Pacemaker Gives Aiken Physician a New Lease on Life

Oletha Minto, MD, 39, an OB/GYN physician on staff at Aiken Regional Medical Centers (ARMC), is a busy mother of four who enjoys spending time with her family and volunteering at church. Last fall, however, she felt dizzy, winded, and continually exhausted. “The fatigue was like nothing I’ve ever experienced. I dreaded going to functions and my kids’ games. I wondered how I was going to make it.”

Oletha Minto and familySurprising Diagnosis

Dr. Minto sought attention at ARMC. After an exam, lab work and cardiac tests, she got some startling news. She had an abnormally slow heart rate — a condition typical of older people or those with cardiovascular disease. “A normal healthy heart beats 60 to 100 times per minute,” says Dr. Minto’s physician, Weems Pennington III, MD, an interventional cardiologist on the medical staff at ARMC. “Her heart rate was in the 40s, and it didn’t increase appropriately when she was active. It was so slow that she needed a pacemaker.”

Personalized Treatment

Dr. Minto chose to have her surgery at the Cardiovascular Institute at ARMC. “I was confident in their ability to perform the procedure safely and handle any complications,” she says. “At other facilities, patients typically need to see different physicians for each disorder,” explains Dr. Pennington. “At the Institute, we have a comprehensive program. We treat electrical issues with the heart, blockages in the coronary arteries and vascular problems.”

Immediate Improvement

Dr. Pennington implanted a pacemaker in Dr. Minto’s chest on October 4th, 2012. When Dr. Minto’s heart rate is abnormal, the pacemaker sends electrical signals through a wire to the heart to restore normal rhythm. “I knew it was working immediately,” says Dr. Minto, who went home the same day she had her procedure. “Before the pacemaker, I felt drained. Now I feel fantastic.”

Dr Pennington and teamThe ARMC Difference

Dr. Minto says she received exceptional care before, during and after her procedure. “When you have a group with such expertise and such big hearts, you can be assured that you are getting the best care.”

She adds that the Cardiovascular Institute is a tremendous resource for local residents. “There’s no reason to travel for cardiovascular care,” she says. “I can’t imagine getting better care anywhere else.

“The pacemaker has made a big difference in my life,” says Dr. Minto. “I have the energy to handle my day and keep up with my kids. I’m confident I’ll have a healthy future.”

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Be Aware of
Key Risk Factors for Heart Disease

heart in handHigh blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, and smoking are key risk factors for heart disease. Several other medical conditions and lifestyle choices can also put people at risk:

  • Diabetes
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Poor diet
  • Physical inactivity
  • Excessive alcohol use

To avoid potential heart problems, follow your doctor’s instructions and stay on your medications. Reduce salt, total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol. Increase fresh fruits and vegetables. Take brisk 10-minute walks three times a day, five days a week. And if you smoke, quit as soon as possible.

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The Cardiovascular Institute
of Carolina

For high-quality cardiac care, there’s no need to go anywhere other than the Cardiovascular Institute of Carolina at Aiken Regional Medical Centers.

Learn more >

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Pacemaker Gives Aiken Physician
a New Lease on Life
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Aiken Regional Medical Centers is owned and operated by a subsidiary of Universal Health Services, Inc.(UHS), a King of Prussia, PA-based company, that is one of the largest healthcare management companies in the nation.        

Aiken Regional Medical Centers

302 University Parkway
Aiken, SC 29801
803-641-5000

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