Straight from the Heart

Dr. Sunil Kapoor has been practicing cardiology for more than 25 years, with a specialisation in interventional cardiology. With thousands of advanced procedures under his belt, Dr. Kapoor is no stranger to awards and accolades. The esteemed medical professional was recently awarded an international membership by the American College of Cardiology. We caught up recently with the senior cardiologist at Care Hospitals, and visiting professor at the Arizona Heart Institute and the Medical Specialist Centre, Dubai.
Q. Congratulations on your most recent award. Please tell us more about it.
A.  The American College of Cardiology (ACC) has honoured me by conferring upon me ‘international member’ status in recognition of providing the highest international standards of cardiovascular care. This is a rare honour and a proud moment for me.
Q. What activities do the ACC undertake?
A. The ACC maintains and propagates the highest academic teaching across the world, and it has put Hyderabad on the international map. World-renowned experts will be visiting to propagate learning in coordination with us.
Q. When and where did you train in cardiology?
A. I did my training in cardiology in Hyderabad, and interventional cardiology training at Harvard Medical School and Stanford University, both in the US. This was around two decades ago.
Q.  We hear you’ve been invited as a faculty member to different countries. Could you tell us more?
A. I’ve been invited as an international faculty by the TCT in the U.S., the Japanese Cardiology Society, and the European Society of Cardiology. I was also given an award as one of the world’s top ten operators, for successfully performing the world’s most challenging heart operations.
Q.  The incidence of heart disease in India is increasing. Why?
A.  This rate is increasing alarmingly due to diabetes, smoking, obesity, hypertension and high cholesterol. There is an urgent need to detect and treat these problems properly, with the latest drugs now available to reduce the incidence of heart attacks.
Q.   What facilities are available for heart patients in Hyderabad?
A.    The latest technology in angioplasty and the best of the world’s stents are available in Hyderabad. Over a period of the last 25 years, we have performed many, many operations and upheld the best international safety standards. I have patients who come to Hyderabad from all over India, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Last week, I had a patient who came from the US.
Q. At what stage in life should one have a check-up in order to prevent heart disease?
A.  One needs to get regular checkups from the age of 30, and begin managing the risk factors so that one prevents heart disease.
Q.  What lifestyle modifications can help prevent heart disease?
A.    Fast food should not be given to children; they should be fed more fruits and vegetables. It is important to inculcate the habit of physical activity. Stock the fridge with healthy foods, as good habits should start at an early age.
Q.  What role do the media play in all this?
A.    It is heartening to see a lot of awareness raised by the media, and I am sure this will go a long way toward reducing the incidence of heart disease.
Q. How do you see the future of medical care in India?
A. I think the future is very bright. There are a lot of medical facilities, as well as the continuous development of infrastructure. We have a very active pharmaceutical industry that produces the world’s latest drugs. These things will together facilitate the best treatment for our heart patients.                                                                                                                                    ..... as told to Saloni