Recent Posts

Heart & Vascular
Can I Inherit Varicose Veins?
Mar 16, 2018 By Emory Healthcare

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 [...]

Read More | (0)
Heart & Vascular
Your Heart Questions Answered by the Women's Heart Center - pt 2
Mar 13, 2018 By Emory Women's Heart Center

Heart Failure Live Chat 7/25/17Thank you for your patience and for your participation in American Heart Month! We received so many great questions, it took us a while to get through them all. We hope you find our Part 2 answers helpful. Thank you to our Emory Women's Heart Center experts  Dr. Alexis CutchinsDr. M Carolina GongoraDr. Gina LundbergDr. Susmita Parashar, and Stacy Jaskwhich for answering these submitted questions. Review Part 1 questions and answers here! What are the signs of heart disease? Are there any silent signs?  Signs of heart disease may include the ones we would typically think about:

  • chest pain
  • shortness of breath
  • palpitations
Some other signs of heart disease that may not be as distinguishable (or considered silent as they are not recognized as a heart problem) could be:
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • sweating or flushing
  • neck pain
  • jaw pain
  • back

Read More | (0)
Heart & Vascular
Real Patients, Real Stories: Regulating a Racing Heart
Mar 10, 2018 By admin

Brittany Martin, a children's dance coach, experienced constant adrenaline over the course of a year, leading her to visit Emory University Hospital. "My body was in fight or flight mode all the time," she says. Martin began seeing a doctor in Mcdonough in 2015 for an elevated heart rate. She attributed her heart racing to stress from her dance team at the Platinum Peaches studio in Decatur, Georgia. She was preparing for a competition. Then, one Monday last summer, she felt worse. She became more concerned about the increased headaches, chest pain, and heart palpitations. Her husband drove her to the emergency room, where doctors ran tests to determine if she was experiencing a heart attack. The doctors performed an electrocardiogram and looked for troponin her blood, a sign of damage to the heart muscle. The results showed that everything looked fine. Martin was sent to [...]

Read More | (0)
Heart & Vascular
The Difference Between Spider Veins and Varicose Veins
Mar 7, 2018 By Emory Heart & Vascular Center

legs (1)Though spider veins and varicose veins are both classified as vein disorders, there are some distinct differences between them.

What do They Look Like?

Spider veins are small, wispy, web-like veins on the skin surface, usually less than one millimeter in diameter. They may be purple or red and often appear in clusters or nests, which may look like a bruise. Varicose veins are larger veins, which often have a blue color and generally bulge under the skin. Both types of veins are visible and one of the primary treatment goals is an improvement in cosmetic appearance.

What Causes Spider Veins and Varicose Veins?

Spider veins are usually inherited. Obesity, female hormones and prolonged sitting or standing are also contributing factors. Varicose veins are most often a result of valves that function incorrectly. Normal valves allow blood to flow in only one direction—out of [...]

Read More | (0)
Heart & Vascular
The Link Between the Flu and Heart Attack
Mar 3, 2018 By Emory Healthcare

Doctors have discovered a link between heart attacks and the flu. Not only does the flu vaccine help prevent more than a bad cold, it has the potential to lower the chance of having a heart attack for those who are at high risk. "When someone comes into the hospital with a heart attack, it's not uncommon that this individual has had some type of viral illness or process in the recent past," said Dr. Laurence Sperling of Emory Heart & Vascular Center. In one study, participants 35 years and older whom were at risk of a heart attack increased their risk six times within a week of getting the flu. The vaccine may be effective short-term against heart attacks like quitting smoking or taking blood pressure medications. "Every single one of our patients who has heart disease, part of our process is to discuss a flu vaccine. Not just to prevent the flu, but as a means of [...]

