Thursday 4 November 2010

Angiogram Screenshots

I just remembered that I have the video of the Angiogram procedure from two days after the heart attack. For anyone who does not know what this is, it is where they put a hole in the biggest vein in your leg and inject you with a dye that shows up under xray. Full description on Wiki.

It was pretty painful but only at the end when they put the plug into the vein in the groin, other than that I did not really feel anything. I was worried though as this is where they decide if there is something wrong with the arteries causing the heart attack. The main cause of heart attacks is where you get a 'plaque' build up on the inside wall an artery which carries blood to and from the heart. This causes the artery wall to get thinner. As the pressure inside your blood vessels is always changing, so are the dimensions of the arteries. This can cause the plaque to break off the wall causing a blockage.

This showed the heart surgeon that I do not have any blockages in my arteries. The nurses could not believe it due to the size of the heart attack and the time it lasted, they had a bet with me that I will have stents fitted.

I was very lucky that I did not. Basically they are little 'cages' that are inserted to open out the artery wall. The hole in the femoral artery in the leg is used to send a long 'wire' up with a balloon attached. Inside the balloon is a type of cage that is left inside the artery once the balloon has widened the wall.

All of this was done on the Monday morning, I went into hospital on the Saturday morning so it was done quickly. The only other thing they had to do was assess the damage doe to my heart by using an electro-cardiogram. The whole angiogram procedure was not painful like I said even though they had a wire stuck inside me but the ECG hurt like hell and all they were doing was rubbing a magnety thing over my chest. I had to sit in the most strange positions to allow my heart to be visible at certain angles, it was only the odd positions that made it sore. Once that was done they discharged me from hospital, on Kat's birthday, three days after the heart attack. Amazing really.

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