Heart Q&A

Question: I had a heart attack in 1996, had 4-passes and my friends tell me that it last 10 yrs. and they say I don't have heart disease anymore. I would just like your expertise on the matter! Thank You!

Dr. Pastrano's Answer: The ten years is a general number on average the vein grafts used for your bypasses last from 7 to 10 years some last longer and some close sooner. The arteries used as bypass conduits tend to last significantly longer. As far as you still having heart disease....the surgery bypassed the disease in your heart....it did'nt remove it  so you still have the same disease you always had.....and if your bypasses close, you will experience symptoms again.

Question:  Recently I have been under a lot of stress due to my husband's illness. I am very good health, have always had low blood pressure never have any chest paibs, but all of a sudden, occasionally it almost feels like my heart flutters, or like it's hollow feeling around it. It just lasts for a few seconds and if I start getting nervous about my husband, it starts. does this sound abnormal? when i exercise, I have no problems. I just took my b.p. it is 102/68.

Dr. Pastrano's Answer: Sounds like your having palpatations..ie...occasional extra heart beats. There are a number of different abnormal heart rhythms such as atrial fibrillation , atrial flutter etc......that may be transient also........these may be brought out be stress.......check with your cardiologist to be sure your heart rhythm is normal......thanks for your question.

Question: I dont have any heart prolbems that i am aware of just high blood pressure but this started before I took my medicine, the tip of my nose will turn blackish purple and my legs will too. Is that a heart problem or what. Thank you.

Dr. Pastrano's Answer: It sounds like your describing a condition known a vasoconstriction. Cold weather is a common precipitator. This is not commonly related to a heart problem.....thanks for your question

Question:  What is lipohyalinosis? I am normotensive, not a diabetic, not obese,  but recently had a brain stem stroke, the doctors believe it was caused by this condition. Will this condition have cardiovascular effects in the future for me too? I am 41

Dr. Pastrano's Answer:   Lipohyalniosis is a condition most commonly seen in diabetics and hypertensive people. It involves thickening of the walls of small blood vessels in the brain. This can lead to strokes due to the decreased blood flow. It can occur in nondiabetics. If you are not hypertensive and not diabetic then your risk of heart disease should not be affected by this condition.  I'm also assuming you dont smoke and your cholesterol is normal. Thank you for your question.

Question: I am scheduled for Transmyocardial Laser Revascularization surgery next week, could you tell me something about it and what the success rate is?

Dr. Pastrano's Answer:   TMR is a process where a surgeon creates tiny channels in the heart with a laser. These channels stimulate the growth of small blood vessels in the area....a process known as angiogenesis. People who are not candidates for angioplasty or by-pass surgery may be considered for TMR. Resolution of angina may take a few weeks. The success rate for relieving angina is approximately 75-80% at one year........Thanks for your question

Question: I am 67 years old and have been told I have a 6" total blockage in the aorta in the groin area.
What is the best way to handle this problem at my age?  I live alone and need advice.

Dr. Pastrano's Answer:  Thanks for your question........Blockages in the aorta or major branches of the aorta need to be corrected if they are causing symptoms. In your case the common symptom would be cramping in the leg, thigh or buttock. Sometimes these blockages can be stented and sometimes they require surgery......Check with your vascular surgeon to see which procedure is best for you......thanks again

Question: How bad is a leaky volve?

Dr. Pastrano's Answer:  Thanks for your question.......A valve that leaks can cause relatively minor symptoms that require no intervention or may require medication. Once the valve leak gets to the point where it starts to cause significant symptoms or starts to damage the heart muscle, it may require surgery.....thanks again.

Question: I have been a diabetic for 46yrs. I am now 71yrs old and having heart problems but the Dr.says my my veins etc.are too fragile for anything to be done.Does this sound right to you.I have never had a second opinion.Should I? Thank you.

Dr. Pastrano's Answer: Thank you for your question........In regards to your veins.........Did your Dr. refer to the arteries on your heart or the veins in your legs? We operate on diabetics all the time.....and while the quality of the arteries and veins may not be as good as a non-diabetic......we still manage to get good results from the surgery. Thank you again