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Published on November 07, 2012

Suzanne Rizkallah & Heart and Vascular Surgery

Suzanne Rizkallah
Patient: Suzanne Rizkallah, Frederick, MD

Location: Adventist HealthCare Washington Adventist Hospital

Service: Heart and Vascular Surgery

Doctor: Dennis Friedman, MD

Today, Suzanne Rizkallah, a 35-year-old mother of two, is an avid jogger.

Before last February, she had never exercised in her life. But after back pain turned out to be a symptom of heart disease, she adopted a healthy lifestyle that includes daily activity.

When a CT (computed tomography) scan did not identify the source of the back pain, she was referred to a cardiologist. She sought out Dennis Friedman, M.D., medical director of cardiovascular services at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital.

“A woman may present with unusual symptoms such as angina, or chest pain, in the center or left of the chest, as well as in the arms, jaw and even the back, as in Suzanne’s case,” Dr. Friedman explains.

A nuclear stress test revealed coronary artery disease—and evidence of a possible heart attack. Rizkallah also had shortness of breath, which was diagnosed and treated as asthma two years before.

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