Marathon runner and chief of surgery in Metropolitan Hospital in New York, Dr. Marc Wallack, missed critical warning signs of heart trouble, and it nearly cost him his life.
Read the full transcript »
Surprising Heart Warning Signs Dr. Travis: Today we’re giving you ways to stop sabotaging your health because you may be doing it without even knowing it. Now heart disease is the number one killer for both men and women. But if you think it only happens to people who are out of shape and have that, it won't happen to me attitude, you have to think again. What if I told you this man, a marathon runner in perfect shape, a doctor himself missed every signal and almost paid a fatal price for it, if it can happen to him, it can happen to you. Doctor Marc Wallack is this man. He’s here now with his wife, Fox News anchor and attorney Jamie Colby to talk about why you can't ignore important warning signs. I'm so glad you’re both here because this is a story our viewers need to hear. Because you had warning signs and you’re a doctor and you said, you know, what its no big deal. You try to ignore it. Dr. Marc: I thought that as a doctor, it wasn’t going to happen to me. That’s exactly what happened, Travis. So since four days I ran, I had pain in my stomach which I thought was due to acid reflux. And for four days, seven minutes into every run because I ran everyday after I work. Basically, I’ve got pain in my chest. I denied that it was real pain. And I took in acids. And then on the fourth day, I ran into Central Park at seven minutes into the run, I’ve got pain that radiated into my chin and that’s when I knew something was really wrong. And I missed it four days. Dr. Travis: You're not the first man who’s coming to the ER and said you know what, I thought I had reflux. Dr. Drew: And he’s a general surgeon, he knows. I mean he knows the disease. Dr. Travis: And we actually have an angiogram. What Marc had was four blocked arteries. So the reason he would get chest pains is because every time he would run, your heart demands more oxygen and it just wasn’t getting what it needs which I know shocked you Jamie because its your health, right. Jamie: It’s true. I thought that Marc was my rock and suddenly, everything in our life that was perfect suddenly came to a screeching halt. If he hadn’t stopped running that day, he would have died they tell me. He would have a massive heart attack because of the four blocked arteries, 95 to 99% block. He had a normal stress test six months before and he had everything under control, blood pressure and cholesterol. So you're right and I'm glad your telling people that it can happen to anyone because it did happened to us. And I say us because he went through it physically, but we went through it emotionally. Dr. Travis: And I want everyone in the audience, everyone at home to pay attention because we’re going to explain right now what happens, why Marc was experiencing chest pain. This is the world’s biggest heart. These arteries that you're seeing right here, these are called the coronary arteries. Now coronary stands for crown. Why these are so important? Your heart pumps blood everywhere else but you know what, in order to pump, your heart needs oxygen and blood as well. So this blood flows to your heart. The problem is sometimes these arteries develop blockages. And I'm going to show you a quick example here because this is an example of a blocked artery. And you see how it takes a while for the blood to flow through these blockages. And the problem is once you have a 95+% blockage, you do not get enough oxygen to your heart and what they have to do in many instances much like with Marc is a bypass surgery. In a bypass surgery, a heart surgeon literally will open up your chest to get access to the heart, temporarily stopping the heart using a heart-lung bypass machine. They harvest veins from other parts of your bodies and they will attach it above the blockage and then below the blockage, so that you can actually bypass the blockage. And then when they take you back off the machine, the idea is that just like a highway is rerouted. Your blood vessels are rerouted around a blockage. Jamie:
Copyright © 2005 - 2015 Healthline Networks, Inc. All rights reserved for Healthline.