Live Doctor Chats

Your Aching Legs: Minimizing Varicose Vein Pain and When It’s Time to Consider Treatment

vv2-calloutThough they may not be preventable, there are ways to reduce the likelihood that you will develop varicose veins. If you already have them, treatment can almost always be performed in the office with minimally invasive techniques with very little discomfort or down time.

Join us Tuesday, September 8, at 12:00 p.m. for a live, interactive web chat about “Your Aching Legs: Minimizing Varicose Vein Pain and When It’s Time to Consider Treatment”.

Dr. Rheudasil will be available to answer questions and discuss various topics about varicose vein pain prevention and treatment options. During this interactive web chat, you’ll be able to ask questions and get real-time answers from our Emory Healthcare professional.

Register now for our September 8 chat.

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rheudasil-j-mark (1)About Dr. Rheudasil

Mark Rheudasil, MD, graduated magna cum laude from Abilene Christian University in Texas and he earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas in 1983. He completed a general surgery internship and residency program at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia and also completed a fellowship in vascular surgery at Emory University in 1989.

Dr. Rheudasil is a board certified vascular surgeon. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a member of the Society for Vascular Surgery and the American Venous Forum. He is also a member the Southern Association for Vascular Surgery and is a past President of the Georgia Vascular Society and the Atlanta Vascular Society.

Takeaways from Dr. Jokhadar’s and Dr. Sahu’s Congenital Heart Disease Chat

congenital-heart-chat-emailThanks to everyone who joined us Tuesday, July 14, for our live online chat on “Congenital Heart Disease – Even Adults Need Special Care”. We were fortunate to have Dr. Maan Jokhadar and Dr. Anurag Sahu available to answer your questions during this chat.

If you are an adult who was treated for Congenital Heart Disease as a child, it’s important to have regular cardiology care through adulthood. An adult congenital heart specialist can monitor your health and insure that if any problems arise they are detected early. They can also guide you on lifestyle issues.

Our chat participants submitted good questions about Congenital Heart Disease related to the need for adult follow-up care, diet and exercise guidelines, travel concerns, the risks of pregnancy and more. If you missed this chat, be sure to check out the full list of questions and answers on the web transcript.

Here are just a few highlights from the chat:

Question: I had surgery as a child, did that take care of the heart defect?

jokhadar-maanDr. Jokhadar: Some heart defects are in fact cured with heart surgery. However, most corrective surgeries improve the situation but do not completely cure it. This depends on many factors, including the type of defect and the type of surgery.

 

 

Question: Can’t my heart condition be monitored by my Internist during my annual physical?

jokhadar-maan

Dr. Jokhadar: Some heart conditions can be monitored by an internist or general cardiologist. However, this depends on the complexity of congenital heart disease. Follow up should be determined by a specialist while coordinating with the patient’s primary care physicians.

 
 

Question: What are activities, food, etc. that should be avoided if you have been diagnosed with congenital heart disease?

sahu-anurag
Dr. Sahu: In terms of activity, we generally want all of our patients to maintain an active lifestyle. If you have questions about certain activities, you should talk to your congenital heart specialist.In terms of food, strive for a healthy and balanced diet (avoid sugars, fried foods, etc.). If you want a specific type of diet to follow, many cardiologists recommend the Mediterranean Diet as a heart-healthy option. For more on the Mediterranean diet you can check out this blog.

 

If you have additional questions for Dr. Jokhadar or Dr. Sahu, feel free to leave a comment in our comments area below.

 

Takeaways from Dr. Lundberg’s Hypertension Chat

Hypertension Live ChatThanks to everyone who joined us Tuesday, June 23, for our live online chat on “Things You Never Knew About Your Blood Pressure” hosted by Dr. Gina Lundberg of the Emory Women’s Heart Center!

To prevent hypertensive heart disease, it’s important that you consistently keep your blood pressure nice and low. Dr. Lundberg noted that the good news is that 80% of all cardiovascular deaths could be prevented with better lifestyle – healthy eating and exercise – and better blood pressure monitoring, and discussed ways to help you achieve this goal.

If you missed this chat, be sure to check out the full list of questions and answers on the hypertension chat transcript.

Here are just a few highlights from the chat:

Question: Are there any foods I should incorporate into my diet to control high blood pressure?

Gina Lundberg, MDDr. Lundberg: There is no one food you can eat to lower your blood pressure. The best thing you can do is to make a change to your diet as a whole. I’d recommend following the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) Diet. This diet is very high in fruits and veggies (potassium and magnesium). Potassium correlates to lower blood pressure. You can find more info about the DASH Diet here.

