How TAVR has changed patient recovery for those with aortic stenosis

For a doctor, the hardest conversation you ever have with patients is when you have to tell them, “No, there’s nothing I can do for you.” I went into medicine to make folks better. When you can’t do that, it’s like admitting your own fallibility. You feel you’ve hit a brick wall. Until just a … Continue reading How TAVR has changed patient recovery for those with aortic stenosis

Addressing the growing demand for viable heart donations

As the Baby Boomer population is aging, we are facing a growing demand for lifesaving organ donations worldwide. It is estimated that by 2030, there will be 10 million people in the U.S. alone with advanced heart failure. Because hearts are one of several organs in short supply, physicians are increasingly turning to alternative measures … Continue reading Addressing the growing demand for viable heart donations

23-year-old faces congestive heart failure post-pregnancy

Three-month-old Layci is the picture of a happy baby — smiling at everyone, cooing and very aware of her surroundings. Her mom, 23-year-old Brianna Harris, looks like many happy young women with a new healthy baby girl. Pictures can fool you, though. In spite of those smiles, Brianna is a congestive heart failure patient at Baylor Scott … Continue reading 23-year-old faces congestive heart failure post-pregnancy

Lipoprotein(a), genetic heart condition, increases risk of heart attack

Like many things we see in medicine, it just didn’t seem fair. Heart-wise, my patient seemed to have done everything right: good diet, plenty of exercise, ideal weight and no smoking. Yet, at a young age, he had hardening of the arteries, or atherosclerosis, which put him at risk of a heart attack or a … Continue reading Lipoprotein(a), genetic heart condition, increases risk of heart attack

Intolerance to exercise discovered to be blockage in 35-year-old’s heart

At age 35, Adriana Oviedo started to experience an intolerance to any exercise. At times, she would become anxious and feel out of breath just walking to her car. Her chest hurt. Her arm ached, and she felt like she was breathing in cold air, which burned. Her primary care physician prescribed anti-anxiety medication and … Continue reading Intolerance to exercise discovered to be blockage in 35-year-old’s heart

Robotic heart surgery saves the life of teenage athlete

Ever since he can remember, 15-year-old Camden Thrailkill has been passionate about baseball and football. The high school freshman from Denton, Texas spends his days outside of the classroom honing his athletic skills as a member of his school’s football and baseball teams. Year-round, the athlete dedicates endless hours to working out. It’s the never-ending … Continue reading Robotic heart surgery saves the life of teenage athlete

Autoimmune diseases can be a strong predictor of heart disease

I met a patient in the hospital where he was being treated for his coronary disease. I noticed that he had psoriasis, the inflammation and autoimmune disease that manifests itself in skin lesions. “Are you seeing a dermatologist?” I asked the patient. “You really ought to get your psoriasis treated.” “No, it’s not bothering me,” … Continue reading Autoimmune diseases can be a strong predictor of heart disease

72-year-old returns to active life following coronary artery bypass surgery

Danny McCoy is not your average 72-year-old. The retiree who previously worked in recreational property management in Houston completed a half-marathon without any prior training while in his fifties. He lived an active life. Prior to his race, Danny thought it wise to request a stress test through his primary care physician. Now, more than … Continue reading 72-year-old returns to active life following coronary artery bypass surgery

Broken Heart Syndrome: Can you die from a broken heart?

While anyone can face a broken heart, broken heart syndrome (also known as takotsubo cardiomyopathy or stress cardiomyopathy) is a condition almost unique to women between the age of 50-80. The cause of the heart condition is not completely known, but is thought to be triggered by adrenaline which surges in stressful situations. When someone’s … Continue reading Broken Heart Syndrome: Can you die from a broken heart?