Angina - Surgery Experience

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Angioplasty and coronary artery bypass surgery

When patients continue to have angina despite maximally tolerated combinations of nitroglycerin medications, beta blockers, and calcium channel blockers, cardiac catheterization with coronary arteriography is indicated. Depending on the location and severity of the disease in the coronary arteries, patients can be referred for balloon angioplasty (percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty or PTCA with or without stents) or coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) to increase coronary artery blood flow.

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Comment from: Anthony, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: August 26

I was 41yrs old in 1985 when I experienced my first angina attack whilst playing soccer. I played most sports up till then and was still very fit so it came as a shock when diagnosed with severe angina. Exercise ECG's and angiograms soon confirmed my problem and was immediately hospitalized and had my first heart by-pass surgery (quadruple) four weeks later. This kept me going for 13 years whereby I had another heart by-pass operation (single graft). I count myself as one of the so called "lucky" ones as I have suffered numerous heart attacks, have had stents fitted along with an ICD (Implanted Cardiac Defibrillator) which helps to improve the function of my ailing heart. I'm now turning 70 yrs, still suffer with angina but at least I am glad to be alive. Be positive and ask as many questions as possible when worried about heart symptoms. You don't have to treat all aches and pains in the chest as heart related but if you feel at all unwell please see your GP. My symptoms were tightness in the throat, something that I would never have related to heart disease but your instincts will tell you when you are not well. In 1985 heart surgery was certainly much more daunting than today so if you are told you require open heart surgery you will be in the hands of the very best trained medical teams throughout the medical world so do not worry (too much anyway)! Anthony.

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