|Heart patient dancing again
Samantha “Sam” Martin had tried for years to improve her heart health, but to no avail. “I’d already lost 25 pounds and tried a number of medications for my high blood pressure and high cholesterol,” explains Sam, a systems analyst at Belden in Richmond. “My doctor recommended the Heart CT Scan at Reid, and that seemed like a good next step to figure out what was going on.”
Sam underwent the painless, 15-minute procedure just before Thanksgiving 2010. Despite having no outward symptoms of heart disease, such as chest pain or shortness of breath, the results were not good. She had significant calcium buildup in her heart’s arteries, indicating the presence or risk of heart disease. Sam’s physician, Dr. Howard Deitsch, sent her back to Reid for an electrocardiogram and stress test. “I flunked both of them!” she says.
A few days later, a heart catheterization procedure detected significant blockages in Sam’s arteries. Immediately afterward, she met with Dr. E. Paul Howanitz, chief cardiothoracic surgeon at Reid. “Dr. Howanitz said I was at high risk for a major heart attack and recommended I have bypass surgery as soon as possible,” Sam recalls. “I was so shocked, I couldn’t fully absorb what he was saying. I asked him if I could think about it, but I knew I didn’t have a choice. I needed to have that surgery.”
Following the successful quadruple bypass, Sam underwent 12 weeks of cardiac rehab at Reid and is feeling good. She has since returned to work — and to the dance floor.
“A few of my friends seemed surprised that I was having my bypass surgery at Reid,” Sam says. “I said, why would I want to drive to Indianapolis when we have one of the best cardiac centers around? Dr. Howanitz was wonderful, and everyone at Reid was very gracious and kind. There was never any question that I’d go to Reid.”
Life-saving heart scan
The Reid heart scan costs just $49 and takes only about 15 minutes. Called “CT scoring,” the scan can spot calcium buildup in the arteries, which can be a sign of heart disease.
Thousands of area residents have chosen this screening, with numerous examples of signs of disease being found and life-saving steps being taken as a result.
Anyone with a family history of heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity or with diabetes should consider this screening. It is not appropriate for anyone who has had heart surgery or stent placement.
A high score can indicate a higher chance of problems and may leads to additional testing such as stress tests or heart catheterization.
The procedure is quick and painless, and does not require changing out of street clothes. The report is sent to your doctor.
A scan can be scheduled by calling Reid Central Scheduling, (765) 983-3358.
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