 

Question: Is it normal for my blood pressure and heart to race? I exercise regularly.

Gina Lundberg, MDDr. Lundberg: Yes, when you exercise routinely your heart rate will go up slower but you will still get to a peak heart rate with prolonged exercise. Many people feel their heart is racing with sudden activities such as walking up the stairs, but this is common as there is no warm up prior to the activity.

 

Question: How much does stress really impact blood pressure?

Gina Lundberg, MDDr. Lundberg: Stress can raise your blood pressure and your heart rate from internal release of adrenaline. Some people over-respond to their adrenaline and get dangerously high blood pressures very suddenly. An exercise stress test can simulate stress on the body and help determine if blood pressure is getting dangerously high. Sudden surges in blood pressure can cause stroke or heart attack. Chronic stress can lead to chronically elevated mild to moderate hypertension which can also be dangerous for your eyes, brain, heart, and kidneys.

Thanks again to everyone who joined us live for the chat! If you have additional questions for Dr. Lundberg, feel free to leave a comment in our comments area below.

Congenital Heart Disease – Even Adults Need Special Care – Join Us for a Live Online Chat!

congenital heart chatDid you know that congenital heart defects affect approximately 40,000 babies each year? And now, due to advances in medicine, many of these patients are living to adulthood and there are estimated to be more than 1 million adults in the United States with congenital heart defects, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Unfortunately, some patients and their providers have the perception that their heart defect has been “cured.” The gaps in care resulting from this misperception can be harmful. Guidelines recommend that all adults with congenital heart defects stay in regular cardiology care, and those with moderate to complex (more severe defects) should receive care in an Adult Congenital Heart Center.
Join me on Tuesday, July 14, at 12:00 p.m. for a live, interactive web chat about “Congenital Heart Disease – Even Adults Need Special Care”. Dr. Maan Jokhadar will be available to answer questions and discuss various topics about Adult Congenital Heart Disease.

During this interactive web chat, you’ll be able to ask questions and get real-time answers from our Emory Healthcare professional.

Register now for our July 14 chat at emoryhealthcare.org/mdchats.

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About Dr. Jokhadar

Maan Jokhadar, MDMaan Jokhadar, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Jokhadar specializes in adult congenital heart disease and in heart failure. He went to medical school in Damascus, Syria and subsequently completed his internal medicine training at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. He then came to Emory for cardiology fellowship and joined the Emory cardiology faculty in 2009. Dr. Jokhadar is the recipient of several teaching awards.

Things You Never Knew About Your Blood Pressure

blood pressure live chatYou’ve probably heard high blood pressure, or hypertension, called the “silent killer” because it can damage your arteries and organs without you ever realizing something is wrong. Not only can it damage your heart, but it can also cause stroke, kidney damage, vision loss, memory loss, erectile dysfunction, fluid buildup in the lungs and angina.

Join us on Tuesday, June 23, at 12:00 p.m. for a live, interactive web chat about “Things You Never Knew About Your Blood Pressure.” Dr. Gina Lundberg will be available to answer questions and discuss various topics about high blood pressure. For instance, did you know that common over the counter medication can increase your blood pressure? Did you know you can have high blood pressure and never experience any symptoms at all?

During this interactive web chat, you’ll be able to ask questions and get real-time answers from our Emory Healthcare professional.

Register now for our June 23 chat:

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About Dr. Lundberg

Gina Lundberg, MDGina Price Lundberg, MD, FACC , is the clinical director of the Emory Women’s Heart Center and a preventive cardiologist with Emory Clinic in East Cobb. Dr. Lundberg is an assistant professor of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine.

She is a national American Heart Association (AHA) spokesperson and was a board member for the Atlanta chapter from 2001 to 2007. Dr. Lundberg was the Honoree for the AHA’s North Fulton/Gwinnett County Heart Ball for 2006. In 2009, she was awarded the Women with Heart Award at the Go Red Luncheon for outstanding dedication to the program. She is also a Circle of Red founding member and Cor Vitae member for the AHA.

She has been interviewed on the subject of heart disease in women by multiple media outlets, including CNN and USA Today. In 2007, Governor Sonny Perdue appointed Dr. Lundberg to the advisory board of the Georgia Department of Women’s Health, where she served until 2011. In 2005, Atlanta Woman magazine awarded Dr. Lundberg the Top 10 Innovator Award for Medicine. In 2008, Atlanta Woman named her one of the Top 25 Professional Women to Watch and the only woman in the field of medicine.

