Health Interests
Allergies, Children's and teen's health issues, Heart and blood vessel disorders, Men's health issues, Mental health disorders

Posts (861)

Mar 16, 2019 · Thumping/drumming in one ear in Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT)

Hi @kerryf88 and welcome to Connect. That must be frustrating having this thumping in your ear.

i wanted to introduce you to fellow Connect members @kittyrushing @goodoldboy68 and @miscy13 as they have all mentioned ear thumping in the past and may be able to offer you support.

Back to you @kerryf88 when you cover your ear with a finger does that get rid of the thumps or do they go away on their own?

Tue, Apr 14 8:28am · Engineering and Congenital Heart Disease: Profile of CHD Surgeon Elizabeth Stephens in Congenital Heart Disease

2020-03-31 Dr. Stephens

Coming from a family of science and math Ph.D’s, Elizabeth Stephens, M.D., Ph.D, didn’t initially aspire to becoming a doctor. However, during her sophomore year of college, that changed,

“As an undergrad I got hooked on research – I was a sophomore and doing some biomaterial coatings for Inertial Fusion Energy that were extremely successful. I was sent to national and international meetings to present and the research was named a national advance in the field for that year. But at the same time, I was volunteering in a cardiac care unit and I saw so many patients hurting and needing help, so I decided to look into biomedical research and ultimately entered an MD/Ph.D program.”

As she dove into medicine, specifically congenital heart disease, her interest continued to grow as she noted the engineering aspects of a human heart with congenital heart disease

“I love the physiology of congenital heart disease, there’s a lot of engineering in it, i.e. pressures/resistances, etc. It also is very creative – even patients with the same anomaly will have different anatomy so each case is unique.”

After completing the MD/Ph.D program at Rice/Baylor, Dr. Stephens did a post-doctoral fellowship at Stanford in valve-sparing aortic root replacement and bicuspid aortic valve disease, before working in adult cardiothoracic surgery at Columbia in New York for six years, followed by 19 months in congenital heart disease at Northwestern/Lurie Children’s Hospital.  She joined Mayo Clinic in December of 2019. 

Dr. Stephens’ interest in valves dates back to graduate school, and much of her work and research is largely focused on valve disease and operations, such as valve-sparing aortic root replacement, the Ozaki procedure, and the Ross procedure to correct them.

The continual drive to improve patient care and outcomes is the ultimate goal of Dr. Stephens’ clinical and research work:

“One of the real strengths of Mayo, which is unique to this institution relative to other large centers across the country, is the ability to truly have multi-disciplinary patient centric care – and that’s a key benefit to having ACHD at a single hospital that includes pediatrics and adults. One of the ways I want to capitalize on this is doing more hybrid procedures as well as utilizing advanced imaging in our care of patients.  Additionally, I’m bringing new technologies and techniques into the practice.”

This desire to continue to improve always returns to improving the lives of patients. And the opportunity to care for patients is Dr. Stephens’ favorite part of her work. She explained,

“It’s really a privilege to take care of congenital heart disease patients. Many of these patients have undergone previous surgeries and have had their life limited by their disease. Being able to help them, come alongside them, offer them hope and to understand where they are coming from which is foreign to many around them – that this is what we do everyday and we’re familiar with all that they’ve been through and their fears and questions.  It’s incredibly rewarding and I’m thankful that I get to come to Mayo every day and do something that I love that directly impacts people.”


Wed, Apr 8 2:50pm · Medicine Across the Globe: CHD Surgeon Dr. Prasad Krishnan in Congenital Heart Disease

2020-03-30 Prasad Krishnan

In a career that has spanned nearly four decades, Mayo Clinic cardiovascular surgeon Prasad Krishnan, M.D. has practiced medicine across the globe.

Originally from India, Dr. Krishnan finished medical school in 1984 and after completing a fellowship in New Delhi, India in 1991, he served advanced fellowships in New Zealand, at Mayo Clinic Rochester and Cleveland Clinic, before returning to India in 1997 as a cardiac surgeon in Chennai. While at Apollo Hospitals in Chennai, Dr. Krishnan had a chance to perform pediatric cardiac surgery both locally and in another county.

“Recognizing, my expertise in pediatric cardiac surgery, the Government of Mauritius – a beautiful island in the Indian Ocean near Africa- invited me to perform pediatric cardiac surgeries there four times in 2 years.  I performed over 100 pediatric cardiac surgeries, while working with the local team and helped develop a pediatric cardiac surgical program” Krishnan said.

He then served in leadership positions at hospitals in Sri Lanka and Bangalore, before returning to Mayo Clinic in 2010.

