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Why one heart transplant patient wants you to listen to your body

February is American Heart Month, and here is a story that is close to ours about a very special patient who is paying his good fortune forward. Dr. Jeff Zapalac (a retired orthodontist) started experiencing very mild symptoms that seemed to be affecting his heart, including difficulty breathing and exercising. While he initially attributed that to his older age, he also had a gut feeling that something else might be wrong. His cardiologist diagnosed him with a condition called amyloidosis, or “stiff heart syndrome.” It is a potentially deadly form of heart disease that occurs when amyloid (or abnormal) proteins [...]

February 24th, 2021|News|

Lung Damage Complications in COVID-19 Survivors

As we near the year mark of the COVID-19 battle, doctors and surgeons are still learning about the virus and the potential long-term health concerns COVID survivors may endure. We know people with COVID-19 have reported a wide range of symptoms varying from mild to severe, and now physicians are reporting some patients’ lungs look worse than the lungs of people who have been smoking for years. Thoracic surgeon Rachel Medbery, M.D. recently shared what she is seeing firsthand when treating COVID survivors with lung damage on Fox 7 Austin and The List. What lung complications are COVID survivors experiencing? [...]

February 8th, 2021|News|

Heart Transplants, Heart Treatments and Why CTVS Loves American Heart Month

February is the month we celebrate Valentine's Day along with the symbolic image of the heart and all the love it represents. It is also American Heart Month. At CTVS, we celebrate hearts every second of every day, and every month of the year. Taking care of them has been our passion for more than half a century. CTVS is a pioneer in heart health care since performing the first heart transplant surgery in Central Texas back in 1986. CTVS is still the only practice in Central Texas providing this life-saving procedure to adults 18+ years of age, and we [...]

February 8th, 2021|News|

CTVS Transplant Patient Shares Story of Hope

If you’re still thinking of a meaningful New Year’s resolution to adopt -- one that could save lives -- consider becoming an organ donor. This is the heartfelt plea of one of our remarkable patients here at CTVS. "One person has the ability to be an organ donor and to save up to eight lives," says CTVS heart transplant recipient Kristen Patton who recently shared her story with KEYE-TV and the Austin American-Statesman. Patton received a donor heart four years ago after suffering two heart attacks and being diagnosed with Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection following the birth of her child. [...]

January 25th, 2021|News|

CTVS Surgeons Named Austin Monthly Top Doctors

18 Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeons (CTVS) physicians have been named Austin's Top Doctor 2021 by Austin Monthly magazine. Please join us in congratulation our "Top Doctors" in Travis, Williamson and Hays Counties. Cardiothoracic Surgery  Stephen Dewan, M.D. Mark Felger, M.D. William Kessler, M.D. Faraz Kerendi, M.D. Eric Hoenicke, M.D. W. Chance Conner, M.D. Robert Neely, M.D. Brendan Dewan, M.D. Vascular Surgery Phillip Church, M.D. John Politz, M.D. Jeffrey Jobe, M.D. Stephen Settle, M.D. Joe Wells III, M.D. Scott Seidel, M.D. Jeffrey Apple, M.D. Mazin Foteh, M.D. Ryan Turley, M.D. Thoracic Surgery Rachel Medbery, M.D. Top Doctors are selected by Castle Connolly Medical [...]

January 14th, 2021|News|

Here’s to Your Heart Health in 2021

BestLife recently shared a survey revealing the most popular New Year’s resolutions for 2021. The first one was to exercise more (and lose weight). A commitment to working out is a resolution that we at CTVS can whole “heartedly” get behind, because exercise and its countless benefits to the heart are near and dear to us. Regular exercise is one of the greatest things you can do to prevent a heart attack, stroke, and cardiovascular disease while also positively impacting your overall health and well-being. Some of the heart healthy benefits of exercise include: Strengthening the heart muscle and improving [...]

January 6th, 2021|News|

Congratulations to CTVS Texas Monthly Super Doctors Honorees

We are always honored at Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeons (CTVS) to receive praise from our peers throughout the local medical community. It is even more of a privilege to be recognized alongside outstanding medical professionals from across the state, especially during this unique time when all those in the medical and healthcare communities have gone above and beyond. Once again, CTVS has several physicians named as a Texas Monthly Super Doctors® or Super Doctors® Rising Star. Our CTVS Texas Monthly Super Doctors for 2020 are: Cardiothoracic Surgeons Stephen J. Dewan, MD Mark C. Felger, MD William F. Kessler, MD Hunter [...]

January 5th, 2021|News|

CTVS Recognizes Our Own on Veterans Day

Veterans Day has always been an important occasion for us at CTVS for a trio of reasons. First of all, a few of our original practice founders were veterans.  Secondly, a number of our present patients are also veterans and finally, three of our current surgeons have had long and distinguished careers in the military before joining us at CTVS. They include: Jeffrey M. Apple, M.D., F.A.C.S. Dr. Apple served four years in the United States Navy as a staff surgeon at the Naval Medical Center San Diego. During his time with the Navy, he was deployed twice to the [...]

November 9th, 2020|News|

Keener Lung Cancer Awareness and Early Treatment Lead to Better Outcomes

Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer among men and women in the United States, accounting for about one in every four cancer deaths, according to the American Cancer Society. For this reason, CTVS  supports November’s Lung Cancer Awareness Month in hopes of bringing both the disease's symptoms and the positive effects of early treatment to light. Lung cancer symptoms can be hard to detect and are often subtle. They may include coughing or wheezing, chest pain, shortness of breath, weight loss, or fatigue. Coughing up blood could also be a strong indicator for it. Risk factors that may [...]

November 6th, 2020|News|

Patient Story: CTVS Patient Survives Lung Cancer and Rare, Dangerous Aneurysm

75-year-old Lee Frissell was an NYU professor when terrorists attacked the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. His office was just one block from the Twin Towers and he saw every detail of that day. After the attack, Lee continued to work in that same area for 15 years. Due to continuous exposure to toxic air post 9/11, Lee enrolled in the World Trade Center Health Program, an initiative that provides monitoring and treatment services for certified, 9/11-related health conditions. Lee has since been diagnosed and treated for three different kinds of lung cancer – all were directly attributed to [...]

November 4th, 2020|News|