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October 2, 1998     Cape Gazette
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October 2, 1998

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36 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, October 2 - October 8, 1998 Invasive cardiologist favors diagnosis and prevention By Rosanne Pack A new cardiologist in the Cape Region, Dr. Alberto Rosa, is find- ing that he can combine two of his loves, practicing medicine and proximity to the sea, in his posi- tion at Delaware Cardiovascular Associates. A native of the Dominican Re- public, Rosa said that the opportu- nity to come to the Lewes practice with Dr. Budi Bahurkesa was ide- al. As an invasive cardiologist, he said the recently opened cardiac catheterization laboratory in Beebe Medical Ct,atc.r and the new office that the practice will soon occupy will give him the chance to offer comprehensive care to patients. "The brand-new laboratory is great for diagnosis; catheteriza- tion basically helps us look for blockages and determine the blood supply to the heart," he said. "With this new laboratory he said. "In the procedure, using a substance that acts as a tracer in the circulatory system, we can look at the heart from a different standpoint. It's fairly benign and can be done as outpatient proce- dure." Echocardiography uses sound waves that pass through the heart muscle and blood vessels. The echoes change according to what kind of tissue or blood they are contacting. That can show us blockages and tissue where none should be present. Rosa said the ability to use such diagnostic tools as well as catheterization helps doctors reduce death and disability from heart dis- ease. However, ROSA he said preven- and state-of-the-art equipment, we tion is still the primary goal. He can determine if thereis dysfunc- said individuals can do a lot to tion present, and the seg.,S 7 ctmtro] :risk-factors .in their own wonderful to be able to d0ttiis lives before:they need the services procedure here." As performed by an invasive cardiologist, catheterization in- volves inserting a long, fine tube into the heart by entering the cir- culatory system through a large blood vessel, either in the arm or the leg. The cardiologist uses a fluoroscope to watch and guide the catheter tip into the atria or ventricle chambers of the heart and nearby blood vessels. The patient is monitored for heart rate and blood pressure as the catheter passes through the chambers and the vessels. The procedure can help detect and di- agnose hereditary heart disease as well as whether there is narrowing of arteries and valve failure. Rosa explained that, once a de- fect in an artery or chamber is di- agnosed, there are different ways to treat blockages or faulty valves. He said the three primary methods of treating blocked or narrowing arteries are with medication, an- gioplasty and cardiac bypass. Currently, angioplasty, which uses a ballooning device to open a narrow or partially blocked artery, and bypass procedures are not performed in central and southern Delaware. After diagnosis, pa- tients requiring these procedures are usually treated at Peninsula General Hospital in Salisbury or Christiana Medical Center in northern Delaware. Delaware Cardiovascular Asso- ciates has a new office complex under construction off of west Sa- vannah Road. Once in their new facility, the practice will have its own imaging center and the capa- bility to perform echocardiogra- phy. Rosa said that the imaging process is another way to have a look at the heart without going in- side the patient's body. "I am a trained invasive cardiol- ogist, but I like the options of us- ing techniques such as imaging," of a cardiologist. "There are some obvious, and well-known risk factors for heart disease and circulation problems," he said. "Even for those who have the potential for hereditary heart problems, the risk can be lowered by such measures as not smoking, lifestyle changes that include prope: diet and exercise. "Hypertension, diabetes and obesity are all conditions that in- crease the potential for heart prob- lems. Those with high cholesterol levels and women who are post- menopausal are at increased risk. But even those with a family his- tory of heart disease can be aware O f the potential and start early to avoid problems." He said cardiologists look at their patients as "primary" and "secondary" cases. Those regard- ed as primary are not having heart problems and the goal is to avoid trouble later in life. Secondary pa- tients are those who have been di- agnosed or who have had a heart attack. "We know ihat they already have a problem, but then, the idea is to-avoid the next one," he said. After completing college in the Dominican Republic, Rosa stud- ied medicine in Miami and then trained as an invasive cardiologist at the University of Pennsylvania and Allegheny University Hospi- tal. In his fourth year of residency, he was the chief medical resident and he then completed three years of training in cardiology. When he was invited to consid- er joining the medical community in the Cape Region, he found that he liked the area a lot. "I come from an island," he said. "I grew up surrounded by the sea. Also, this is a more relaxed, family-oriented location; it's nice to raise a family here." The attitudes of those in prac- tice and those affiliated with Beebe Medical Center also im- pressed him. He said there are enough new doctors and many who are willing to bring new ideas into their existing practices to keep them updated and knowl- edgeable of newer procedures. The fact that Dominican-born Rosa is fluent in Spanish is a bonus for the Cape Region. He treats some Spanish-speaking pa- tients and sometimes acts as an in- terpreter for other doctors. How- ever, he said his practice is in no way limited to those who speak Spanish, he is accepting new adult patients at this time. Delaware Cardiovascular Asso- ciates can be reached at 644-7676. Now Offering- Expanded Urological Including: Urinary Incontinence Kidney Stones including Lithotripsy Prostate Problems Prostate, Bladder 8 Kidney Cancers Male Sexual Dysfunction Children's Urological Problems Vasectomy Male Infertility ologist John E Spiker, M.D., RA.C.S. " Your staff would like to say Congratulartions ' r for passing your re-certification examination with the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. ORTHOPAEDIC ASSOCIATES of Southern Delaware