John Jordan has been given a quality of life he never thought was possible. He is an active member in the Sarasota Cycling Club and swims several miles on the days he isn’t out riding his bicycle. This is an accomplishment by any measures for anyone, especially someone who is quickly approaching 80 years of age. To make John’s story even more encouraging is that he is still able to enjoy these physical activities even after having not one, not two, but 12, yes 12, stents and a triple bypass heart procedure.
John was diagnosed with Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) and even though he has always taken care of his body by being physically active and eating healthy, he still suffers from the symptoms of the disease. “You can’t change your genes,” expressed John as he explained his situation.
In fact, John is right about not being able to change your genetic makeup. Like many diseases, a tiny handful of genes appear to hold important clues to understanding why some patients with PAD face recurring blockages despite being in otherwise great shape and health.
PAD is a major health problem worldwide, affecting millions of patients. Although cardiovascular risk factors, such as diabetes, tobacco use, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia have been associated with the development of PAD, the existence of an inherited genetic predisposition to PAD has been reported by many studies. A link between genetics and PAD may open new avenues for the prevention of this disorder. Peripheral arterial disease is caused by plaque build-up or blockages in an area of the body outside of the heart such as the legs, neck or arms. The blockages keep extremities and organs from receiving oxygen-rich blood. And just like clogged arteries in the heart, blocked arteries in the legs raises the risk of cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks and strokes. Ultimately, PAD can reduce mobility and be fatal if left untreated.
John first noticed signs of PAD when he began experiencing pain in his legs. After 40 years of long distance running, John initially thought the pain was from his active lifestyle but some tests revealed that he had blocked arteries that were preventing adequate blood flow to his legs. In 2005 John was referred to Dr. Sedillo at Cardiovascular Solutions Institute (CVSI). “After the first two stents were put in by Dr. Sedillo I thought I was in good shape and wouldn’t experience any further complications but that wasn’t the case.” Because John’s PAD is genetic and not self induced, his arteries continued to form blockages and aside from blood-thinning medications, there isn’t anything that can be done to further prevent blockages. Dr. Sedillo has performed all 12 of John’s stent procedures and John shared his excitement about the “amazing things Dr. Sedillo can do.”
John said that “some of his surgeries were not normal procedures and he had complications along the way. But, Dr. Sedillo overcame those obstacles by performing well with calmness and confidence. Not only is Dr. Sedillo outstanding, the entire office is terrific. You will not find this high level of diagnostic care or services anywhere else.”
John exclaimed that over the years he has learned so much about different treatment options that Dr. Sedillo could provide for patients with various heart conditions. He hopes that by sharing his story he will inspire others to learn about the new treatments available for heart patients. He encourages anyone who feels their condition is keeping them from enjoying life to contact Dr. Sedillo and realize there is hope and that life can be fulfilling even with a chronic genetic disease.
” When you reach my age, you realize just how precious each year is and I am forever thankful that Dr. Sedillo and his team aren’t just keeping me alive, they are allowing me to continue doing the things I love and giving me a quality of life I didn’t think was possible with PAD. I had no idea I would feel this great at my age, even after all of the procedures I have gone through. I feel great and truly believe that I owe it all to Dr. Sedillo and his team at Cardiovascular Solutions Institute. ”
With the help of a great health care team, John says there is no reason why neither age nor heart conditions should keep anyone from enjoying the activities they love and living the life they deserve.
Imagine receiving such personal care from your doctor’s office that you get a phone call every day just to see how you are feeling. Someone from the office calls your out-of-state family member to keep everyone updated on your progress. Treating an actual person, and not just a patient number, is exactly how Dr. Gino Sedillo and his staff approach caring for their patients.
Kathleen Harmon, an Indiana native with a vacation home here in Florida, enthusiastically shares her story of extraordinary care from Dr. Sedillo and the entire office staff at Cardiovascular Solutions Institute.
When looking back on the last twelve months, Kathleen exclaims, “Dr. Sedillo saved my life and the entire staff saved my sanity. Without Cardiovascular Solutions Institute, I would not be here to share my story.”
