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From an interview with David Bjerken , MD McLeod Vascular Associates Seacoast

Most people know that with a heart problem you turn to a cardiologist or a cardiothoracic surgeon. When do you need someone like McLeod Vascular Specialist David Bjerken, MD? He offers three key medical situations:

From and interview with Rajesh Malik, MD McLeod Cardiology Associates

Stroke prevention takes the form of blood thinners for many people, who are at risk of suffering a serious stroke from blood clots forming in their heart’s left atrial appendage. The thinners prevent blood clots making it to the brain. For a number of reasons, some people cannot or prefer not to use these blood thinners, such as Warfarin. McLeod Electrophysiologist Rajesh Malik, MD is successfully using a new implantable device that helps prevent strokes and eliminates long-term use of blood thinners.

Medically reviewed by Anil Om, MD McLeod Cardiology Associates

At first glance, the headline for this article may seem from the Department of “Research on the Obvious.” However, here are some facts that offer more insight to help you eat foods that will keep your heart healthy.

From an interview with Michael Carmichael, MD McLeod Cardiothoracic Surgical Associates

Worn or leaking heart valves do not cause an emergency that a sudden heart attack does.  When you have a leaking heart valve, you will feel a range of symptoms -- increasing fatigue, swollen feet and shortness of breath. 

Medically reviewed by Cary S. Huber, MD McLeod Cardiothoracic Surgical Associates

A temporary fluttering in the chest.  An extra or skipped beat.  This is something that almost everyone has experienced.  It's usually nothing but could be a sign of something more serious.

From an interview with Amit Pande, MD McLeod Cardiology Associates

Cardiologists use many successful ways to diagnose heart problems – from treadmill stress tests and ultrasound to cardiac catheterizations and angiograms. Yet, McLeod Cardiologist says they are still in search of a successful way to look inside an artery’s walls without making an incision. Dr. Pande calls this the “holy grail” of cardiology:

From an interview with Carmen Piccolo, DO, RPVI McLeod Vascular Associates

At best, varicose veins are unsightly. At worst, they are signs of bad blood circulation back to the heart. Now, there’s an easy, outpatient procedure using “medical superglue” to close down the bad veins and help redirect blood to healthy veins. McLeod Vascular Specialist Carmen Piccolo explain VenaSeal:

From Live-95/Ken Ard with Brian Wall, MD McLeod Cardiology Associates

“About 30% of Americans with high blood pressure don’t even know they have it,” says McLeod Cardiologist Brain Wall, MD. “Just like diabetes, sometimes you don’t know you have it until you actually get checked for it. Some symptoms you could possibly experience include headaches, nosebleeds, lightheadedness, dizziness, flushing sensation or palpitations. All those health issues can be potential signs of high blood pressure.

From a conversation with S. Cary Huber, MD McLeod Cardiothoracic Surgical Associates

Problematic heartbeats caused by electrical misfires can be treated a number of ways – with medication, ablation, as well as with a surgical treatment called MAZE. McLeod Cardiothoracic Surgeon Cary Huber, MD, explains how MAZE is accomplished:

Atrial Fibrillation Overview

Posted on in Heart Health

From an interview with S. Cary Huber, MD McLeod Cardiothoracic Surgical Associates

When your heart beat changes from a normal pattern to one so irregular that it can sound like shoes bouncing around in your dryer, one diagnosis is Atrial Fibrillation. McLeod Cardiothoracic Surgeon Cary Huber, MD, discusses the condition, symptom and possible treatments:

Medically reviewed by Anil Om, MD McLeod Cardiology Associates

Women are twice as likely as men to die from a severe heart attack, according to a Yale University study (April 2016). This difference between heart attack survival in men and women exists worldwide.

