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You can tell when someone is truly passionate about something. More than just a hobby or interest, it drives them to be better, do more and push the limits. When you talk to Oklahoma Heart Institute cardiac nurse Robin Williams, RN, her passion outside work and family is running. “It doesn’t matter if you come in first, middle of the pack or last, you can say ‘I have finished,’” she says of her love of running that has spanned for more than 20 years. “I enjoy the sense of achievement, self satisfaction and the opportunity to push beyond where... Read More »

How does your heart feel today? If you’re running late for the soccer game, realized you forgot you’re in charge of snacks this week and spilt your coffee while getting in the car, then you’re heart is probably not feeling that great. However, if you happened to notice the morning sun light beaming through the kitchen window as you poured that cup of coffee and remembered you have an extra box of granola bars in the pantry for the soccer game, then you’re heart is feeling pretty good. How we view what is going on around us, researchers say can have a big impact... Read More »

Saturday, September 14 cities across the country celebrated World AFib Awareness Day to shed light on the prevelance of AFib around the world and the impact the most common heart arrythmia diagnosed has on patients and quality of life. Oklahoma Heart Institute hosted as AFib and Yoga event in honor of this day. Dr. David Sandler led a seminar discussing prevention of AFib and the link to helping symptoms and episodes of AFib through yoga. Jennifer Skaggs, a local yoga instructor, led participants in an open heart yoga session. Take a look at World AFib Awareness Day at Oklahoma Heart... Read More »

Oklahoma Heart Institute cardiologist and heart valve specialist Dr. Neil Agrawal joins us today on the blog to talk about salt and blood pressure.


Americans eat on average about 3,300 mg of sodium a day. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend limiting sodium to less than 2,300 mg a day, and about 6 out of 10 adults should further limit sodium to 1,500 mg a day.  A recent study on September 3, 2013, PURE-Sodium Study, was released at the European Society of Cardiology in Amsterdam. They looked at the sodium restriction and high blood pressure. They designed a study with... Read More »

Today we are taking you inside a real case at Oklahoma Heart Institute. A patient in his 80s presented to the Emergency Room with an acute myocardial infarction (MI). He was a former smoker with no previous coronary disease. Angiography was performed which revealed a 90 percent blockage in a major artery, the Proximal left anterior desending (LAD) artery.

The doctors used the InfraReDx imagining system to better assess the composition of the blockage material and to also accurately determine the true vessel size and... Read More »

Oklahoma Heart cardiac electrophysiologist Dr. David Sandler talks about how different the treatment can vary for AFib patients and why individualization is key to successful outcomes.

Patients are often surprised that the recommendations we make differ from those offered to a friend with atrial fibrillation (AFib).  The explanation is that there are numerous treatment options that are best tailored to an individual patient.  The factors that go into these decisions (for example: age, weight, symptoms, frequency/duration of atrial fibrillation) can dramatically affect the success... Read More »

Jennifer Skaggs, 32, began experiencing unexplained fainting spells on a regular basis in her teens. These episodes impacted every facet of her life - ending her soccer career and taking away her car keys. It wasn't until Jennifer found Oklahoma Heart Institute that her fainting episodes began to be managed, occuring less frequently. Along with lifestyle modifications and beginning yoga, Jennifer started noticing a big difference in her health. Today Jennifer shares her story and how the doctors at Oklahoma Heart Institute and yoga have given her life back.


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Go inside the case with Dr. Robert Smith, Dr. Stanely Zimmerman and Dr. Farhan Khawaja as they perform a high risk stent procedure utilizing advanced technology including the Impella assist device and coronary OCT imaging.

Earlier this summer as vacationers laid out beach towels, adjusted their sunglasses and felt the warmth of the sun’s rays, researchers presented the world’s largest study examining the link between Vitamin D and hypertension at the European Society of Human Genetics Conference in Paris, France.

The data presented from more than 35 studies and 155,000 people revealed that high concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D resulted in lower blood pressure levels and a reduced risk of hypertension. When we are not taking a break from real life, our daily habits have resulted in lower Vitamin... Read More »


This week we were reminded of the importance of proactive health measures, as former President George W. Bush underwent a heart procedure Tuesday in Texas to insert a stent following a routine physical and cardiac evaluation. Although the extent to which the artery was blocked or if President Bush was experiencing any symptoms has not been reported, stents are usually indicated when the blockage exceeds 75 percent. Stents are inserted to keep the artery open and blood flowing. Stent procedures can help prevent the need for heart surgery and help prevent heart attacks.


“I... Read More »