Dr. Lundberg attended the Medical College of Georgia and trained in internal medicine at Atlanta Medical Center (Georgia Baptist). She completed her cardiology fellowship at Rush University in Chicago. She has been in practice in Atlanta since 1994. She is board certified in cardiology and internal medicine and was recertified in both in 2002. Dr. Lundberg has two children and considers motherhood her first and foremost career. Dr. Lundberg has lived most of her life in the metro Atlanta area.

About the Emory Women’s Heart Center

Emory Women’s Heart Center is a unique program dedicated to screening for, preventing and treating heart disease in women. The Center, led by nationally renowned cardiologist Gina Lundberg, MD, provides comprehensive cardiac risk assessments and screenings for patients at risk for heart disease, as well as a full range of treatment options for women already diagnosed with heart disease. Call 404-778-7777 to schedule a comprehensive cardiac screening and find out if you are at risk for heart disease.

Takeaways from Dr. Rheudasil’s Vein Live Chat

Varicose Vein ChatThanks to everyone who joined us Tuesday, April 14 for the live online chat entitled “What causes varicose veins or spider veins?,” hosted by Emory Vein Center physician J. Mark Rheudasil, MD.

While it’s important to look your best, it’s also important to feel your best. Males, females, the young and the old. Varicose veins can affect anyone. So have you ever wondered what causes those unsightly bulges and twists to appear on your legs? Check out the conversation by viewing the chat transcript! Here are just a few highlights from the chat:

Question: How helpful are compression stockings for preventing and/or slowing down development of varicose veins?

Mark Rheudasil, MDDr. Rheudasil: Great question! Compression stockings are helpful in minimizing the progression of varicose veins. They do not in most cases, however, prevent varicose veins from developing. They are helpful in reducing the symptoms associated with varicose veins. I recently published a blog on this very topic. You can check it out here.

 

Question: I am 4 months pregnant with my first child. My mother has warned me about the spider veins she developed when carrying my brother and me. Is there anything I can do now to lessen my risk for spider veins during and after pregnancy?

Mark Rheudasil, MDDr. Rheudasil: Compression stockings or support hose and frequent leg elevation during pregnancy are the mainstays of treatment. Veins may well worsen during pregnancy and may require prescription stockings. While we usually try to avoid vein treatment during pregnancy, we can help you get in the correct stockings and advise regarding symptom relief, etc . Feel free to call 404-778-VEIN to make an appointment.

Question: For several months, I have had pretty bad pain my my legs and sometimes they even swell. I haven’t talked to my doctor about it yet. Should I start with my PCP or see a vascular surgeon to determine the cause?

Mark Rheudasil, MDDr. Rheudasil: Good question, Junior. If you don’t have obvious/visible varicose veins, then swelling could be from multiple sources. A general medical evaluation by your PCP would be a great place to start.

 

Question: I am 22 and have spider veins. They are not lumpy but are very obvious. They are on the backs of my legs and mainly on the left leg. I am so worried that because I am only 22 they are going to get really bad. Am I too young to seek treatment?

Mark Rheudasil, MDDr. Rheudasil: You’re never too young to be evaluated for veins that bother you. We’re happy to see you and make recommendations for treatment! Here’s our online appointment request form.

 

If you missed this chat, be sure to check out the full list of questions and answers on the web transcript. For more information or to request an appointment with a vascular surgeon, visit emoryhealthcare.org/veincenter.

If you have additional questions for Dr. Rheudasil, feel free to leave a comment in our comments area below.

 

 

 

Takeaways from Dr. Robertson’s PAD Live Chat

PAD Leg PainThanks to everyone who joined us Tuesday, March 24 for the live online chat entitled “What’s causing your leg pain?,” hosted by Emory Heart & Vascular Center physician Greg Robertson, MD.

According to the American Heart Association, many people mistake the symptoms of peripheral artery disease (PAD) for something else, which is why it can easily go undiagnosed. Having the correct diagnosis is important because people with PAD are at a higher risk of heart attack or stroke, and if untreated, PAD can lead to gangrene and amputation. Check out the conversation with Dr. Robertson regarding PAD by viewing the chat transcript! Here are just a few highlights from the chat:

Question: Exercise makes the pain in my left leg worse. What are some suggestions to help alleviate the pain and still be able to exercise? How do I fix this problem for good?

Gregory Robertson, MDDr. Robertson: My first recommendation would be to see your doctor to pursue the cause of the pain. There are many causes of exercise-related leg pain, and it may be solved as simply as talking to your physician about your health history and getting a physical. Some simple testing may also be recommended by your physician. PAD is one possibility for exercise-related pain, and if the patient has diabetes, a history of smoking, or is over 70 years old, the possibility of PAD is more likely.

