Monthly Archives: March 2012

Geoff Hartzler, Angioplasty Pioneer: In Memoriam

Geoffrey O. Hartzler, MD

Geoffrey O. Hartzler, MD

Anyone reading this, whose life has been saved by an emergency angioplasty, a procedure which stops a heart attack in its tracks, should pause for a moment in remembrance of and thanks to Dr. Geoffrey Hartzler, an early pioneer of angioplasty, who in 1980 first opened up a patient’s blocked coronary artery during an acute myocardial infarction (see video below.)  Dr. Hartzler passed away on Saturday, March 10, at age 65. I knew he had been fighting cancer, but I was saddened to read the news, first reported earlier today by Mike O’Riordan on theheart.org.

Geoff was truly a pioneer because, at the time, conventional wisdom argued against putting a balloon (this was pre-stent) into an artery that was causing an infarct. But he did, and he saved his patient’s heart and probably his life. Angioplasty has since become the “gold standard” for the emergency treatment of acute myocardial infarction. It has radically changed the prognosis for heart attack patients, virtually eliminating the devastating effects of an acute MI, if treatment is administered in time. Continue reading

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Filed under History, Innovators, Video

Myocardial Bridging: Heart Patients and Social Networking

Reyna Robles

Reyna Roble

Angioplasty.Org’s Heart Patient Forum contains 10,000 posts in 200 topics; it receives 50,000 page views a month, from Boston and Biloxi to Britain and Bangladesh. Patients share stories and questions about heart disease, stents, angioplasty, bypass surgery, allergic reactions, medications and the occasional “odd” topic — in this case “Myocardial Bridging.”

Well, not so odd to Reyna Robles, one of the many women who have posted to this topic, trying to find help, trying to find others in their situation, trying to find answers. Continue reading

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Filed under Myocardial Bridging, Patient Experience, Social Networking

Remarkable Stent Procedure

AmbulanceAs I have written before, many, many times, our Patient Forum on Angioplasty.Org is filled with thousands of patients asking questions that were not sufficiently answered by their doctors, patients wanting to know more about their procedure, their disease, why they feel the way they do after the procedure, how much activity is “safe”, why they still have a pain in their leg, etc., etc., etc. Continue reading

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Filed under Heart Attack, Patient Experience

Stent-Trek: The Next Generation

Starship Stenterprise

Starship Stenterprise

Yeah. I went there. Since everyone from Motley Fool to MassDevice to the Wall Street Journal feels the need to use “Stent Wars” (a pun that I originated on this website a decade ago) I’ve decided to go all TV. Actually, “The Next Generation” is also a more appropriate reference than the “Wars” moniker, because the story here is no longer so much about behemoth entities and dark lords battling each other for control of the universe (not that this aspect has gone away) but a story of refinement, sleeker technology and, yes, much more Data! And this past couple of weeks has seen some important developments in the next generation of stents that are positive for both patients and physicians. Continue reading

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Filed under Antiplatelet Medications, Clinical Trials / Studies, FFR, High Blood Pressure, Innovators, Intravascular Guidance, IVUS, Meetings & Conferences, OCT