All this month on Real Men Wear Gowns we're focusing on the heart while showcasing how you need to take care of this very important organ.
Tonight we introduce you to one man whose heart problems were caught just in time thanks to a cardiac catheterization.
"I knew something wasn't right because he usually comes every summer to spend time with us but we just decided to get him here sooner," Mimi Cruz said as she sat next to father Antonio Vargas at University Hospital's Catheterization lab.
Cruz says her father Antonio loves to swim and fish. But two years ago that had to stop.
"He came with a pretty severe chronic heart condition they couldn't do anything at the time because he was very weak." Cruz said.
"Some of the initial warning signs, the patient complains of symptoms, patients start having chest pain, difficulty in breathing, they can't do their daily activities, and that's when I should see their doctor first then the decision is made," Hinan Ahmed, Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Lab for University Hospital and interventional cardiologist with UT Health San Antonio.
"They did do a catheterization to see what was going on and of course to take a look at everything and that's when they found it," Cruz said.
When doctors went in for the catheterization they found that one of his arteries was 50 percent blocked. Two were 90 percent blocked, and one was completely dead.
"They couldn't do anything at that time because he was very weak. He wasn't a candidate for surgery," Cruz said.
They treated Vargas with medicine and when he was strong enough doctors were able to put a stent in one of the arteries.
Vargas said these procedures are extending his life.
"I look at it as spending time with my granddaughters," Vargas said. And he's ready to get back to the activities he loves.
For more men's health information call 210-358-3045. You can also find the rest of our Real Men Wear Gowns stories, just go to wearthegown.com.