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Dr. Michael Brown Named Medical Director of Greater Pittsburgh Vascular’s New Washington Location
By Nancy Kennedy

Residents of Washington County with heart and vascular disease can find preventive care, state-of-the-art diagnostics and the most advanced treatment for their problems at Greater Pittsburgh Vascular Associates’ brand new location in Washington, PA. Michael Brown, M.D., a board-certified interventional cardiologist, is the medical director of the highly specialized service, and he is excited to bring GPV’s high quality, personalized care to the region. His areas of expertise include complex coronary interventions, structural heart disease such aortic stenosis, treatment of peripheral vascular disease and venous disease.

Dr. Brown wants to offer solutions to people with heart and vascular problems, so that they can feel better, function more effectively, and preserve their health and mobility. The key to quality of life, healthy aging and longevity, he believes, is a healthy heart and healthy legs. “Heart health and limb health are inseparable, and are serious matters. If you can keep people walking, you directly impact their mortality. There are major health consequences to being sedentary. When you preserve the limbs, the person can walk and that helps keep the heart, blood vessels and lungs healthy. Preserving the limbs has a huge impact.”

Interventional cardiology, explains Dr. Brown, is a sub-specialty within cardiology that treats heart disease with minimally invasive, catheter-based procedures. “We perform a cardiac catheterization in our Cath Lab with high tech imaging of coronary arteries that are blocked or narrow, preventing blood from flowing to the heart muscle and potentially causing a heart attack,” he says. “We work directly on those arteries, fixing them by placing stents inside. A stent is a tiny, hollow tube, like a straw, that opens up the artery and holds it open so that the blood can flow and nourish the heart with oxygen. Stents are very effective and the technology is constantly improving; we are on the third generation of stents now.”

Dr. Brown also has expertise in treating circulatory issues of the lower extremities, especially peripheral arterial disease, or PAD, and venous insufficiency. “PAD means that you have blockages in the arteries in your legs, and this threatens the health of your legs,” he says. “PAD is a serious condition and left untreated, can lead to stroke, infection and loss of a limb. Venous insufficiency is the opposite problem: in this case, the blood pools in the lower limbs and has a hard time getting back to the heart. It causes swelling, skin ulcers, pain and an uncomfortable heaviness that makes walking difficult. We also treat varicose veins and deep vein thrombosis.

“Don’t wait to come in if you have symptoms. It’s a frustration for us that people wait until their symptoms are severe. They hope it will go away or get better on its own, and that won’t happen.”

Dr. Brown completed a fellowship in Cardiovascular Disease and Interventional Cardiology at Allegheny General Hospital and has been practicing Cardiology in the Pittsburgh, Washington and Wheeling area since completing his fellowship. He has been with GPV for one year.  He grew up in rural Kentucky, where his father was a physician, and knew in high school that he would follow in his father’s footsteps. He attended Bellarmine College where he attained a B.A. in Biology and then attended Medical School at the University of Louisville. He completed a combined Internal Medicine and Pediatrics residency at the Medical College of Ohio. Upon completion of his residencies, he practiced Pediatrics and Internal Medicine at Womack Army Medical Center, Ft. Bragg N.C. His time in the Military included a deployment as Battalion Surgeon for the 82nd Airborne Division in Support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Dr. Brown is married to Dr. Stephanie Brown, an OB/GYN who practices in Upper St. Clair; they have two children. He enjoys golf, water skiing and paddle tennis.

Health is essentially about paying attention to the basics, he says: Don’t smoke, watch your weight, get regular exercise, eat less meat and more vegetables, and practice portion control.

GPVA is part of Jefferson Cardiology Association. To learn more about the services provided in the new office, visit the web site, www.GreaterPittsburghVascular.com. To contact Jefferson Cardiology Association and Greater Pittsburgh Vascular Associates, call (412) 469-1500.

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