By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Ask Dr. Gott 1/11
Medication preferable to surgery for arterial blockage
Placeholder Image
DEAR DR. GOTT: A few months ago, I had a carotid doppler done, and it found that my right internal carotid artery values reach only 134 cm/second, reflecting a moderate stenosis of 50 percent to 70 percent in that vessel. The doctor suggests taking medication, which I am quite concerned about.
    My blood pressure is normal, and my cholesterol level is at the top of the normal range. I am on a low-fat diet and a good exercise program, and I take vitamins and Coenzyme Q10 on a regular basis.
    I am a 70-year-old man in good health and a few pounds overweight. I have never been on medications, as I always had problems with them. I would like your opinion on the necessity of taking medication for cholesterol and blood pressure at this stage.
    DEAR READER: Apparently, you are developing arterial blockages, especially in your neck (carotid artery). However, the degree of blockage has yet to reach a critical level requiring surgery. Nonetheless, your physician is correct that nonsurgical options should be considered. I advise you to lose weight, follow your doctor's instructions and have annual ultrasound exams.
    To give you related information, I am sending you a copy of my Health Report "Coronary Artery Disease." Other readers who would like a copy should send a long, self-addressed, stamped envelope and $2 to Newsletter, PO Box 167, Wickliffe, OH 44092. Be sure to mention the title.

    DEAR DR. GOTT: My daughter is 38 and has a problem that no doctor has been able to help. She's healthy and slim. About five years ago, her right leg started swelling from the knee down. At her job, she's on her feet all day. Over the years, it has gotten worse, to where now her foot is also swollen. She takes water pills. She's been to about eight medical doctors, a chiropractor and a naturalist. Every test imaginable has been done: dye injected to detect blood clots, leg, pelvis, abdominal and esophageal ultrasounds and MRIs. Her leg is just huge. They say she has a stopped-up lymph node. They say nothing can be done.
Isn't that dangerous, if the lymph should move through her body? What would you recommend?
    DEAR READER: Unilateral leg edema — swelling of one lower extremity — can be a diagnostic challenge, because causes vary. Once the tests for venous blockage have been reported as normal, attention centers on treatment, with pressurized stockings, water-eliminating pills and physiotherapy.
    Given your daughter's level of discomfort, I vote to have the node excised. This would enable the doctors to check for cancer, as well as remove the lymph blockage to permit the leg to return to normal. Keep me posted.

Sign up for the Herald's free e-newsletter