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Life after Quad By-Pass
MahoQuad posted:

Four months ago I underwent quad by-pass surgery at age 51. Prior to surgery, I had high cholesterol (290) even under medication (10mg). Since surgery, cholesterol level now down to 117 since increasing medication level to 40mg per day. I'm 6'1", and weighed 230 lbs prior to surgery. I'm now down to 198 lbs. Prior to surgery I exercised at a gym for 1 hour, three days a week. Now I'm exercising each day (min 30 min's) and have under taken a low fat, low cholesterol diet.
Needless to say, a person wonders "how long do I have to live"? Granted there is no answer as to a day and year. According to my surgeon, he believes (from a cardio perspective) there is no reason for me to live into my eighties, with a 5% chance of needing another heart procedure (stent) and less than a 1% chance of another open heart procedure, as long as I continue exercise, maintain low fat/low cholesterol diet and keeping my cholesterol levels in check.

I'm just curious if my surgeon's statement is reasonable?
cardiostarusa1 responded:

Reasonable yes, though it has to be taken into account that everyone is unique, with each and every health/medical case/situation being different.

"Needless to say, a person wonders "how long do I have to live"? Granted there is no answer as to a day and year".

This is correct.

As reported, there over four dozen risk factors, markers, indicators for cardiovascular disease, some iffy/questionable, new, novel emerging, with more certainly to come.

Additionally as reported, a risk factor merely increases the probability that one will develop cardiovascular disease, BUT doesn't 100% guarantee that one will develop it, nor does its absence (or even the absence of ALL known risk factors) 100% guarantee that one won't have a heart attack or brain attack/stroke.

The bottom line

Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery is just a clever way of temporarily circumventing the problem (atherosclerosis), as it doesn't address the disease process and what drives the progression.

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a lifelong unpredictable (may/can exhibit periods of stabilization, acceleration and even some regression) condition requiring a continuum of care.

Bets of luck down the road of life.

Take care,


WebMD member (since 8/99)



Be well-informed


Living with Heart Disease

Coronary artery disease (CAD)

CAD is a chronic disease with no cure. When you have CAD, it is important to take care.....

This is especially true if you have had an interventional procedure or surgery to improve blood flow to the heart../It is up to you to take steps.....

Recognize the symptoms......

Reduce your risk factors......

Take your medications......

See your doctor for regular check-ups...



Coronary artery anatomy

Starting with the left anterior descending (LAD), the most critical, next to the ultra-critical left main (LM).


Heart-Healthy Foods

Nothing complicated - plain 'n simple

AVOID foods high in saturated fat and cholesterol. CHOOSE skim or low-fat milk, low-fat yogurt and reduced-fat cheeses. Eat more fish and poultry. LIMIT servings to five to seven ounces a day. TRIM visible fat. Limit egg yolks. SUBSTITUTE two egg whites for one whole egg or use an egg-substitute. Eat more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, breads and cereals. USE LESS salt and fat. SEASON WITH herbs and spices rather than with sauces, gravies and butter.


**As applicable to the patient

Cardiac Rehab

Typically, cardiac rehab plays an important role in the overall recovery process, which is DIFFERENT FOR EVERYONE, and at any age.


Cardiac Rehab

Mayo Clinic

Cardiac rehab: Building a better life after heart disease

Mended Hearts

Hope for recovery. Hope for a rich, full life.

For more than 50 years, Mended Hearts has been offering the gift of hope and encouragement to heart patients, their families and caregivers.



Be a questioning patient. Talk to your doctor and ask questions. Studies show that patients who ask the most questions, and are most assertive, get the best results. Be vigilant and speak up!"

- Charles Inlander, People's Medical Society


It's your there.

. .

WebMD/WebMD forums does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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