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Heart procedure leads to worry-free winter in the sun

Roger Tofsrud enjoyed the winter in sunny Arizona with greater peace of mind, thanks to a procedure that helped restore blood flow to his heart.

The retired Minnewaukan farmer has a long history of aggressive heart disease. He suffered a heart attack in 1995 and underwent heart bypass surgery in 2001 and 2004. Both bypasses failed, and a significant blockage reoccurred in the same major artery.

“I would get winded easily and have burning in my chest,” Tofsrud said. “I had gone to several doctors who chose not to do another procedure to open the blockage.”

He was instead treated with medication, but the symptoms persisted. A friend had invited him to Arizona, but he was uneasy about making the trip in his current condition.

“I had heard positive things about Karthik Reddy, MD from friends who go to him, so I decided to get another opinion,” he said.

The appointment led to the news Tofsrud was hoping to hear.

“I was working in my shop when Dr. Reddy called me to say he thought he could help me,” Tofsrud said.

  Roger Tofsrud
Following a heart procedure at Sanford Health, Roger Tofsrud was able to enjoy his winter in Arizona without much worry.

Tofsrud’s angiogram revealed a major artery in front of his heart had a 95 percent blockage. “There was a good chance of opening the vessel by performing an angioplasty and inserting a stent,” said Dr. Reddy, Sanford Health cardiologist. “The location of the blockage made doing another procedure very challenging.”

Dr. Karthik Reddy
Reddy, MD

  Performed in a cardiac catheterization lab, angioplasty is used to open clogged heart arteries and involves temporarily inserting and inflating a tiny balloon where the artery has blockage to widen it. A stent is a small wire tube to help prop the artery open and decrease the chance of it narrowing again.

“Dr. Reddy told me without the procedure I was at significant risk for another heart attack,” Tofsrud said. “I knew there was a risk associated with having the procedure, but I would also be in a controlled environment if complications arose. He took time to listen and answer questions. Before I got off the phone, I had decided to have the procedure.“

Also weighing in his decision was the possibility of having a heart attack while in his rural community if he chose not to have the procedure.

“I asked the good Lord to work through Dr. Reddy and his staff, and the procedure was a success,” Tofsrud said. “When you consider all my prior heart surgeries and procedures, it was a feather in his cap that he was able to do this.”

The procedure was Tofsrud’s ticket to his winter getaway.

“Our intent was to increase blood flow to the heart, and the procedure went as planned,” Dr. Reddy said. “He now is doing well.”

After the procedure, Tofsrud could walk farther without having to stop to rest.

“I’m able to do more than I could before the procedure, and my quality of life has definitely improved,” he said. “Knowing Dr. Reddy was able to do what was necessary to help me has been a great comfort.”

Spending the winter in Arizona also contributed to his recovery.

“I was able to walk several times a week without worrying about falling because of snow or ice,” he said. “I don’t like treadmills, and the nearest fitness center is 25 miles from my farm. If I had stayed the winter in North Dakota, I wouldn’t have been able to get regular exercise by walking and doing things outdoors.

His gratitude comes straight from the heart.

“I can’t say enough positives about Dr. Reddy and his staff, including Wanda Knudson, his physician assistant,” he said. “The bottom line is they performed a risky procedure with great success, and for that, I’m very thankful.”

Click here for more information on Sanford Cardiology or call (701) 323-5202.


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