34 MILLION AMERICANS HAVE A CHOLESTEROL LEVEL THAT PUTS THEM AT RISK FOR A HEART ATTACK OR STROKE.
FOR SOME PEOPLE, NO MATTER WHAT THEY DO THEY CAN'T BRING THEIR LEVELS DOWN. TONIGHT WE'LL SHOW YOU WHAT'S HELPING PATIENTS DO JUST THAT.
SANDRA MILLER LIKES TO TAKE OLD THINGS, CLEAN THEM UP, AND MAKE THEM NEW AGAIN.
"I like to do whatever I can to update them."
RIGHT NOW, DOCTORS ARE PRETTY MUCH DOING THE SAME THING WITH HER BLOOD.
"It's gonna prevent her heart disease from getting worse and perhaps reverse some of the plaque buildup that's already in her heart."
WHILE SHE EXERCISES AND EATS RIGHT...SHE'S GENETICALLY PRONE TO HIGH L-D-L LEVELS, THE BAD CHOLESTEROL IN OUR BODIES.
THE IDEAL LEVEL FOR PEOPLE AT HIGH RISK OF HEART DISEASE IS BELOW 70 SHE'S IN THE 300'S.
NOW SHE'S ONE OF THE FIRST PATIENTS AT U-C SAN DIEGO TO UNDERGO L-D-L APHERESIS. THIS MACHINE RUNS SANDRA'S BLOOD THROUGH A FILTER THAT SEPARATES THE PLASMA.
"The plasma portion is then run through a special filter that just absorbs bad cholesterol. Returns all the good cholesterol back to the patient."
SANDRA'S L-D-L LEVELS DROP FROM 350 TO 67 DURING THE THREE HOUR PROCEDURE! SHE WILL NEED TO DO THIS EVERY TWO WEEKS-FOR LIFE!
"After two weeks her cholesterol is back up in the 200's."
FOR SANDRA, TO MAKE HER BAD CHOLESTEROL GOOD...IT'S WORTH IT.
DOCTOR MILLER SAYS WHILE IT'S RECOMMENDED PATIENTS CONTINUE TAKING ANY CHOLESTEROL-LOWERING MEDICATIONS WHILE GOING THROUGH THE PROCEDURE... IN CASES LIKE SANDRA'S THOSE DRUGS DON'T WORK AND THE BI-WEEKLY TREATMENT CAN REPLACE MEDICATIONS.
DOCTORS SAY ANYTHING THAT BRINGS THE L-D-L LEVELS DOWN, EVEN FOR A SHORT TIME, WILL HELP PREVENT HEART DISEASE.
THE PROCEDURE IS F-D-A APPROVED, BUT SO FAR, JUST 60 CENTERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY OFFER IT.
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