cardiac catheterization done ... news is not great

Stanley went in for his cardiac catheterization today. Dr.  David Lomnitz, Stanley’s cardiologist, found significant blockage in one artery. So, in addition to getting his aortic valve replaced, the doctor is recommending that Stanley undergo bypass surgery. At the same time.

Friday afternoon, Stanley goes in for a MRA, which is an MRI for the blood vessels, and will provide a detailed view of what’s going on. Then, next Wednesday (Feb. 9th), we go see Dr. M. Clive Robinson, a cardiothoracic surgeon at Bridgeport Hospital, who will explain everything to us and outline Stanley’s options.

Dr. Lomnitz suggests that Stanley get the valve job/bypass done within a couple of weeks. Stanley isn’t too happy about this—says he has stuff to do. I said, “Yeah, you have to get better.”

What was interesting today was seeing what they used to close up the hole they punched in Stanley’s femoral artery: an Angio-Seal, which kind of looks like a molly bolt—sinks the anchor end into the artery, where it opens up and flattens against the artery wall, holding a sponge against the hole. The anchor is made of some kind of a bio-absorbable stuff that dissolves when it’s supposed to, and the sponge is made out of collagen, which also dissolves eventually. Beats having to lie there with a weight on the artery for a few hours, or having some nurse have to put pressure on it until the hole closes up.

The recovery nurse, Anne, was quite nice. Stanley liked the other nurses who attended him during the procedure. Whatever sedative they gave him didn’t make him loopy. Or mellow, for that matter—he was really annoyed by it all, acted much like his cat does when I scoop him out of the laundry basket of warm clean clothes.

I’m in kind of a state of shock about the blockage. Although I guess I half expected it as Stanley’s father had a bypass when he was in his fifties.

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