Dr. Terry Dubrow recently had a medical emergency. When the co-host of E! Loser He was out to dinner with his wife, Heather Dubrow, and their son, Nicholas, and he experienced stroke-like symptoms.
At first, the Newport Beach, California-based plastic surgeon thought the incident was inconsequential, as he returned to feeling normal after momentarily slurring his speech. After initially refusing medical attention, his wife’s “perseverance and determination literally saved my life” by persuading him to go to the hospital. There, he was diagnosed and treated for a transient ischemic attack (TIA)—otherwise known as a mini-stroke.
Terry is now answering three questions from Yahoo Life about how he experienced a temporary blockage of blood flow to the brain, and he hopes others can learn from him.
What did you experience at that moment at the dinner table?
Terry remembers he was talking to his son and realizes that his words suddenly don’t sound right when asked a question. “From my point of view, it just felt like my tongue was kind of lazy,” he says, “that I needed a second to clean up the food I was eating. It just seemed so innocent to me.” But for Heather, it’s on the record as a bigger concern.
“My perception was that she overreacted, immediately stood up and told my son to call 911,” Terry continues. “I went to the bathroom and my son was banging on the door because Heather was worried I was having a stroke in there. But it was already cleaned up. It seemed like it lasted about a minute.”
By the time Terry got out of the bathroom, he heard an ambulance approaching the restaurant. “We got into the ambulance and I said to the paramedics, ‘Look guys, I’m obviously slurring, but it didn’t last long.'” Encourage them to do a stroke screening withbe quick“The way I felt vindicated when the paramedics discovered there were no lingering fears.” Heather knocks on the door, telling the paramedics, “Take him to (Cedars-Sinai).” I said: I will not go. I wanted to go home.” So the family did.
How did you finally get to the hospital for the test?
“(Heather and I) have this agreement that if she ever has a medical problem, she calls two of my very smart medical friends. So I called them and said, ‘Hey, I’m worried Terry might have a transient ischemic attack (TIA), stroke and he won’t. He goes to the hospital. So they start calling me and talking to me and I’m like, ‘Guys, listen to me.’ ask me anything. I’m pretty clear.” They’re like, ‘Yeah, but come on man. This could be a TIA,'” says Terry.
Terry and Heather were on separate Ubers at the time, just walking home from the restaurant in Los Angeles. “The clock is ticking, I’m halfway to Newport Beach, Heather is behind me and my other friend from the cardiologist is calling. He says, ‘OK, listen, you don’t want to go in, I get it.'” You want to go home, you will practice tomorrow. But think of it this way. You love your wife, you love your son, right? They are deeply shocked. I’ve spoken to both of them. If you go tonight, you’re looking after your family, and that’s your primary responsibility. And as soon as he said that, I said, ‘Okay.’ So he appealed to me as a father and a husband.”
Terry remembers walking into the emergency room at Hough Hospital at 10 p.m. on August 3, Thursday night, and telling the nurses he had momentarily stopped speaking. He was immediately taken to have a blood sample drawn from him blood vessels in his body scanned.
“I was so confident that I had nothing that I actually came back from the MRI and took off the robe and put on my regular clothes,” he says. The nurse rolls over with the laptop, asking if the results are back. I look at her, I take one look at Heather. I take off my shirt, take off my pants and put on my dress. I go, ‘I’m going in tonight. I had a TIA.”
what is the reason?
Being a doctor, Terry hoped the cause was a patent foramen ovale (PFO), a small hole between the upper chambers of the heart that doesn’t close the way it’s supposed to after birth. “If you’re going to have something like a TIA, you want it to be quickly diagnosed and fixable,” Terry says. Should a blood clot travel to his brain via a PFO, it would be possible to repair it.
“The doctor did a test called a transesophageal echocardiogram. They used an ultrasound probe to see if there was a hole in your heart. They put me to sleep and then they woke me up and went, ‘Terry, you have a big PFO,'” he recalls. “So the cardiologist came in and through my groin.” Insert a catheter and put a stopper in it. It took 11 minutes and they delivered and my risk of stroke is zero now.”
What you need to know about TIAs
What is TIA?
A transient ischemic attack is simply referred to as a “mini-stroke,” according to cardiologists Dr. Ernst von Schwartz. More specifically, it is a brief interruption in blood flow to the brain that results in stroke-like symptoms that last for a short period of time.
“By definition, if symptoms last less than 24 hours, it’s a transient ischemic attack. If it lasts more than 24 hours, it’s a stroke,” says Terry.
What are those symptoms?
One-sided weakness or numbness, vision problems, trouble speaking or understanding speech, and loss of balance National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). occur suddenly and do not last long; However, it must be treated and evaluated immediately by a medical team in order to be diagnosed as a TIA rather than an acute ischemic stroke. Treatment is determined by the cause.
what are the reasons?
“The underlying underlying cause is uncontrolled high blood pressure,” Schwarz explains, while other risk factors include atrial fibrillation, diabetes, and cigarette smoking. “clots from the lower extremities through a hole in the heart” is another thing a cardiologist calls it, which explains the role of PFOs.
“PFO is not uncommon,” Schwartz says. It is detected in approximately 11 to 12% of healthy adults and up to 35% in autopsies. PFOs are usually asymptomatic and therefore only detected if someone has had a stroke or mini-stroke or by echocardiography. Routine. Once an event such as a stroke or similar symptoms occur, it should be closed by means of a needle through the skin through the groin.”
What are the risks if someone does not seek treatment after a transient ischemic attack?
NINDS says that TIAs are often “warning signs that a person is at risk of a more serious and debilitating stroke,” noting that about a third of those who experience a TIA “will have an acute stroke at some point in the future.”
“Another stroke can occur with permanent brain damage that could lead to death,” Schwartz says.