expert type icon EXPERT

Dr. David G. Kastl

Cardiothoracic Surgeon

Dr. David G. Kastl is a top Cardiothoracic Surgeon in Hilton Head Island, . With a passion for the field and an unwavering commitment to their specialty, Dr. David G. Kastl is an expert in changing the lives of their patients for the better. Through their designated cause and expertise in the field, Dr. David G. Kastl is a prime example of a true leader in healthcare. As a leader and expert in their field, Dr. David G. Kastl is passionate about enhancing patient quality of life. They embody the values of communication, safety, and trust when dealing directly with patients. In Hilton Head Island, South Carolina , Dr. David G. Kastl is a true asset to their field and dedicated to the profession of medicine.
Dr. David G. Kastl
  • Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
  • MD at the University of Oklahoma
  • Accepting new patients

I have been detected with a growth in my esophagus. Should I consult a cardiothoracic surgeon?

Any growth anywhere in the esophagus should be of concern and needs a diagnosis. If not cancerous, what? The first consult should be with a reliable gastroenterologist who can READ MORE
Any growth anywhere in the esophagus should be of concern and needs a diagnosis. If not cancerous, what? The first consult should be with a reliable gastroenterologist who can order appropriate CT scans and perform a biopsy with a flexible endoscope, if indicated. A thoracic surgeon will be consulted for excision, if indicated.

My son is 8 years old and has been detected with a hole in the heart. Is surgery the only option?

This is a difficult question to answer because a lack of information. There are several possibilities for "a hole in the heart" and closures are different. Possible holes are READ MORE
This is a difficult question to answer because a lack of information. There are several possibilities for "a hole in the heart" and closures are different. Possible holes are ventricular septal defect (VSD), atrial septal defect (ASD) of which are two: premum and secundum ASDs. There is also another atrial septal defect call failed foramen ovale closure. The best answer comes after knowledge of the type of heart hole.

What causes increased heart rate in a pregnant woman?

Major increasing body changes occur with pregnancy that are mild during the first trimester and become more demonstrable by the third trimester. One major change is an increased READ MORE
Major increasing body changes occur with pregnancy that are mild during the first trimester and become more demonstrable by the third trimester. One major change is an increased heart rate that is a normal response to increasing demands for increased blood volume to mother and baby.

Blood volume is increased by the faster heart rate that can increase by 25% (normal 70 to 80-90 beats per minute). During pregnancy, the increased heart rate will increase cardiac output by 50-90% by the third trimester.

If the heart rate increases to greater than 100 beats per minute and especially associated with chest pain, shortness of breath, fainting or coughing up blood; a physician should be consulted to rule out serious health issues.

How long does it take for someone to recover from a cardiac surgery?

This question lacks sufficient information to answer appropriately. It is assumed that its the skin sutures that "opened up." If this event is a simple non-infected superficial READ MORE
This question lacks sufficient information to answer appropriately. It is assumed that its the skin sutures that "opened up." If this event is a simple non-infected superficial dehisence, it should be only enough time for the re-closed incision to heal. If infected, superficial vs. deep is important to know. Deep usually means involvement of the sternal bone. If infected bone is involved, it depends on the procedure(s) needed to correct the problem. Deep infections take weeks and sometimes months to treat. A superficial infection not involving bone may take several weeks to heal and this also depends on the operation needed. If more information is available, a better answer is available.

How can I tell if it's a heart attack or just a chest pain?

Chest pain as described can be related to heart, esophageal spasm from gastric reflux or stomach ulcers. There is no way to determine the reason for the chest pain without testing. READ MORE
Chest pain as described can be related to heart, esophageal spasm from gastric reflux or stomach ulcers. There is no way to determine the reason for the chest pain without testing. Chest pain should be investigated ASAP to rule out an active heart attack or the precursor to a heart attack. This is serious and could result in life long congestive heart failure and more importantly, death.

Why do I feel palpitations and increased heart rate?

The symptoms described are classic for atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter. Both are situations that only progress in magnitude if not treated. You need an EKG and or a heart READ MORE
The symptoms described are classic for atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter. Both are situations that only progress in magnitude if not treated. You need an EKG and or a heart monitor to record and evaluate the heart rhythm.

Will diastolic dysfunction lead to heart failure?

Diastolic dysfunction means that the ventricular heart chamber does not open well to receive enough blood volume from the atrial chamber. If it opens poorly, the blood volume READ MORE
Diastolic dysfunction means that the ventricular heart chamber does not open well to receive enough blood volume from the atrial chamber. If it opens poorly, the blood volume collected within the ventricle is insufficient for an adequate stroke volume when the ventricle contracts to propel blood to the body. This is a form of heart failure.

A common reason for diastolic dysfunction is the result of a non-compliant ventricular muscle wall that is stiff. A good example is muscle thickening (hypertrophy) resulting from aortic valve stenosis. In this case, the valve is scarred and does not open well causing the ventricular muscle to hypertrophy. The thickened muscle enables the ventricle to over come the resistance through the small valve opening but over time makes the ventricular stiff and noncompliant causing the ventricle to fill and empty inadequately. This resistance to blood flow across the valve can be auscultated with a stethoscope as a heart murmur.

Valve repair success

Always be in favor of repair over replacement. You get to keep your own valve rather than having an artificial prosthetic valve that can initiate its own problems. The key to READ MORE
Always be in favor of repair over replacement. You get to keep your own valve rather than having an artificial prosthetic valve that can initiate its own problems. The key to a successful repair is having a surgeon who performs many repairs. Do your homework on surgeon and institution where s/he works. Both need good credentials. The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (sts.org) is a good starting point. Valve repair is an art/skill that takes practice. A bad result is no repair.

Abdominal aneurysm prevention

Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a silent killer. Usually, the only symptom is rupture that is associated with 80% mortality. Siblings or children of patients with an AAA have READ MORE
Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a silent killer. Usually, the only symptom is rupture that is associated with 80% mortality. Siblings or children of patients with an AAA have a genetic increased rate of 7% over the normal population of developing an AAA. People at normal risk usually have history of hypertension and smoking. If one has a family history or at risk because of hypertension and/or smoking, after age 50-55 years one should have an abdominal aortic ultrasound (painless) to scan the abdominal aorta for aneurysmal formation. If one is present, there is no significant alarm unless the aneursym is 5.0 cm or greater in size. Depending on its characteristics, there is a good chance it can be repaired as a minimally invasive endovascular procedure not requiring an abdominal incision. If less than 5.0 cm in diameter, the AAA can be followed annually with ultrasound scans. Don't smoke and keep hypertension under control (best antihypertensive medicine for AAA is valsartan).

Caffeine and heart surgery?

Coffee is not recommended right before or immediately after any form of cardiac surgery, including heart valve surgery. I suggest to start reducing to one cup daily and none within READ MORE
Coffee is not recommended right before or immediately after any form of cardiac surgery, including heart valve surgery. I suggest to start reducing to one cup daily and none within days of operation. Within two weeks following operation you can resume coffee intake assuming the operation was successful without complication.

Gum disease and heart disease

Dental plaque is plaque regardless of its origin. It contributes and/or causes gengivitis (gum inflammation) that leads to shedding mouth bacteria into the blood stream (bacteremia). READ MORE
Dental plaque is plaque regardless of its origin. It contributes and/or causes gengivitis (gum inflammation) that leads to shedding mouth bacteria into the blood stream (bacteremia). This bacteria can settle and grow on the heart valves (endocarditis) subsequently destroying a functional valve making it dysfunctional. A dysfunctional valve leads to heart failure.