Beaufort Memorial’s Living Well Blog brings health and wellness to Lowcountry living.

Managing a Risky Chronic Illness with Confidence

Posted by Cardiovascular Team on Aug 23, 2017 3:00:00 PM

leming_ford.jpgWhen onetime Pennsylvania resident Kip Leming thought of his upcoming move to Beaufort, he was thrilled — well, mostly. Just one concern gave him pause. He worried that he wouldn’t be able to find a doctor experienced in treating his elevated level of lipoprotein(a), a type of cholesterol that puts him at high risk of coronary heart disease and stroke.

The problem was uncovered when, at the young age of 50, Kip suffered back-to-back heart attacks. Shortly afterward he was diagnosed with the genetic condition and referred to a lipidologist at the University of Pennsylvania. Although the specialist’s prescribed medication regimen has reduced Kip’s Lp(a) level by half, the now-62-year-old must work with a physician who understands Lp(a) and the treatment regimen that helps Kip control it.

To his great relief, he connected with Dr. Robert Vyge at Beaufort Memorial Lady’s Island Internal Medicine. The internal medicine specialist, who has a particular interest in treating patients with chronic conditions, where improvement often comes incrementally and over time, says it is especially important with Lp(a) to monitor lipid levels regularly and make medication adjustments as needed. “There’s no drug available today to specifically lower Lp(a),” Dr. Vyge says. “But promising new drugs are coming on the market.”

His doctor’s reassurance has helped Kip embrace the Lowcountry lifestyle. “Not only does Dr. Vyge know about Lp(a), he studied it early in his career,” says Kip. “Having him as my doctor really put my mind at ease that we had made the right choice to move to Beaufort.”

To find a Beaufort Memorial primary care physician, see our directory or call 888-522-5585.

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