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Ask Dr. Chip Your Own Question
Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 30699
Experience:  Over 20 yrs of Family Practice
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Hi Dr, I have a 100% blockage in my right coronary artey.

Customer Question

Hi Dr,

I have a 100% blockage in my right coronary artey. I was uninsured and deep in debt so I did not go to the hospital until my brother saw me exactly 3 1/2 days later. One blunt nurse said "The right side of your heart is black, it's dead, and it will never work again." It's been about three years since the attack, and I've had my ups and downs. Now I feel like I have abdominal edema. I am fatigued and unable to do as much as I could a short time ago. I don't have any signs of edema anywhere else, so the two doctors I have seen say that it's not abdominal edema. Is it possible that I do have it? My stomach is very distended but tight, kind of like someone who is extremly malnourished. My belly button is also distended. My chest, on the other hand is clearly getting flabby.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 4 years ago.
Hi--have you had a ct scan of your abdomen?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No. I didn't think about the possibility of abdominal edema until after I saw my PCP about two months ago. I brought it up today when I saw a psychiatrist for a scrip refill today and he said it wasn't a possibility. He said there would be other signs of edema first. However, he also said it wasn't possible to have a 100% blocked artery and be alive, but I do have a 100% blockage and I am alive.


In my condition, is abdominal edema a possibility without other signs and how should I approach my doctors to broach the possibilty. I don't think the condition is new, and they haven't considered it up to now.

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 4 years ago.
Just to clarify here--your abdomen is obviously distended--as though you were pregnant (I realize you're a male)?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Pretty much. It reminds me of pictures I used to see of malnourished children with skinny bodies but distended bellies and belly buttons. They might look about the same, but I haven't seen many pregnant women's bellies without clothing.

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 4 years ago.
OK--what have your bowel movements been like and have you had your liver functions checked?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

My bowel movements are more liquidy than usual. The last lab report (six months ago) didn't give my cardiologist or my PCP any reason to think there were any liver problems or any new problems of any kind.

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 4 years ago.
OK. This isn't cardiac and it sounds as though you may have a blockage in your colon--a partial impaction--that's causing the distension. Of course, there is the possibility of an abdominal tumor, but that isn't very likely. You need the ct of the abdomen and colonoscopy to determine exactly what's going on here.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I'm sorry Dr. Chip,


I appreciate your quick and thorough responses, but I still think it's related to my heart. Also, they said they won't do a colonoscopy on someone with such a severe heart condition.


Thankyou. I think we can stop here.

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 4 years ago.
Well, all I can tell you is that cardiac conditions don't cause abdominal distension--leg edema, yes, but not your problem. At least a ct of the abdomen or a barium enema would check for colon problems and tumors.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Dr. Chip,


After I asked you the question, I found out that right heart failure can cause ascitis.


I will ask my PCP about a ct of the abdomen or a barium enema.


Thankyou again.


Andy Chambers

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 4 years ago.
Well, I considered ascites but heart failure, to cause ascites, requires liver congestion and elevation of liver enzymes which you seemed to indicate was not the case. Let me know what happens