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a Team Approach to Healthy Heart – QNS.com

a Team Approach to Healthy Heart

Practice Stresses Medicine, Nutrition

Interventional cardiologist Dr. Sanjeev Palta is on a mission to heal hearts.

Solai Buchanan (at left), a nutritionist at The Heart Center in Middle Village, is shown consulting a patient.

Having performed over 2000 procedures, he has seen only too well the damage that poor lifestyle habits and excess weight have on individuals’ heart and blood vessels.

“When heart disease has set in, appropriate treatment can do a lot to stabilize the condition and extend life,” he explained. “And the earlier the treatment, the better the prognosis, but I see a lot of patients that are never going to recover the quality of life that they could have had, if they had taken better care of their hearts. Prevention is still the best cure for heart disease.”

Palta recently launched his new office, The Heart Center at 95 Wyckoff Ave. near Wyckoff Hospital in Brooklyn. He also currently heads a full-service cardiology, pediatric, and disease prevention center on Metropolitan Avenue in Middle Village.

Both locations offer a comprehensive weight management program in which patients are under the care of Palta and registered dietitian Solai Buchanan, who has a Masters in nutrition science and advanced certification in weight management.

“Being overweight or obese is a potent risk factor for heart disease. Many of our weight management patients do not have any clinical problems with their hearts but they understand that if they do not take control of their weight, heart disease will very likely develop,” Buchanan said.

In the weight management program, Palta assesses patients for heart health risk factors and ensures that their cardiovascular health is being adequately monitored. He also helps patients understand that weight loss is about sustaining behavioral changes over time.

“The weight they have did not come on overnight and it certainly is not going to disappear overnight. Everyone wants a quick fix for their weight. The diet industry leads people to believe that expensive supplements can bring about weight loss. I see so many patients wasting their money on diet products that have no proven efficacy,” Palta said. “Here, we sort through the hype and rely on sound medical nutrition therapy. We help patients put their dollars toward efforts that are known to be effective. Investing in good pair of walking shoes or an exercise class goes much farther than the latest ‘miracle supplement.’ I let patients know that they themselves have the ability to bring about meaningful changes in their own health.”

Palta also provides patients with exercise prescriptions so they understand what is a safe level of activity and how to get the most cardiovascular benefit from their physical activity.

For the weight management program, patients meet with the dietitian as often as needed, typically every two weeks.

Buchanan weighs and assesses percent body fat at each visit and then gets down to the business of helping each individual figure out how to go about achieving their diet and activity goals.

“I try to improve patient’s diet and lifestyle one behavior at a time. Each individual has different needs. Many of us know a lot about being healthy but we do not apply what we know. I help people figure out what’s getting in the way of leading a healthier life,” she said.

Buchanan emphasizes not only weight loss but also weight loss maintenance. “With diet and exercise, many people are very discouraged because they have had successes but then have fallen back on old habits and seen the scale tip back up,” she said.

“I introduce a bit of no-nonsense sense into it all-fill in knowledge gaps, collaborate with the patient to develop an action plan, and then try to guide the patient in being accountable for his/her own choices. It is wonderful to see people develop not only their diet and activity skills but also their core coping capacity that is going to help them keep the weight off over the long term”, she added.

The message of disease prevention is also embraced by the Middle Village practice’s pediatrician, Dr. Anasura Nagaraj, who has over 25 years of experience working in pediatrics and neonatology.

“Many times parents are not aware that their child is overweight. These days so many children are overweight that what we perceive as “normal” weight can actually be unhealthy. It is essential to your child’s life long health to discuss his or her weight status with your pediatrician and to take an active role in helping your child adopt healthy food and activity patterns.” Nagaraj stated.

Palta is also very proud to be offering an innovative non-invasive treatment for patients that have inoperable advanced heart disease. The relaxing in-office treatment, know as external counterpulsation therapy (ECP), improves circulation around damaged coronary arteries. ECP treatments enable more oxygen to reach the heart muscle stimulating growth and repair of coronary vessels.

“We are seeing excellent responses to the ECP treatments. Patients say they are having less chest pain and feeling more energetic. And that’s what it all comes down to-improving patient quality of life. The sooner each individual takes active responsibility for their heart health, the less we will have to intervene and the better each of us can reach our full potential,” Palta added.

For more information, call 1-718- 821-6285.

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