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4 Tips on Spotting a Stroke

Posted on in Heart Health

From an interview with Christopher Cunningham, M.D. McLeod Vascular Associates

Surviving a stroke – essentially a heart attack in the brain – requires a fast trip to the Emergency Room and immediate treatment once you arrive. To achieve these two goals, you must be able to spot the signs of a stroke as soon as they appear. McLeod Vascular Surgeon Dr. Christopher Cunningham uses the four-letter word, "F.A.S.T." to help us remember:

Life-Saving Surgery for Stroke Patients

Posted on in Heart Health

From an interview with Christopher Cunningham, M.D. McLeod Vascular Associates

Strokes – when the brain is deprived of blood – come in two essential forms. In one case, a blood vessel in the brain bursts, cutting off blood to the brain and exerting pressure on the brain from the leaking blood. A second type of stroke is caused by blockages building up in the neck’s artery, restricting the flow of blood. McLeod Vascular Surgeon Dr. Christopher Cunningham discusses surgical solutions for the second type of stroke:


From an interview with Christopher Cunningham, M.D. McLeod Vascular Associates

Aneurysm is a medical term for a bulge in a blood vessel. When that bulge occurs in the aorta -- a key artery carrying blood from the heart – it can threaten your life. McLeod Vascular Surgeon Dr. Christopher Cunningham explains surgical treatment to repair the aneurysm. In the video, Dr. Cunningham shows a dramatic before-and-after comparison of a successful surgery on an abdominal aortic aneurysm.

From an interview with Christopher Cunningham, M.D. McLeod Vascular Associates

When your blood pressure is too high, the power of blood rushing like a roaring river can weaken your arteries from the inside. McLeod Vascular Surgeon Dr. Christopher Cunningham explains what can be done when blood rips the inner layers of the artery apart:


From an interview with Christopher Cunningham, M.D McLeod Vascular Associates

Pain comes with aging. But a specific type of back pain warns of an impending disaster – a bulge in one of your body’s key blood vessels, ready to explode. McLeod Vascular Surgeon Dr. Christopher Cunningham describes what to look for:

Hear That Swooshing? Could be a Heart Murmur.

Posted on in Heart Health

From an interview with Alan Blaker, M.D. Pee Dee Cardiology

A heart murmur could be a sign of…nothing. Or… it could be the sign of some more serious underlying problem. McLeod Cardiologist Alan Blaker says if your personal physician hears “swishing” or “swooshing” sound through his stethoscope, you should see a cardiologist promptly.


From an interview with Alan Blaker, M.D. Pee Dee Cardiology

Cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons play different and equally important roles in the care of a patient with Heart Disease, as McLeod Cardiologist Alan Blaker explains: Cardiologists will generally handle the diagnosis and medical treatment or nonsurgical procedures like balloon angioplasty, coronary stents, ablation procedures or devices like pacemakers or defibrillators. Cardiothoracic surgeons will handle bypass surgery and surgical valve replacement procedures. After surgery the patient will usually follow up with a cardiologist long term once released by the surgeon. Some newer procedures actually involve the talents of both cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgery such as TAVR or percutaneous valve replacement procedures. 


From an interview with Alan Blaker, M.D. Pee Dee Cardiology

Stenosis, from the Greek meaning “narrowing.”  Leaking, from the plumbing, meaning “drippy” or “to escape.” These terms refer to problems that can arise with your heart valves.  McLeod Cardiologist Alan Blaker offers some insight into faulty heart valves:


From an interview with Scot Schultz, M.D. McLeod Cardiothoracic Surgical Associates

McLeod Cardiothoracic Surgeon Dr. Scot Schultz has successfully treated thousands of heart patients with Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting.  However, Dr. Schultz cautions that – after surgical repair – it’s the patient’s responsibility to avoid another surgery:


From an interview with Scot Schultz, M.D. McLeod Cardiothoracic Surgical Associates

Heart Bypass Surgery: It means your life has changed.  But following recovery from a Coronary Artery Bypass Graft procedure, most of your normal activities can become part of your life again. McLeod Cardiothoracic Surgeon Dr. Scot Schultz offers an overview of the bypass procedure and its recovery process.

Coronary Artery Bypass Graft. Time for Yours?

Posted on in Heart Health

From an interview with Dr. Scot Schultz McLeod Cardiothoracic Surgical Associates

Surgically bypassing clogged arteries is one of the most common heart procedures.  A person rushed to the hospital for a heart attack is one of the most likely patients of the heart bypass. McLeod Cardiothoracic Surgeon Dr. Scot Schultz discusses who may need a bypass BEFORE the heart attack strikes. 


From an interview with Scot Schultz, M.D. McLeod Cardiothoracic Surgical Associates

Bypassing blocked arteries near the heart has been a successful surgical procedure since the 1960s.  A small number of cardiothoracic surgeons are using a technique that, in appropriate patients, can result in lower risks from side effects of the surgery. McLeod Cardiothoracic Surgeon Scot Schultz explains the two major types of coronary artery bypass surgeries:


From a presentation by Nathan Almeida, MD, FACC, FACP Pee Dee Cardiology

Eating Right is one of the easiest ways to reduce your risk of heart disease. McLeod Cardiologist Nathan Almeida, M.D. describes a simple way make sure your plate has the right mixture of various foods.


From a presentation by Nathan Almeida, MD, FACC, FACP Pee Dee Cardiology

Age, Gender, Heredity.  These account for 20 percent of the heart disease that you CANNOT control. Don’t feel helpless, though.  The list of risk factors for heart disease and stroke that can be changed by your individual choices and actions are: 

If You Are Having a Heart Attack…!

Posted on in Heart Health

From a presentation by Nathan Almeida, MD, FACC, FACP Pee Dee Cardiology

If you think you’re having a heart attack, STOP READING and CALL 911. However, if you  have heart problems or know someone who does, learn the signs and know what to do. Here is a list of heart attack signs and symptoms:

Women, Stroke Risks and Pregnancy

Posted on in Heart Health

Medically Reviewed by Timothy Hagen, DO

New guidelines on managing stroke risk in pregnant women have sparked a minor controversy between the American Heart Association and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.  One very positive outcome of this skirmish is greater awareness among women about their unique risks and symptoms for stroke.

What Happens After A Heart Attack

Posted on in Heart Health

Medically reviewed by Anil Om, MD

What You Want to Know. If you’re reading this, it’s likely you or a relative recently had a heart attack. We are going to discuss what to expect after that rush to the hospital, treatment and stabilization.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Anil Om

One half of African-American women will die of heart disease or stroke.

Medically reviewed by Rajesh Malik, MD

Flutter.  Fibrillation. Tachycardia.

Medically reviewed by Alan Blaker, MD

“The heart and blood vessels comprise an extraordinarily complex system,” says McLeod Cardiologist Alan Blaker, MD.  “As a result, a large team of very focused specialists stands ready to diagnosis and treat cardiovascular issues. There are so many specialties, a patient can be confused.” Here’s a quick overview of some of the specialists you may see and a description of their role:

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