Her doctor in Indiana discovered that Kathleen had a AAA (Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm) and told her that she needed to keep an eye on it because it was growing. Knowing that she was going to be spending time at her Florida home, Kathleen was referred to Dr. Sedillo. Kathleen went for her first visit to CVSI about a year ago and truly believes that it was the best decision she has ever made. Last April, she became very ill. She lost more than 80 pounds in a short time, and always felt nauseated and constipated. Kathleen recalls she honestly believed she was dying. “It was a very scary time. Dr. Sedillo and staff did more than treat my physical health; they talked with me and helped me through my darkest days with encouragement and support. Simply put, they became my family while caring for me.”
While being treated in Indiana, Kathleen was put through test after test after test. In contrast, Dr. Sedillo knew that her kidneys were very fragile and couldn’t take multiple tests. “Even though he is an Interventional Cardiovascular physician, Dr. Sedillo took into consideration how multiple testing and procedures would affect other areas of my body. He took charge and coordinated a treatment plan for my whole body, which prevented double testing and resulted in phenomenal care.”
Kathleen also praised the staff for maintaining constant contact with her three children, who all live in different states. This was invaluable to Kathleen and her family. “The staff explained everything in ways that made it easy for my family to understand. My loved ones always knew what was going on with my health and treatment. Also, I did not have the responsibility of having to contact them regularly and try to explain the updates or treatment plan. I could just be the patient and get well. This alone meant the world to me and prevented unnecessary worry and frustration.”
“I feel so secure with the care that I receive from Cardiovascular Solutions Institute that we are in the process of transitioning from Indiana to making Florida my primary home. It would be great if every office hired caring professionals that sincerely want to help people and not just treat it as a job.”
Kathleen’s physical and mental health has improved tremendously over the last 12 months. She admitted that just last year she wrote her eulogy and was prepared to have someone read it before the year’s end. “Thanks to Dr. Sedillo and the entire Cardiovascular Solutions Institute office, I am excited to say that no one will be reading it for a long time. I just love them all to pieces. They literally gave me many years of life that I truly didn’t think I would have. In fact, I’m feeling so great, I’m traveling to attend my sister’s 50th wedding anniversary!”
After Dr. Sedillo repaired the AAA with a closed, percutaneous procedure and placed several stents in blocked arteries, Kathleen is feeling much better and enjoying a better quality of life.
One day on the golf range, Ken Terry was excited to hear his friend mention that Dr. Gino Sedillo had opened an office in Bradenton. Mr. Terry had recently gone to the ER for chest pain and was told he had A Fib. His heart rate was over 140. It eventually came down and he was able to leave the ER, but they recommended he follow up with an Interventional Cardiologist.
Mr. Terry recalls, “As time passed, the chest pains intensified and became very sharp. My normal routine activities became painful and less enjoyable. I made an appointment with Dr. Sedillo and he took charge of my medications and dosages to ensure I was taking the best options for my individual case. He regularly monitors my response to the medication dosages and changes them accordingly.”
Atrial Fibrillation (A Fib) is an irregular and often rapid heart rhythm. The irregular rhythm results from abnormal electrical impulses, in the upper chambers of the heart, causing the heartbeat to be irregular and usually fast.
A Fib is one of the very common heart rhythm disorders, affecting about 4% of the U. S. population. People over 40 have about a 25% chance of developing A Fib in their lifetime and the risk of developing A Fib increases with age.
For many people, A Fib may cause symptoms but does no harm. If treated properly, A Fib infrequently causes serious or life-threatening problems.
Many A Fib patients are treated medically with medications and may need to try more than one medication to find the one that works best for them. Along with these medications many patients also need other drugs that are used to help patients avoid blood clot formation that may lead to strokes or additional heart problems. Atrial Fibrillation increases the risk of forming blood clots.
In determining a diagnosis, a patient’s doctor will consider the severity of the symptoms and whether they are new or have been going on for some time. Some patients are referred to a cardiologist/specialist in heart disorders.
For some patients, certain procedures may be necessary to treat A Fib. Some of those are: cardioversion, catheter ablation and pacemaker.
