Monday, February 23, 2015

High heart scan score: ‘I thought it must be a typo’

The results of Max Marty’s CT Heart Scan were so bad that even his doctor wondered how they could be correct.

Max had scheduled his heart scan after two friends experienced heart trouble. A perfect score is zero, indicating a very low risk for coronary artery disease. Max’s score? 2400. “I thought it must be a typo or maybe the machine was broken, because I was feeling really good. In fact, I’d just played 18 holes of golf that week!” said Max, a retired musician. “My internist, Dr. Paul Bergfelder, had me come in right away. He couldn't believe I didn’t have any symptoms, and said I was lucky to be alive.”

Dr. Bergfelder sent Max to Reid Heart & Vascular Center, where Feras El-Bash, MD, an interventional cardiologist, performed a cardiac catheterization that afternoon. Three of Max’s main coronary arteries were 80% blocked. E. Paul Howanitz, M.D., Reid cardiovascular/thoracic surgeon, came in and introduced himself to Max and recommended bypass surgery.

“Dr. Howanitz told me he’d done close to 4,000 bypass surgeries in his career, and that his recovery rate is 98 percent,” Max said. “Those numbers sounded good to me, so we scheduled the surgery.” Max’s surgery was a success, and he said he received excellent care while in the hospital. “I couldn't have been treated any better—it was amazing,” he explained. “Everyone at Reid was smiling and happy, and that made me feel better when I was recovering.”

Looking back, Max said he should have been more vigilant about his heart health. His grandmother died of a stroke, and his father of a heart attack. To lower his risk, Max is eating less fried food and limiting his salt intake. Now almost finished with his cardiac rehabilitation therapy, Max said he is feeling stronger and is getting back to his usual routines. “The experience at Reid couldn't have been any better for me,” he said. “Those people, everybody who cared for me all hours of the day, they were all great.”

The Reid Heart scan is available this month at a reduced price. For more information click here: Heart scans; or call (765) 983-3358 to schedule.

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