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Dr. Rick, MD
Dr. Rick, MD, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 11309
Experience:  20+ years as a doctor. Internal Medicine Internship in NYC
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I'm 53 yrs. old, exercise regularly, don't smoke and haven't

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I'm 53 yrs. old, exercise regularly, don't smoke and haven't eaten beef or pork in 20 years. I discovered I have mitral valve prolapse when I was pregnant 25 years ago. I keep it under control with Hawthorne, CoQ10 and monitoring my caffeine/alcohol consumption. Last week I went to a new doctor to get a check-up and he seemed very concerned that he could feel my heart beat through my left rib cage... on the far left side of my breast & slightly below. I've had a few breast surgeries, chropractic care for 30 yrs. and check-ups with my GP and OB/GYN and no one else has expressed concern about this. This new doctor suggested I see a heart specialist right away. I don't have health insurance and find it curious that no other doctor I've seen has expressed any concern about this.
RickMD :

I am online and happy to help you with your question today.

RickMD :

Do you have any symptoms at all?

RickMD :

Are you available to chat?

Customer:

Sometimes. Limited to when I'm lying on my left side...sometimes shortness of breath

RickMD :

What the new doctor is noticing is that your heart beat is able to be felt in an area of your chest that is suggestive that the size of your heart is enlarged.

Customer:

How concerned should I be about this?

RickMD :

This can be due to many issues. Of course, there are more in depth ways to evaluate your heart size and function, such as cardiac ultrasound, chest xray, MRI etc.

RickMD :

With the history of being short of breath on occasion, I agree with the new MD -- it would be a good idea to consult with a cardiologist to find out exactly what -- if anything -- is going on.

Customer:

I just finished up having several surgeries and tests last yr. and a colonoscopy...$$$$. Heart specialist sounds expensive.

RickMD :

Does it have to be tomorrow? Probably not, but I would make an appointment for the very near future and not just blow it off.....I also would not panic at this time. What your doctor has found just means that something "may" be going on and, as such, a better evaluation and workup is indicated.

Customer:

Enlarged heart? How did this go unnoticed for 53 years?

RickMD :

Actually, a simple office consult with a cardiologist, which would not be very expensive at all, will go a long way toward finding out what is going on. Even a cardiac ultrasound is not all that costly.

Customer:

Ball park figure?

RickMD :

It can happen....you heart may have been slowly getting larger over years.....or, on the other side of the coin, this may be a spurious finding and everything is OK.

RickMD :

I would say that the office visit would be under $200 and an cardiac echo, if indicated, maybe $300 or so.....

RickMD :

Not much when you realize that your heart is a pretty important organ to keep in good working order :)

Customer:

In my world that's expensive..... what causes a heart to enlarge over the years?

RickMD :

Many things can cause the heart to enlarge. Vascular diseases, valve problems, infections...the list is very, very long and branching.

RickMD :

A slightly enlarged heart without symptoms could be easily missed by your GP and OB/GYN over the years......It seems to me that this new MD has done a good job in finding this abnormality and suggesting a workup

Customer:

Alright. Thank you. I will go see someone, but will need to wait a few months.

RickMD :

My pleasure. Do, however, your best not to put off an evaluation for very long.

RickMD :

I hope this information was helpful for you. But I do work for tips so I want to make sure you are happy with me before rating me. If you have another question on this or a related issue feel free to fire away. And please let me know if the rating system gives you any troubles.

Thanks in advance,

Dr. Rick

RickMD :

Have a good weekend.

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