Live Doctor Chats

Heart Failure Live Chat Transcript

Heart Failure Live Chat 7/25/17

Thank you to those of you who joined the Heart Failure Live Chat on 7/25/17 hosted by Dr. Divya Gupta from Emory’s Heart & Vascular Center. Dr. Gupta provided valuable insights into the causes of heart failure including contributing factors like heredity and medical conditions, treatment options and lifestyle changes. The live chat had a good turnout and the transcript is now available below.

Heart Failure Live Chat Transcript

 

Overview: If you or a family member has been diagnosed with heart failure you likely have many questions. Here’s your chance to ask an expert about living with heart failure, treatment options, second opinions, prevention; whatever’s on your mind. Join us on Tuesday, July 25 when Dr. Divya Gupta, a board certified heart failure cardiologist with the Emory Heart & Vascular Center, will answer all your questions.

12:01 P.M.
EmoryHealthcare: Hi everyone, please note that all questions are moderated before appearing in the stream, so you may not see yours appear right away, but we will do our best to answer all your questions today.

12:01 P.M.
EmoryHealthcare: We received some questions that were submitted in advance of the chat, so we’ll get started by answering a few of those first.

12:05 P.M.
EmoryHealthcare: Is a patient with pulmonary hypertension more likely to develop CHF than a patient a heart that is comprised?

12:05 P.M.
EmoryHealthcare: A patient with pulmonary hypertension is more likely to develop heart failure on the right side of the heart vs. left side of the heart. Heart failure on the right side is associated with swelling of the legs and abdomen which can cause physical limitations.

12:09 P.M.
EmoryHealthcare: Is heart failure hereditary?

12:09 P.M.
EmoryHealthcare: Yes, heart failure can be hereditary. Many times, we’re not able to figure out what the genetic alteration is that leads to it, but we do have evidence that it can run in families when looking at their family tree.  However, not all heart failure is heredity and different medical conditions can lead to heart failure. If there is a significant concern, genetic testing and counseling is recommended. With this data, the geneticist can identify the genetic alteration that runs in your family and preventative treat

12:12 P.M.
EmoryHealthcare: How safe is it to become pregnant with a leaky heart valve?

12:13 P.M.
EmoryHealthcare: The safety of becoming pregnant with a leaky heart valve depends on which valve and to what extent it is leaking. This would require close monitoring and consultation with cardiologist and high- risk obstetrician.

12:16 P.M.
EmoryHealthcare: We have a dedicated clinic for congenital heart conditions that specializes in treating patients with leaky heart valves, the Adult Congenital Heart Center. These physicians work closely with high-risk obstetricians within the Emory Healthcare system.  Please call HealthConnection to set up an appointment at 404­–778–7777.

12:19 P.M.
Guest5115: Are there differences in symptoms or treatment between heart failure caused by congenital heart defects and acquired heart failure?

12:20 P.M.
EmoryHealthcare: Heart failure is a clinical diagnosis and so the symptoms are similar in both populations. Typically, symptoms include tiredness, shortness of breath, issues with fluid retention.

12:21 P.M.
EmoryHealthcare: Another pre- chat question:  I was recently dx with left sided heart failure with an ejection fraction of 31- 40%.  I’ m on Coreg twice a day.  Is there anything else I need to know to help me improve my condition?  Also, I was working out before diagnosis.  I have literally stopped.  What type of exercise do you recommend?  And I Ian having a pulling sharp pain in the center of my chest.  Could that be relevant to my condition?  Work up show no cardiac relations.

12:25 P.M.
EmoryHealthcare: Coreg is an excellent medicine that has been shown to improve left side heart function, we typically increase the dose of this medicine so that a patient is taking 25– 50 mg twice a day, over several months. Also, we typically put patients on Lisinopril.

12:29 P.M.
EmoryHealthcare: Exercise is strongly recommended to help improve heart function as well.  Aerobic exercise is best, walking, running, biking or swimming are all acceptable forms of exercise. We don’t recommend heavy weight lifting and typically restrict weight lifting to no more than 50 pounds total.  When beginning an excise routine, start slow and increase as tolerated.  Make sure you listen to your body.  If you need to take a break and rest, that’s fine before starting again. The American Heart Association recommends 30 min

12:35 P.M.
EmoryHealthcare: There are two types of implantable devices often used in patients with low ejection fractions, defibrillator, and pacemaker. Anyone with an ejection fraction equal or less than 35% should be considered for a defibrillator, these devices monitor heart rhythm 24/ 7 and will function to save your life in the event of a life- threatening heart rhythm. Patients with low ejection fraction are at greater risk of having these life- threatening heart rhythms.

