Pulmonary tests are good

The pulmonary doctor’s tests indicate that Dad’s chest and lungs should be strong enough to support his breathing during the bypass recovery process.  He cleared him for surgery.


Bypass surgery could be on Monday or Tuesday.

Alice, Kristen and baby Addison are flying up from Florida tonight and heading back on Wednesday.
 

Cat scan

Dad’s in for a catscan on his lungs now.   That should give the best indication of his breathing and lungs.

The test results won’t all be in until at least tomorrow.  Nothing will be done for at least 2 days, so we’re looking at Monday for any procedures.

He previously saw the cardiologist at Lourdes and did not like him at all.  Dad remembers walking out of his office years ago vowing never to never see him again.

They said he can not leave without either bypass or stents.

If stents, then they will do 1 now and the other about 4 weeks from now.

Let’s hope the catscan indicates that his lungs are strong enough to support the recovery process.

Mom and Carolyn have been with Dad the past few days and have been providing great support.  Thanks to them for being on the ground.

C.O.P.D.

Quick update…some test results are in, but no go/no go decision on bypass surgery yet.


Ultrasound –  discovered a small module (<0.75mm) on his thyroid.  Not entirely sure what that means yet.


XRays of the lungs  – discovered he has Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and also discovered he has emphysema.  Alice and I are guessing it’s a mild case because he doesn’t seem to have much difficulty breathing to us.   COPD affects the tubes that carry air in/out of the lungs.   I’ll have to look up more on that later.


Cat scan of lungs – scheduled for later today. 


Breathing test – done, but results not back yet.

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Pulmonary Tests

Dad’s had Ankylosing Spondylitis since he was 20.  Many doctors are not familiar with it and in fact for a long time they treated him for a stomach issue instead.  There’s concern that the Ankylosing Spondylitis  may cause his chest expansion to be limited after bypass surgery, and that his lungs may not be able to provide enough oxygen to his heart.  So, there’s a series of tests to determine if it will be an issue in recovery from possible bypass surgery.  If you can’t breath after the surgery, then the bypass surgery may not be an option.


The pulmonary doctor listened to Dad’s breathing this afternoon.  He did not hear anything that would indicate an issue, but the real test is the chest xray/MRI.


This morning, he had an issue with the plug from the cardio cath.  It caused a hemotoma, a collection of blood, under the skin around the plug.  Some painful pressure relieved it, but the took him down a cat scan of the area to check it out.  Apparently this happens only 2% of the time.  Wish he were that lucky in the lottery too!


He’s scheduled for an MRI, or xray, later tonight for the chest/lungs.


Tomorrow is a pulmonary breathing test, similar to an asthma breathing test.


After all these test results are in, the cardiologist, cardiac surgeon, and pulmonary doctors will get together and consult to see if bypass is a viable option, and present the options.  Cooper seems to have scheduled him for bypass surgery on Friday, assuming everything looks good.


However, we not sure Cooper Hospital is the optimal place to have open heart surgery, so we’re looking at other options.  Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center is in Camden NJ down the street from Cooper and  has much more experience and we’re exploring transferring him there.  Carolyn is consulting with the chief cardiac surgeon at Lourdes and initial indications are that they would accept him as a patient.  If he’s transferred to Lourdes, and bypass is possible, then surgery would likely be sometime early next week.

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.

Test results not good – coronary bypass surgery necessary

Dad’s test is done.   The cardiologist gave Mom and Carolyn the test results.  Not good.

1 of his arteries is 100% blocked.
1 is 90% blocked.
2 more are 70% blocked.

They said he’s lucky he didn’t have a heart attack already.  And they said he should not go home.   He will need Coronary Artery Bypass surgery this week, open-heart surgery.  The arterys are too far gone for stents to be effective.

They are going to move him to a room and he’s recovering from the cath now. 

The cardiac surgeons are in another surgery right now, and Mom and Carolyn are waiting for them to get a consultation.  

The valve was ok, a slight murmur meaning could be a slight leak, but ok.

I’ll be heading to NJ as soon as Carolyn gets more info from the cardiac surgeons.

Info: http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/coronary-artery-bypass-surgery-for-coronary-artery-disease

Cardiac catheterization test underway

Dad’s cardiac catheterization test is underway right now.  Let’s hope everything looks good.

He arrived at the hospital at 8:30am this morning and they started the test at about 11:45 am.  The test should last approx 1 1/2 hours. 

If they discover he needs a stent, they will do that today and he’ll stay overnight.

If they discover he needs a valve replacement, they will likely schedule that for another date.

Cardiac Catheterization procedure information

Dad is at the hospital waiting to have a Cardiac Catheterization test performed.

He’s felt fatigued over the past few months and went to his doctor, who referred him to a cardiologist.
He had an EKG, and echo-cardiogram done, and the cath is the next test to get a good picture on what’s happening.

Cardiac Catheterization information:

First, go here: https://www.harvardpilgrim.org/portal/page?_pageid=213,243588&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL
Then, click on Health Topics A-Z on the right side.
Then, click on “C” and scroll down to “Cardiac Catheterization [Medical Test]

It has the following sections:

  • Test Overview
  • Why It Is Done
  • How To Prepare
  • How It Is Done
  • How It Feels
  • Risks
  • Results
  • What Affects the Test
  • What To Think About
  • References

It even includes a picture of what the lab looks like.  Hard part is that you have to lie still on a hard table for about an hour.  Good news is that you are slightly sedated and may not even remember it.

There’s more info on stents and valve replacement surgery there too.

Carolyn also found good information on WebMD – http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/cardiac-catheterization

Cardiac Catheterization procedure information

Dad is at the hospital waiting to have a Cardiac Catheterization test performed.

He’s felt fatigued over the past few months and went to his doctor, who referred him to a cardiologist.
He had an EKG, and echo-cardiogram done, and the cath is the next test to get a good picture on what’s happening.

Cardiac Catheterization information:


First, go here: https://www.harvardpilgrim.org/portal/page?_pageid=213,243588&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL
Then, click on Health Topics A-Z on the right side.
Then, click on “C” and scroll down to “Cardiac Catheterization [Medical Test]


It has the following sections:



  • Test Overview

  • Why It Is Done

  • How To Prepare

  • How It Is Done

  • How It Feels

  • Risks

  • Results

  • What Affects the Test

  • What To Think About

  • References

It even includes a picture of what the lab looks like.  Hard part is that you have to lie still on a hard table for about an hour.  Good news is that you are slightly sedated and may not even remember it.

There’s more info on stents and valve replacement surgery there too.

Carolyn also found good information on WebMD – http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/cardiac-catheterization