Today on MD-VOD, Dr. John Kennedy is joined by cardiovascular surgeon Dr. James McPherson, one of the leading experts on Coronary Artery Disease. Together they examine the cause of the disease, who is at risk, the symptoms, how it’s diagnosed and available medications, treatments and therapies. They further discuss the consequences and the realities of living with Coronary Artery Disease, including insurance coverage and related costs.
Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) is the blockage of the major blood vessels that supply your heart with blood, oxygen and nutrients. CAD is caused by build-up of plaque—Atheroscleroisis—which leads to blockages in the walls of the heart muscle and is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S. and affects about 16 million people with millions more living with the disease still undiagnosed. So it is important to understand the signs of Coronary Artery Disease and to know if you are at risk because the first time the disease presents itself for 50% of women and 2/3 of men is with a heart attack or sudden cardiac arrest.
The most common risk factors known to increase your chances of developing CAD include:
• High Blood Pressure
• High Cholesterol
• Family History of Early CAD (Mother Before 60 & Father Before 50)
Dr. McPherson informs us that all treatments for “coronary artery disease” involve improving blood flow. Medications used improve blood flow to the heart muscle by dilating arteries, prevent plaque from forming by lowering cholesterol and prevent blood clots from forming.
So join us as we simplify this common and treatable disease and arm you with the tools and information you need to help heal and protect you from a heart attack.
Guest expert Dr. James G. McPherson attended the Tulane University School of Medicine where he graduated with the dual degree of Doctor of Medicine and Master of Public Health. Dr. McPherson returned to USC to complete a three-year fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery and he learned complex coronary artery and valve surgery from world-renowned cardiac surgeon Dr. Vaughn Starnes and was part of the team that performed surgery on box office superstar and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
In addition, Dr. McPherson studied the surgical treatment of esophageal and pulmonary disorders with Dr. Tom DeMeester, also recognized worldwide as a leader in this field Dr. McPherson was appointed Medical Director of Cardiovascular Surgery at St. Vincent Medical Center in 2007 and is the primary cardiac surgeon for Transfusion Free Medicine and Surgery Program. These techniques make it possible to do complex cardiac surgical procedures without blood transfusions. Under Dr. McPherson’s leadership, St. Vincent has become an attractive center for new, cutting edge technology for cardiac, thoracic and vascular surgery.