Recent Posts

Heart & Vascular
Can I Inherit Varicose Veins?
Jul 29, 2015 By Mark Rheudasil, MD

vein_ 7-29Varicose veins are large, abnormal blood vessels visible on the skin surface. They almost always affect the legs, and often appear as bulging, twisted blue veins. Many theories exist for why varicosities occur in veins, but the consensus is that weak vein walls and valves are the main cause. Inside your larger veins are valves that allow blood to flow toward the heart, but, open to prevent backward flow of blood toward the feet (reflux). If the valves don't function properly, excess blood will remain in the veins, raising the pressure and causing them to swell and distend. Some veins will enlarge enough to weaken the walls and become varicose. Though rarely dangerous, varicose veins can often cause symptoms of aching, weakness or heaviness.

The Role of Genetics

Heredity is one of the most important risk factors for developing varicose veins and spider veins. Your risk of [...]

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Heart & Vascular
Takeaways from Dr. Jokhadar's and Dr. Sahu's Congenital Heart Disease Chat
Jul 21, 2015 By Emory Healthcare

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 [...]

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Heart & Vascular
What is a Blood Clot?
Jul 17, 2015 By Dr. Wissam Jaber

bloodclot_7-17When you get a cut, blood clotting is your body’s healthy response to stem the bleeding and begin to close the wound so it can heal. But too much of a good thing can cause problems if it happens inside the body and obstructs blood flow through healthy blood vessels. Depending on where the clot (or “thrombus”) occurs and ends up--they can travel in your blood vessels-- it can cause serious problems that require medical attention, including stroke, heart attack, or pulmonary embolism (clot in the lungs).

At risk

Unhealthy clotting can be caused or exacerbated by a number of factors, so it’s worth being aware of danger signs if you take certain medications (like oral contraceptives, hormone therapy drugs and some breast cancer medications), have a family history of blood clots or heart problems, smoke, , are pregnant, obese, have high cholesterol or have recently had [...]

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Heart & Vascular
Is a Daily Aspirin Regimen Right for Me?
Jul 8, 2015 By Dr. Baer

DailyAspirin_ 7-8It’s long been considered common knowledge that aspirin reduces the risk of the formation of blood clots, which causes heart attacks and strokes. While it was once used on an occasional basis for fever, or aches and pains, aspirin is now taken daily like a vitamin pill for many. And what’s not to love? It costs two cents a day and has some potential incredible benefits; however, popping aspirin on a daily basis to lower your chances of having a heart attack or stroke may not be a good approach for everyone.

Risks

It may seem like it's not that big of a deal, but taking aspirin when you don't need to can lead to some potentially serious health problems. When you take aspirin, the level of stomach protection is decreased which tends to cause bleeding. As a result, people who take aspirin regularly will have roughly double the likelihood of having an ulcer or gastrointestinal [...]

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Heart & Vascular
Takeaways from Dr. Lundberg's Hypertension Chat
Jul 1, 2015 By Emory Healthcare

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 [...]

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Heart & Vascular
The Latest in Vein Treatment Technology
Jun 26, 2015 By Mark Rheudasil, MD

Varicose Vein TreatmentVein problems are incredibly common. The National Institutes of Health estimates that 60% of all men and women suffer from some form of vein disorder. Specifically, 80 million Americans suffer from varicose veins and/or spider veins. A number of factors contribute to vein problems, including genetics, being overweight, female, pregnant and/or spending a lot of time on your feet. The fact that modern-day treatment is relatively simple is great news to the millions of Americans who suffer from varicose veins. Veins are designed to return blood from the legs back to the heart. When veins become varicose or enlarged, blood will pool in these superficial veins rather than efficiently emptying out of the legs. This excess blood, and the pressure that results, stretches and dilates the veins and often leads to symptoms of aching, heaviness and fatigue. Treatment for vein problems [...]

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Heart & Vascular
Congenital Heart Disease – Even Adults Need Special Care - Join Us for a Live Online Chat!
Jun 24, 2015 By Emory Healthcare

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 [...]

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Heart & Vascular
Things You Never Knew About Your Blood Pressure
May 29, 2015 By Emory Healthcare

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 [...]

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Heart & Vascular
The Mediterranean Diet
May 6, 2015 By Alexis Cutchins, M.D.

Mediterranean salmon saladBy now, you’ve likely heard about the Mediterranean Diet. You may have heard it’s good for you, can help you manage your weight and even allows you to enjoy some red wine. But is it true? Can you really enjoy yummy foods and still look and feel great? The answer is – ABSOLUTELY! The Mediterranean diet is a lifestyle change that helps decrease your risk of cardiovascular events in the future. Research has shown that people who incorporate plenty of produce, fish, whole grains and healthy fats not only weigh less, but also have a decreased risk for heart disease, depression, and dementia. Because the Mediterranean diet should be a lifestyle choice, it involves the daily consumption of a variety of fruit, vegetables, vegetarian proteins (beans, nuts, legumes), moderate amounts of whole grains (whole wheat breads and pasta, brown rice) and small amounts of red meat. It is [...]

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Heart & Vascular
Takeaways from Dr. Rheudasil’s Vein Live Chat
Apr 27, 2015 By Emory Healthcare

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 [...]

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