Vim & Vigor - Spring 2010 - North Mississippi - (Page 54)

history L ast summer, 65-year-old Frank York of Columbus made history by becoming the first patient in this region to receive a carotid artery stent to fix a clogged artery in his neck. Carotid artery stents are a new alternative for treating high-risk patients with carotid artery disease, a condition caused when plaque builds up and reduces blood flow in the carotid arteries—the arteries on each side of the neck that extend from the aorta to the base of the skull. Blood clots can form and block the blood flow to the brain, causing a stroke. “A blockage of more than 60 percent in the carotid artery increases your risk for stroke, and a blockage of 80 percent or more significantly increases your risk,” explains Amit Gupta, M.D., a cardiologist on the medical staff of North Mississippi Medical Center’s Heart Institute. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved carotid artery stents for high-risk patients several years ago after clinical trials proved the stents were at least equivalent to the gold standard of treatment, carotid endarterectomy, a common NMMC heart advancements now include first carotid artery stents lesson vascular surgery to remove the plaque. NMMC is the only hospital in north Mississippi where the new stenting procedure is performed. ❋ who qualifies? Carotid endarterectomy is considered too high risk for some patients, Gupta explains, including those who have had a recent heart attack, severe coronary artery disease, extensive radiation to the neck for cancer treatment, previous neck surgery, tracheostomy, congestive heart failure and previous carotid surgery, and those awaiting urgent coronary bypass surgery. “Carotid stenting may also be chosen if the blockage is located extremely high in the artery and the surgeon could not reach it with surgery,” he says. York met two of the criteria—a recent heart attack plus severe coronary artery disease. “I had not been feeling very well, so I went to see Dr. [Andrew] Wartak, my regular doctor, in West Point that morning,” York says. “He examined me but nothing was going on then so he didn’t find anything. My wife and I drove back to Columbus and as soon as I got out of the car, I fell to my knees in the driveway.” York’s wife, Bonnie, immediately turned the car around and headed back to West Point, this time to the hospital’s Emergency Department. “They deterCarotid stenting opens the artery and keeps blood flowing, but mined I had a heart attack, put me in an ambulance it does not stop plaque from building up. Here are some tips to and sent me to Tupelo,” he says. “The strange thing is prevent hardening of the arteries from occurring again: I never had any chest pain. I was weak and couldn’t • Eat more foods low in saturated fat, cholesterol and calories stand up, but it never hurt.” • Exercise regularly, especially aerobic exercises such as walking Doctors at NMMC in Tupelo discovered that in addition to his heart attack, York had also suffered • Maintain your ideal body weight a stroke that day as well as one about six months • Quit smoking earlier. He had undergone heart bypass and valve • Follow your physician’s recommendations for medications to replacement surgery in 1994 after his first heart control cholesterol and to thin the blood attack at age 50. This time a cardiac stent was enough to correct the blockage to his heart. go with the flow vim & vigor • sp rin g 2 010

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vim & Vigor - Spring 2010 - North Mississippi

Vim & Vigor - Spring 2010- North Mississippi
Opening Thoughts
Weight-loss Success Stories
Come See Us
Hit the Links
Excuses, Excuses
Easing the Pressure
Prostate Predicament
On Mended Knees
Imaging IQ
Will Power
Caregiving: A Survival Guide
Form Factors
Wake-Up Call
Stroke of Luck
Weight Matters
History Lesson
Catch the Spirit

Vim & Vigor - Spring 2010 - North Mississippi