New Hope for Heart Failure Patients - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

New Hope for Heart Failure Patients

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Traveling is a favorite pastime for Larry and Cathy Crawford. Over the past few years, they have not been able to just load up their RV and hit the road. Larry’s health issues forced him to stay close to a hospital. "I couldn't function. I was just out of breath all the time and tired." Larry initially thought he had a heart murmur, until he met with Cardiologist Dr. Thomas-Duythuc To of Renown Institute for Heart and Vascular Health. "When I went to his office, they noticed I was putting on a lot of water weight and they admitted me here at Renown."

"One of the hallmarks of heart failure patients is that they are drowning in their own fluid of the lungs,” explains Dr. To.

Larry was diagnosed with stage three heart failure. He experienced trouble breathing just during daily activities which made him an ideal candidate for new technology called the CardioMEMS monitoring system.

Doctors implant a sensor - the size of a dime – in the heart. It is very close to the chambers of the heart. The sensor monitors changes in pressure. When fluid accumulates, the pressure will increase and the sensor will transmit a report to doctors. As long as Larry has access to power and a cellular connection, the CardioMEMS system will allow doctors to read his results right away.

"These lines represent different numbers of pressures inside the heart." Dr. To can now change medications to help Larry avoid a trip to the hospital which, he says, can help extend his life. "We know that every hospitalization increases their mortality, so by avoiding hospitalizations indirectly we're actually helping patients to live somewhat longer." Dr. To believes it can help patients live longer and better. 70-year-old Larry says he has his energy back and, once again, he has his heart set on doing the things he loves. "We plan on traveling. We're looking forward to it."

Renown is the only hospital in Northern Nevada with the CardioMEMS technology. The next closest facility is in Sacramento. To find out if you are a candidate for this implant, Dr. To will be on our Ask the Doctor segment on Monday, September 12th from 5 – 6 p.m. Call in with your questions at (775) 858-2222.

You can also reach Dr. To at Renown’s Institute for Heart and Vascular Health:

https://www.renown.org/explore/institute-for-heart-and-vascular-health/

Click here to learn about the signs and symptoms of heart failure:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-failure/basics/symptoms/con-20029801

The 2016 Northern Nevada Heart and Stroke Walk/Run is happening on Sunday, September 18th at Wingfield Park. Participants are encouraged to raise funds for heart health. Runners and joggers will take off for a 5K run at 9 a.m. and walkers will begin at 10 a.m. To register or make a donation, click on the links below.

http://nevadaheartwalk.kintera.org/faf/home/default.asp?ievent=1151209

http://kintera.org/faf/home/ccp.asp?ievent=1151209&ccp=672338

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