Peripheral artery disease, peripheral artery disease support
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Preparing for Open Heart Surgery | A Patient's Candid Journey


· Heart of Innovation

Show Notes:

Douglas is on deck for open heart surgery and decided to join the show just minutes before air time to inspire others through sharing his courageous journey. He heard that Dr. Mehrzad Zarghouni, Interventional Radiologist with Houston Vein and Vascular, was going to be on the show as guest co-host since Dr. John Phillips was on call and taking care of an urgent heart patient at Ohio Health. So, he popped on just before our producer Aikman did the final countdown. Why? Douglas wanted to thank Dr. Z, who was named U.S. Vascular Doctor of the Year 2022 by advocacy nonprofit The Way To My Heart Inc, for saving his life. Douglas had shown up to see Dr. Z a few months ago for a procedure to unblock arteries in his legs because of a disease known as Peripheral Artery Disease, which is defined by plaque build-up in mainly the leg arteries which restricts blood flow, causing debilitating pain.

The way Dr. Z described the situation, Douglas seemed off that morning and was complaining of fatigue and chest pain. Dr. Z canceled the procedure and sent Douglas immediately to the emergency department and called a friend , an Interventional Cardiologist, who was on call that day to urgently assess him and who was able to get diagnosed and stabilized.

Douglas has a rare ailment known as apical hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which is when the walls of the heart become thicker than they should be and this excessive thickening can cause the heart to become more stiff and leaves less room for blood to fill the heart.

Douglas is now on deck for open heart surgery next week to improve his prognosis.

During the show Douglas was able to ask our guest panel questions to ease his fears about the procedure and what to expect post-procedure. The Way To My Heart Nurse Practitioner Kay Smith was able to provide an in-depth explanation of Douglas' situation. Nurse Practitioner/CRNA Kathryn Walker, a former cardiac anesthesiologist, who's also CEO of Revitalist, a group of mental wellness treatment centers, walked Douglas step-by-step through what to expect from the moment he's wheeled down to the operating room clear through recovery. Dietitian Melissa Hooper, MS, RDN ( answered Douglas' questions about how to improve his nutritional health following open heart surgery including cutting cholesterol, animal fats, and processed foods out of his diet.

Also, in the show's Save My Piggies segment, Dr. John Corl, Interventional Cardiologist with Christ Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio is joined by his patient Marcia to talk about how the right doctor and "modern medicine" changed her life and made her "new" again. Marcia discusses how she was able to push through the pain associated with blocked arteries in her legs, known as peripheral artery disease, to help re-route blood flow through the body’s network of collateral vessels that lay dormant until you need them to improve circulation. This collateral network kept her legs alive until she was able to find Dr. Corl through The Way To My Heart, and he was able to clear multiple severe blockages in her upper thighs and lower abdominal region. She now walks more than 10,000 steps daily.