Tag Archives: Dr. Zipes

Extra Heart Beats (PVCs)

Extra Heart Beats (PVCs)

To Carol in Florida: Premature ventricular complexes (PVCs) are extra heart beats coming early from the bottom chambers of the heart, the ventricles. In people with normal hearts, they are annoying but of no significance and do not cause sudden death, heart attacks, or strokes. I spend a lot of time reassuring patients they have […] ... More
Dental Cleaning and Heart Health

Dental Cleaning and Heart Health

Dear Dr. SerVaas, I have mitral valve prolapse, and my dentist said it’s no longer necessary to take an antibiotic before I have my teeth cleaned. But I read that Bobby Darin died at 37 after having his teeth cleaned. Should I insist on taking an antibiotic before teeth cleaning? Dee Post cardiology consultant Dr. […] ... More
Pacemaker Safety

Pacemaker Safety

To Eloise in Colorado: There is no known risk to your pacemaker or you when using a heating pad that is in good working condition and applied as intended. ... More
Best to Check

Best to Check

To Nancy in Michigan: Blood pressure can vary, and it would be just a guess for me to know why it went up when you had a feeling of indigestion. Most likely it will be of no concern as long as all of the other recordings are normal, but I would recommend that you definitely […] ... More
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
Review the Options

Review the Options

A cardiac catheterization revealed that one artery is blocked and two others are partially closed. I was told that nothing could be done because of my age. Could you enlighten me on what I could do? I concur that exercise and diet will not help at this point. But I am not certain why the […] ... More
Rid Audible Heartbeat

Rid Audible Heartbeat

Regarding the lady who could hear her heartbeat in her ear upon reclining: I know exactly what she means, and it’s nasty! Lucky for me, I had a chiropractor appointment the second day after I woke up with the condition. The chiropractor adjusted my neck (for me, C3) and I was rid of the condition. […] ... 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
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
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
Systolic Hypertension

Systolic Hypertension

I’m diabetic and have systolic hypertension. My blood pressure runs 115/120 in the morning and 120/170 in the evening. I’ve included a list of the medicines I have tried. Is there anything in the pipeline for my condition? You have certainly been through a bunch of medications, but there are others you have not tried. […] ... 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
Therapies for Systolic Hypertension

Therapies for Systolic Hypertension

Dear Dr. SerVaas, I’m diabetic and have systolic hypertension. My systolic pressure runs from 115 to 120 in the morning and 120 to 170 in the evening. I’ve included a list of the medicines I have tried. Is there anything in the pipeline for my condition? Hal Post cardiology consultant Dr. Douglas Zipes replies: “You […] ... 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
Rapid Heartbeat Problem May Be Curable

Rapid Heartbeat Problem May Be Curable

Q: How serious is SVT? I have had it for 45 years and am now taking verapamil. For years I took Lanoxin. I see a cardiologist once a year. What advice can you give me to remain in stable condition? A: Leading cardiologist Dr. Douglas Zipes replies: Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) is a general term indicating […] ... More
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