Stents vs. bypass surgery vs. TRUST

by Carolyn Thomas        @HeartSisters

In 2018, Dr. Dhruv Khullar warned his colleagues at an American Board of Internal Medicine conference that patients need answers on three dimensions of trust:

  1. Competence:Do you know what you’re doing?”
  2. Transparency:Will you tell me what you’re doing?”
  3. Motive:Are you doing this to help me or yourself?”        .     .

Continue reading “Stents vs. bypass surgery vs. TRUST”

Post-stent chest pain

by Carolyn Thomas     @HeartSisters 

A friend’s daughter (who happens to be a cardiac nurse) phoned to check on me a few days after I was discharged from the hospital following my heart attack. I felt so relieved to hear her voice because  something was really starting to worry me:  I was still having chest pain.

Hadn’t the blocked coronary artery that had caused my “widow maker” heart attack just recently been magically unblocked? Wasn’t that newly revascularized artery now propped wide open with a shiny metal stent? Shouldn’t I be feeling better?

And that’s when I heard the words “stretch pain”  for the first time.    .       .  Continue reading “Post-stent chest pain”

Doc chat: in the cath lab with a “radial evangelist”

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters

Like most heart patients who get their blocked coronary arteries opened up (or revascularized) at Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital, my stent was implanted by inserting a slim catheter into an artery in my wrist and threading it up, up, up into my heart, a procedure known in the cath labs of the world as a Transradial Intervention (TRI).

But if I had been in an American hospital, my cardiologist would have more than likely threaded that catheter through the larger femoral artery in my upper thigh instead of my wrist, despite growing evidence suggesting significantly safer results, less bleeding, fewer complications, superior outcomes, and resounding patient preference for the radial approach.(1) In fact, while cardiologists across Canada, Europe and Asia are moving towards using radial as a default access, American cardiologists lag behind. 

I just don’t get it. Canadian coronary arteries simply cannot be that much different from those of American heart patients. Continue reading “Doc chat: in the cath lab with a “radial evangelist””

10 things I didn’t know about angioplasty until I read this book

by Carolyn Thomas    ♥  @HeartSisters

heart-700141_1280 Being asked to write a book review is tricky. Authors hope you will be kind, while you hope the book at best might tell you something that every other book for heart patients hasn’t already told you. A review copy of the book Your Personal Guide: Angioplasty sat on my coffee table for weeks, until one day, I finally got tired of looking at this latest addition to my living room decor and decided to give it a go.   And within a very few pages, I learned some fascinating things I didn’t know before.   Continue reading “10 things I didn’t know about angioplasty until I read this book”

Heart disease = most costly condition for women

by Carolyn Thomas

The cost of treating women for heart disease leads a list of the top 10 most expensive conditions for women, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

The analysis by this American agency reveals that the top 10 most costly conditions in terms of health care expenditures for women were:

  • heart disease (over $43.6 billion)
  • cancer
  • mental disorders
  • trauma-related disorders
  • osteoarthritis
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma
  • hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Diabetes
  • back problems
  • hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol levels)

The first few thoughts that hit me while reading this list were:  Continue reading “Heart disease = most costly condition for women”