Saturday, September 18, 2004

Coronary Bypass for a 90-year-old Man!!!


Junior Member

Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 13

Coronary Bypass for 90 Year Old?
Hi. My father is almost 90 and two weeks ago was diagnosed w/CHF when he ended up in the ER w/breathing problems. Several days later, he was released (W/O proper meds, which we took care of the next day), but yesterday morning, he ended up in the ER again. This time, the drs. found out he had a small heart attack. Drs. did an angiogram today and found that all three arteries were damaged/clogged (not sure of term). When I asked how much, one dr. said all were 65-90% bad. They didn't do an angioplasty but would have the heart surgeon/team evaluate him over the weekend (he's in a teaching hospital).

Besides cataract/glaucoma and hearing problems, he does have high blood pressure ("normally" 170'ish) and high cholesterol (no idea of numbers). Other than that, he is able to live alone, cook, clean, and bathe... well, until this whole CHF episode, of course.

Is 90 too old to have bypass surgery? I guess I'm trying to figure out if it's automatically a bad idea or whether there should be consideration to his current quality of life, etc. My normal way of handling these situation is to tell him the positive and negative and say, "Dad, you need to decide!" When I explained the angiogram to him, I did tell him there's a chance that they can't do the angioplasty and he might have to have bypass surgery. He said he would agree to the bypass surgery too, but when the drs. told me about the three clogged arteries, one mentioned that the surgical team would still have to evaluate him to see if he's a candidate (as in just cuz dad's willing doesn't mean it'll get done).

If he doesn't get it done, they would do the angioplasty as a backup way and hope it'll take care of the problem. My dad has said that he doesn't need to live to 100. If he can get a few more good years, he'll be happy (always the optimist... not sure why he got me as a pessimistic child!).

Any comments? Answers? HELP!

I just read this very sad thread and what I have to say about this 90-year-old gentleman's physicians would probably be deleted by the moderator. This only serves to reinforce the indictment that some members of the medical community are in it only for the money and to hell with the Hippocratic Oath.

Nine Lives, thanks for reviving this old thread that I had never seen.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Frankly, as this is a teaching hospital, I believe
that your father would be used as a teaching model.
I am not advocating medical "ageism"; however, you
do not sound very aware of the politics of today's medical establishment. No matter what the outcome,
because of his advanced age--you basically have no

Tham said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tham said...

Sorry about having to delete the first
similar post, but the formatting had
jumbled the words all over the place.

I'm 48, from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The first thing to come to my mind
in such a case would be chelation
therapy. I've known about chelation
years ago, and have advocated it to
some of the heart cases in my office,
but I've been dismissed as "talking
nonsense .... if this really works,
everyone would have known about it and
all the doctors would be using it instead
of having to ask the patient to go thru
a major and potentially dangerous surgery" .

Well, I met this 62-year old guy I met
recently told he had FIVE blockages.
He was of course asked to have a
bypass, but opted for chelation. He
said he had trouble walking up even
gentle slopes before that, but after
some 30 sessions of chelation, he
could do so. He told me about some
newer non-invasive form of scanning -
it was not ultrafast CT, as this still
involved quite a bit of radiation - which
the doctor used on him, I can't
remember the name but wil check from
him later.

He still goes for maintenance therapy
of one session a month or two. Still
more recently another chelation doctor
told me that the doctor above must have
used only a partial dose of EDTA on that
patient, thus the cheaper cost of M$250
per treatment. He claimed he uses the
full dose at up to M$400 each time, and
the patient would require only about 20
sessions, without a need for
subsequent maintenance treatments.