May 12, 2017
I’m at the SCAI conference in New Orleans Louisiana this week. It’s the Society for Cardiovascular and Angiography Interventions. Basically, it’s a conference with a heavy focus on unclogging arteries. Why is this important? Cardiovascular disease is the #1 killer in the United States. Peripheral Artery Disease, which targets the peripherals, mainly the legs, impacts more than 50% of people over the age of 60. It used to be that invasive surgical procedures such as bypasses or even amputation were the go-to solutions. But advances in technology are such that now interventional cardiologists, with only a small hole in the body, not larger than a pencil eraser, can reach into the arteries with small devices to unclog blocked arteries and keep the blood flowing. At the forefront of cutting edge technology for cardiology is Dr. Ehtisham Mahmud, Chief of Cardiovascular Medicine for UC San Diego Health System. He is co-director of the SCAI Conference and always has the pulse on what’s new and what’s next. He’s one of the most sought after doctors in this space for new medical technology studies around the world, including the latest laser technology by Ra Medical Systems which uses photomolecular ablation much like is used in LASIK surgery for your eyes, to unclog arteries, and also he’s one of the first to be using robotics in his interventions. His colleague, who plays a critical role in key studies on new technologies at the University joins the second half of the show to share his insights as well. Dr. Mitul Patel is an Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, Interventional Cardiology, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, for the UC San Diego Health System. Listen to the show to hear Dr. Mahmud and Dr. Pitel talk about how doctors may be turning into gamers as a joystick is replacing their hands in the operating room, or as Interventional Cardiologists call it, the ‘Cath Lab’. Nearly 800 robotic procedures have been performed across the country. Dr. Mahmud shares late breaking news on the findings of the latest study, which spanned the country. He also discusses how a $3.1 million dollar grant is helping his team to discover new ways to heal tissue damage, caused by oxygen starvation because of lack of blood flow, using regenerative medicine. Plus, if you’re an entrepreneur who wants to innovate in the healthcare space, the doctors share what’s most important to them. Finally, you don’t want to miss their potentially life-saving advice for patients. Dr. Pitel shares the critical questions you should ask your doctor to ensure you are getting the most advanced care available, including new technology and techniques.