Monday, July 5, 2010

Initial Appt. with Cardiothoracic Surgeon

FRIDAY, MAY 7, 2010 5:36 PM, MST
Just returned from a one-and-a-half hour appointment with a cardiothorasic surgeon (Dr. Iva Smolen). My mom and friend, Christie were all really impressed with her. Right off the bat she told the three of us that an open heart surgery is necessary. That settled that issue. She showed us and explained the films from my catherization last week. Having that visual picture of my heart in action and actually seeing the blockages validated my feeling of the constant need for an oxygen mask! This is initially going to be a single bypass surgery of the left anterior descending (LAD) artery. However, a small vessel branching off my LAD is also blocked. In order to also bypass that vessel (then it becomes a double bypass), the vessel has to be 1mm in width. So, that decision will be made during surgery. It is expected to last three hours after which I will be in ICU until sometime Wednesday when I will be downgraded to telemetry. I will remain there until I am released. I would like to think I can make a remarkable recovery and get out of there on Thursday but Friday or Saturday is much more realistic. Dr. Smolen explained that 90% of my healing will occur within the first three months. I'd like to think I can sprint to the finish line in this one but I sense that slowing down my pace will be much more to my advantage. 

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