SCAD 10 years ago- What does the future hold

I had a SCAD ten years ago after the birth of my third son. I recently joined the Mayo Clinic Study and she directed me to this website. What I am concerned about is the long term prognosis. My cardiologist explained that the dissection has healed, but in the process left scar tissue that is more likely to cause a blockage in the future. Has anyone else heard this or had it happen to them? Also, beyond seeing the cardiologist once a year and taking aspirin, what else should I be doing?

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Welcome Sandi,
You will find this site to be very informative and inspiring. A lot of people going through the same thing. Welcome aboard!

Patty

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Sandi, How does the doctor know that your SCAD has healed and that there is scar tissue in that section of the artery? Have you had another angio other than the original diagnostic one.
I ask because I am aware that angios have a risk factor and can cause a dissection. I would like to know at some point whether my dissection has healed but don't know how to get that info without the risk. Laurie

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Hi Sandi,

Welcome! I don't have any advice for you, but I just wanted to let you know that it's great to have another long-term SCAD survivor with us. Those of you who are several years out from your SCADs give hope to those of us whose SCADs are more recent. :) We're glad you're here.

best wishes,
Laura

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Great to meet you Sandi. Similar to you, I'm 9 years out from postpartum SCAD. There are two women on the board who had theirs in 1995 ... and one in 1986, so long term prognosis seems like it's pretty good, the more of us that we know.

Did you have bypass? I've heard others say that they had scar tissue, but not that it has caused an ongoing problem. Hopefully they will pipe up with their experience.

Katherine

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My cardiologist told me my artery would heal on its own as it was too small to stint. I have not had another angio as I was told it is too risky for me. Is there any other way to tell if and how an artery has healed? I don't have symptoms and my EKG is normal again so they feel it has healed but how it has healed is unknown. Great to hear about another long term survivor. My scad was in September 2011. I have concerns about scar tissue as well. I take aspirin, placing and fish oil as blood thinners. Should be off placid by June.

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I had my SCAD in 1995 5 days post partum, followed by 2 heart attacks and a quad bypass. I had a follow up angiogram 8 years later which showed that my dissected artery (left main) had healed and the 2 bypasses surrounding it had closed as they were not longer needed. I am unaware of any scar tissue on the dissection site. My long term issue is that the scar tissue from my heart attacks keeps my ejection fraction at 40%, and that the 2 grafts surrounding those sites may need to be replaced at some point. I dread the thought of another surgery, but they're doing fine after 17 years, so fingers crossed! I currently take Carvedilol, Lisinopril, Chlorthalidone, and baby aspirin. I think as far as long-term prognosis goes, every case is different depending on the damage done, the treatment performed at the time, and other risk factors and complications. I have finally accepted that even though I was young, healthy, and had clean arteries when I had my SCAD, I forever more have heart disease. I have also learned from this ordeal that even with fabulous doctors, I need to manage my own care and stay on top of my treatment. Best wishes and keep the faith!
Kathy

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I just found out about this site today. I found out yesterday that the Mayo Clinic was doing a research study on SCAD. I had my SCAD in April 2005, 12 days postpartum. I have never known anyone who has been through this too. I don't know how to navigate this site yet but I really want to know more about long-term prognosis. My cardiologist released me a few years ago because I couldn't tolerate any of the medications (including aspirin) and I didn't have any other form of CAD. He just said call if you have any more problems. (My BP would never let me take the ACE inhibitors or Beta-blockers.) I just kind-of feel out in limbo.

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I don't know for sure that the dissection left scar tissue...my cardiologist is just speculating. He also feels that a second angio is a risk, so he has me do a yearly stress test to detect the possibility of plague build up around the dissection site. Hopefully, I can head off any potential problems before they become an issue.

Thanks everyone for all of the comments!

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Well hello ladies, as a new SCAD patient I am greatly relieved to see long term survivors.... it shows there is hope for me yet xx

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Hi Daisy! I just wrote a post to you and wasn't logged in, so it's lost. As you say, even after 9 years! this site can take some getting used to!

I am stumped by your doctors reaction. Does he have you come in annually for a EKG and stress test? I'm guessing you have naturally low blood pressure like most of us. Makes it a challenge.

Very glad you're here. Just play around on the site and you'll find all kinds of cool things. You can search in the "find it" box, and send friend requests by clicking on the pictures.

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It is so comforting to see SCAD survivors so far out from their attacks. My SCADS (post-partum) were in August 2010 and by my 6 month appt my doctor made it sound like they were healed and I just assumed he based that on how the heart normally heals and just took his word since I had no other symptoms and felt well. I was stented for treatment. It would be nice to have a definitive answer about healed arteries but realize that angios are risky for us so I feel okay trusting that they are until I have symptoms.

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You could ask your doc to schedule an echocardiogram. (ultrasound of the heart) It's non-invasive. Also, if you haven't already, you are welcome to join our SCAD support group on facebook and message laurahc for an invite.

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I had a few echos for the first year but none since. I had a EKG recently for gall-bladder surgery but I heard nothing from it. I do have very low BP and EC aspirin caused an ulcer. I am doing well. (I think) I just want to do well as long as possible.

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Marilyn-Ron,

Excuse me for asking, but do you even know what a SCAD is? What are you selling?

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They are selling arginIne and the link is to their own website, shame on you posting here to make money.

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That's pretty heartless, pardon the pun--scamming heart patients. Some people have no honor.

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I see the post has been removed now. Good.

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Collijd,
Please continue to follow up with your cardiologist at least annually. You should have an echo and a stress test done periodically also. After my SCAD 17 years ago, my doctor told me I had heart disease. I didn't want to believe it because I was 36, normal weight, and physically active with clean arteries. Like you, my SCAD was post partum. Now that I'm 53, I realize how important it is for me to take my cholesterol and triglyceride numbers seriously. Because of the permanent damage of my two heart attacks with the SCAD, I need to keep my arteries cleaner and my blood pressure lower than I would without the damage to reduce the stress on my heart. Cholesterol numbers that were fine in my 30s are now creeping up due to heredity. Take care of yourself for your family's sake. They need you to be healthy and strong. Stay active and eat a cardio-healthy diet. Your whole family will benefit. Take care and Happy Mother's Day!!

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Hi again Sandi, and thanks for summing it all up so perfectly, sixcoletti. Your message is key for us to remember as SCAD patients: focusing on our total health is the ultimate goal. I wish I could "like" or bookmark your comment!

Hope everyone is enjoying the day. This is my 9th Mother's Day post SCAD and it's the best one of all!
Katherine

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Hi Sandi,
I had my SCAD in 2006 so 6.5 years ago, and was discharged pretty much one year later. Last month I asked my private cardiologist for a review as I had loads of questions re my life and health now after so long unmonitored.

I had a SCAD in my LAD resulting in 5 stents, which very quickly closed over with scar tissue, leaving me to function on collaterals.
Here's what my Cardio told me:

He said it would be great if everyones heart was arranged like mine in a network of tiny collaterols with no main LAD which could suddenly block up. He did warn me to keep taking statins, not for cholesterol (has always been v low), but for their anti inflamatory effects which are protective/possibly strengthening of the other arteries I still have. He also advised me to keep taking the aspirin, just in case one of my remaining arteries dissected, which is a possibility for all of us. Otherwise he took me off all of my other drugs (ace inhibitor/ beta bocker) and told me to monitor my blood pressure at home. I have low BP and a normal ECG. His message was to watch my cholesterol and blood pressure but otherwise to go away and live!

To be honest at this stage I really felt happy that he gave me permission to stop worrying; I am good to go!
Juliet

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