Heart Health

Atrial Fibrillation: What to Know

Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is a heart rhythm disorder in which the steady electrical impulses that regulate the atria, the heart’s upper chambers, become disorganized and chaotic. These abnormal signals cause the atria to contract rapidly and ineffectually, over and over. This reduces the flow of blood to the body, causing shortness of breath, weakness and fatigue. It also increases the risk of heart failure and stroke.

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Innovations in Cardiovascular Care

Mills-Peninsula heart surgeons Christopher Woods, M.D., Ph.D., Conrad Vial, M.D., Dirk Baumann, M.D. and David Daniels, M.D.

Cardiovascular Surgeons With A Heart For Technology And Patient Care

For most people, the phrase “innovations in cardiovascular care” probably brings to mind high-tech gadgets. And Mills-Peninsula cardiovascular specialists are indeed innovators who partner with Silicon Valley medical tech firms to design and refine the latest devices and software programs.

But more important than their involvement with fancy high-tech equipment is the fact that our cardiovascular specialists are also innovators in terms of how they care for patients, according to Conrad Vial, M.D., Mills-Peninsula cardiothoracic surgeon and medical director of Cardiovascular Services. “Some of the most exciting and valuable innovation in the cardiovascular service at Mills-Peninsula is not necessarily related to a particular novel procedure or new technology,” Dr. Vial says. “Rather, it has more to do with how we organize care, how we form treatment plans and how we carry out follow-up for our patients.” Read More

Minimally Invasive Surgery for Complex Coronary Blockages

Mills-Peninsula patient John D. Moore

Seventy-two-year-old San Mateo resident John D. Moore, a retired business owner, felt strong despite a couple of health issues. He had chronic lung disease, collateral damage from a 30-year, two-pack-a-day smoking habit, and rheumatoid arthritis. But Moore quit smoking 17 years ago and stayed active through golf, walking and swimming. He had no reason to suspect that the blood supply to his heart was slowing to a trickle and on the verge of sealing shut.

Last spring, when playing golf or climbing stairs, Moore began to experience shortness of breath. He casually mentioned the problem to his rheumatologist during a routine appointment. Knowing Moore was a former smoker, his doctor recommended a chest X-ray, which led to more tests.

Moore was referred to David Kurzrock, M.D., a Mills-Peninsula interventional cardiologist, who encountered a grim situation when evaluating Moore’s heart. His heart muscle was weak, his right main cardiac artery was completely blocked and his left main artery, which normally supplies about 80 percent of blood to the heart, was 90 percent blocked and now feeding everything. This is a situation that Dr. Kurzrock describes as “100 percent jeopardy.” Read More

Heart Disease: Facts and Prevention


Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. In fact, about 610,000 people die of heart disease in the U.S. every year – 1 in every 4 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Despite its prevalence in our society, heart disease myths persist. One of the biggest heart disease myths is that it strikes only men and older adults. In fact, heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women and it’s more deadly for women than all kinds of cancer combined.

Yet, “it’s been drilled into our culture that heart disease is a male disease,” Tania Nanevicz, M.D., a cardiologist at Mills-Peninsula, says. “So women themselves don’t always recognize what’s happening.” Read More

Heart Attack Symptoms in Women

Heart Health

Did you know that heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women and is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined? February is Heart Month, and a good time to learn more about heart attack symptoms in women. Read More

Four Steps to Reduce Your Heart Disease Risk

Heart Health

Show your heart the love and learn how to keep your heart healthy.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to reduce your heart disease risk. Some risk factors, such as family history and age, are out of your hands, but many issues related to lifestyle are within your control.

Mills-Peninsula cardiologist George Cohen, M.D., offers four simple steps to reduce your risk for heart disease. Read More