Preparing for your appointment

In most cases, spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) 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 to discuss, 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 (SCAD)?
  • What are other possible causes for my symptoms or condition?
  • What kinds of tests do I need?
  • What's the most appropriate treatment?
  • Will the tear in my artery heal on its own?
  • What are the alternatives to the primary approach that you're suggesting?
  • What is my risk of having another spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD)?
  • Do I have abnormalities of other blood vessels, such as fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD)?
  • 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.

Sept. 14, 2016
References
  1. Douglas PS, et al. Spontaneous coronary artery dissection. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 29, 2016.
  2. Hayes SN. Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD): New insights into this not-so-rare condition. Texas Heart Institute Journal. 2014;41:295.
  3. Yip A, et al. Spontaneous coronary artery dissection: A review. Cardiovascular Diagnosis and Therapy. 2015;5:37.
  4. Saw J, et al. Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD). Circulation. 2015;131:e3.
  5. Goel K, et al. Familial spontaneous coronary artery dissection: Evidence for genetic susceptibility. JAMA Internal Medicine. 2015;175:821.
  6. Tweet MS, et al. Multimodality imaging for spontaneous coronary artery dissection in women. JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging. 2016;9:436.
  7. Warning signs of a heart attack. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartAttack/WarningSignsofaHeartAttack/Warning-Signs-of-a-Heart-Attack_UCM_002039_Article.jsp#.VyzuN9j2bIU. Accessed May 6, 2016.
  8. NINDS fibromuscular dysplasia information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/fibromuscular_dysplasia/fibromuscular_dyspldysp.htm. Accessed April 29, 2016.
  9. What is coronary angiography? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/ca. Accessed April 29, 2016.
  10. What is cardiac CT? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/ct. Accessed April 29, 2016.
  11. What is a stent? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/stents. Accessed April 29, 2016.
  12. What is coronary artery bypass grafting? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/cabg. Accessed April 29, 2016.
  13. What is cardiac rehabilitation? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/rehab. Accessed April 29, 2016.
  14. Getting support. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Caregiver/ReachOut/GettingSupport/Getting-Support_UCM_301847_Article.jsp#.VyzxLNj2bIU. Accessed May 5, 2016.
  15. Your guide to living well with heart disease. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/resources/heart/living-with-heart-disease-html. Accessed May 5, 2016.
  16. Barbara Woodward Lips Patient Education Center. Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD). Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2015.
  17. AskMayoExpert. Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD): Chronic treatment. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2015.
  18. AskMayoExpert. Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD): Long-term follow-up. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2015.
  19. AskMayoExpert. Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD): Pregnancy and contraception precautions. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2015.
  20. Riggin EA. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 9, 2016.
  21. Hayes SN (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 23, 2016.