12:36 P.M.
EmoryHealthcare: Pacemakers are beneficial to some patients with low ejection fractions, the need for a pacemaker would be determined by your cardiologist. If they feel it would be beneficial, the pacemaker would help improve heart failure symptoms and help you live longer.

12:39 P.M.
Carol B.: My 86-yr. old Mom with a valve problem can barely stand without back pain and so tired?  Is this caused by lack of exercise or heart valve?

12:40 P.M.
EmoryHealthcare: The fatigue portion could be attributed to her valve problem, unfortunately, the valve issue could be preventing her from exercising which in turn may cause the back pain.  She would benefit from an evaluation of her valve and cardiac issues. You can make an appointment by calling HealthConnection at 404–778–7777.

12:43 P.M.
EmoryHealthcare: Is a BMT a good tool to diagnose CHF, versus lung disease?

12:44 P.M.
EmoryHealthcare: Yes. Another name for BMT is Cardiopulmonary Exercise Test. This is an excellent way to determine what is causing a patient to be tired and short of breath. It can not only help diagnose heart failure and lung disease but can also help determine if the lack of exercise is playing a role.

12:46 P.M.
EmoryHealthcare: These questions have been great! We have time for just one more question today. Any remaining questions will be answered by Dr. Gupta in a post- chat Q& A blog on http://advancingyourhealth.org

12:48 P.M.
EmoryHealthcare: My mom has congestive Heart Failure and needs the best heart doctor.

12:49 P.M.
EmoryHealthcare: Emory Heart & Vascular Center has many excellent physicians who are board certified in Advanced Heart Failure & Transplant Cardiology. Our nurses at HealthConnection can help you find the best physician for your Mom. They can be reached at 404–778–7777.

12:50 P.M.
EmoryHealthcare: Are there any other questions?

12:52 P.M.
EmoryHealthcare: That’ s all the time we have for today. Thanks so much for joining us! As we mentioned, we’ll follow up with a blog post to answer any questions we didn’t get a chance to address today. Thank you!


Want to Learn More?

At Emory Healthcare’s Heart & Vascular Center, your health is our priority. Our program is consistently recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top heart health centers in the nation.

or call 404-778-7777 to make an appointment.

 

 

Why Do I Have Varicose Veins and What Can I Do About It?

Live Chat Q&A: Varicose Veins Thanks to those of you who joined us on Tuesday, April 4th for our live online chat “Why do I have varicose veins and what can I do about it?” hosted by Dr. Mark Rheudasil from the Emory Vein Center.

Dr. Rheudasil provided valuable insights on the causes of varicose veins including contributing factors like heredity and pregnancy, the treatment options available for varicose veins and spider veins, and lifestyle changes that can help minimize discomfort from varicose veins.

The live chat had a good turnout and is now available online.

Varicose Veins Q&A

Apr 4 2017, 11:57 AM
EmoryHealthcare: We are starting the live chat in 4 min Are you, guys, ready with your questions?

Apr 4 2017, 12:00 PM
EmoryHealthcare: Welcome, everyone! Thanks for joining us today for our web chat “Why do I have varicose veins and what can I do about it?” with Dr. Rheudasil of Emory Vein Center.

Apr 4 2017, 12:00 PM
EmoryHealthcare: Dr. Rheudasil 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.

Apr 4 2017, 12:01 PM
EmoryHealthcare: We’ll get started in just a minute. Dr. Rheudasil is here to answer all of your questions! Ask away

Apr 4 2017, 12:01 PM
EmoryHealthcare: Please note that all questions are moderated before appearing in the stream, so you may not see yours appear right away, just give it a moment Dr. Rheudasil is answering every question live right now. By the way, have you already shared our live chat with your friends on Facebook and Twitter? Invite them to join now The more the merrier

Apr 4 2017, 12:02 PM
EmoryHealthcare: We received some questions that were submitted in advance through our website and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/emoryhealthcare/ so we’ll get started by answering a few of those first.

