Marilyn Beeson’s Second Chance

Marilyn Beeson’s Second Chance

Frightening Experience for a Teacher and her Students 

Instrumental music teacher Marilyn Beeson had just finished teaching her lively class of fourth and fifth graders who were preparing for their spring concert. She was taking a drink when she felt a tickling sensation in her throat, “and then it closed up completely,“ she recalls. “I thought I was going to die in front of the kids.”

A student ran to the school nurse, who called the paramedics. “I asked the EMTs not to use sirens so the children wouldn’t be upset,” Marilyn says.

A computed tomography (CT) scan at Calvert Memorial Hospital revealed a blood vessel pressing on her esophagus (tube connecting the mouth and stomach), effectively blocking her throat. Marilyn was diagnosed with a serious swallowing disorder known as dysphagia lusoria. She was transferred to MedStar Washington Hospital Center, where vascular surgeon Rajesh Malik, MD and cardiac surgeon Christian Shults, MD, both with MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute, took over her care.

A Second Chance

“This is an unusual condition that requires a multidisciplinary approach,” says Dr. Shults. “And being at the Hospital Center means being able to collaborate with colleagues from different disciplines to come up with a solution."

After consulting with each other, as well as with Marilyn and her family, the physicians performed two surgical procedures a few days apart to redirect and re-position the artery. “This approach eliminates the pressure on Mrs. Beeson’s esophagus so it won’t cause problems for her in the future,” explains Dr. Malik.

Both surgeries went well, and Marilyn felt the difference immediately. “From the time I awakened from surgery, I no longer felt any kind of rubbing sensation in my throat,” she says.

“Mrs. Beeson is recovering well, and the problem with her artery is completely resolved,” Dr. Shults says. Dr. Malik adds, “It’s great to be able to help her feel more comfortable and allow her to eat and drink without worry or fear.”

“This was a frightening thing to go through, but I trusted Dr. Shults’ and Dr. Malik’s opinions and expertise,” Marilyn says. “I feel so much gratitude to them for performing this complicated procedure so successfully.”

 From the Operating Room to the Classroom

Once Marilyn returned to teaching her students, she had two visitors - Dr. Shults and Dr. Malik. The uniqueness of Marilyn's condition and the impact it could have had on her students really inspired her doctors. They offered to explain the condition and how they cared for their beloved music teacher. 

"To see my doctors in my classroom was moving," says Marilyn, "It was incredibly helpful for them to explain to my students what had happened and that I was going to be okay."

Have any questions?

We are here to help! Contact us for more information about MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute or to schedule an appointment. Call us at 202-877-3627.

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Varicose Veins: Signs, Symptoms and Treatments

Understanding Varicose Veins.

About 55 percent of American women suffer from some sort of venous disorder, with varicose veins topping the list. Varicose veins occur when damaged or weakened valves fail to do their job: keep blood flowing back to the heart. Healthy valves accomplish this task, even against gravity, by opening and closing tightly. But when valves aren’t working correctly, some blood leaks backward and pools in the legs, straining the walls of the veins. Results range from the merely unsightly to the uncomfortable, including feelings of pain, cramping, leg heaviness and fatigue.

In some cases, changes in the skin, and even leg ulcers, may develop. Family history, multiple pregnancies, occupations requiring long periods of standing, obesity and age can all contribute to the condition. While rarely a threat to your health, varicose veins will not go away by themselves and if left untreated, generally worsen over time. Fortunately, a variety of approaches  and therapies are available to get you back on your feet quickly. Chief among them, two outpatient procedures, called sclerotherapy and radiofrequency ablation (RFA) can relieve the pain safely and effectively and restore a healthier appearance, more quickly and easily than ever before.


Physician Profile

 As a vascular surgeon at MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute, Misaki Kiguchi, MD, MSc, MBA, specializes in the treatment of both arterial and venous diseases. Her training spans the spectrum of both diseases, including clinical expertise in aortic aneurysm repair, carotid artery disease management, peripheral arterial and venous disease management, which includes varicose veins. Dr. Kiguchi enjoys the long-term relationships she builds with her patients, but it is the technical aspects of vascular procedures that drew her to this specialty.

“Vascular disease is chronic, and patients rely on an ongoing relationship with me, their cardiologist, and primary care provider to keep their disease at bay,” says Dr. Kiguchi.

Caring for patients with life-threatening vascular conditions, and performing cosmetic surgical procedures are both equally satisfying for Dr. Kiguchi. 

"If I am able to improve a patient's quality of life because I'm able to help their cosmetic veins, then I am happy to provide the services, " she adds.

Read more about how the new, less invasive treatments helped one of Dr. Kiguchi's patients in this Center Scope article

Dr. Kiguchi has office hours in Washington, DC and Chevy Chase, MD.

Have any questions?

We are here to help! Contact us for more information about varicose veins or to schedule an appointment. Call us at 202-877-3627.

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