Question: My right leg from my lower back all the way down to my foot hurts. What makes it hurt?

Gregory Robertson, MDDr. Robertson: There are many different causes for these symptoms, First and foremost I would suggest making an appointment with your physician so he/she can get a feel for your medical history and perform a physical. This will help your physician narrow testing recommendations in order to make an accurate diagnosis. One possibility is that you have sciatica, but unfortunately, I can’t speak to your situation accurately without seeing you in person. An accurate diagnosis would have to be made by your physician.

Question: What precautions need to be taken when diagnosed with PAD?

Gregory Robertson, MDDr. Robertson: Patients diagnosed with PAD should be under the care of a vascular physician. Preventative care with healthy living habits and risk factor modification is of the utmost importance. Depending on the severity and each individual’s case, your vascular physician will review the options of medical treatment vs. minimally invasive procedures or surgery.

 

Question: I keep getting pain in my calves, told I have no clots but it’s getting worse. What do I do?

Gregory Robertson, MDDr. Robertson: Does the pain in your calf come on only with exercise, and if yes, does it promptly go away with rest? If this is the pattern of your calf pain, it strongly suggests the possibility of peripheral artery disease (PAD) and the chances of this are increased if you also have the risk factors of diabetes, smoking, and/or are over the age of 70.

 

Question: Just diagnosed with neuropathy. No diabetes or alcohol disease. I am 72. Any advice?

Gregory Robertson, MDDr. Robertson: There are many different causes of lower extremity neuropathy. PAD, especially in a diabetic and occasionally in non-diabetics, can be one cause. Usually a simple PAD screening test such as the ankle- brachial index (ABI) can clarify whether there is significant PAD as a potential cause of your lower-extremity neuropathy.

 

If you missed this chat, be sure to check out the full list of questions and answers on the web transcript. For more information on peripheral artery disease, visit emoryhealthcare.org/vascular.

If you have additional questions for Dr. Robertson, feel free to leave a comment in our comments area below.

 

 

 

 

What Causes Varicose Veins or Spider Veins? – Join Us for a Live Web Chat!

Varicose Spider VeinsWhile it’s important to look your best, it’s also important to feel your best. Males, females, the young and the old. Varicose veins can affect anyone. So have you ever wondered what causes those unsightly bulges and twists to appear on your legs?

Join us on Tuesday, April 14, at 12:00 p.m. for an interactive web chat discussing the causes of varicose veins and spider veins. Dr. Rheudasil will be available to answer questions and discuss various topics, including the causes, prevention and treatment of varicose veins.

During this interactive web chat, you’ll be able to ask questions and get real-time answers from our Emory Healthcare professional.

REGISTER NOW for our April 14 chat at emoryhealthcare.org/mdchats.

About Dr. Rheudasil

Mark Rheudasil, MDMark Rheudasil, MD, graduated magna cum laude from Abilene Christian University in Texas and he earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas in 1983. He completed a general surgery internship and residency program at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Rheudasil also completed a fellowship in vascular surgery at Emory University in 1989.

Dr. Rheudasil is a diplomat of the American Board of Surgery and is a board certified vascular surgeon. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a member of the International Society for Cardiovascular and Endovascular Surgery, and the North American chapter of the International Society for Cardiovascular Surgery. He is also a member of the Peripheral Vascular Surgery Society, the Southern Association for Vascular Surgery, the Emory Association of Vascular Surgery, the Atlanta Vascular Society, and the Georgia Surgical Society. He is also a member of the Medical Association of Georgia, the Medical Association of Atlanta, and the Atlanta Clinical Society. He is also certified as a Registered Vascular Technologist.

Dr. Rheudasil has published articles in several medical journals including The Journal of Vascular Surgery, American Surgeon and The Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia. He has lectured at the regional and national level on a variety of topics including current reviews of vascular surgery.

What’s Causing Your Leg Pain? – Join Us for a Live Web Chat!

PAD Live ChatPeripheral artery disease (PAD) is a commonly undiagnosed disease affecting about 8.5 million Americans. Symptoms vary from cramping in the lower extremities, as well as pain or tiredness in leg or hip muscles. According to the American Heart Association, many people mistake the symptoms of PAD for something else, which is why it can easily go undiagnosed. Having the correct diagnosis is important because people with PAD are at a higher risk of heart attack or stroke, and if untreated, PAD can lead to gangrene and amputation.

