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Review the Options

Published: March 1, 2009

A cardiac catheterization revealed that one artery is blocked and two others are partially closed. I was told that nothing could be done because of my age. Could you enlighten me on what I could do?

I concur that exercise and diet will not help at this point. But I am not certain why the doctor feels nothing else can be done. We put stents in such arteries, even in elderly patients like you, and occasionally do bypass surgery. There may be other reasons why your doctor does not want to do anything further. For example, you say you are not having any symptoms and perhaps have excellent collaterals. Those are new arteries that help supply the heart with blood when the main arteries are blocked. I would suggest you reopen the discussion, and ask why your doctor does not want to do anything more.

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