An innovative treatment helps a busy grandmother recover quickly, in time for a big family event
Kris Quinn of Gaithersburg is certainly not your typical 71-year-old. A kitchen designer by day and professor by night, she has a lot to keep her busy. The cardiac team at Washington Adventist Hospital provided this active grandmother with an innovative, minimally invasive approach for her heart problems that helped her recover just in time for a long-awaited family wedding.
Knowing the Signs of Trouble
Looking back, Quinn realized there were several signs of heart issues. She recalls one instance when she was chaperoning granddaughter Leanna’s class trip to the zoo. “I felt heavy pressure up my neck and down my arms,” she says. “I stopped for a couple of minutes, then kept walking, and the pressure went away.”
Two days later while mowing the lawn, she felt the same heavy pressure in her chest and decided to call her primary care physician, Carolyn O’Conor, MD. Very concerned, Dr. O’Conor arranged for Quinn to see a cardiologist as soon as possible.
Quinn insisted on Michael Chen, MD, interventional cardiologist at Washington Adventist Hospital. “My husband has been going to Dr. Chen for years, and we just adore him,” she says. “I knew I could trust him.”
A New Approach
A nuclear stress test determined that Quinn needed a cardiac catheterization procedure, which is used to identify the best treatment to restore blood flow to the heart. With her grand nephew’s wedding just one week away, Quinn was worried she wouldn’t be well enough to join her family for the celebration.
Dr. Chen explained that a minimally invasive approach known as a transradial catheterization, which involves inserting a thin, flexible wire through the wrist instead of the groin, would open up the blocked heart artery.
“Patients generally prefer this option, which enables them to be up and around much faster, experience less overall discomfort and have a quicker recovery,” Dr. Chen says.
Washington Adventist Hospital’s cardiac team performs thousands of cardiac catheterizations each year, and its cardiologists are regional leaders in the transradial approach.
During the procedure, Dr. Chen was able to successfully insert a stent, a small tube-shaped metal scaffold, into the heart artery to prevent it from closing and to restore blood flow to the heart.
Back Home and Celebrating
“We were able to get Kris home the next day and safely on her way to the wedding,” Dr. Chen says.
“I feel wonderful. I didn’t even have a bruise on my wrist,” says Quinn, who is back to work and keeping up with her grandkids.
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