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From: Debbie (
Subject:         Husband with 100% blocked RCA and Collaterals
Date: November 30, 2012 at 12:45 pm PST

Dear Dr. Pickney,

I read your inspiring story, and I am so encouraged.
Yesterday I played too many negative scenarios out in my
mind, but reading your story, helped me to dismiss them
since we have been on a low-fat plant based diet for
sometime now, and already seeing some benefits.

My 49 year-old husband had chest pains two months ago and I
encouraged him to go see a cardiologist. He ended up with an
angiogram where he was found to have 99% blockage in the LCX
artery, which was stented with a drug eluting stent.

He was also found to have a 100% blocked RCA, but he has
developed collaterals. They are helping but he still has
chest pain on brisk walking, about a level 4.

He is due to have the RCA stented this Monday by two
interventionalists. We have been told by this surgeon that
he has a 85% success rate.

We have been following Dr. Esselstyn's diet 100% since
August and his cholesterol is now down to 145.

Currently, I'm scurrying around to gain as much information
as I can before Monday, because if they fail to break
through the blockage, we will then be left to decide on a
bypass, which would be done a week later.

Dr. Esselstyn called us, and talked over diet with us and
encouraged us to go see him in Ohio, which we plan to do,
but timing right now is difficult with the procedure, and on
his last seminar date he was advised by cardiac rehab to
stay home.

I wish I had the confidence in the diet and the knowledge
base that you, Dr. McDougall, Esselstyn, Ornish, etc. have
to make a good decision on the potential bypass.

I don't know at this point how strong his collaterals are,
if they have been called upon to help him out for a long
time, or if they have just recently developed. I have read
that in time they could become stronger, if they are newly
developed, and if that were the case, we would probably
avoid the bypass, knowing the potential for improvement.

My guess is they recently developed since his symptoms
started in July, and that they may have potential of
becoming stronger, but I am worried about what the lesser
amount of blood flow he is having right now may be doing to
his heart on a daily basis, even though he is following the
low-fat plant based diet 100%.

I can say I'm not worried about him having a heart attack
because his cholesterol is below 150 (and this number was
taken before he was put on statin drugs) and he is doing the
diet 100%. He also knows to back off of the exertion when
he has pain.

I plan to pick the surgeon's brain when we consult on
Monday to see if he knows if they are preventing any damage
to my husband's heart at this point.

Are you able to tell me if there is any hope of the
collaterals getting stronger with the low-fat plant based
diet and exercise, and is there any hope of the total
occlusion reversing? If there is, I'm pretty sure we would
try to avoid the bypass because he is so young and bypass is
so invasive.

He is 100% committed to the lifestyle change.

Any insight you or anyone on this board can give will very
much appreciated.

Thank you,


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