The importance of getting her annual health exam took on new meaning in Fall 2019 for Patty Armstrong of Paola, KS. Her recommended preventive screening led to the discovery of gallstones and an emergency heart procedure.
Patty’s primary care physician at Olathe Health Family Medicine – Paola recommended a screening colonoscopy for the 70-year-old. So she made an appointment with Christopher Lewis, DO, a board-certified surgeon with Olathe Health Miami County Surgical Associates.
“I had read an article about Dr. Lewis a few months before, and I’ve had other tests and procedures at Miami County Medical Center (MCMC), so I was comfortable making my appointment there,” Patty said.
During her initial colonoscopy consultation, Dr. Lewis determined Patty had gallstones. Most patients with gallstones, like Patty, have no symptoms of pain. However, untreated gallstones can lead to severe complications, including jaundice, infection, pancreas inflammation and gallbladder cancer.
“Patty’s gallstones were the size of small seeds,” Dr. Lewis said. “We determined the best option for Patty was to remove her gallbladder. We were able to perform the surgery—called a cholecystectomy—with a minimally invasive procedure. We used three or four tiny incisions and removed the gallbladder.”
Dr. Lewis performed Patty’s colonoscopy at MCMC, then proceeded to remove her gallbladder. Both procedures went well, but Patty soon began experiencing cardiac symptoms while recovering in the hospital.
“I started to have some chest pain and numbness in my left hand,” Patty said. “Dr. Lewis and the team began to monitor my cardiac enzymes, which they said were elevated.”
Dr. Lewis and Olathe Health cardiologists decided to keep Patty at MCMC overnight for observation. The next day, they transferred her to Olathe Medical Center (OMC) for testing, which revealed Patty had an underlying heart condition that needed immediate care. At OMC, doctors took her into the cardiac catheterization lab, where interventional cardiologist Dusan A. Stanojevic, MD, placed two stents to clear blockages in her cardiac arteries.
“An important benefit of Olathe Health is how connected all the specialists are across hospitals and clinics,” Dr. Lewis said. “From the time Patty first started experiencing heart symptoms, we were in constant communication with Patty’s cardiologist at MCMC, Basem Kayali, MD, and cardiovascular specialists at OMC. We were all looking at the same tests in real time and could make the quick decisions that Patty’s health required.”
Three days after her gallbladder surgery, and just one day after her heart catheterization, Patty was released home to recover. She is feeling good and enjoys spending her retirement with her family, reading, watching cooking shows and KU men’s basketball, and taking walks with her pet dog, Lizzie, and cat, Lillie.
“I’m very grateful Dr. Lewis was there for me,” Patty said. “The doctors explained everything they were doing and why things were happening. I have complete faith in the staff at both hospitals.”
To make an appointment with Dr. Lewis, please call 913-557-0700 or visit olathehealth.org/schedule.