News Center

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Heart murmurs, valve disease focus of free St. Francis seminar in Columbus

INDIANAPOLIS – That low whispering inside some human hearts may speak volumes about a person’s health.

It is estimated that more than 5 million Americans suffer from some form of heart valve disease and can cause heart damage without symptoms.

Franciscan St. Francis Heart Valve Center world-renowned innovators in the treatment of heart valve disease Marc Gerdisch, M.D. and Richard Shea, M.D. will explain the significance of heart murmurs and discuss the latest therapies for heart valve disease.

The free event will be held at Holiday Inn Conference Center2480 Jonathan Moore Pike – in Columbus on Thursday, June 2 at 6:30 p.m. A light meal will be served at 5:30 p.m.

Heart murmurs are caused by valves inside the heart that do not close properly. Sometimes, people can live with heart murmurs a long time without any symptoms. But if the problem becomes more serious, the blood flow to the heart may be affected.

Surgery, including heart valve repairs and valve replacement, can correct the condition and prevent heart failure.

This interactive seminar also offers participants heart risk assessments, blood pressure screenings and a free heart valve echocardiogram (valued at $500) screening to be scheduled at a later date.

Gerdisch is the chief of cardiothoracic surgery at the St. Francis Heart Center, a partner of Cardiac Surgery Associates and the surgical director of the St. Francis Heart Valve Center. The first in the world to use technology that allows patients to rebuild their own cardiovascular tissue, Gerdisch will discuss how this technology can be used to modify and repair cardiac structures, allowing heart tissue to re-grow inside the beating hearts of patients.

Board-certified in internal medicine, cardiovascular disease and echocardiography, Shea is a partner with St. Francis Medical Group Indiana Heart Physicians and medical director of the St. Francis Heart Valve Center. He specializes in echocardiography and nuclear cardiology.

To register for the Ask the Doc program, go to or call 1-877-888-1777 by May 31. There is no charge, but you must RSVP to attend.

To learn more about cardiovascular services at Franciscan St. Francis Health, go to