Dr. Krishnan became interested in congenital heart disease due to the complexity of congenital heart diseases and how it affects all different parts of the heart.

“I am fascinated by the marvel of nature’s creation and enjoy the challenges of correcting the full spectrum of congenital heart defects, trying to recreate normal structure and function in an abnormally formed heart.”

Treating these patients and attempting to bring their heart function back to where it should be, also provides the greatest challenge in his work as a surgeon, which gives him great perspective on his work and life in general, “It is only then we realize the marvel of nature’s creation. While trying to repair congenital heart defects, the surgeon needs to strategize in order to minimize the number of operations and procedures required during the life of the patient and obtain the best results both in terms of survival and quality of life.”

Dr. Krishnan is particularly interested in helping infants born with congenital heart defects find success after birth and throughout their lives.

“Words cannot describe the sense of satisfaction from being able to help a baby, facing a risk to its life, and the joy from seeing that same child grow and develop normally, following cardiac surgery.” He added, “one surgery can make the difference between almost certain early death and an entire full human life span. There are few such examples in the entire field of medicine. The opportunity to do this, gives me a greater purpose in life.”

Dr. Krishnan’s research largely focuses on improving procedures for infants, as well as minimizing the need for re-operation in patients with: Tetralogy of Fallot, Transposition of Great Arteries, or Functionally Single ventricles. This comes while he strives to help make Mayo Clinic the number one Pediatric Cardiac surgical program in the Midwest.

Dr. Krishnan is driven by that original desire to become a doctor to help his patients.

“As a surgeon, I like to identify and fix a problem, rather than review  a long list of differential diagnoses, and potential medical treatment options. I like to see dramatic results after an operation, like a baby who is sick and blue from lack of oxygen turning pink and healthy after an operation.”


Tue, Mar 31 1:24pm · Chronic cough & sinusitis in Lung Health

Hi @anunez that must be so difficult to suddenly have this chronic cough and sinusitis after years of excellent health.

@tinaesims and @nannette both have experience with chronic cough and may be able to offer you support.

Since you mentioned bronchiectasis I wanted to share this link to the MAC & Bronchiectasis group on Connect where you can interact with others who are being treated for bronchiectasis: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/mac-bronchiectasis/

Back to you @anunez and your story, are you comfortable sharing some of the antibiotics or medications you have tried in the past?

Tue, Mar 31 7:58am · COVID-19 and MAC: What are you doing differently to protect yourself? in MAC & Bronchiectasis

Hi @auntnanny, Thanks for alerting us to the issue with not receiving Connect email notifications. Several members have reported this issue lately. Email programs are cracking down and tightening their spam filters. To prevent Connect-related emails from going to your junk mail or spam, add Connect's sender address "@n1.hubapplication.com" to your safe sender list. Here are instructions on how to do this for various email types:
– AOL http://www.subscribermail.com/safe-list/address-book-aol-mail.html
– Gmail, Outlook (hotmail) and Yahoo http://onlinegroups.net/blog/2014/02/25/how-to-whitelist-an-email-address/
Additionally, when you find a Connect email in your spam folder, move it back to the inbox and mark "Not Spam". Eventually your email will get it.

Here is a link to a blogpost that explains how to do this: How to add Connect to your Safe Senders List: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/page/about-connect/newsfeed-post/what-to-do-if-you-arent-getting-connect-email-notifications-anymore/

Sat, Mar 28 11:30am · Congenital Heart Disease Care Model: Heart Rhythm in Congenital Heart Disease

This is the fourth entry in our blogpost series that describe the different aspects of the Congenital Heart Disease Center’s multi-disciplinary model of care. In this post, the role of Heart Rhythm study in care of CHD patients is examined and explained by Mayo Clinic Rochester electrophysiologist Malini Madhavan, M.B.B.S.

The heart’s rhythm is defined as the electrical activity of the heart that makes the heart muscles squeeze and pump blood. Observing the heart’s rhythm is an integral part of the well-rounded care of a congenital heart disease patient.

A patient is aware of a heart rhythm problem when they start experiencing symptoms, after a chamber of the heart starts beating too fast or slow, generally above 100 beats per minute or below 60 beats per minute. Malini Madhavan, M.B.B.S, an electrophysiologist at Mayo Clinic says that congenital heart disease patients have a higher risk of these abnormalities.

“Patients with adult congenital heart disease are more prone to heart rhythm abnormalities. In fact, it’s the second most common cause for illness and hospital admissions in patients with adult congenital heart disease.”