Many people think their leg pain is due to arthritis, sciatica or just a part of aging. People with diabetes may even confuse PAD pain with a neuropathy, a common diabetic symptom that causes a burning or painful discomfort of the feet or thighs. It is important to know that, while PAD is potentially life-threatening, it can be managed or even reversed with proper care. If you’re having any kind of recurring pain, talk to your healthcare professional.

Join me on Tuesday, March 24, at 12:00 p.m. for an interactive web chat entitled “What’s causing your leg pain?” Dr. Robertson will be available to answer questions and discuss various topics about PAD, including symptoms, diagnosis and misdiagnosis, prevention and treatment.

During this interactive web chat, you’ll be able to ask questions and get real-time answers from our Emory Healthcare professional.

Register now for our March 24 chat at emoryhealthcare.org/mdchats.

About Dr. Robertson

Gregory Robertson, MDGreg Robertson, MD, is the chief of the Emory Heart and Vascular Clinic at Johns Creek. At the Emory Johns Creek Hospital he is chief of cardiology and the medical director of the Cardiac Catheterization laboratory and interventional program. He is board certified in Vascular Medicine, Endovascular Medicine, Interventional Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine.

Dr. Robertson’s research has had a focus on the development of new technologies and techniques to treat blocked leg arteries in patients with peripheral arterial disease, helping patients walk farther and prevent limb amputation in diabetic patients. While in the San Francisco Bay Area for 16 years before moving to Atlanta, he practiced with the well-known medical device inventor Dr. John Simpson, whose development teams invented the atherectomy procedure and the first percutaneous arterial closure device. Atherectomy is a procedure which allows the physician to remove plaque in blocked arteries without major surgery. His newest project is with Dr. Simpson’s invention of the Avinger Ocelot and Pantheris devices which open blocked arteries using smart laser imaging.

Dr. Robertson’s clinical expertise is oriented on performing minimally-invasive procedures to avoid major surgery. He has developed many of the vascular programs at the new Emory Johns Creek Hospital including 1) carotid artery stenting, 2) percutaneous repair of abdominal aortic aneurysms and 3) limb preservation for those at risk of limb amputation. He has also developed the cardiac intervention programs for emergency heart attack victims and elective procedures to include PCI and PFO/ASD closure.

Takeaways from Dr. Hoskins’ Arrhythmia Live Chat

arryhthmia live chatThanks to everyone who joined us Tuesday, February 24 for the live online chat entitled “Irregular Heart Beat: Is it normal?,” hosted by Emory Arrhythmia Center physician Michael Hoskins, MD.

Because arrhythmias are common in young- and middle-aged adults, it is important to understand the symptoms. Some arrhythmias are relatively harmless, but others can be fatal if not treated. Dr. Hoskins provided answers to questions about the diagnosis and treatment of heart rhythm disorders, as well as tips of how to deal with an episode of irregular heart beats. Check out the conversation by viewing the chat transcript! Here are just a few highlights from the chat:

Question: I have observed that during some of these episodes my blood pressure is really low and it has been recognized that sometimes my oxygen level is low during the night. could this be causing my arrhythmias? I do have trouble breathing through a deviated nostril.

Michael Hoskins, MDDr. Hoskins: A common condition associated with arrhythmias is sleep apnea. This can be caused by a deviated septum and can cause difficulty breathing and low oxygen levels at night. It sounds like you may benefit from a sleep apnea evaluation.

 

Question: I have been advised that I am a candidate for ablation for my a-fib. What are the options offered by Emory and how do I become educated about the options?

Michael Hoskins, MDDr. Hoskins: Ablation and medications are both treatment options for atrial fibrillation. It’s important to tailor that therapy to each specific patient. I would encourage you to schedule a visit with one of our arrhythmia specialists.

 

Question: Most irregular heartbeats do resolve within a few beats. If they don’t resolve for a longer period of time, a person would go to the emergency room, right? Or should that person wait for other symptoms, (dizziness or something else).

Michael Hoskins, MDDr. Hoskins: Some arrhythmias are more dangerous than others. We often encourage patients to call their doctor before going to the ER if it has been determined that their particular arrhythmia isn’t life threatening. However, certain arrhythmias need immediate attention and are best handled in the ER. If your arrhythmia is accompanied by severe chest pain, shortness of breath or loss of consciousness, you should consider calling 9-1-1.

If you missed this chat, be sure to check out the full list of questions and answers on the web transcript. For more information or to request an appointment to be screened for a heart rhythm disorder, visit emoryhealthcare.org/arrhythmia.

If you have additional questions for Dr. Hoskins, feel free to leave a comment in our comments area below.