Heart Catheterization

On Tuesday, March 22 2016, I’m scheduled to undergo a cardiac catheterization. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Cardiac catheterization (kath-uh-tur-ih-ZAY-shun) is a procedure used to diagnose and treat cardiovascular conditions. During cardiac catheterization, a long thin tube called a catheter is inserted in an artery or vein in your groin, neck or arm and threaded through your blood vessels to your heart.” Sounds kind of scary to me but my doctor thinks it’s necessary to rule out a blockage as a contributing factor to my heart failure.

So, I’m a numbers guy. And, being a surgical procedure, I realize that death could be the end result. According to some very credible statistics, during a 14-month period, 75 deaths occurring in relation to 53,581 cardiac catheterizations. Of these 75 deaths, 24 died from issues unrelated to the actual catheterization procedure. So that leaves 51 who died as a direct result of having a foreign object inserted into ones body by way of an artery so that it could travel to the heart, which by the way isn’t in the best condition.  Ok, so let’s break it down to a percentage.  If my math is correct, I stand a less than 1% chance of dying on the table.  Actually, just so you and I feel even better about our chances of surviving this procedure, the actual chance of you, I or anyone else not making it through safely is not even a 10th of 1%.  Although I haven’t yet confirmed this, I think I’d be more likely to be bitten by Bigfoot while stranded in a life raft in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.   Just a hunch!

READ  Heart Disease Facts

According to my doctor, if all goes well and there’s no reason to place a stint, I’ll be out of the hospital by mid afternoon.  If a stint is required, I’ll stay overnight for observation. I have been warned about going to work the following day.  While no one can give me a good reason to stay home, I’ll probably just wait to see how I feel.  Since the procedure is scheduled for 9:30am on Tuesday, I would imagine I’ll feel up to sitting at my desk late in the afternoon on Wednesday.  Any of you been through this? Were you able to work the following day?

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