Apr 4 2017, 12:03 PM
EmoryHealthcare: Freida asked: “If I have a surgery, will the veins return and will I have to take time off work?”

Apr 4 2017, 12:03 PM
EmoryHealthcare: Dr. Rheudasil’s answer: “Dear Freida, it is possible for new or recurrent veins to occur following vein treatment. These veins are usually less severe but may require additional treatment. Our treatment plans typically can take up to 6 six months to complete. The treatment plans will involve the primary vein ablation procedure followed by 1 or more sclerotherapy sessions. After the initial treatment, we will be evaluating your legs and determining if additional sclerotherapy is needed along the way.

Apr 4 2017, 12:04 PM
EmoryHealthcare: @Freida, over time, your veins will begin to improve. Typically, patients are able to return to work the following day after their ablation procedure. There is no time away from work when you are having sclerotherapy.

Apr 4 2017, 12:05 PM
EmoryHealthcare: Julie asked: “Should I wait until I lose weight to have spider veins removed? Or will having it done prevent them from getting worse? Difference in going to a “Vein-R-Us” type place to have this done and going to an Emory doc?”

Apr 4 2017, 12:05 PM
EmoryHealthcare: Dr. Rheudasil’s answer: “Dear Julie, weight loss will help with vein treatment since any additional weight will cause an increase in pressure in the legs causing the vein to bulge abnormally. Generally, I would recommend veins be treated prior to weight loss to address the current problem and to alleviate future worsening.

Apr 4 2017, 12:06 PM
EmoryHealthcare: @Julie, the difference between a Vein-R-Us facility & the Emory Vein Center is that any physician can be employed to perform these procedures at those types of places, that means a dermatologist, an anesthesiologist, OBGYN primary care, etc can perform procedures on your veins. At the Emory Vein Center, only certified vascular surgeons who are trained in venous disorders are evaluating and treating your veins based on their expertise and training.

Apr 4 2017, 12:07 PM
EmoryHealthcare: Jean asked: “I used to be VERY heavy.
Over 8 years of losing & keeping the weight off – I have spider veins & some varicose I suspect – pinch & burn & hurt now and then.
Never had that issue when I was heavy. Is this unusual?”

Apr 4 2017, 12:08 PM
EmoryHealthcare: Dr. Rheudasil’s answer is coming but we also want to encourage YOU to ask your questions here What’s on your mind today about the topic?

Apr 4 2017, 12:09 PM
EmoryHealthcare: Dr. Rheudasil’s answer: “Dear Jean, these veins may not have much to do with your weight changes”

Apr 4 2017, 12:10 PM
Guest1023 (Guest): Mainly the left lower leg – with spider veins at ankles n top of feet on both / Jean

Apr 4 2017, 12:11 PM
EmoryHealthcare: @Jean, did we answer your question? Thanks for details.

Apr 4 2017, 12:12 PM
EmoryHealthcare: Amanda asked: “Does pregnancy increase varicose veins?”

Apr 4 2017, 12:12 PM
EmoryHealthcare: @Amanda, the answer is on its way

Apr 4 2017, 12:13 PM
Guest1023 (Guest): Yes – I’m the jean who submitted the one you just answered.

Apr 4 2017, 12:13 PM
EmoryHealthcare: @Jean, we know it Glad to help

Apr 4 2017, 12:13 PM
EmoryHealthcare: @Amanda, here’s Dr. Rheudasil’s answer for you: “Dear Amanda, yes, pregnancy is a common risk factor for varicose veins and will almost always make pre-existing veins worse. Just like any weight gain, you’re adding additional pressure to the legs, which increases pressure on the valves in the veins and that in turn can cause the valves to malfunction causing venous insufficiency.”

Apr 4 2017, 12:14 PM
Guest1037 (Guest): Do you have to do the vein mapping first? Standing in place for 45 minutes is difficult and made me sick. I did not use that clinic as they could not answer questions I was asking

Apr 4 2017, 12:15 PM
EmoryHealthcare: @Guest1037, great question! Dr. Rheudasil’s answer is on its way

Apr 4 2017, 12:15 PM
EmoryHealthcare: Have you, guys, checked out Dr. Rheudasil’s online profile at https://www.emoryhealthcare.org/physicians/r/rheudasil-j-mark.html

Apr 4 2017, 12:17 PM
EmoryHealthcare: @Guest1037, most studies can be performed without the patient needing to stand. Our vascular lab uses the reversed Trendelenburg position for the venous testing which means they put the patient in a foot down position for the majority of the examination. Depending on your clinical evaluation with the physician, you may not need ultrasound testing. For example, spider veins alone may not require diagnostic testing. Each treatment plan is individualized to meet each patient’s need.

