Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Finally, a Visit With the Cardiologist

Dad and his entourage just emerged from a visit with Dr. Musselman, his cardiologist. And...


The report from Dr. Hasan, the infectious disease specialist, was negative. The blood cultures showed no sign of infection and he is released for surgery. The wounds on his legs are much, much better, though he still has some swelling. (His physical therapist has suggested compression socks and Musselman agrees.)

The report downloaded from his pacemaker along with the EKG showed additional deterioration of the strength of the left ventricle. This could be remedied by the addition of a third lead from the pacemaker to the left ventricle.

Also under consideration is switching the pacemaker to a unit with a defibrillator. The performance of the heart is near the borderline and then there is the question of Medicare qualification. The matter is under discussion between Musselman and Dr. D. (the pacemaker specialist.)

Dr. M thinks it's a good idea to do the pacemaker work before the heart surgery. He prefers "optimizing the performance of the heart" and advises "not to take this surgery lightly, after all, he is what 89 and three quarters." We agreed.

So, Dad expects a call this afternoon scheduling the pacemaker update. It will involve a small incision to install the lead and run it to the heart. An overnight stay will be required for observation and fine tuning.

The new lead will give a new syncopation to the heart rhythm. Dr. M said there is a slight chance this will improve the mitral regurgitation, but he also said he's not expecting the improvement. but he DID mention it.

A timetable for the valve surgery was not discussed. Dr. M. did say that while the leaking is serious and needs attention, it is not an emergency. Dad should be able to return to his normal life in the interim.

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