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Why No Cardiology Followup?
mvcasanohava posted:
I am a 76 Year old wma. 12 years ago had a single stent heart implant. Two years ago I had a double CABG (bypass). Got 4+ staph from surgery. 2 1/2 months in hospital, 2 more surgeries. I was not offered or asked to have any routine or special followup to Cardiology since! I have asked about followups but was told only if I "am having symptoms". Is this 'normal' and a medical standard? I am a patient of and getting my med services with a large government agency. Expert opinion would be greatly appreciated!!!
thorned6480 responded:
I was the Unit Secretary on the cardiac unit of a local hospital for over a year, and I know that most of the doctors that I worked with made us schedule follow up appt. for 4-6 weeks, and if not serious they would say a year or if having symptoms to make a follow up appt. I also know that even with a minor procedure like a stress test and minimally invasive Heart cath that they are still seen 2-3 weeks after and some within a week. I would just say that if you feel a need that you should still make an appointment to ease your mind. I hope this helps. Have a great and blessed day!
mvcasanohava replied to thorned6480's response:
Thanks for your response. Much appreciated!!
James Beckerman, MD, FACC responded:
I agree that regular cardiology follow-up seems appropriate, even in the absence of symptoms. Visiting with your doctor is a great opportunity to review medications, address possible side effects, discuss healthy eating, and exercise. And just to see how you're doing!
arvillacares responded:
Sorry to know you've been through so much and hope you are back to at least maintaining a reasonable quality of life. When you mention Staph infection that required 2-1/2 mo. of hospitalization, this confirms you were 'very' sick on top of major kudos to you for having the constitutional ability to come through that. As a younger woman who was hospitalized for Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS-1, similar to your life-threatening systemic blood infection)...I too, was surprised when, at discharge on the third day, there was no reference to any further monitoring. As a result, I thought I had to tough it out and for the next year or so had problems with brain fog, muscular twitches and general malaise, but again, this was after only (per their conclusion) a systemic infection. Thus, at your older age and with dual experience of major heart surgery and acquired infection...there is a concern when the provider resource does not seem interested in following the challenges all the way through recovery. For me, this is a primary failure of the allopathic delivery system because there are far too many who, although past the initial crisis, are not yet metabolically stabilized, let alone healed. That said, it was hopeful to see what thorned6480 confirmed about their hospital and provider policies in so far as building in the follow-up care. So, what's the Bottom Line? I suggest that even if there are no overt symptoms, you could be proactive or act as your own best advocate by calling to initiate follow up appointments on your timeline...albeit, while knowing that if they do not meet the system's Medicare Guidelines (or other third party payer) you might have to pay for them out of pocket. May the very best of health soon be yours.

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