Texans doctors don’t think Foster needs heart procedure


On Thursday, Alex Flanagan of the NFL Network reported that Texans running back Arian Foster was likely to undergo a heart procedure after being forced out of a game during the regular season because of an irregular heartbeat.

There isn’t unanimous opinion about the necessity of the operation, however. Texans General Manager Rick Smith said Friday that the team’s physicians don’t think Foster needs to have an operation because of the irregular heartbeat, which Foster has dealt with since childhood.

“Our medical team continues to monitor it. He missed half of a practice and half of a game and the doctors treated him. We’re comfortable with where he is,” Smith said, via Mark Berman of KRIV in Houston.

Foster will obviously have the final say on whether or not he has the operation, which is known as a heart ablation. The Mayo Clinic explains that the procedure involves using catheters strung through a vein in the groin to the heart to correct the structural problems that leads to arrhythmia.

However Foster decides to treat the ailment, we hope it doesn’t provide one of the league’s more engaging stars any further problems on or off the field.

24 responses to “Texans doctors don’t think Foster needs heart procedure

  1. It’s his choice to have the procedure or not in the same manner that it’s his choice to have a vegan diet or not. If the Mayo Clinic referenced is the one in MN, then the Texans have nothing to worry about. I’ve spent some time there myself (not for me, for a family member) and they have the best doctors available and world class facilities. Best wishes to Arian and his family and I totally agree with the last sentence of the article… couldn’t have said it better myself.

  2. Catheters from the groin to the heart!! Sounds a little invasive to say the least.

    Get a second opinion from a physician not affiliated with the team- that’s what kattkathy would do.

  3. He should of had a better season yards wise. A lot of people never really mentioned the Texans right side of the o-line. The fact that a true 4th round rookie center started at right guard for a good part of the season. As well as a 3rd string RT. The 1st and 2nd string RT’s are not amazing yet either. Also the lack of a blocking fullback clearly showed up. Should have kept Lawerence vickers some how. Hopefully they get it fixed. Foster needs to be 1B in the league at least. I mean lets face it, AP is the best.

  4. Not a big deal to have the procedure. Always risks with any procedure, but this is taught routine. Work in an electtophyisiology lab. Do a couple a week. Biggest complication is usually an occasional bruise in the groin

  5. Catheters from the groin to the heart!! Sounds a little invasive to say the least.

    actually, it’s a noninvasive technique, when compared to having your entire chest cavity cut open.

  6. I have had this procedure and it can done as an outpatient, but did spend one night in a hospital

  7. This is not a big deal. If he keeps having the issue, he’ll need to get it done. It’s actually minimally invasive, and you are back to work in a few days…I had atrial flutter as a result of scar tissue that was present from surgery when I was an infant (open heart surgery to repair congenital defect), and the electrophysiologist said to me…”so, do you want to be on medication that makes you feel like crap for the rest of your life, or do you want me to fix this?” I opted for the surgery. Not a problem since. He may not need surgery NOW, but if it persists, he should get it done. It’s very low risk for a heart procedure, and in 95% of cases will repair the problem permanently.

  8. I perform ablations and it’s definitely not heart surgery. No scalpel or stitches needed.

    The catheters are inserted in the vessels slightly below where you bend your leg and usually the largest are around 8 French (2.67 mm) in diameter. Usually need to put 3-4 catheters in to do the study.

    Recovery time for our non-NFL patients is one week off activities.

  9. I’d take the word of a doctor or doctors of my own choosing over that of the team doctors any day of the week. Team doctors have divided loyalties at best.

    Second thought–It’s the heart, not a shoulder or knee. If the knee malfunctions, it may cost you playing time, if major, it may cost you a career, you may limp, but you’re still alive. If the heart malfunctions…

  10. Houston has some of the top cardiologists in the WORLD. This will be sorted out and all will be well for him to be full systems go before next season. If he doesn’t need surgery, a specialist will tell him he does not need surgery.

  11. He should have it done. Both Jim Harbaugh and my Dad had the same procedure done. Both are doing extremely well now.

  12. I wouldn’t trust the team doctors. You can live with a misdiagnosis of your knee, but I don’t know anyone who has had a misdiagnosis of their heart and lived.

  13. Royalty from all over the world go to the Mayo Clinic for treatment, it is without question a world class hospital. He will be in good hands, wish him the best, as his attitude and outlook on life seem to be world class. (Judging by interviews I’ve heard him in.) Go Niners!

  14. If he needs this he’s probably not going to Minnesota for it. Houston has one of the top medical centers in the world and St Luke’s is a pioneer for heart surgery. It’s where the heart transplant was invented and first implemented. And yes millionaires and billionaires from all the world come here for heart surgery and cancer illnesses. Look it up.

  15. bunjy96 says: Feb 1, 2013 1:09 PM

    “Any catheter to the heart is no cake walk. It’s risky”

    There is always risk to ANY invasive procedure. However, a cardiac ablation procedure carries far less risk than NOT having the ablation and having the patient (Foster) to continue having the irregular heartbeats than can lead to many other, more severe, symptoms.

    Then there’s the option of trying to treat the irregular heartbeat with medications. But THAT poses potential problems for both Foster and the league. What of Foster doesn’t want to live a life having to take meds to control the heart rate? Also, there are some legit cardiac meds that are on the banned substance list. What would he do then?

    As long as he’s a legit candidate to have the ablation, I’d say go for it and try to correct the problem at the source. Team doctors have the TEAM’s interest at heart…not the player’s!

  16. May Clinic > team doctors
    Group plan > team doctors
    War time medics > team doctors
    EMT > team doctor
    South of the border doctors > team doctors
    Someone who plays the game “operation” > team doctors
    Dr. Manhattan > team doctors
    Dr. Demento > team doctors

    My dad was damn good doctor and he was approached by team to be a team doctor. However after investigation of the position he could not in good conscience be a team doctor. He would’ve been asked to do whats best for the team not the patient. I was a kid when he told me that and didn’t really understand what he meant until I was an adult. It’s sad how teams pervert the medical sciences. Do whats best for you Arian, no reason to kill yourself for the NFL and Houston Texans. Good luck and have a flawless recovery.

  17. Rick Smith.. What a piece of trash. He could care less if in 5 years Arian has heart problems, or worse. Arian deserves a better person in his corner. Smith cares about yards and who knows if Foster wont develop a problem keeping him off the field. You run into a past or current Texan player and ask them if Rick Smith cares for his people… Answer is no, I guarantee. Sounds like Smith is the one who needs work on his heart. Team Docters w/ Texans are not the least bit concerned?? B.S. Rick is pulling the strings on their comments.

  18. Wow I’m surprised how many people think the team would benefit from ignoring this surgery. Common sense would tell you they are more inclined to fix this, if it was a serious issue, because the team will pay if it comes up again and he can’t play.

    If you know Arian fosters antics then you know he loves media attention. I believe he told Flanagan that it was more serious than it was and she wanted to be the first to report it. When it blew up he had to backtrack and tell the truth because then it makes the organization look bad when they shouldn’t. He’s a drama queen

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