The purpose of this letter is to invite you to our facility and practice. But more importantly, to share valuable information that can make a profound difference in the quality of your life.
People ask me, “What is the difference between what you do and what the cardiologist does?” We both manage the disease Arteriosclerosis but from entirely different perspectives. The cardiologist is essentially a “Luminologist”. They look at the blood vessel lumen and how narrow the artery is that produces the symptoms of heart disease. When the artery has greater than 70% narrowing and accompanied by symptoms such as chest pain, dizziness or exertional shortness of breath, the patient will have an operative procedure, such as stenting, bypass surgery or an endarterectomy. With these procedures, symptoms may subside for a period of time but ultimately recur and are often followed by catastrophic events. The reason symptoms or acute events present is because of untreated causes of arterial inflammation. You may be surprised to hear that we have 60,000 miles or more of arteries and a stent is only addressing a very tiny section of a single narrowed artery. Do you believe this is the only place where disease is present in your 60,000 miles of arteries?
No heart attack or stroke occurs because of blood vessel narrowing. Narrowing only creates symptoms such as a change in exercise tolerance, shortness of breath, dizziness or pain with exertion. When faced with these types of symptoms, patients often assume they are just a part of “getting older”. As a matter of fact, 86% of heart attacks and strokes occur when the blood vessel is ONLY 25-50% NARROWED. Generally, a cardiologist’s intervention occurs once the vessel narrowing is at 70% or greater. Addressing this disease from the perspective of an “Arteriologist,” our strategy in preventing heart attacks and strokes is to evaluate the wall of the blood vessel, not the lumen. We want to stop the disease process as early as possible. Heart attacks and strokes occur because of cholesterol plaque rupture. The rupture is directly related to a weakness in the vessel wall created by inflammation. For example, why do you think a marathon runner falls over dead during a race? It isn’t from artery narrowing…if that were the issue they couldn’t run in a marathon!
The “standard of care” among cardiologists in the United States is to do something to the patient in response to a set of “classic symptoms” associated with advanced vessel narrowing, or unfortunately, once the heart attack or stroke event has occurred. Stenting or bypass surgery procedures are interventional treatments but do not cure or prevent cardiovascular disease; the number one cause of death and disability. Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a heart attack and every four minutes, someone will die from a stroke. The current paradigm in the treatment of cardiovascular disease is primarily “risk factor” oriented, frequently utilizing the antiquated and unreliable Framingham Risk Factor score. I believe the approach should be disease oriented. What is it about the disease that causes heart attacks and strokes? Where are the sources of inflammation in the individual patient?
Approaching cardiovascular disease from a prevention point of view, we look for the inflammatory causes. We accomplish this by performing various low-cost testing through the Cleveland Heart Lab, specific vascular genetic testing, certain radiologic procedures, as well as examining oral health, lifestyle and dietary issues. For example, oral health is a major component of cardiovascular health. Once we find the reasons for the inflammation, we can treat them or prevent them.
We assist our patients in discovering their unique sources of inflammation in order to prevent, treat and reverse atherosclerosis. This is accomplished by following the BaleDoneen Method®. Treating and preventing the causes of inflammation prevents the plaque rupture which results in heart attacks and strokes. The science of the BaleDoneen Method® is well documented and peer-reviewed with evidence of its benefit shown though objective measurements via Carotid Intima-Media Thickness Ultrasound and/or Coronary Calcium Scoring.
In fact, we offer a guarantee. If you follow our individually prescribed BaleDoneen Method® protocol and eliminate your specific sources of vascular inflammation, you will NOT have a heart attack or stroke; or if you have had an event at some time in the past, you will NOT have another one.
Hopefully, this gives you some understanding of the differences in the focus between the two specialties. If you have any questions about the BaleDoneen Method® and how we help our patients, I will be happy to answer them for you.
Sincerely for healthy hearts and minds,
Michael Mattice MD