Where the heart is:
From left, Salwan P. Anton, D.O. and Robert
S. Grodman, D.O., offer the latest in cardiac
testing and treatment to help you avoid heart
attack and stroke--and keep you out of the
It may begin with painful pressure in the chest. A quick call to 911 leads to a ride to the ER. In the midst of your light-headedness and discomfort, you are told the words heart attack. The next thing you know, you are waking up in a hospital bed, maybe even feeling like you could get up and walk around. Then you hear the doctor telling your spouse that the stenting went well and you can probably go home tomorrow.
Survival stories like the one outlined here keep occurring across the nation, and right here at Botsford Hospital, every day. In fact, between 1999 and 2009, the rate of death from heart attack and heart disease dropped a staggering 33 percent, according to the American Heart Association. Similar reductions have been seen in the rate of stroke death, which fell 37 percent in that same 10 years.
Awareness and action
What’s behind these survival numbers? Cardiologists at Botsford cite several factors that contribute to keeping people alive.
“I think, in general, people are now more aware of heart disease risk factors and symptoms and more apt to see a doctor to get checked out,” says Robert S. Grodman, D.O., a cardiologist at Botsford.
“Getting checked out” involves visiting your primary care physician to talk about your personal and family health history. It also means keeping tabs on your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, blood sugar, and weight.
Technology and treatment
For those at high risk for heart issues, a thorough checkup may include a visit to Botsford for cardiac testing. Based on a patient’s personal health history, a cardiologist might recommend:
“We have state-of-the-art technology at Botsford that enables us to offer all these tests, as well as cardiac catheterization,” says Salwan P. Anton, D.O., a cardiologist at Botsford. “Cardiac catheterization is the gold standard to look for blocked arteries in the heart and determine medical therapy for coronary disease.”
The results of these tests help doctors create personalized treatment plans to improve heart health. Therapy might include lifestyle changes, medications, or even the implantation of a pacemaker. All are focused on the prevention of a heart attack.
In case of emergency
Of course, of people having heart attack symptoms, immediate attention is necessary. Signs of a heart attack include:
Anyone experiencing these symptoms needs to call 911 right away, Dr. Grodman emphasizes. That is because quick treatment improves survival rates. At Botsford, doctors are also on call to provide emergency angioplasty, a procedure that opens up arteries and helps restore blood flow quickly.
“We, as a profession, are getting better at treating the disease,” Dr. Anton says. “And that’s really the No. 1 reason people are surviving heart attacks.”
Healing and hope
After a heart attack, getting back on your feet is a top priority. Botsford offers a cardiac rehabilitation program aimed at helping patients get back to their lives. “Rehabilitation gets people exercising again, in a safe fashion, but the program also helps educate patients about their medications and promotes lifestyle change,” Dr. Anton says.
People who participate in cardiac rehabilitation can improve their physical fitness and their overall quality of life. Perhaps most importantly, those who participate greatly lower their risk of develolping further heart problems. And that, after all, is the aim.
“At Botsford, our goal is to help patients prevent and survive heart attacks, “ Dr. Grodman says, “And we have the technology and services to do it.”