Advanced stenting procedure improves U-M patient’s quality of life

Jolette Munoz discovers “a better version” of herself

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Jolette Munoz says her quality of life has improved tremendously over the course of her treatment for various heart issues at the University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center. But it’s her most recent advanced stenting procedure that has brought the most dramatic improvement in her quality of life, she says.

Jolette’s health issues began with a massive heart attack in 2009, which was followed by triple bypass surgery to treat a 90 percent blockage in her left anterior descending (LAD) artery. Then, later that year, she was treated for peripheral artery disease (PAD), a vascular arterial disease that causes blockages in the arteries to the legs.

Although Jolette’s surgeries improved her quality of life, over the next six years she experienced complications from her bypass. This led to multiple stenting procedures of her bypass arteries, which unexpectedly failed due to weakened blood vessels from radiation treatment for lung cancer several years prior to her heart attack. “It seemed like every other month I landed in the hospital for issues with my stents,” she says. Continue reading

Real women, Real stories – Go Red for Women

On Feb. 5 wear red and learn your risk for heart disease

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Heart survivors Jolette Munoz and Sharon Gillon are living stronger.

Heart disease has long been thought of as a men’s issue, when it is actually the leading cause of death in both men and women. In fact, since 1984, more American women than men have died of heart disease.

Women have the power to reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke and the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign offers tips to set you on a heart-healthy path for life. Wear Red on Friday, Feb. 5 to show your support for better prevention, treatment and research of women’s heart disease.

Still need inspiration? Meet amazing women who are in the fight for their lives against heart disease. Continue reading

5 ways smoking hurts your heart

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University of Michigan cardiologist Dr. G. Michael Deeb wants his patients to know something: Nicotine is toxic not only to the lungs but also to the heart. “When most patients think of the dangers of smoking, they think about the lungs,” says Dr. Deeb. “But cardiovascular disease is the number one killer in Michigan, and smoking is accelerating the problem.”

According to the American Heart Association, as many as 30 percent of all coronary heart disease deaths in the United States each year are attributable to cigarette smoking, and the more you smoke, the greater your risk. But even people who smoke fewer than five cigarettes a day can have early signs of cardiovascular disease. Continue reading

Top 5 Takeaways on Diseases of the Aorta and Veins

Dr. Dawn Coleman shares information from Mini Med School presentation

mini_med_school_cardiovascular_graphic diseases blogLeading U-M Frankel CVC researchers and physicians are advancing knowledge, finding new treatments and applying new technologies. Each week one of them shared his or her expertise in a six-week Mini Med School community education program focused on cardiovascular topics.

Here are the Top 5 Takeaways from Dr. Dawn Coleman’s Mini Med School presentation on Diseases of the Aorta and Veins:

1. Surgery for AAA is a solid option

Open surgical repair of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) remains a durable option for patients; endovascular measures with stent graft technology continue to evolve, offering expanded indications for use with complex anatomy and a lower risk of early death and major complication. Continue reading

Eighty-seven-year-old shares her experience with peripheral arterial disease

Maxine Kilkoin is walking proud

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Despite PAD, Maxine Kilkoin enjoys the simple things in life, like spending time with her granddaughter.

An artificial limb hasn’t slowed Maxine Kilkoin down. In fact, she’s doing more today than ever, thanks to the treatment she received at the University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center. The 87-year-old says the doctors at U-M helped her keep her leg for five years after her prior physician recommended it be removed due to peripheral arterial disease (PAD).

PAD is a condition, or set of conditions, caused by the blockage or narrowing of the body’s large peripheral arteries. Lack of proper blood flow to the legs is very common in this condition. An estimated one in 20 Americans over the age of 50 has PAD and between 12 and 20 percent of Americans age 65 and older suffers from the disease. Continue reading

Patient shares her peripheral artery disease experience

Intense leg pain made it difficult to walk even to her mailbox

Jolette Munoz wants people to know something: “I am still here!”

This University of Michigan patient looks at life a little bit differently these days, knowing she has overcome some very difficult health challenges. Jolette credits the care and expertise of doctors at the University of Michigan Samuel and Jean Frankel Cardiovascular Center with helping her beat the odds.

Jolette’s health issues began with a massive heart attack in June of 2009. Then, in August of that year, she underwent triple bypass surgery, followed shortly after by a diagnosis of peripheral artery disease (PAD). In fact, the severe PAD-related pain she first experienced was during cardiac rehab after her bypass surgery. Jolette says the pain began in her calf, and extended up from there. “The pain was so intense that I couldn’t even walk to the mailbox,” she remembers.

Continue reading