Episode 30: You Have a Myocardial Bridge. Could You Die? Stanford’s Dr. Ingela Schnittger Explains.

Can a legal case become a catalyst for groundbreaking medical research? In this episode, I sit down with Dr. Ingela Schnittger, a trailblazer in the field of cardiology, as she recounts how a tragic courtroom moment ignited her passion and led her to a pivotal collaborative effort at Stanford. Dr. Schnittger explains the complexities of myocardial bridges and the vital role a multidisciplinary team plays in accurately diagnosing and treating this often-misunderstood condition. You’ll gain insights into the significance of combining expertise from cardiologists, radiologists, and surgeons to tackle the intricacies of this cardiac anomaly.

We’ll touch on the latest technology in myocardial bridge treatment and the meticulous surgical interventions pioneered at Stanford. Dr. Schnittger shares the precision required in preoperative evaluations and the importance of thorough diagnosis to ensure successful surgical outcomes. We delve into the potential widespread prevalence of myocardial bridges and their significant impact on cardiac events, emphasizing the need for expert care and comprehensive preoperative mapping for proper diagnosis. Dr. Schnittger’s discussion underscores the critical role of experience and dedication within the surgical team at Stanford, highlighting their exceptional track record over the past 10+ years.

We’ll close with the patient-centric process of cardiac rehabilitation and recovery, crucial for post-surgery. Dr. Schnittger offers valuable guidance on structured rehab programs, medication management, and the importance of a gradual return to normal activities. We also touch on the importance of family medical history in diagnosing and managing heart conditions. Concluding with a heartfelt exchange of gratitude and appreciation, this episode underscores the profound impact of Dr. Schnittger’s work on countless lives. If you’ve just been diagnosed, or believe you need to get properly diagnosed to identify or eliminate the possibility of a myocardial bridge, this conversation will give you everything you need to take the next steps with your cardiologist. If you know of someone suffering from undiagnosed chest pain, angina or heart attack like symptoms, please share this episode with them. If you have a doctor or worse yet, cardiologist that is uncertain of the impact of a myocardial bridge, or possibly doesn’t accept them as symptomatic at all, be certain to share this episode with them. Share all the episodes with them.  As always, stay positive and grateful. There’s hope for what it is you’re going through.

For more information, visit www.myimperfectheart.com

Chapter Summaries

(00:00) Understanding Myocardial Bridges and Treatment

Dr. Schnittger discusses his journey into myocardial bridges, the importance of a multidisciplinary team, and advancements in surgical intervention.

(18:42) Advancements in Myocardial Bridge Treatment

Myocardial bridge treatment at Stanford involves precise preoperative evaluations and a dedicated surgical team with a successful track record.

(34:32) Myocardial Bridge Diagnosis and Treatment

Stepwise approach to treating myocardial bridges with medications, surgery if needed, and advancements in non-invasive diagnostic tools.

(50:21) Cardiac Rehab and Recovery Guidance

Cardiac rehab for endothelial dysfunction and myocardial bridges, importance of structured programs and gradual recovery, managing professional stress, and proactive family medical history.

(57:25) Gratitude for Benefactor and Speaker

Host expresses gratitude for Dr. Schnittger’s positive impact, while Dr. Schnittger regrets not meeting in Stanford but is happy to see the host thriving.