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hammerdown, September 10,  2019  1:13pm EST

LVAD - or no LVAD

One of my cardio guys - a "Heart Failure Specialist"- whose approval one must obtain before being eligible for an LVAD. He's the "gatekeeper."  He has come to wanting me to set up a procedure for an LVAD installation - which is not minor surgery sometime in the future.  Currently, his thinking is to tackle my low blood pressure (usually in the 84/62 range & pulse regulated by my full-time pacemaker, usually in the mid 80's.) Blood oxygen number usually 95% - 98%. LVEF around 20%.  Pulmonoligist I currently see recently performed bronchoscopy and took a sample of "something" way down at the bottom of both lungs. That procedure went well - no bleeding - altho 4 hours later, I showed an aTypical pneumonia infection and levofloxacin prescribed. No results from the lung samples yet.

Am I wanting to avoid the LVAD implant surgery and its risks? You bet!! My immediate plans are to get over the pneumonia then resume my 2 - 3 mile per day treadmill / walking routine. I'm aiming to raise my EF by way of exercise.  Pulmonologist has stated, I'm too skinny ( 163 lb. 6 footer) - Time for more protein and carbs!  One positive item: mid August I had a left heart cath along with a right heart cath. Conclusion: No blockages, no narrowing, 0% stenosis!!!

3 Replies
  • JamesPL
    JamesPL, September 10,  2019  7:52pm EST

    As much as I am completely on board with the exercise route and always advocate its importance, I also think it's important to get the consent of your physician. You should also follow his/her direction for other treatments. Great news about your heart cath results!


  • hammerdown
    hammerdown, September 13,  2019  10:33am EST

    Hi, Jim:  My heart failure specialist that I've just seen seemed perplexed by my being a cardiomyopathy dude along with 0% stenosis in the heart.  He said he most commonly sees those with a cardiomyopathy condition needed stents, etc. - Must be my lucky day.  Currently, my issue that began early this year has been fatigue and low blood pressure.  Daily exercise has raised my BP to a level around 86/64.  My other cardio guy - a "plumber" Doc. has always stated, "Push yourself. Get your heart rate up on that treadmill!  And don't hang on and go too fast!"  If I can keep my BP up maybe I can avoid the need for an LVAD and its associated risks.

  • jerzeycate
    jerzeycate, October 6,  2019  12:09pm EST

    I too have clean caths even when my EF was at 11%. My DCM was part of a process. An infection, probably the CoxSackie D virus took out the electrical system in my heart.  DCM patients commonly have infection based disorders. I'm not sure why your cardio didn't mention that. I've been around long enough to know that an LVAD recommendation is not made without being warranted. I've also been around enough to know that not one person--at least those thousands I've been involved with have raised their EF through exercise.

    If you do not feel comfortable with the recommendation you might want to seek another opinion. Deciding to follow our own path just doesn't seem to work out well for us. 

    Best wishes...

    It's A Great Day To Be Alive...



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