Apr 4 2017, 12:18 PM
Guest1319 (Guest): It’s hard for me to get to Clifton Rd. can I receive treatment at any other Emory locations?

Apr 4 2017, 12:20 PM
EmoryHealthcare: @Guest1319, absolutely!

Apr 4 2017, 12:21 PM
EmoryHealthcare: @Guest1319, the Emory physicians provide vein treatment at many other locations. We see patients on the Emory Saint Joseph’s campus as well as have offices in Roswell, Johns Creek and Buckhead. You can call our office at 404-778-VEIN to speak with our call center agents and they can assist you with an appointment at the location of your choice.

Apr 4 2017, 12:22 PM
Mark97 (Guest): Is the process or treatments to get varicose veins removed the same for men? I’d like to have this done.

Apr 4 2017, 12:23 PM
EmoryHealthcare: @Mark97, yes, the evaluation and treatment for varicose veins is exactly the same for males as it is for females.

Apr 4 2017, 12:25 PM
EmoryHealthcare: Jeannine asked: “My mom has varicose veins. Does that mean I will too?”

Apr 4 2017, 12:26 PM
EmoryHealthcare: Dr. Rheudasil’s answer: “Dear Jeannine, no, but heredity is a common risk factor and you will have a higher likelihood of varicose veins than the general population.”

Apr 4 2017, 12:26 PM
michasims (Guest): How painful is sclerotherapy? Mild or scream your head off painful?

Apr 4 2017, 12:26 PM
Guest1037 (Guest): Is this procedure painful?

Apr 4 2017, 12:28 PM
EmoryHealthcare: @michasims and @Guest1037, here’s Dr. Rheudasil’s answer for you: “It has been almost 3 weeks since I have had a patient run screaming out of the room. Just kidding! Sclerotherapy involves multiple needle sticks that are described sometimes as a mosquito bite. We also have numbing cream available for patients to purchase who are extra sensitive. “

Apr 4 2017, 12:29 PM
EmoryHealthcare: Jacqueline asked “Can you remove swollen veins that show?”

Apr 4 2017, 12:30 PM
EmoryHealthcare: Dr. Rheudasil’s answer: “Dear Jacqueline, yes, treatment will often require closing or removing large veins. Venous ablation is our primary procedure that is performed to close the abnormal vein. You can see some before and after pictures here: https://www.emoryhealthcare.org/centers-programs/vein-center/treatments.html

Apr 4 2017, 12:30 PM
EmoryHealthcare: @Jacqueline, after the first treatment, we will need to evaluate how your vessel reacts. There is a possibility that the vein will not close in all desired locations. However, that is why we follow up with sclerotherapy to close the remaining vessels, which you can also read about on that page I just shared with you.

Apr 4 2017, 12:30 PM
Guest5075 (Guest): Can I be treated the same day or will I need to come back?

Apr 4 2017, 12:33 PM
EmoryHealthcare: @Guest5075, the answer is on its way right now.

Apr 4 2017, 12:34 PM
EmoryHealthcare: You all are asking great questions! Remember to invite your friends to join the live chat, so we can also help answer their questions. We have 26 minutes together still So, invite them

Apr 4 2017, 12:35 PM
EmoryHealthcare: @Guest5075, the process will start with an evaluation with the physician. During this time your medical history will be discussed as well as getting an understanding of your venous concerns and what your expectations are. In most cases, an ultrasound is needed to develop a treatment plan and insurance approval for vein treatment often takes several weeks. Vein treatment is a process that often requires a number of vein visits over time.

Apr 4 2017, 12:36 PM
EmoryHealthcare: Susan asked “I have spider veins after chemo and radiation treatment. Can you help?”

Apr 4 2017, 12:36 PM
EmoryHealthcare: Dr. Rheudasil’s answer: “Dear Susan, yes, absolutely we can treat spider veins with injection sclerotherapy. The fact that these vessels occurred after chemotherapy will not change or affect the treatment plan.”

