What is a heart catheterization stent, and how soon might KU coach Bill Self be back on the court?
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - "I think Bill Self has the magic in a team to turn it around in the second half. And he's the master of the last two minutes," said Dr. Lyle Floyd Zepick.
Zepick is a diehard KU fan who also happens to be a cardiologist, so when he heard coach Bill Self go to the emergency room last week, he was nervous, to say the least.
"There was a suspicion when things happen quite that suddenly, cardiac is a possibility," said Zepick.
His suspicion was right.
Self says he went to get checked out after having tightness in his chest and feeling dizzy. It turns out he had a blocked artery.
"Over a period of many years, cholesterol builds up in our arteries. There comes to be a point where it gets so tight that it restricts blood flow, either by worsening or suddenly attracting a blood clot," said Zepick.
While blocked arteries can be extremely dangerous, Zepick says fixing them is relatively safe.
"A ballooning is done first to open the artery. Eventually, the stent is then put inside where the blockage was. And there's a balloon that literally stretches the stent open. It's like a little metal cage," said Zepick.
Zepick says, thankfully, recovering from something like this usually only takes a few days, so even though Self missed Thursday's game, he doesn't think it will be much longer.
"I would think that he should be able to get back to the game unless something is more going on that we don't know," said Zepick.
"I'm getting better every day, and hopefully over the next 48 hours, you know, if things go well today, I can progress to the point where, you know, hopefully, I can be out there the full time," Self said in an interview Thursday.
Zepick says this is a good reminder to get your own health checked out. He says your best bet is to have regular checkups with your primary doctor, and if you ever think something is going on, it's always better to be safe than sorry.