Tag Archives: Cardiovascular Disorders

Peripheral Artery Disease

Peripheral Artery Disease

I am nearly recovered from a mild stroke that my medical reports say was due to peripheral artery disease (PAD). I changed my diet, had physical therapy, and lost weight. I had to stop Lipitor for cholesterol (which is 125) because of nighttime leg cramps. Should I be doing more for my PAD? I have […] ... More
Ablation Helps Flutter, Too

Ablation Helps Flutter, Too

I had ablation of the atrioventricular (AV) node in 2001 that apparently took care of my atrial fibrillation but left me with heart flutter. When I relax in my recliner for a short period of time, I get short of breath and feel very much as I did with atrial fibrillation. When I sit on […] ... More
Artificial Heart Valves

Artificial Heart Valves

How long are porcine aortic valves expected to last? I’m going to subscribe to the magazine because of your answers. Thank you. I am glad you like my column, and that you plan to subscribe to the Post to read it. Thank you. Porcine heart valves (made from pig hearts) have been used to replace […] ... More
Statins and Heart Health

Statins and Heart Health

I’ve read people with heart problems should not use statin drugs. I’m diabetic and on my second pacemaker. Our medical insurance is suggesting that I change from Lipitor to the statin drug simvastatin. Please inform me if this should be done. On the contrary, statins are routinely taken by people with heart problems to lower […] ... More
The Healing Power of Energy

The Healing Power of Energy

Drawing from Eastern and Western therapies, a leading physician explores the role of energy medicine in achieving and maintaining health. I walk past the patient with the mechanical heart to visit his roommate, on whom I performed open-heart surgery earlier in the week. I am surprised to see a woman slowly waving her hands over […] ... More

Neighborhood Heart Watch: Remembering Maggie

Pat O’Malley never thought her athletic 17-year-old daughter would die from sudden cardiac arrest. In fact, she didn’t recognize that Maggie’s life was in danger one night when she found her unresponsive, unconscious, and apparently gasping for breath. Minutes passed before CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) was performed. Pat later learned that gasping, also called agonal breathing, […] ... More
Heart Weak But Stable

Heart Weak But Stable

In 2000, a cardiologist said that I needed a heart transplant due to heart failure. My left ventricle ejection fraction was about 20 percent. I resisted this advice since I felt fine, did not display signs of heart failure, and could ride the exercise bike at least 30 minutes a day with no problems. Since […] ... More
Convoluted Heart Vessels

Convoluted Heart Vessels

My heart catheterization was normal, other than “very tortuous cardiac vessels.” Are you aware of studies showing the cause or consequence of my cardiac vessel condition? Should my offspring or “grands” be tested, and can it be detected without a cardiac cath? Tortuous coronary arteries are usually a normal variant of no concern. Sometimes they […] ... More
Second Ablations Often Succeed

Second Ablations Often Succeed

In 2001, I suddenly had a short in the electrical system of my heart, and this threw me into A-fib. I have had an ablation with a 67 percent cure, and am taking digoxin, Sotalol, and Cartia XT. Why do they say a second ablation usually has an 80 percent or better cure? I am […] ... More
Pacemaker Safety

Pacemaker Safety

Two questions, if you please. I have an Adapta DR pacemaker. May I use an electric adjustable bed with optional head and foot massage? And, will the pulsations of a bath spa harm the pacemaker and a human valve replacement? Thank you kindly. These are excellent questions to also discuss with the doctor who implanted […] ... More
Hallucinations and Heart Surgery

Hallucinations and Heart Surgery

I had coronary bypass surgery late last year and recently have been having visual hallucinations. Can coronary surgery cause this problem? I have not yet consulted my cardiologist about it and would appreciate your opinion. Changes in mentation (mental activity) can occur in a minority of patients after coronary artery bypass surgery. The reason(s) for […] ... More
Leg Swelling

Leg Swelling

I was born with a heart murmur, and it has never really bothered me. At age 76, my family doctor heard the heart skip and referred me to a cardiologist who suggested a cardioversion to give me more pep. It went well. Five hours later, however, my legs began to swell, and it turned into […] ... More
IMT Scan vs. Other Factors

IMT Scan vs. Other Factors

I am active and healthy. Given my family history of heart disease, an IMT scan was recently done. Results include IMT .931 and vascular age 85 (I am 69). Both sides contain plaque. Consequently, my physician has urged me to begin a statin. I am trying to gather information related to using a statin. Any […] ... More
Dodging DNA Destiny

Dodging DNA Destiny

After reading your articles in The Saturday Evening Post, I felt compelled to send you a question about diastolic dysfunction. I’m interested in knowing if a genetic marker has been identified and if a test is available. I have high blood pressure and a strong paternal family history of heart disease. Otherwise, I’m a relatively […] ... More
Heart Valves, Leg Pain, and Exercise

Heart Valves, Leg Pain, and Exercise

In 2004 I had heart failure and surgery to replace a valve and arteries. Will the valve last forever? I am 70 years old. My legs pain a lot when I’m walking on an incline but not when on level ground. I feel sluggish and wonder if it is from heart problems or medicines. How […] ... More
Thinning Blood and Coumadin

Thinning Blood and Coumadin

I was recently hospitalized because my blood was dangerously thin. I was taking Coumadin as prescribed by my doctor. I would appreciate any information and also want to know if Bufferin or aspirin do thin the blood. Coumadin (trade name warfarin) “thins” the blood by interfering with its normal clotting processes. This action is important […] ... More
Question (and Answer) About Extra Heartbeats

Question (and Answer) About Extra Heartbeats

Q: I am an 83-year-old great-grandmother and was diagnosed with benign premature ventricular contractions 40 years ago. I’ve been asymptomatic all these years. My question is this: Have you encountered this particular arrhythmia in your study of electrophysiology? A: Leading cardiologist Dr. Douglas Zipes replies: Premature ventricular contractions are extra heartbeats coming from the bottom […] ... More