Symptoms of A Fib vary from person to person, some people have no symptoms, others experience one or more of the following:
Severe shortness of breath
Fainting or light headedness
Very rapid heartbeat or palpitations
Low blood pressure
Mr. Terry didn’t need a procedure, he was able to be treated medically with medications. Many patients with A Fib feel better and enjoy a better quality of life with medication alone.
“I truly feel better since being under Dr. Sedillo’s mindful care. He and his team are extraordinary. Marla, Dr. Sedillo’s nurse, is the queen at being organized and following up and making sure I have all my questions answered. She helps me to ensure that I am moving forward with their recommendations and testing. Stacy, the Physician Assistant at Cardiovascular Solutions Institute, reminds me of my loving granddaughter. She is kind and listens to my issues and is very reassuring. The whole team is friendly and truly cares about each and every patient.”
Thanks to Dr. Sedillo and the health care team at Cardiovascular Solutions Institute, Mr. Terry is looking forward to getting back to being a Little League baseball and hockey coach as well as being active as a deacon in his church.
I was raised in a boarding school with regular meals and never consumed soda, fast food, etc. In adulthood, I kept up good eating habits along with my beautiful wife Melanie and our two children. We also tried to stay healthy by not smoking or drinking in excess.With good dietary habits, why am I a patient of Dr. Gino Sedillo? Statins were only marketed in 1987, so for 50 years prior, my arteries accumulated and clogged with cholesterol, before I was able to curb further build-up with statins. In June 2003, I had a stroke on my left side. After partial recovery, my Internist told me, “One day you are going to need roto-rooter/plaque removal surgery and hence I will send you to the very best, not only in Sarasota, but in the US.” And that was how I first met Dr. Sedillo.
In April 2008, I underwent my annual nuclear stress test and was pronounced OK. Six months later (October), I had trouble walking from the mailbox to the front door and underwent another nuclear stress test. This time, I was over 90% blocked in two arteries behind my heart and my left carotid. Dr. Sedillo called it the “snowball effect of cholesterol buildup.” I checked into the hospital the very next day and Dr. Sedillo told me that he would stent the 2 arteries behind my heart, but a vascular surgeon might be needed for carotid surgery which would leave me with a large scar on the side of my neck. I expressed my displeasure about the scar. The next morning, Dr. Sedillo proceeded with the cardiac catheterization and placed two stents in my coronary arteries. After completing the two behind the heart, he examined the carotid and announced that I would not need a vascular surgeon, nor would I have a scar because he could perform the procedure through the groin. This made me very happy and pleased. The procedure was successful! My story all boils down to two choices; one that I made (choosing Dr. Sedillo) and one that I could not make (a family history of high cholesterol). Thankfully, I made the best decision when I chose Dr. Sedillo who was able to successfully perform the procedures needed to combat the complication of accumulation of cholesterol due to a family history of high cholesterol.
You’re going about your normal day, when suddenly you feel your heart skip a beat. You may even feel a little dizzy. What is going on? Is it life threatening? How do you know if it is or not? What is causing this? For Nadine Thomas, it was just another day at work when these same thoughts crossed her mind. “I work for a physician in town and when I had palpitations in the office one day, I mentioned it to the doctor. I explained that this same feeling of ‘my heart beating out of my chest’ had occurred a couple of times in the past and that I was unsure what was causing these unsettling feelings.” Luckily for Nadine, her most recent palpitations occurred at the doctor’s office where she works, enabling her to speak to a doctor immediately following the incident.
“The doctor listened to my heart and suggested that I see Dr. Gino Sedillo, especially since my brothers have pacemaker implants, and that is exactly what I did. I scheduled an appointment with Dr. Sedillo to determine what was causing the palpitations.” For those of you unsure about what palpitations are, they are often described as heartbeat sensations that feel like pounding or racing. You may feel skipped or stopped beats. Palpitations can be felt in your chest, throat, or neck. The most important thing to do if you experience any of these sensations is to see a cardiologist who can help determine if they are harmless, or if they are more significant. Nadine’s appointment with Dr. Sedillo was very reassuring. Dr. Sedillo ordered several tests to rule out any severe cardiac issues. “Talking with Dr. Sedillo was very easy, his compassion and concern for my health was clear. As you can imagine, I was very worried that something might be wrong with my heart. Dr. Sedillo took his time and explained everything to me in a way that made me feel calm and confident. He stated, no matter what the lab or 30 day event heart monitor showed, together we would develop a plan to resolve the root cause.”
