Ask a Cardiologist: Dr Paul Chiam from Mount Elizabeth Hospital Singapore & Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital Singapore

Ask a Doctor ForumCategory: CardiologyAsk a Cardiologist: Dr Paul Chiam from Mount Elizabeth Hospital Singapore & Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital Singapore
dr. Paul Chiamdr. Paul Chiam asked 3 years ago
I am Dr Paul Chiam, Senior Consultant Cardiologist at The Heart & Vascular Centre based at Mount Elizabeth (Orchard) Hospital and Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital, and Associate Professor at the National University of Singapore. Ask Me Anything about the Heart! I trained in general and interventional cardiology at the National Heart Centre, Singapore, and subsequently spent eighteen months at the renowned Lenox Hill Heart and Vascular Institute of New York on a Ministry of Health HMDP scholarship to subspecialize in complex coronary angioplasty, carotid artery stenting, peripheral artery angioplasty, and structural heart disease (heart valve) interventions. I also spent a further three months training in intracranial angioplasty and stenting at the Department of Endovascular Neurosurgery, University of Buffalo, New York. I then returned to the National Heart Centre Singapore in 2008, and led the team that performed the first Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) in Asia in 2009. TAVR, also known as Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI), is a technique of replacing the aortic valve without open heart surgery. I am the first Asian proctor for the Edwards Lifesciences and Medtronic CoreValve TAVI programs, and have trained and proctored new centres in Malaysia, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Philippines, India, Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan. Treatments that I specialise in include: -Carotid stenting -Coronary atherectomy / rotablation -Coronary balloon angioplasty including coronary stenting -Percutaneous transvenous mitral commissurotomy (PTMC) -Peripheral transluminal angioplasty -Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) -Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) closure Learn more about me here: I am excited to be here to share/discuss Cardiovascular Health with everyone. I will be actively answering questions. Whether you've got questions about cardiovascular conditions, cardiovascular treatments or how to maintain good heart health, ask me anything! === Want to ask a question? Submit your question at the bottom of this page. Don’t forget to include your name and email address to get notified when the doctor answers your question.
25 Answers
Putry Lestary answered 3 years ago
Doctor, my mother was diagnosed with a swollen heart and blockage of blood flow in her heart. She also has a kidney problem. From her diagnosis in Penang, the doctor said that her kidney, the one with a stone in it, is shrinking. The doctor mentioned it is risky to do a surgery since my mother is 73 years old. In this pandemic, we are facing problems to continue her treatment abroad. Now, both of her knees are swollen. Is the swelling on her knees due to her kidney or heart problem? What should we do, Doc? We are worried about contracting coronavirus if we take her to the hospital.  With a swollen heart and swollen knees, she easily gets tired after walking a few steps.
dr. Paul Chiam replied 3 years ago

It sounds like she has heart failure but without knowing her previous test results (example: echocardiogram or blood tests), it is difficult to be sure.

I think she needs to see any general physician first as heart failure can be treated with medicines to lessen the water retention and breathlessness.

Ludfia answered 3 years ago
Good afternoon, Doctor. My father is 84 years old and has diabetes and heart disease. Every month, he has to see specialists at the hospital, but during this pandemic, I am worried about going to the hospital. Now his feet are swollen and he has difficulty breathing. Is there any medication to treat his condition? Can I get the prescription? Thanks in advance.
dr. Paul Chiam replied 3 years ago

It sounds like he may have heart failure. To confirm the diagnosis, he will need a chest x-ray, an echocardiogram and a blood test to check his kidney function.

If he indeed has heart failure, he may require Frusemide (to help drain the water) and Potassium chloride tablets.

Nita Septiani answered 3 years ago
Doc, my child is 8 months old. These 4 months, he has not gained any weight and is experiencing loss of appetite. I saw a paediatrician and the doctor’s hypothesis was that my son has congenital heart disease. Should my son undergo surgery? Is there any relation between having congenital heart disease and loss of appetite?
dr. Paul Chiam replied 3 years ago

It is difficult to advise you without knowing what type of congenital heart disease he has. The poor appetite and no weight gain may be due to the heart condition.

Deny Siswanto answered 3 years ago
Good evening, Doctor. I have been feeling pain in my chest lately, as though I am being stabbed by a blunt object, and the pain spreads to my back. This is usually followed by cramps in my jaw. I have sleeping problems at night. My sex life is deteriorating, and I'm feeling somewhat impotent and having premature ejaculation. My ECG and chest x-ray results show everything is fine. Four months ago before taking medication, my blood pressure was 140/100 but it is now 120/90. HDL cholesterol was 150 and LDL was 215. Can I fix my problem solely by taking medicine? And is there any link between heart disease and sexual activity?
dr. Paul Chiam replied 3 years ago

The chest pain may be due to blockages in your heart arteries. Please see a heart specialist to have your heart checked. Your impotence may be due to the medication that you are taking or diabetes (if you have it).

We advise patients with severe heart artery blockages not to be too strenuous during sexual activity.

Adel Lina answered 3 years ago
Doctor, my father is 65 years old and he often complains about pain in his chest and shortness of breath. After consulting a doctor, he was diagnosed with pulmonary edema, with his lungs squeezing his heart. It has been 2 months and his shortness of breath is getting severe. Is it possible for him to receive home treatment? Is this condition curable?
dr. Paul Chiam replied 3 years ago

Pulmonary oedema is usually caused by weak heart function. The most likely reason for the weak heart function is heart artery blockage.

He will need a heart ultrasound scan. Depending on how severe the pulmonary oedema is, he may need to be treated in a hospital until the condition improves.

Then he can be treated as an outpatient.

Eka Setyaningsih answered 3 years ago
I am 17 years old. This one year I have been feeling pain in my left chest. It causes me to have difficulty breathing. Is this a symptom of heart problems?
dr. Paul Chiam replied 3 years ago

It's not possible to know the reason for your chest pain without some tests, although the chance that it is due to a heart problem is low in view of your young age.

Nissa Cha answered 3 years ago
I am a 20 year old female with obesity problems. I sweat often on my palms and feet. This disturbs my daily life. I heard that sweaty palms and feet are a sign of a weak heart. Is this true, Doc?
dr. Paul Chiam replied 3 years ago

Not likely. Please consult a local doctor for your symptoms.

nurul hanifah answered 2 years ago
My brother is an active smoker. He is 40 years old. Lately he's been complaining about pain in his chest. Is his condition related to a heart problem?
dr. Paul Chiam replied 2 years ago

It may be possibly a heart problem. He should consult a physician to have his condition checked.

Son answered 2 years ago
Doctor, I want to ask. My CA calcium score is 13.98 mm cubic, LAD calcium score is 91.28 mm cubic, LCX calcium score is 54.16 mm cubic, and total scanned calcium score is 159.41 mm cubic. What do these results mean?
Umi Salamah answered 2 years ago
Hi Doctor. My name is Umi. I want to ask about ballon valvuloplasty, Doc. What is the procedure about? Are there any side effects after undergoing treatment?
dr. Paul Chiam replied 2 years ago

Balloon valvuloplasty is using a balloon to dilate the mitral or aortic valve.

The balloon will be removed after the procedure has been completed. There are no long term side effects but there are some small risks during the procedure.

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