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Dr. Michael Mulock Joins Jefferson Cardiology
By Nancy Kennedy

Michael D. MulockMichael D. Mulock, M.D., has a heart for Pittsburgh, and the board-certified interventional cardiologist is ready and eager to offer his specialized expertise to care for the hearts of the people of his hometown. Dr. Mulock, a native of Churchill, recently joined Jefferson Cardiology Association, the highly regarded group practice with three locations throughout southwestern Pennsylvania. Along with his colleagues, Dr. Mulock provides the most advanced cardiovascular care through a range of services that includes preventive care, state-of-the-art diagnostics and minimally invasive interventional treatment of the heart and peripheral blood vessels.

Interventional cardiology is a sub-specialty within cardiology that focuses on minimally invasive diagnostic and therapeutic interventions to treat coronary artery disease, heart valve problems, congenital structural defects of the heart, and conditions of the peripheral blood vessels that can cause poor circulation and varicose veins. Using tiny, thin catheters, physicians can access the heart through the blood vessels in the wrist or groin to place a stent, repair a leaky valve, or perform diagnostic studies. Dr. Mulock has extensive, top notch training in the specialty: after graduation from Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, he completed a residency in internal medicine at Cornell Medical Center followed by two fellowships at UPMC – one in cardiovascular medicine and one in interventional cardiology. He joined Jefferson Cardiology this summer.

There is nothing he would rather do, he says, than help people with their hearts. “I love treating patients, helping to improve their quality of life and teaching them to care for their hearts. I still remember the first time I watched an open heart surgery,” he recalls. “I thought it was the greatest thing in the world. I have always been interested in heart disease, as there has been a lot of it in my family. In college, I started out as a business major but about halfway through I realized I wanted to go into medicine. My father is a gastroenterologist and my uncle is a primary care physician, so I had good role models.”

At Jefferson Cardiology, Dr. Mulock and his colleagues have access to an on-site, state-of-the-art outpatient catheterization lab where they can perform procedures on the peripheral blood vessels, in a setting that combines high-tech, sophisticated medical imaging and treatment capabilities with a safe, comfortable setting. “The lab is a wonderful asset,” says Dr. Mulock. “It’s much easier on patients than going to the hospital. We provide a personal nurse to each patient, and we spend time talking with the patient before and after the procedure. We can do nearly all procedures on the peripheral venous and arterial vessels that can be done in the hospital.”

The majority of Dr. Mulock’s patients have a form of heart disease. “Unfortunately, heart disease is still prevalent and is the #1 killer of American adults. We have many treatment options; medications such as the statins have made a huge difference, and we have good antiplatelet medications. People are smoking less and that significantly reduces their risk. Smoking is associated with heart attack, stroke, lung disease and poor circulation to the legs, leading to amputations.

“When I see patients, we discuss their risk factors and how to modify them to lower their individual risk. We can refer you to a smoking cessation program or a weight loss program. With weight loss, my experience is that it is best to keep it simple and avoid drastic measures. Simple changes are more likely to last. If you drink a 12-ounce cola every day, that’s 250 calories a day. Skipping that one thing will give you a weight loss of one pound a week, or 52 pounds in a year, which is a substantial loss.”

Dr. Mulock says that research in cardiology is rapidly advancing the science and technology, so that improvements are coming almost constantly. “Stents are getting better and better. We’ve advanced from propping open coronary arteries with simple balloons to using highly advanced stents that elute special medicine to protect against re-narrowing. The latest generation of stents is exciting: bioabsorbable scaffolds, which are made of a material that dissolves over time.”
His best advice to avoid heart disease is basic: “Don’t smoke, keep your weight at a healthy level, and exercise. The American Heart Association recommends exercise that raises your heart rate for 30 minutes, three times a week. As a physician, I see many patients who have new symptoms but put off seeing their doctor. I remind them that they know themselves and when they feel that something has changed, they should at least have a discussion with their doctor. It might be nothing, but if it is significant, the sooner you get treatment, the better. Don’t ignore symptoms.”

Dr. Mulock is welcoming new patients. To make an appointment, call (412)469-1500. For more information about Jefferson Cardiology Association, visit the web site, www.jeffersoncardiology.com

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