At the heart of healing

 

SKIPPING A BEAT

W “You owe it to yourself to go through this procedure. It 
can mean the 
difference between hiding from your life and living your life.” –Mark Bird

                               Bird’s cardiologist told him about catheter ablation, a
                               minimally invasive procedure that stops A-fib and improves
                               quality of life for many people. He was hesitant at first when
                               faced with the prospect of surgery.

 

                               “It was a little unnerving to think about taking a person who is
                               otherwise feeling fine and push them off a cliff, only to save them
                               before they hit the bottom — that’s how I felt,” he said.

 

                               Bird tried taking medications before considering the ablation procedure, but in his case surgery was

                               the best option. Dr. Morris said most people go this route first, but often eventually need surgery
                               when the medication no longer works.

 

                                “You owe it to yourself to go through this procedure,” Bird said. “It can mean the difference
                               between hiding from your life and living your life.”

 

Don’t ignore vascular health

Michael Shugart decided at age 52 that he didn’t want to become another statistic. He was about 25 pounds overweight and had high blood pressure and high cholesterol — all modifiable risk factors for heart disease.

 

Unlike cardiologists and cardiac surgeons, who focus mainly on the arteries within the heart, vascular surgeons deal with circulatory pathways throughout the body.

 

The two main types of artery damage vascular specialists see are plaque buildup, which creates blockages, and aneurysms, which can cause catastrophic ruptures. Treatments range from lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, losing weight, exercising and managing diabetes, to starting a prescription drug regimen or having surgery for more severe cases.

 

 

Mark Bird

Norton Healthcare • P.O. Box 35070 • Louisville, KY 40232-5070 • NortonHealthcare.com