Apr 4 2017, 12:36 PM
EmoryHealthcare: Nancy asked “Does weight play a role in addition to heredity?”

Apr 4 2017, 12:36 PM
EmoryHealthcare: Dr. Rheudasil’s answer: “Dear Nancy, yes, being overweight is a risk factor for varicose veins, as is a family history.”

Apr 4 2017, 12:37 PM
Guest1037 (Guest): Where does blood go after vein is removed?

Apr 4 2017, 12:38 PM
EmoryHealthcare: @Guest1037, the blood is redirected into other veins. Does this help answer your question?

Apr 4 2017, 12:38 PM
gigi (Guest): hi there! i’m scheduled to have my spider veins treated next week and am flying to dubai 2 days later. is it safe to fly?

Apr 4 2017, 12:38 PM
Guest1037 (Guest): Does initial cost include follow ups?

Apr 4 2017, 12:39 PM
EmoryHealthcare: @GiGi, here’s Dr. Rheudasil’s answer for you: “Hi Gigi! I would reschedule one of those appointments! Air travel is generally prohibited 7-10 days after vein treatment. This recommendation is to reduce the potential risk of clot formation”

Apr 4 2017, 12:42 PM
EmoryHealthcare: @Guest1037, unfortunately, no. Each visit / treatment will involve a separate charge. However; treatments are often covered by your insurance.

Apr 4 2017, 12:43 PM
EmoryHealthcare: Busch asked “What happens to blood that goes thru veins destroyed?”

Apr 4 2017, 12:43 PM
EmoryHealthcare: Dr. Rheudasil’s answer: “Dear Busch, the body is amazing, your blood will reroute into other veins by taking the path of least resistance.”

Apr 4 2017, 12:45 PM
EmoryHealthcare: These questions have been great, guys! We have time now for just 2-3 more question. Any remaining questions will be answered by Dr. Rheudasil in the post-chat Q&A.

Apr 4 2017, 12:46 PM
Guest1037 (Guest): I have so many veins was a bit nervous that I would have issues removing

Apr 4 2017, 12:46 PM
EmoryHealthcare: @Guest1037, what issues are you afraid of?

Apr 4 2017, 12:47 PM
gigi (Guest): this has been very informative. thanks Emory!

Apr 4 2017, 12:48 PM
EmoryHealthcare: @GiGi, you’re welcome!

Apr 4 2017, 12:48 PM
Guest4028 (Guest): Should I wait until I have lost weight to have my spider veins removed? Or will removing them now prevent new spider veins from being created, or worsening?

Apr 4 2017, 12:48 PM
EmoryHealthcare: @Guest4028, here’s Dr. Rheudasil’s answer for you: “We recommend treating spider veins when they are bothersome enough to the patient. Weight loss is not necessary to begin treatment. Unfortunately, spider vein treatment does not reduce the risk of future spider vein formation.”

Apr 4 2017, 12:49 PM
EmoryHealthcare: @Guest1037, BTW, extensive vein treatment is quite common and you will not “run out of veins

Apr 4 2017, 12:50 PM
EmoryHealthcare: We have 10 min left

Apr 4 2017, 12:51 PM
EmoryHealthcare: Your questions have been wonderful, thank you for your engagement. We want to hear 2 last questions. As away!

Apr 4 2017, 12:51 PM
Guest4028 (Guest): Do spider veins grow up to become varicose veins, or are they two different problems?

Apr 4 2017, 12:52 PM
EmoryHealthcare: @Guest4028, the answer for you is on its way Thanks for the great question!

Apr 4 2017, 12:53 PM
EmoryHealthcare: We can probably take 1 more question now. As away!

Apr 4 2017, 12:54 PM
EmoryHealthcare: @Guest4028, here’s Dr. Rheudasil’s answer for you: “Dear Guest4028, no, spider veins never grow up, they are two separate conditions. Many patients have a combination of both spider and varicose veins. Spider veins are small thread-like veins that are a cosmetic problem only and varicose veins are larger veins that protrude from the skins service and are more likely to cause symptoms”

Apr 4 2017, 12:54 PM
gigi (Guest): good to know air travel isn’t smart after getting treatment. thanks!

