Meet Dr. Khan

Avocados provide nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, potassium, Vitamin E, B-vitamins and folic acid. They also act as a "nutrient booster" for your meal by enabling the body to absorb more fat-soluble nutrients, such as alpha and beta-carotene and lutein.

Patient Education

Carotid Artery Disease

Carotid arteries extend from the aorta in your chest to your brain and supply blood to your brain. Carotid artery disease occurs when these arteries become narrowed or blocked by plaque, a sticky substance made up of cholesterol, calcium and fibrous tissue. You are more likely to develop carotid artery disease as you age. Only 1 percent of adults age 50 to 59 have significantly narrowed carotid arteries, compared to 10 percent of those age 80 to 89.

Your arteries are normally smooth and unobstructed on the inside but as you age, plaque can build up in the walls. As more plaque builds up, your arteries narrow and stiffen. This process is called atherosclerosis. When enough plaque builds up to reduce or disturb blood flow, the result is carotid artery disease; a serious condition that can cause a stroke.

Stroke & Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIAs)

Carotid artery disease may not cause noticeable symptoms in the early stages, but as the arteries become narrower, an individual may experience symptoms such as numbness or weakness on one side of the body, difficulty speaking or vision problems. These symptoms can vary in length and may indicate a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or stroke.

This is how stroke happens. Some plaque deposits are soft and prone to cracking or forming rough, irregular areas in the artery. If this happens, your body will flood the area with blood-clotting cells called platelets. A large blood clot may then form in your carotid artery or one of its branches and if it blocks the artery enough to slow or stop blood and oxygen flow to your brain, it could cause a stroke. More commonly, a clot or piece of plaque breaks off and travels through your bloodstream. This particle can lodge in a smaller artery in your brain, block the artery and cause a stroke.

Renal Artery Stenosis

The main function of the kidneys is to filter blood and remove waste products and excess fluids. Kidneys receive almost one-third of the body's blood flow and play a major role in regulating blood pressure. Renal artery stenosis is usually atherosclerosis (artery narrowing and stiffening) that occurs in the blood vessels leading to the kidneys.

If the renal artery becomes so tight that it disrupts blood flow to the kidneys, the kidneys incorrectly sense low blood pressure and send signals to increase blood pressure so they can get more blood. The result is high blood pressure, also known as renovascular hypertension, which can increase heart strain and accelerate the progression of atherosclerosis throughout the body. Renal artery stenosis can also result in poor renal function, which impairs kidney function and can result in the need for dialysis.

Women & Heart Disease

Did you know that more women die of cardiovascular disease than the next 15 causes of death combined? Or that a woman's risk of heart attack increases significantly after menopause? This #1 killer of women in America is widely misunderstood and there are many things you need to know about the misconceptions, prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease.

Myth: Breast cancer is the most significant health and death threat to women.
Reality: Women are ten times more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than from breast cancer. In fact, cardiovascular disease kills nearly twice as many women as all cancers combined.
Myth: Men and women experience the same heart attack symptoms.
Reality: Universal signs of heart attack include repetitive pressure or squeezing in the chest; shooting pain to the shoulder, arms, and neck; sweating; and shortness of breath. But women may also experience stomach pain and nausea; unexplained fatigue; racing heart rate; back pain; and jaw pain. Because these are not "classic" symptoms, many women delay seeking treatment.
Myth: Men have a greater risk of dying of a heart attack than women.
Reality: Post-menopausal women are more likely to have heart attacks than men. And, according to the American Medical Association, women have a 70% higher death rate than men following a heart attack. Most women don't seek help until several hours after symptoms first begin, which increases the risk of heart damage and cuts into valuable life-saving time.
Myth: Women recognize the seriousness of heart-health issues.
Reality: Studies show that only 8% of American women believe that heart disease, heart attack, and stroke are the greatest health problems facing women today. Only 31% mention them as the leading cause of death in women.
Choosing Your Heart Doctor

At some time in your life, you may need the care of a cardiologist. In addition to being highly trained in dealing with a variety of heart diseases and conditions, cardiologists are familiar with all of the body's internal systems, diseases which affect them, and methods for treating them. Your cardiologist is an important partner in protecting and preserving your health and should be chosen carefully. Ask friends, family and other individuals you trust for a referral, and utilize the information below to help you choose a doctor who will meet your needs and give you the quality care you deserve.

Important Questions & Considerations
  • Ask your health care plan for information about the doctors' credentials.
  • