Wednesday, May 10, 2006

thoughts on coronary bypass surgery

This is the impromptu drawing a doctor did for us after Cliff's  heart catheterazition, on the back of a piece of paper that was lying near the bed.  It shows a 20% blockage, a 40%, a 60%, a 70%, and two 90% ones.  The doctor told us he wouldn't feel safe even letting Cliff drive home, with so many blockages. 

And to think we woke up that morning planning on Cliff having a walk on a treadmill and being pronounced fit as a fiddle (after all, he was walking daily and doing pushups); then we'd eat out, and get home in time for him to go to work. 

Here's the doctor who drew the picture, explaining all those problems to Cliff.

In researching coronary artery bypass surgery, I come across tidbits like this: 

" Twenty to 30% of bypass patients will need a second procedure within 10 years."

"What are the long-term results after CABG surgery?  5-10% of vein grafts become blocked within the first 2 weeks after CABG surgery due to blood clotting. Blood clots form in the grafts usually because of small arteries beyond the insertion site of the graft causing sluggish blood run off. Another 10% of vein grafts close off between 2 weeks and 1 year after CABG surgery. Use of aspirin to thin the blood has been shown to reduce these later closings by 50%. Grafts become narrowed after the first 5 years as cells stick to the inner lining and multiply, causing formation of scar tissue (intimal fibrosis) and actual atherosclerosis. After 10 years, only 2/3 of vein grafts are open and 1/2 of these have at least moderate narrowings."

"Repeat CABG surgery is occasionally necessary and is done for the same indications as the first surgery. Repeat CABG surgical mortality is 5 to 10% and it is less effective at relieving angina than the initial operation."

 I'm optimistic about Cliff's health.  I've kicked salt out of my kitchen to such an extent that my  blood pressure is  lower than it's been in years.  But when I see statistics like these, I realize I must cherish each day I spend with my husband.  We never know what tomorrow will bring.

Isn't that right, Carlene and Sue and Lona? 


grahamfarmga said...

I find these facts interesting. They told my father in law he still had some small blockages but they may not get bad for years?
Most people you hear about with by pass surgery do well

gaboatman said...

Paulette's doctor shared these same statistics with us after her heart catheterazation.  These are sobering facts and you are so right about cherishing each day we get to spend with our loved ones after one of these procedures.

lmitc89854 said...

My aunt had bypass surgery many years ago when it was not perfected, she was about 50, then had another surgery 10 years later and lived over 25 years after that.

mawmellow said...

Do cherish each and every day.  I was a 44 year old widow.  My husband had no history of heart disease but I lost him in a matter of minutes with a massive heart attack.  He was only 53.  We just never know.  

ksquester said...

An asprin a day doesn't hurt either.  Mosie I am so very happy for Cliff and I know he has the best nurse in the world.   Love to both of you.    Anne

chat2missie said...

Again, I can't say it enough!  Thank goodness Cliff's problem was found in time.  Have a good evening.

am4039 said...

it sure it right. You never know what tomorrow is going to bring.  

siennastarr said...

That is for sure!  One day you are with the man you love, and the next day he is gone.  Just love him, and cherish everyday.. that's all you can do..