Timeless January-March 2022 - Page 21

HEALTH
The pain in her leg was the result of fatty plaque that had deposited in her leg artery and was limiting her ability to walk and exercise .
To help relieve her symptoms , Dr . Umer Tariq , an interventional cardiologist with Rush Health Systems , performed a complex vascular procedure to restore flow in her right leg artery .
After the procedure , Gordon recovered and begin resuming her daily activities . Several months later , however , in April 2021 , she began having problems again . “ My feet were swelling . I was having trouble breathing . I was having chest pains ,” she said . She immediately went back to see Dr . Tariq . This time , he performed percutaneous coronary intervention , which is a non-surgical , minimally invasive procedure often used to open clogged coronary arteries . “ It ’ s very common for people with chest pains and heart attacks to get this procedure ,” Dr .
Tariq noted .
With Gordon , the procedure involved threading a catheter through the radial artery in her arm to the site of the problem area , then ballooning the blockage before a stent was inserted , which continued to keep the artery open after the balloon was removed .
Both procedures have helped Gordon get back to a normal life , including spending time with her three grown children and six grandchildren who range in age from 5 to 16 .
“ I couldn ’ t enjoy my grandchildren and do things with them . I couldn ’ t get out and play with them ,” she said . “ I couldn ’ t exercise without it making me out of breath . I couldn ’ t go walking .”
Gordon recommends anyone who is experiencing symptoms that may be heart related to see their physician because she feels her problems may eventually have led to a heart attack .
“ With these interventions we were able to provide pain relief from her heart and legs so she can focus on exercising and living a better , healthier lifestyle ,” Dr . Tariq said .
Since she had her second stent put in , Gordon has decided to quit smoking , which she feels was a contributing factor to her heart disease .
“ When I knew I was going to have my second stint , I said no more smoking ,” she said . “ I told myself that if I do not quit now , then I am not going to be here to see my grandchildren graduate .”
With February being American Heart Month , a federally designated time to remind Americans to focus on their heart health , Dr . Tariq offers these three tips on things local residents can do to reduce their chance of heart disease .
• Eat healthy . Reduce red meat consumption and eat more beans , vegetables and fish .
• Exercise regularly .
• Quit smoking . These habits prevent further build up of plaque in the heart , leg and brain arteries , which help prevent heart attacks , strokes and amputations , he said . T
“ I couldn ’ t enjoy my grandchildren and do things with them . I couldn ’ t get out and play with them . I couldn ’ t exercise without it making me out of breath . I couldn ’ t go walking .”
KARLA GORDON , heart patient
“ With these interventions we were able to provide pain relief from her heart and legs so she can focus on exercising and living a better , healthier lifestyle .”
DR . UMER TARIQ , an interventional cardiologist with Rush Health Systems www . meridianstar . com
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