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He knew something was wrong, and his wife drove him to the Emergency & Trauma Center immediately.
In the cardiac catheterization lab, the Sanford Health team, gently threaded a long, flexible tube—called a catheter—tipped with a balloon through the blocked blood vessel that caused the heart attack. The balloon inflated inside the vessel, opening it up and allowing blood to flow.
“I’m just thankful that they were there and could provide that service so quickly,” Gieszler said. “It’s out of your hands when you come in. To have people that trained and knowledgeable, I owe them everything.”
Following the procedure, Gieszler spent five nights in the hospital recovering before returning home.
He participated in Sanford Health’s cardiac rehabilitation program where he learned about exercises and other lifestyle adjustments he could make to strengthen his heart and mitigate his risk of future heart trouble.
“The most beneficial thing about cardiac rehab for me was the staff helping me figure out what I could do for exercises,” Gieszler said. “When you have people watching and monitoring you, you get to know where your limits are.”
Under Dr. Howard’s guidance, Gieszler started a regimen of statins, which are cholesterol-lowering medications, and daily aspirin.
In a follow-up diagnostic screening in the catheterization lab, Dr. Howard found no blockages in Gieszler’s blood vessels.
Gieszler has adhered to Dr. Howard’s medication recommendations, and he has cut fast food and other fried food out of his diet. He feels as good, if not better, than he did before his heart attack.
“He had a heart attack that could’ve killed him,” Dr. Howard said, “but by getting treated quickly and taking the right medications after, he has normal heart function.”
Click here for more information on Sanford Cardiology or call (701) 323-5202.