A cardiologist at Olathe Medical Center (OMC) has earned a special place in the heart of one of his patients.
At 68, Janice has experienced a lot of heartache—quite literally. She suffered her first heart attack at age 43 and had another one three years later. In late 2015, she had a third heart attack. Doctors placed a stent to clear the blockage, but one month later, Janice underwent a triple bypass surgery. Six months after that, she experienced a life-threatening-event that left her with constant pain in her legs. That’s when Janice decided to seek answers for the first time at OMC.
“My brother had gone to Olathe Medical Center and had such great care there,” Janice said. “I met with a cardiologist there, who has since retired. When I told him how much my leg pain was impacting my life, he urged me to have a consult with Dr. Al Arab. I was scared and honestly skeptical that anyone could help me at that time.”
Dr. Al Arab met with Janice and discussed her peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is a narrowing of the arteries in the legs. This causes decreased blood flow, which can injure nerves and other tissues. When the condition is severe, surgery may be required to open narrowed or blocked blood vessels that supply blood to your legs, or reroute the blood supply around a blocked artery.
Dr. Al Arab addressed Janice’s fears and assured her that he could help. An ultrasound showed multiple layers of complex blockages in her right leg. This would require a special technique during surgery, called alternative pedal access, to reach and treat the vessels successfully. With this technique, the blood vessels in the leg are accessed through the foot arteries instead of, or in addition to, the groin. Dr. Al Arab is one of very few doctors in Kansas City to preform this technique.
Janice scheduled her surgery, but then preoperative cardiac tests revealed a major heart vessel blockage. Doctors admitted her to OMC immediately. Instead of operating on her leg, Dr. Al Arab met Janice in the cardiac catheterization lab and performed a procedure to clear the heart blockage.
“I was in the right place at the right time,” Janice said. “I remember seeing Dr. Al Arab there, and I just knew I was in good hands. And he took such good care of my family too, and even found the time to push my brother in his wheelchair from the ER up to my room.”
Her heart procedure was successful, and Janice returned to her home in Fort Scott, KS to recover. A month later, she was finally healthy enough for Dr. Al Arab to operate on her right leg. The intricate surgery helped to alleviate several blockages in her leg. Janice spent one night at OMC after the procedure for observation.
“My leg felt great, and I could walk again!” Janice laughed. “The nurses couldn’t believe how many laps I walked around the hospital that night.”
Janice says her right leg pain is nearly gone, as are the cramps she used to get in her calf and foot. She continues to take medicine to treat her heart disease, sees Dr. Al Arab regularly and is working on getting healthier.
“Thanks to his care and attention, I’m able to love my life and spend time with my friends and enjoy nature,” Janice said. “Dr. Al Arab gave me hope.”
To make an appointment with Dr. Al Arab, or for more information about Olathe Health Cardiology Services, go to olathehealth.org/cardiology, or call 913-780-4900.