypass atherosclerotic narrowings and improve the blood supply to the coronary circulation supplying the myocardium (heart muscle). This surgery is usually performed with the heart stopped, necessitating the usage of cardiopulmonary bypass; techniques are available to perform CABG on a beating heart, so-called "off-pump" surgery.

Hospital Time

She went immediately to Los Alamitos Medical Center until Sunday at which time she will be moved from Los Alamitos to the OR at Long Beach Memorial. The heart bypass procedure is several hours and she will be in the hospital for about five days.

We did NOT tell anyone because we thought it was a stent and those are no biggies in todays world. IN fact she scheduled the appointment on Tuesday so she could be at the Phoenix Club on Thursday. Duh!

If sue is NOT on the golf course or NOT dancing our friends would know something is up so we decided to tell our family of friends everything we knew....

Page 1 - Introduction | Page 2 - How Did It Start | Page 3 - What Was The Problem?
Page 4 - What Is The Procedure? | Page 5 - Day By Day Events Up To Recovery
Page 6 - Recovery Proceeds Well | Page 7 - Favorite Pictures