Heart scan leads to life-saving aneurysm surgery.
Naperville Sun HealthAware column:
Heart scan alerts man to dangerous aneurysm
August 13, 2012
In January, 51-year old Pete Bean of Aurora visited his brother Dennis, 57, in an Oklahoma hospital. Dennis had just had emergency triple bypass surgery.
“Seeing him hooked up to all those tubes scared me straight about finally getting checked out,” Pete recalls. “I knew I might also be at greater risk because our father had passed away from heart trouble 12 years ago.”
When Bean saw notices from Edward Hospital about the Ultra Fast Heart Scan, he decided that would be a good place to start. The scan detects calcium build-up in the coronary arteries, the most common cause of heart disease. Sometimes other problems with the heart, and even lungs, show up.
That’s exactly what happened in Bean’s case. His scan strongly suggested the presence of an aneurysm, a dangerous bulge in the aorta, which is the largest artery and distributes oxygen-rich blood throughout the body.
Bean was referred to Dr. Anand Ramanathan, a cardiologist at Edward Heart Hospital and with Midwest Heart-Advocate Medical Group.
“We learned that his thoracic aneurysm was at 5.3 centimeters — at this point the risk of rupture increases,” Dr. Ramanathan says.
In late March at Edward, Dr. Bryan Foy, of Cardiac Surgery Associates, performed open heart surgery to repair Bean’s aneurysm.
“We’re seeing more patients getting tests for other purposes that can help diagnose aneurysms before they cause trouble,” says Foy, medical director of Edward cardiothoracic surgery. “There are very few otherwise inevitably fatal conditions that can be treated in a single day with a 98 percent success rate.”
Bean plans to volunteer a few hours each month in Edward’s Hearts Alive program, in which former cardiac patients provide support and information to patients.
“I’m determined to encourage others to get tested for risk of heart disease,” Bean says. “You just don’t know until that ‘episode’ happens. Then it may be too late.”
Edward Heart Hospital is offering the heart scan at a special rate of $75 (the regular price is $150) for anyone who schedules a scan to be done during September or October. For more information and to schedule an appointment, call 877-45-HEART.
Naperville, Illinois (IL) - Edward Hospital and Health Services