Nadine learned that if you experience palpitation sensations, it is important to keep a record of how often you have palpitations, when they happen, how long they last, your heart rate at the time of the palpitations, and what you are feeling at the time. Having this information available when you visit the doctor will assist in determining how serious your heart palpitations are and what may be causing them. “I strongly encourage anyone with unusual heart sensations to see a cardiologist. Our body does strange things and gives us warnings when something isn’t right, we just have to pay attention. Sometimes it takes a while to figure out the warning signs.”
“Dr. Sedillo is a wonderful listener; he explains everything to you in a way you can understand. He looks directly at you while communicating his plan for you, which instills complete and utter trust in his care.” “Working in the medical office field, I appreciate the atmosphere and the care I received at Cardiovascular Solutions Institute with Dr. Gino Sedillo. The physician that I work with, often refers patients to Dr. Sedillo, and now I personally understand why he is so highly recommended. We have confidence that the staff at Cardiovascular Solutions Institute will see the patients in a timely manner, while providing excellent care with compassion. I was most impressed by the staff and their attentiveness. Everyone is kind and caring while maintaining their professionalism.” Listen to your body and take action on warning signs. Preventative health is what it is all about!
Gloria Schoenfeld went to see her cardiologist because she had been experiencing consistent leg pain. The cardiologist discovered that Gloria had no discernible pulse in her leg artery and determined that surgery was needed to correct the problem. He referred her to a surgeon. “I made an appointment with the referred surgeon, and during my appointment I learned that the procedure I needed was going to be very invasive, have multiple incisions and a long recovery time. This was so upsetting and I was scared of what was to come.”
As luck would have it, Gloria’s daughter attended a birthday party, at which time she explained her mother’s situation to a friend. This friend mentioned that she knew of Dr. Gino Sedillo’s less invasive work and suggested getting a second opinion from Dr. Sedillo. The day after the party, Gloria and her daughter called CardioVascular Solutions Institute and discussed Gloria’s upcoming surgery and the possibility of meeting with Dr. Sedillo to determine if he could perform the less invasive surgery on her. “The staff was able to make me an appointment the very next day. Soon after meeting Dr. Sedillo, I knew that I was going to call the original surgeon and cancel the invasive procedure.” After speaking with Dr. Sedillo, Gloria learned that the surgery she needed didn’t have to be as invasive as she once feared, and the recovery time would be significantly shorter.
Armed with this new information, Gloria chose to have Dr. Sedillo perform the procedure she needed. The procedure, involving several arteries, was performed at Doctors Hospital in Sarasota. “My recovery was smooth and I noticed improvements in areas that I was not even expecting. For example, I was once again able to get a full night of uninterrupted sleep, without having to use the bathroom a couple times throughout the night. I have to say, that was a unique and nice surprise!” “I just have so much energy! Dr. Sedillo is a miracle worker. I feel like I’m 10-15 years younger. I have returned to my active lifestyle as a “Nanny Granny” caring daily for my two grandchildren, Aiden and Nadia. Being able to do this is just so important to me in so many ways.”
According to Gloria, last summer when she cared for her grandchildren she would always need to rest or nap afterwards. She is looking forward to spending entire days filled with fun events with the grandchildren this summer. Gloria boasted that she recently completed her spring cleaning from windows to cabinets to floors in a record-breaking three days. She excitedly proclaimed that she has so much energy she is a ball of fire and she owes it all to Dr. Sedillo and the surgery he performed. “Thanks to Dr. Sedillo, I am back to doing all the things I have been unable to do for quite some time. Even my 2 year old golden retriever, Sophie, is having trouble keeping up with me on our 1 1/2 mile morning walk. I have to drag her along on the last 1/2 mile. I LOVE IT!”