Apr 4 2017, 12:55 PM
EmoryHealthcare: @GiGi, we want you to have time to heal so you can enjoy being healthy later You’re welcome Safe travels!

Apr 4 2017, 12:56 PM
Guest4028 (Guest): Does insurance cover spider veins, varicose veins, or both? I’ve heard insurance treats spider veins as a cosmetic only issue – but mine hurt!

Apr 4 2017, 12:56 PM
EmoryHealthcare: @Guest4028, thank you for your question. We are about to answer. We have 4 min left

Apr 4 2017, 12:58 PM
EmoryHealthcare: Just wanted to remind everyone that we have a web page with FAQ you can bookmark right now at http://bit.ly/2nTIEXh

Apr 4 2017, 12:59 PM
EmoryHealthcare: We share videos there that are full of great information, so make sure you check it out and share with friends http://bit.ly/2nTIEXh

Apr 4 2017, 1:00 PM
EmoryHealthcare: @Guest4028, here’s Dr. Rheudasil’s answer for you: “Dear Guest4028, Spider veins seldom cause symptoms and treatment is not usually covered by insurance. Patients that have larger varicose veins are more likely to have symptoms and treatment is often covered by insurance.”

Apr 4 2017, 1:00 PM
Guest4028 (Guest): How many veins can be treated at one session? What is the average number of sessions required for moderate spider veins?

Apr 4 2017, 1:01 PM
EmoryHealthcare: We ran out of time and will continue answering your questions on this page in a few days. We will post all responses here, so come back often, or, even better, bookmark this page right now.

Apr 4 2017, 1:01 PM
EmoryHealthcare: Thanks, everyone, for joining today, have a great day!

Learn More At Emory Vein Center 


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.

Atrial Fibrillation Live Chat: November 15, 2016

afib-email260x200Atrial fibrillation, or A-fib, is the most common irregular heart rhythm in the United States, affecting over two million Americans. Are you one of them? Or do you know someone who’s affected by A-fib? We could help you find out the information you need.

Join us on Tuesday, November 15th at 12pm EST for a live chat about atrial fibrillation with Mikhael El-Chami, MD, of the Emory Heart and Vascular Center. We’ll answer your questions about A-fib and how it’s treated. Register today.

cta-chat-blue

 

Takeaways from Dr. Rheudasil’s Varicose Vein Live Chat

Thanks to everyone who joined us Tuesday, September 8, for our live online chat “Your Aching Legs: Minimizing Varicose Vein Pain and When It’s Time to Consider Treatment” hosted by Dr. Mark Rheudasil.

Although varicose veins may not be preventable, there are ways to reduce the likelihood that you will develop them. Dr. Rheudasil provided some insights on the cause of varicose veins along with tips on how to minimize varicose vein development and minimize the discomfort they cause for those who already have them.

Here are just a few highlights:

Question: I have a profession that requires me to be on my feet all day. I can’t change jobs at this point in my career but want to minimize or prevent the formation of varicose veins. What can I do?”

rheudasil-j-mark (1)Dr. Rheudasil: For people that spend a considerable amount of time on their feet, gravity causes blood to pool in the lower legs – especially when the veins are not functioning normally. This may cause aching or heaviness, and may increase the size of varicose veins. Wear knee-high support stockings, move around a bit so that the calf muscles contract and pump some of the blood out of the lower legs.

 

 

Question: Can losing weight help prevent varicose veins?

rheudasil-j-mark (1)

Dr. Rheudasil: Yes, veins have to pump blood out of the legs against excess weight, so losing weight and being fit helps vein flow and helps reduce varicose vein likelihood.

 

 

 

Question: I am pregnant and have developed varicose veins, which I understand is common, will these go away eventually, or do I need to seek treatment? There is minor pain from time to time.

rheudasil-j-mark (1)Dr. Rheudasil: Pregnancy is a very common risk factor for varicose veins. During pregnancy we prefer to be as conservative as possible, so we would recommend compression stockings and leg elevation. The veins will likely improve after delivery, but they will likely not go away. I would not recommend a specific treatment until after delivery.

 

 

Our chat participants submitted other questions about the effect of heel height on varicose vein formation, the relationship between heart disease and varicose veins, and whether itchy legs could be related to various veins. If you missed this chat, be sure to check out the full list of questions and answers on the web transcript.

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

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.

Chat Sign Up

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.