Read More | (0)
Heart & Vascular
Heart to Heart: Transplant Recipients Celebrate Life
Feb 26, 2018 By Emory Healthcare

Throughout the month of February, we celebrate the heart. For heart transplant patients, they celebrate their heart and the gift of life, throughout the entire year. On February 10, 2018, 64 recipients, including three listed patients awaiting new hearts, attended the 28th Heart-to-Heart Celebration at Emory’s Miller-Ward Alumni House with their families, friends, and Emory staff members. Participants spent time with each other and their health care teams while reminiscing the waits they endured for their new hearts. They also commemorated the selfless donor families that gave the gift of life to someone else during their time of sorrow. “The Emory Heart Transplant Program has completed more than 800 heart transplants to date, but we couldn’t do any of this work without the organ donors and their families who chose to give life to others,” says Andrew Smith, MD, [...]

Read More | (0)
Heart & Vascular
Real Patients, Real Stories: Sol Kaslow's Chance to See Restored Patrol Torpedo
Feb 22, 2018 By admin

It took Sol Kaslow five decades to talk about being part of the invasion of Normandy as a young navy signalman on a Patrol Torpedo (PT) boat. "I couldn't handle talking about it," he says. "You live like it just happened." Then, for his 80th birthday, he and his wife, Florence, returned with a tour group to Normandy, where Allied Forces landed on the northern coast of occupied France on June 6, 1944, in a well-planned invasion against Germany. As the tour guide started talking about the assault—which remains the largest amphibious military invasion in history—Kaslow said, "Let me tell it, I was there." Now 92, Kaslow, the only living member of his PT crew that was in the Normandy invasion, plans to be on the world's only restored PT-305 when it launches in New Orleans this spring. It's a chance he wouldn't have had without the transcatheter aortic valve [...]

Read More | (0)
Heart & Vascular
Real Patients, Real Stories: Bill Hutchens' Problem Solved
Feb 16, 2018 By admin

Alpharetta resident, Bill Hutchens, is constantly solving problems in his career as an IT consultant. However, not too long ago, he realized that he had stumbled onto something that he couldn’t solve. Frequent angina pains similar to extreme heartburn. But with the help of Emory Saint Joseph’s Cardiac Rehabilitation program, the 51-year-old is back on the soccer field, pursuing the hobby that he loves so much. “There’s no doubt in my mind that soccer has been a life-changing event for me. If I hadn’t been such an active player the past ten years, I wouldn’t have noticed the physical changes, and I would have collapsed in my backyard. Somebody was watching out for me for sure,” he says. Because Hutchens has a family history of heart problems, he has always been vigilant about annual physicals and stress tests. His father had his first open heart surgery at the [...]

Read More | (0)
Heart & Vascular
Hope For the Broken Hearted
Feb 14, 2018 By Emory Heart & Vascular Center

Heartbreak, heartache, and heartbroken are not words you would typically associate with the day of love (Valentine’s Day)…Or are they? When February rolls around each year, we’re bombarded with messages and sentiments of love.  Couples, families, and friends begin to plan for Valentine’s Day, the day of love and dinner reservations are made, gifts are purchased, cards are written, and for those that are really lucky, the decadence of chocolate awaits. For some of us though, Valentine’s Day can be difficult if that special someone is no longer around. The overwhelming symbolism of love may cause them to reminisce and feel a deep pain. We know this pain, usually felt in the heart, as a broken heart, but in the medical world, this condition (yes, it’s a real medical condition) is known as acute stress cardiomyopathy. Acute stress cardiomyopathy or “broken heart [...]

Read More | (0)
Heart & Vascular
Real Patients, Real Stories: Luis Aparicio on a Second Chance
Feb 12, 2018 By Emory Heart & Vascular Center

A fit, athletic 64-year-old and lifelong rower, Luis Aparicio is the last person you would imagine suffering a near-fatal heart attack. Much like his life story, Aparicio’s recovery is all about dedication and persistence. Thanks to the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program at Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital, he is eagerly sharing his powerful story with others. “I’m a miracle,” Aparicio says. “I will always be grateful to cardiac rehab because they have empowered me.” Aparicio’s story began as a young boy growing up in Mexico City. While his friends were active soccer players, Aparicio never took a liking to the popular sport in his hometown. “I wasn’t good in soccer, so my coach took me to the rowing club,” he says. At the age of 13, Aparicio had such a natural talent for rowing, that his dedication to the sport included riding on six buses across town [...]

Read More | (0)