From an interview with Carmen Piccolo, DO, RPVI McLeod Vascular Associates

Strokes – when blood to the brain is blocked or when an artery bleeds into the brain – are potentially catastrophic. One specific stroke trigger is from a blockage in the important carotid artery in your neck. McLeod Vascular Specialist Carmen Piccolo, DO, RPVI explains the causes, symptoms and treatments:

From an interview with Alison Smock, MD McLeod Vascular Neurologist

When blood can’t get to your brain it’s called a stroke and can be catastrophic. However, you can cut your risk of stroke. With modern medical developments, your chances of recovery are greatly increased, according to McLeod Hospital Vascular Neurologist Alison Smock, MD:

From an interview with Alison Smock, MD McLeod Vascular Neurologist

The more you know about strokes, the better chance you’ll have to save someone else’s life – or your own. McLeod Hospital Vascular Neurologist Alison Smock, MD explains the various types of strokes and their treatment:

The Months Before OR Minutes after a Stroke

Posted on in Heart Health

From an interview on Good Morning Pee Dee with Gabor Winkler, MD McLeod Vascular Associates

We live in the “stroke belt” of the United States – a region that runs from Texas to South Carolina. This designation isn’t something for which we seek recognition, since it points to the prevalence of risk factors for strokes in our communities.


“There are a large number of risk factors we can control,” says McLeod Vascular Surgeon Gabor Winkler, MD “People with diabetes can work to regulate the disease with diet and exercise. Quit smoking. Smoking is a risk factor you can easily control by quitting”

“High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of strokes,” says Dr. Gabor. “If high blood pressure is a problem, don’t wait to go to the doctor to have your blood pressure measured. Local drugstores sell inexpensive blood pressure monitors. Take your blood pressure at home regularly and keep a diary. Take it with you when you see your doctor or call your doctor if you see a spike in the pressure.”

These important healthy actions taken over a period of months and years can reduce your risk of stroke.


“The initial treatment is very important, because a stroke blocks oxygen to the brain,” says

Dr. Winkler. “The first part of the treatment is to restore the blood flow. Often this is done in the Emergency Department, using a drug called TPA. The body actually produces some of this itself to help break up blood clots.

“So by quickly administering the TPA drug, we can lessen the stroke’s damage and improve chances of a patient’s recovery,” says Dr. Winkler. “Time is the key. In general, TPA should NOT be administered more than 3 hours after the stroke or it might have the opposite effect and damage the brain further.”


“After the patient is stabilized, we seek the actual cause of the stroke,” says Dr. Gabor. “About a quarter of strokes are related to blockages in the artery leading to the brain – the carotid arteries that travel up each side of your neck. We can reduce this risk by either surgically removing the blockage or by placing a stent like a small pipe inside the artery to keep it open.”

To learn more about Strokes and their Treatment, you might find these articles useful:

4 Tips on Spotting a Stroke

Life-Saving Surgery for Stroke Patients

High Blood Pressure – Shortcut to Heart Attack, Stroke

Find a Vascular Surgeon near you.


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:

Medically Reviewed by Timothy Hagen DO May is National Stroke Awareness Month

Stroke is the leading cause of death in the United States, killing on average 1 American every 4 minutes.There are a number of risks that can lead to a stroke. Among those risks are smoking, migraines, high blood pressure, and oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy. Another key risk factor is an irregular heartbeat called Atrial Fibrillation. In addition to heart palpitations, and dizziness, Afib can open the door to a crippling or fatal stroke.  McLeod Neurologist Dr. Timothy Hagen describes the problem.

From Live-95/Ken Ard with Scot C. Schultz, MD McLeod Cardiothoracic Surgical Associates

“Coronary artery bypass surgery is the most common major surgical operation in this country,” says McLeod Cardiothoracic Surgeon Scot C. Schultz, MD. “It is very, very effective in treating patients who have heart disease with fatty plaque clogging their arteries – or what some people call ‘hardening of the arteries.’”

From Live-95/Ken Ard with Michael Carmichael, MD McLeod Cardiothoracic Surgical Associates

“Heart disease is part of growing older,” according to McLeod Cardiothoracic Surgeon Michael Carmichael, MD. “Many of us ignore the signs, because we don’t want to face growing older.”

Treating Peripheral Arterial Disease

Posted on in Heart Health

From an Interview with Eva Rzucidlo, MD McLeod Vascular Associates

Although there are surgical treatments for this disease of blocked arteries in your lower limbs, the most important risk factors involve you – and how you live. McLeod Vascular Specialist Eva Rzucidlo, MD explains the many things that you and a physician can do to improve your quality of life from Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD):

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