Ankylosing Spondylitis

Here’s the update after the surgeon’s consultation.

4 arteries are blocked.  The 100% one is small and not the main concern.  The main concern is the 90% one, which is a major artery.  The others are 70% blocked.

If there are several blockages, it’s generally better to do the bypass surgery.  This is the case with Dad.  If they are close to the beginning of the artery, it’s also better, which again is his case.

However, he also was diagnosed with Ankylosing SpondylitisWhat is that?  It’s a form of arthritis that affects the spine, neck and chest among other areas.  It can affect the heart valves, although that’s not the case here – rather his valves are affected due to age.  Nor did Ankylosing Spondylitis cause the blockages.

Ankylosing Spondylitis can affect your breathing, chest, and ribcage.  What does this mean?  Well, tomorrow he will undergo a breathing test.  Bypass surgery is not an option if he fails the breathing test because his lungs wouldn’t be strong enough to support him and he’d have to be on a ventilator for the rest of his life.

At this point, bypass is the best option, so we hope the breathing test goes well.  If so, then the surgeon can do bypass surgery on Thursday or Friday.

If bypass surgery is not a viable option, then other options include:

    1) another catheterization to put some stents in to deter the blockages, but
         not possible on the major artery.
    2) drugs to help relieve some pressure pain, but won’t fix the problem.
So, we’ll see what the breathing test results are to see what the next step will be. 

He’s resting at Cooper Hospital watching the Phillies game.

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