Baptist Health Paducah: Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection
Cardiologist Michael Faulkner describes how he can treat S.C.A.D., or spontaneous coronary artery dissection, to restore blood flow, preventing heart attack or stroke.
Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection Health Talks Transcript
Angela Copeland, Paducah, Kentucky
I was having chest pain, pain radiating down my arm. At first, I thought I was just having heartburn, but it got worse throughout the day. I would be out of breath walking 10 feet. I knew something was wrong, and we had to find out what it was.
Michael Faulkner, MD, Cardiology
Her chest pain continued to get worse over a period of a few days or weeks. At this point, I considered this to be a condition called unstable angina. And at that point, I thought it was best to do a cardiac catheterization whereby we can see the arteries and see what’s going on with the arteries.
It’s called SCAD, and it’s a spontaneous coronary artery dissection. In one of my arteries that is kind of low in the heart, instead of it coming together, it dissects. You have symptoms like you’re having a heart attack, and if he had not found it, I probably would have had a heart attack or a stroke.
In this particular case, I was able to pass a small wire down to the area of dissection, and at this point, the wire, where it enters is the main key. Once the wire was in a stable position down further in the artery, all the way at the bottom of the heart, I passed a small balloon down that wire and then started to inflate the balloon in serial inflations down the artery to restore blood flow.
Dr. Faulkner was great. He did save my life, most definitely, and we thank God every day that he was the one who was there for me.
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