April Aims to Educate About Esophageal Cancer

April shines a light on a lesser known cancer that is not often in the headlines, esophageal cancer.  Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeons (CTVS) in Austin marks Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month as we aim to educate about this very rare but very serious condition.  In 2019, nearly 18,000 people in  the United States were diagnosed with esophageal cancer (National Cancer Institute). Sadly, for more than 16,000 of those patients, the disease proved fatal. It is also routinely listed as one of the top ten most dangerous forms of cancer.  “Esophageal cancer can be a hard one to detect with relatively mild [...]

April 20th, 2020|News|

Donate Life Month: Why Transplant Patients Have a Leg Up on Social Distancing

Social distancing is a new concept for many of us right now during our citywide shelter-in-place due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). But for those who are organ transplant patients, social distancing and self-isolation is all too familiar. April is Donate Life Month, and we at Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeons (CTVS) in Austin hold a special place in our hearts for and honor all the grateful transplant patients and their selfless organ donors with whom they are forever linked. According to Donate Life America, another person is added to the waiting list for an organ transplant every 10 minutes in the [...]

April 14th, 2020|News|

Dr. Hunter Kirkland on KEYE-TV: Transplant Patients and Social Distancing

Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeons’ Dr. Hunter Kirkland was recently featured in a story on KEYE-TV alongside his heart transplant patient Lemeul Bradshaw. Dr. Kirkland is one of our board-certified cardiothoracic surgeons specializing in heart transplantation.  Transplant patients are unique in that they live most days of their life -- current Covid-19 crisis or not -- socially distancing themselves to keep safe and healthy.   These patients are under an increased risk now because they have a severely compromised immune system and must take extreme caution while their bodies are already working extra hard to accept their new organ.  "They're extremely vulnerable [...]

April 13th, 2020|News|

What is the VasQ device and how can it help with my dialysis?

Patients who are currently undergoing dialysis treatment for kidney failure, or renal disorders, may be interested to know about a new technology that could greatly improve their dialysis access. Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeons (CTVS) in Austin is currently participating in a clinical trial for the VasQ device (from Laminate Medical Technologies). Dialysis treatment helps patients that have kidney disease with the process of removing excess water and toxins from the blood when their body can no longer do so naturally. The VasQ is an investigational device not yet approved by the FDA, but has received breakthrough device designation, which provides physicians [...]

March 25th, 2020|News|

Minimally Invasive Lung Cancer Surgery Now Available in Hays County

Lung cancer is the second most common cancer for both men and women and one of the most lethal. While lung cancer cases are declining as a result of decreasing tobacco smoking rates, the American Cancer Association expects in 2020 to see 200,000 new cases to be diagnosed and 135,000 deaths due to lung cancer nationwide. Minimally invasive surgery can remove cancerous lung tumors and lead to less pain, shorter hospital stays and quicker recovery — and is now being offered to those living between Austin and San Antonio by Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeons (CTVS) at Ascension Seton Hays medical [...]

March 13th, 2020|News|

The Latest on Lung Cancer

 There’s great news from the frontlines on the battle against lung cancer. According to experts from the American Cancer Society, cancer death rates in the United States dropped sharply from 2016 to 2017 by approximately 2.2%--this is the biggest single-year drop ever recorded. The decrease in cancer-related deaths is thought largely to be attributed to the decline in those related to lung cancer. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S., claiming more than breast, colorectal, and prostate cancers combined. Dr. Rachel Medbery, thoracic surgeon who specializes in lung and esophageal cancer, believes that a large [...]

March 9th, 2020|News|

Dr. Foteh and Dr. Kessler’s Quick Thinking and Innovative Treatment Saves Bastrop Man

Bastrop resident Fulton Smith says he’s lucky to be alive.  He credits Dr. David Kessler and Dr. Mazin Foteh for their quick thinking, innovative treatments and for respecting his religious beliefs to not have a blood transfusion during his emergency procedures. Fulton initially suffered a cardiac arrest and it was later discovered that the culprit was a ruptured aneurysm in his thoracic aorta. Typical treatment for this involves invasive, open-heart surgery, which could also require a blood transfusion. Dr. Foteh got innovative and used a graft and a laser catheter to create a stent within a stent that literally repaired [...]

March 4th, 2020|News|

Spotlight on Alan Wong

Alan Wong is CTVS’ longest-standing employee and has been with us since 1966. We like to say he’s 77-years young, not old! Alan works as a surgical technician assisting our board-certified cardiothoracic and vascular surgeons with complex procedures. He not only understands the delicate and serious nature of heart issues from the medical side, but he also knows firsthand what it is like to be a heart patient. Dr. Stephen Dewan, a CTVS cardiothoracic surgeon, performed bypass surgery on him in 1999.  When not caring for our patients, Alan can also be found underwater as an active volunteer with the [...]

February 18th, 2020|News|

We Heart American Heart Month

February is our favorite month of the year here at Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeons (CTVS) in Austin.  We love to show appreciation for our family, friends and patients in honor of American Heart Month. American Heart Month is a nationally designated event each February to bring awareness to and share the power of prevention in combating heart disease.  What is heart disease? Heart disease, or cardiovascular disease, includes a range of conditions that affect blood vessels, arteries, and heart rhythm. Heart disease also includes congenital heart defects, or those that are present at birth. Some of these conditions can be [...]

February 6th, 2020|News|

What is Thoracic Outlet Syndrome?

With the start of the new year, everyone is hitting the gym to make good on resolutions to get fit.  HIIT-specific workout centers especially are packed right now. HIIT—or high-intensity interval training—combines quick bursts of activity with short rest periods to maximize calorie burn.  It’s an effective workout for many, but it’s not without risk for injury. Common injuries as a result of HIIT workouts include muscle or tendon strains, joint dislocations, and fractures. Another serious condition that we are seeing increasingly at CTVS Texas  in HIIT devotees is Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. What is Thoracic Outlet Syndrome? Thoracic Outlet Syndrome [...]

January 27th, 2020|News|