Symptoms of heart rhythm problems are: heart palpitations, which is a sensation of the heart racing; lightheadedness or fainting spells; and increased tiredness or difficulty breathing with activities. Heart rhythm monitoring is recommended when patients experience these symptoms.

Where an irregular heart rhythm occurs, whether it occurs in the top chambers of the heart (atrium), or in the bottom chambers of the heart (ventricle) depends on the specific congenital heart disease diagnosis and the type of procedures performed in the past. The prognosis and treatment for the different arrhythmias will vary based on the type of arrhythmia and the underlying congenital heart disease. If left untreated for a significant period of time, heart rhythm abnormalities can lead to heart failure, stroke, or sudden death. Hence prompt diagnosis and treatment is key.

When a patient has symptoms, a doctor will first listen to the patient’s symptoms and heart sounds and then obtain an electrocardiogram to determine if an arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm) is present. If more monitoring is necessary a heart rhythm monitor is given to the patient for 24 hours to a month for the patient to wear continuously to detect problems with the heart rhythm. For patients who have infrequent symptoms that cannot be recorded on a month long monitor, small implanted heart rhythm monitoring devices can provide answers. An improvement in mobile technology gives physicians another tool to potentially use:

“Another advancement in the last five years are smartphone apps that patients can use to record their ECGs. The ECG quality from the smartphone is not the same as what is recorded by medical devices that we give out to patients, but it is of reasonable quality.” She added, “These mobile apps provide an additional diagnostic tool for patients who experience symptoms suspicious for heart rhythm abnormalities.”

The speed and location of the rhythm determines what treatment is appropriate, with treatment tailored to the particular patient and rhythm. Treatment can include medications (anti-arrhythmic drugs) with monitoring from an electrophysiologist. A catheter ablation is another treatment option, which is especially helpful for a particular subset of congenital heart disease patients.

“Patients with congenital heart disease are more prone to arrhythmias due to a combination of their heart disease and scars from prior surgical procedures. The presence of surgical scars can increase the chance of electrical movement around scarred regions leading to arrhythmia” Dr. Madhavan said.

According to Dr. Madhavan, an ablation procedure is a minimally invasive procedure. During this procedure, the physician passes catheters through the veins and arteries of the groin to the heart. The physician then identifies where the previous surgical scars are located and they proceed with an ablation procedure. During the ablation procedure, energy similar to electrocautery heat is used to target the area of the scar that is causing the irregular heartbeat.   Success rates of up to 80 percent are noted for some rhythms.

Another important treatment option, is the implantation of devices called pacemakers and defibrillators. Pacemakers are used to treat slow heart rhythms and defibrillators are specifically for ventricular arrhythmias. Ventricular arrhythmias are fast rhythms from the lower chamber (ventricles), that put a patient at high risk for sudden death. A defibrillator can be life-saving for these patients. Dr. Madhavan elaborated,

“Ventricular arrhythmias are frequently stopped using a shock to the heart. A defibrillator is able to diagnose a ventricular arrhythmia and provide a lifesaving shock in a timely fashion. So for patients who need it, having a defibrillator is like having an EMT with them all the time. The device is able to avoid the delays that occur when emergency medical services are activated and provides timely treatment that preserves the function of vital organs such as the brain. Defibrillators are devices that are most often implanted through minimally invasive procedures, less often they need to be surgically implanted. But these devices pick up on life threatening rhythms within a few seconds and either pace or shock the heart. Once the rhythm is back to normal, a patient’s consciousness is quickly restored within a few minutes.”

Dr. Madhavan concluded by stating the importance of having a team approach: “I take care of the heart rhythm problem, but work very closely with a team of specialists from adult congenital cardiology and cardiovascular surgery. It has to be a team approach.”


Sat, Mar 28 11:06am · Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR), prednisone and Coronavirus COVID-19 in Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR)

Hi @kathylovgren, you may have noticed I moved your post to this discussion that @johnbishop had referenced you post being put before so that you can connect with others with similar experience. Simply click VIEW & REPLY in your email notification to get to your post.

I encourage you to read through the other posts in this discussion and also to look through the references John shared. How have you been feeling? Have you been able to send a message to your doctor to ask their opinion?

Fri, Mar 27 1:38pm · Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) - Introduce yourself and meet others in Autoimmune Diseases

Hi @rarelybees2889 and @elmay there is another discussion on Connect where you can meet others with Sjogren's Syndrome.

Sjogren’s Syndrome – Introduce yourself and meet others – https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/sjogrens/

I encourage you both to join in on that discussion and connect with others who have similar experiences as you with this autoimmune disease.