A good friend of mine asked me recently to evaluate his father for heart disease. A family relative had a recent heart attack and he was worried about his Dad. My major concern when I met with him was his borderline diabetes and occasional smoking. Both are major risk factors for heart attack. I was concerned that he might have already developed the plaque build up in his arteries that causes heart attacks and strokes. Thankfully, after a full set of tests including an ultrasound of his blood vessels and a stress test, we determined that he was not at high risk for a heart attack. I did strongly urge him to quit smoking immediately.
I have practiced cardiology for 17 years and at this point in my career what I am most passionate about is taking great care of my patients and preventing heart attacks. I firmly believe the key to prevention is early detection of heart disease. In our office, we use a variety of sophisticated tests to detect early heart disease including ultrasound technology to directly visualize plaque in the arteries. I am continually surprised at how many young patients have early heart disease. I feel strongly that our most important mission is to discover and treat heart disease early on before a heart attack occurs.
In addition, as an avid marathon runner myself, I am always trying to encourage my patients to prevent heart disease through making smart choices in terms of diet, exercise and avoiding bad habits like smoking. Also, it is essential for our patients to “know their numbers” and have a regular assessment of blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar. I really enjoy working with my patients closely and try to take a very active interest in them on a personal level and try to help them reach their individual goals while taking excellent care of them. It’s really my favorite part of being a cardiologist and I look forward to it every day. We have an amazing team in our office who are all committed to the same goals of providing the highest quality care to every patient
George N. Welch, M.D., F.A.C.C.