Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
In most cases, spontaneous coronary artery dissection is an emergency situation. If you experience chest pain or suspect you're having a heart attack, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number.
In the days after your initial diagnosis, you're likely to have many questions about your situation. Because meetings with doctors can be brief, and because there's often a lot of ground to cover, it's a good idea to prepare by writing down your questions. Order them from most important to least important, in case time runs out.
Some questions you may want to ask include:
- What caused my spontaneous coronary artery dissection?
- What are other possible causes for my symptoms or condition?
- What kinds of tests do I need?
- What's the best treatment?
- Will the tear in my artery heal on its own?
- What are the alternatives to the primary approach that you're suggesting?
- Will I have another spontaneous coronary artery dissection?
- I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
- Are there any restrictions that I need to follow?
- If I would like more children, is it safe for me to be pregnant?
- Should I see a specialist? What will that cost, and will my insurance cover it?
- Are there brochures or other printed material that I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?
In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask other questions that occur to you.
- Tweet SM, et al. Clinical features, management and prognosis of spontaneous coronary artery dissection. Circulation. 2012;126:579.
- Vrints CJM. Spontaneous coronary artery dissection. Heart. 2010;806:91.
- Alfonso F, et al. Spontaneous coronary artery dissection: Long-term follow-up of a large series of patients prospectively managed with a "conservative" therapeutic strategy. JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions. 2012;5:1062.
- Glamore MJ, et al. Spontaneous coronary artery dissection. Journal of Cardiac Surgery. 2012;27:56.
- Ito H, et al. Presentation and therapy of spontaneous coronary artery dissection and comparisons of postpartum versus nonpostpartum cases. American Journal of Cardiology. 2011;107:1590.
- Don't take a chance with a heart attack: Know the facts and act fast. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/mi/heart_attack_fs_en.htm. Accessed Jan. 11, 2013.
- NINDS Fibromuscular dysplasia information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/fibromuscular_dysplasia/fibromuscular_dysplasia.htm. Accessed Jan. 10, 2013.
- What is coronary angiography? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/ca. Accessed Jan. 11, 2013.
- What is a stent? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/stents. Accessed Jan. 14, 2013.
- What is coronary artery bypass grafting? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/cabg. Accessed Jan. 14, 2013.
- Coping with feelings. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/CardiacRehab/Coping-with-Feelings_UCM_307092_Article.jsp. Accessed Jan. 14, 2013.
- Hayes SN (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 17, 2013.
- What is cardiac rehabilitation? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/rehab. Accessed Jan. 21, 2013.