I don't have it in for all cardiologists. But I think the examples I've stated are symptomatic of the health care industry in the US. What my real complaint is about is having the same tests at the same facility and having two doctors both completely mis-diagnose the problem. If I were looking for a common area, I'd look at the testing procedures. For one thing, the "X-Ray" lab (where they do the nuclear medicine scan) is at the other end of the hospital from the area where the patients are treated. And the procedure is to have the patient prepped, then walk from one area to the other. This brings questions to my mind about the amount of contrast media that remains in the circulatory system by the time the patient walls a half-mile, then has to wait for 40 minutes before the testing is done. I think the breatkdown is in this area...as well as the doctors' absolute faith in the results of the testing.
I looked high and low for a web site to send you to that refers to the procedure that (the last time I checked, 3 weeks ago) was being performed in Europe. It's like a mini-Roto-Rooter that cuts plaque buildup from arteries that are too small to be treated with angioplasty or stentation. I thought the name of the company was SilverThorne or something like that, but I've just about worn out Google trying to find it. I'll keep lookin.
When I referred to Chemo, I meant the chemical treatment for cancer...with all its unpleasant side-effects, such as hair loss and digestive ailments. I'm just on a pretty aggressive dose of medication for the BP and cholesterol...and some for the angina.
I've heard that spontaneous collateral revascularization can occur...the only problem is getting the patient to live long enough for it to happen.
I feel pretty fortunalte in that I've found a cardiologist who WAS involved with the facility where I had the testing done previously...and left to go into practice for himself. He didn't exactly see things eye-to-eye with the first facility and their (as he put it) "required level of mediocrity." So I think that in my case, at least, he's gone out of his way to prove them wrong. This has been to my benefit.
However, when you start mixing poor medical practices with competing healthcare companies or clinics, it just compounds the problems.
As far as "stress echo" and "nuclear cardiolite" tests, I've heard them used interchangeably. One way to know for sure: if you had a sonogram test where they rubbed the sound transducer against your left side, then it was an echocardiogram. If they had you walk on a treadmill, then inject cardiolite and then you got to lie down in a rather large machine that rotated plates around your body...sorta like an MRI...then it was a nuclear cardiolite test.
Frankly, my experiences with both tests have shown that there are ambiguities to each and that the results are still subject to interpretation by the cardiologist. In my case, the 3rd doctor stated to me (and maybe he shouldn't have done so...but he did) that the 2nd doctor completely mis-read the echocardiogram that was done.
I don't go so far as to say that everyone should have an angiogram in each case. But when the symptoms are there, and the other tests come back with indeterminate results, then I'd think it would be time to check further, rather than send the patient home and tell them there's nothing wrong. Hell, if there wasn't anything wrong, we wouldn't have been there in the first place.
I'm goin back to bed. Best wishes and nite-nite.