Left Ventricle systolic function

So I need to have my gallbladder removed. I had to get a nuclear stress test to be cleared for surgery. I failed. The report says my LV systolic function is at 37% . I am going for a pet stress test next week. There was a shadow, due to inflamed bowel blocking the view of things. I know this # isn't good. I have had a pacemaker since 2012, just replaced for the first time in December 2021. I have complete heart block in the left bundle branch. I developed atrial tacycardia during the gen change, and it we t crazy 2x after that until they got it under control by tricking it with my pacer. I have had spells of shortness of breath, by my Dr assumed me I was fine, everything was working as it should. I went to the ER with chest pressure a month ago, hey dismissed me saying it was indigestion and that my heart was ok. This is how I ended up going to the regular doctor and it is my gallbladder. I thought it was me overthinking, as my heart condition can make me anxious. I'm kinda going out of my mind here waiting for this next test and trying to find another doctor for a second opinion as to what to do. I'm only 40. I have a 3 year old daughter. The internet is never helpful when trying to figure out what going on and how I can help myself or inform me of options. My Dr said let's wait to see the next test.... anyone with a similar situation? 



by Lavender - 2022-07-06 22:57:38

Hi there, I am sorry for your pain and worry!

I was diagnosed with left bundle branch block in 2010. They said "no worries." So nothing was done. I was asymptomatic. Then in 2019, I was finally diagnosed as needing my gallbladder removed. It was an easy surgery with just three small holes-one in the belly button where they removed the gallbladder. 

I woke up in the ICU because I had a complete heart block as I was coming out of the anesthesia. My heart recovered from ten beats per minute very gradually. They were watching me and about to do a temporary pacemaker. I already had the sticky patches on my back and chest when I came to. 

I wish that back then they had sent me to an EP to test my electrical system. But no-story of my life-mishaps and Perils of Penelope stuff. 😵‍💫

I was seen by a cardiologist who approved the surgery. I had two echocardiograms, several EKGs and a nuclear stress test. Passed all. 

My sneaky heart went on to flicker off and on for six months prior to my February 2021 pacemaker placement after wearing a thirty day monitor which finally proved that I had ventricular standstill. I kept saying I was fainting and no one could figure it out. 

So the point of my long story is to say that I am glad they're being extra cautious and "test-y" with you. I put up with gallbladder pain for months before they finally removed it. The pain after was minimal. You cannot see on my body anywhere they went in for it. 

It is good that you already have the pacemaker! You're a young mom with a little girl who depends on you-of course you're anxious!

Get through the tests and get rid of that gallbladder. Then enjoy life again! I am wondering if you have a CRT-P type pacemaker?

 I have a faulty AV node. Complete heart block. Hey we have every right to be anxious! Weird scary stuff has happened to us. Post traumatic stress disorder is commonplace after life threatening events shake your world.  I know I am less stressed when I have more information about the situation. Sounds like you're on the path to more knowledge!

The internet can offer conflicting scary information so limit your random searches. Hugs☺️And hang in there!


by JanineL - 2022-07-06 23:07:34

Thanks for your words and making me feel less aloo here. I do not have a CRT Pacer, I am just reading about that now. A bit of relief washed over me reading that this type might help this situation. 



by Lavender - 2022-07-06 23:41:35

I asked because I was told a CRT helps keep things in sync so to speak and was thinking maybe that would help you. Then again, you just had a new pacemaker put in and they chose what would be best in your case. 
I have no medical background but I think the PET stress test will give your docs more info on how to help you. I read this:

What is a cardiac PET stress test? PET stands for positron emission tomography — a kind of diagnostic imaging scan that uses a special dye containing radioactive tracers. A cardiac PET stress test shows if your heart is suffering a reduction in blood flow and if there are any areas of damage or scar tissue.

You are most definitely not alone! There're many of us with heart issues. There's so much they can do to help us these days. 

Don't be afraid, girl. All will be well.

Isaiah 41:13 

For I am the Lord your God  who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging...10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;

God is greater. He gives us the power to live courageously, boldly, fearlessly in this life, when many things that surround us would tell us to be afraid. His truth whispers strong and sure to the deepest core of our spirits.

CRT-P, PET, etc.

by AgentX86 - 2022-07-07 01:30:22

Yes, CRT-Ps are designed to help increase LVEF by improving the synchronization between the left and right ventricles.  It's not always successful but at 37% you're right there where they could try it.  It involves adding a third wire and a new generator but otherwise isn't a big deal.  I have a CRT-P, though for other reasons (never quite figured out why, for sure).

PET scans are really simple.  My wife and I just had them done a couple of weeks ago.  They put an IV into your arm and slide you into this machine that looks like a cross between an MRI and CAT scanner.  FOr the cardiac scan, you go in feet first until your chest is just inside the tube.  Your head isn't anywhere near the "tunnel" so even if your claustrophobic, no big deal. They then take some pictures, inject a radioactive dye, take a few more pictures and you're out of there in 20-30 minutes. The radioactive dye isn't as dangerous as a coast-to-coast airline trip and has a half-life of 70 seconds, so is gone by the time you can tie your shoes. ;-)

I just had my first gaullbladder flare a coule of weeks ago.  A CAT scan showed a bunch of stones (they were there in an X-ray when I had my CABG in 2014).  I may have to do something about it.

You have been through a lot in your young life.  I'm sure you and your daughter are scared (can't hide anything from them).  Do take care and take it one day at a time.  One foot in front of the other is the way you start any journey.


by JanineL - 2022-07-07 13:08:44

So the Dr said my ef was 37, but the only test I have had so far was the nuclear stress test. When I search online, it says the most accurate test to check heart squeeze is an echo. Why is he not sending me for that? I am going to ask for it and try to push for it when I get to see him next, after this test. A friend of mine who is a cardiac nurse practitioner said that my #has to be wrong because it's not an accurate reading of that, the stress test is designed to see blockages. This pet scan will be better pictures yes, but will it be an accurate view of my LV output? I don't know that....


Thank for putting me a little at ease. This all stinks becauseike everyone else, I didn't ask for this or do anything to cause it, just is. That's hard to accept. I just need 20 more years. I need to see her grow up. My mom passed when I was 23. Although I wish I had her longer, I just want to see my girl graduate college and be in the road to her life. I'm a little more positive that there could be a pacer designed to help me if that's what I need. 


by AgentX86 - 2022-07-07 14:00:11

Yes, the echocardiogram is the normal diagnostic for LVEF, probably because it is the cheapest test possible.  I don't have any idea why they haven't done this either.  A PET scan really isn't used to mesure this either but I suppose it could.  It's used more as a finer tool to look at blood flow. Yes, push for the echo.  It's the normal test for this and would at least get consistent (with other people) results to get a meaningful number.

None of us know why.  We all know that it is. Take care of your little girl. You have something to look forward to. Keep looking that direction.

Echo cardiogram

by ROBO Pop - 2022-07-07 16:28:17

Not sure where you saw/heard that an echo was the most accurate, fact is it is the least accurate. Its a quick cheap and dirty test as Maxwell Smart said, but it is highly subjective and 2 people reading the results can have different answers. 


by benedeni - 2022-07-08 17:50:42

Recently I had a nuclear stress test that showed my EF at 30%.  My cardiologist said an echo would be in order and the next week I had the echo and it showed 55%.  Cardiologist said nuclear stress test gave an inaccurate reading, something to do with me having complete heart block in the left bundle branch, same as you, and n.s.t.  not seeing things correctly.  She showed me the echo and it was very clear.  As Agent X86 says, push for echo.  Good Luck!

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