September is National Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month. Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) is the most common heart arrhythmia affecting up to 5 million Americans. Although AFib is the most common heart arrhythmia, it can affect people very differently. Oklahoma Heart Institute cardiac electrophysiologists, Dr. David Sandler, Dr. Gregory Cogert and Dr. Craig Cameron show us how AFib can be detected, treated and share common misunderstanding of the condition.



The signs were not as obvious as 53 year old Mavis Houk thought they would be.  She didn’t have chest pains or numbness down her left arm. Her blood pressure had always been in the normal range. However, for several months Houk felt a little short of breath on her walks. And she did have the elephant in the room, family history.

In fact, all six of Houk’s siblings either had open heart surgery or stents by the time she started feeling short of breath on her walks. To air on the side of caution, Houk decided to tell her primary care... Read More »

Early in the spring of 2009 the buzz and excitement of the grand opening of Oklahoma’s largest dedicated heart hospital filled the halls of the newly constructed Oklahoma Heart Institute.  The wall of windows on the south side of the building brought in new light to the Hillcrest campus and new hope for patients in Oklahoma seeking the best cardiac care in our region.

March 12, 2009 opening celebrations were underway, when 41 year old Robert Atchley was scheduled for surgery. “As they were doing the ribbon cutting, Dr. Kempe was cutting me open for a mitral valve replacement,”... Read More »

With the Tulsa Run coming up October 27, we asked Oklahoma Heart Institute cardiologist, Dr. Kyle Zimmerman to share training tips and what it takes to balance life, work and running.  Dr. Zimmerman will be running the 15k this year, but he doesn't just train once a year. The decision to become a runner became a lifestyle makeover for Dr. Zimmerman.


Chances are if you are reading this you may be at some stage of a running career.  Whether it be the contemplation stage, the beginner, the transition, or the experienced; balancing life and running is a constant challenge.  I... Read More »

Belly fat is a nuisance. It makes clothes fit tight. It doesn’t go away easily. And it’s bad for your health. For most of us, we tend to focus on how to lose our belly fat for purposes of looking and feeling better. There are countless articles on tips for losing belly fat or the best foods to fight belly fat. Belly fat, though, is not just a problem for vanity. Outside medical journals and published studies, there are fewer articles on what belly fat means for your health. Fewer even which focus on your heart health.


“Belly fat, also known a central adiposity or... Read More »

Oklahoma Heart Institute First in Oklahoma to Perform Minimally Invasive LAA Exclusion to Reduce Risk of Stroke

    On Thursday, August 23, Oklahoma Heart Institute (OHI) became the first hospital in Oklahoma to perform a new minimally invasive catheter-based procedure to close the left atrial appendage (LAA). The procedure, which uses the LARIAT® Suture Delivery Device, permanently closes the LAA which is a benefit for individuals with Atrial Fibrillation (A Fib) who cannot tolerate blood thinners.

    The LAA is a structure in the heart that normally contracts, allowing... Read More »

The 100th cryoballoon ablation procedure at Oklahoma Heart Institute was performed March 6, 2012.  Since adopting this technology May 2011, patients who suffer from Atrial Fibrillation have been able to pursue this option if they are a good candidate at Oklahoma Heart Institute.


Sharon Johnston, 61, met with Dr. David Sandler after living with AFib for 20 years.  He decided she was a perfect candidate for cryoablation.  Johnston's procedure was performed October 2011.  See how her life has changed since having this procedure.


One of the biggest news stories this week is Rep. Paul Ryan joining Mitt Romney in the Presidential race on the Republican ticket.  As with any candidate, the public immediately wants to know their background, voting history and position on hot button political issues.  However, the health of a candidate is also a major consideration for many voters, not to mention the competition. When he was 16, Ryan’s father suffered a fatal heart attack at the age of 55.  Ryan’s grandfather suffered a fatal heart attack at the age of 57, and his great-grandfather died from a heart attack at the age of... Read More »

More than 25 million Americans have diabetes.  In 2010, nearly 2 million people were diagnosed in one year, a national record.  The numbers continue to soar as an estimated 79 million Americans have prediabetes, which can transition into diabetes.  With diabetes as a leading risk factor for heart disease and the seventh leading cause of death in the US, what can you do to reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes?



Understand the Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes

You triple your risk for a cardiovascular event and double your risk for death if... Read More »

Oklahoma Heart Institute has successfully completed its tenth Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedure. The first and second TAVRs at OHI were performed May 2 and the tenth TAVR was completed July 26.

TAVR is a minimally invasive, life-saving procedure for patients with aortic stenosis who would be considered too high a risk for traditional open heart procedures.