Category Archives: Interviews

Will a Denial of Service DOS Attack Hit New York State Medicaid Patients? Or Perhaps Your State?

  What does a Denial of Service Attack have to do with stents, angioplasty and PCI?

In the world of computing, a DOS attack is defined as “an attempt to make a machine or network resource unavailable to its intended users.” Typically netbots programmed by hackers overwhelm the web servers of banks, credit card providers, etc. whose sites then become unavailable to their customers. Now it seems similarly that in New York State, cardiovascular treatments may become unavailable to some Medicaid patients: a denial of service. Continue reading

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Filed under ACC, Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC), Cost Effectiveness, Health Insurance, Interviews, Media Coverage, SCAI

Andreas Gruentzig: In His Own Words

Andreas R. Gruentzig, MD

Andreas R. Gruentzig, MD

On Tuesday morning the Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) 2013 Conference celebrated the “father of angioplasty,” Dr. Andreas Roland Gruentzig, with the Career Achievement Award. Gruentzig, who died in 1985, was honored with a very moving tribute, which included a video, remembrances from his colleagues, and by the presence of his wife and two daughters, who were flown in from Zurich and Berlin by the TCT to receive the award on his behalf. Continue reading

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Filed under History, Innovators, Interviews, Meetings & Conferences, Video

Department Store Where Dr. DeBakey Found His Surgical Graft Fabric is Demolished

I was alerted via Twitter today by @David_Dobbs (also retweeted by @matthewherper and @cardiobrief et al) that the Macy’s department store, formerly Foley’s, in Houston, Texas was demolished yesterday.

The building, as Dobbs explains in his blog post, “Slow-Mo Demo of Building Packed With Surgical & Personal History,” has personal significance for him, but also significance for the world of medicine. Foley’s is where Michael DeBakey purchased a bit of Dacron fabric, which he fashioned into an arterial graft to repair an aortic aneurysm, an achievement which gave birth to the wide spectrum of medical devices we have today.

A few years back, I made a documentary, tracing the history of these devices and below is a clip in which Dr. Michael DeBakey tells how his mother was really a critical element in this momentous medical advance.

You should also check out the video of the demolition itself in David Dobbs’ post.

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Filed under History, Innovators, Interviews, Video

Stents and Angioplasty via the Wrist: Not Just Evangelical Anymore

In my newly posted interview with Dr. Ron Caputo of St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center in Syracuse, New York, he answers my question about what’s changed in the transradial approach over the past five years, as follows:

Dr. Ron Caputo

Dr. Ron Caputo

“Transradial has really exploded. We’ve gone from less than 1% of operators knowing or even being interested in transradial to almost the majority of operators now having heard of or interested in doing it. And a significant number of doctors are using transradial now routinely in their practice. The last number I saw was 1% or 2% five years ago to 15-20% of all PCIs are now being done transradially in the U.S. So that’s big.

“When I talked about transradial five years ago, it was basically like I was doing an evangelical session trying to convince people it’s the right thing to do. Now everywhere I go people are doing it and we’re talking about tips and tricks. Docs have gone from talking about ‘how do you start a radial program’ to ‘these are commonly encountered problems and here’s how you deal with them.’ So it’s really evolved.” Continue reading

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Filed under Interviews, Transradial Approach

Past, Present & Future of Transradial Angioplasty with Dr. Ferdinand Kiemeneij

Dr. Ferdinand KiemeneijOn the occasion of the 20th anniversary of transradial intervention (TRI), I talked with Dr. Ferdinand Kiemeneij, “the father of transradial intervention” who practices interventional cardiology at Onze Lieve Vrouwe Gasthuis (OLVG), Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

We covered a wide range of topics regarding TRI, where angioplasty and stents are placed via the wrist, and we’ve just posted the two-part interview on Angioplasty.Org. Continue reading

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Filed under Cost Effectiveness, Global Trends, History, Innovators, Interviews, Japan, Patient Experience, Stent, Transradial Approach

Andreas Gruentzig on “Complications”

Andreas Gruentzig MD, inventor of PTCA

Andreas Gruentzig MD, Inventor of PTCA

The Patient Forum on Angioplasty.Org receives over 40,000 page views a month. And patients who post to the Forum are a very select subset: they are usually patients who have experienced some type of complication.

I’ve called it our “Complaint Dept.”, not to demean or belittle it in any way, but to characterize it for our readers. If you read through some of the topics, you would think that angioplasty is fraught with negatives and the risks outweigh the benefits. And you’d be wrong because the number of complications is the numerator; the denominator is all of the procedures done, currently almost 700,000 PCIs annually in the U.S. alone.

So, complications occur in only a small percentage of cases.

Of course, if you or a loved one is one of those complications, you really don’t care about the percentages; you want help and answers. Continue reading

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Filed under History, Innovators, Interviews, Patients, Video

Follow-up to Transradial Angioplasty on the Dr. Oz Show

Jennifer Tremmel, MD

Jennifer Tremmel, MD

Letters…we get letters.

Last month Dr. Oz did a segment on transradial angioplasty and featured Dr. Jennifer Tremmel who is not only the Clinical Director of Women’s Heart Health at Stanford Clinic,  but also the Director of Transradial Interventions at Stanford Medical Center. I reported on that show here.

There was much buzz generated in the cardiology community; after all, it’s not every day that many millions of viewers hear about an interventional cardiology procedure that’s practiced in less than 10% of cases. Continue reading

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Filed under Interviews, Patient Experience, Patients, Transradial Approach