(918) 592-0999

Cardiologist's wake-up call: How a $499 Heart Scan raised red flags for Dr. David Sandler

After 20 years of guiding patients to maintaining healthy hearts at Oklahoma Heart Institute (OHI), cardiologist David Sandler, M.D., decided it was time to take care of his own health in 2023. His cholesterol levels were trending a little high, so he opted to take advantage of OHI's $499 heart scan special in February.


Dr. Sandler is a cardiac electrophysiologist at OHI who specializes in complex ablation and atrial fibrillation management. He underwent the scan, known as a cardiac computed tomography (CT) angiogram in February of 2023, which uses angled X-rays to construct images of the heart. It is a quick but detailed test, and the high-resolution scan shows health care providers issues with the heart structure, valves, arteries, aorta and more.

After his own scan, Dr. Sandler was shocked to see a small spot on his left anterior descending (LAD) artery. This artery is often referred to as the "widowmaker" because it has a higher risk of becoming 100% blocked and cutting off blood flow to the heart.

"The spot was more or less a buildup of plaque, a lesion. Various stages of atherosclerotic plaque are depositing on the artery lining and just keep growing and growing and growing," said Dr. Sandler. "There are some reasons why the blockages go certain places, blood flow and other factors. The rest of my arteries are fine, it was just this one. But that's all it takes."


Dr. Sandler believes the cardiac CT angiogram plays a key role in getting patients to clearly understand how their lifestyle can affect their heart health overall.

"Seeing is believing. You can see that all of those hamburgers and French fries and everything else that we partake in over the years, it really does have an impact on our hearts," said Dr. Sandler. "It was enough of a little scare that it got me to start taking my cholesterol and my diet and my blood pressure a little more seriously."

The lifestyle changes that Dr. Sandler has made to reduce his risk of developing a blockage include exercising more, eating less processed or fried foods and focusing on his cholesterol levels.

“I have 'cheating' nights with burgers and fries way less. I'm eating a lot less meat and trying to exercise when I can more than I was before. I'm also taking cholesterol management medications as prescribed," said Dr. Sandler.

A cardiac CT angiogram scan is recommended if you are over 40 years old and have the following symptoms:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholestrol
  • Smoking history
  • Family history of heart diease

"This is for someone who is on the fence about their cholesterol, their blood pressure... they don't know how aggressively to work on the risk factor modifications. Those are the sort of people I would recommend having this done," said Dr. Sander "If you have a family history of heart disease but you yourself have no symptoms, this might be a good opportunity to get a reassuring scan."

Click here or call 918-215-6499 by Feb. 29 to schedule your $499 cardiac CT angiogram scan.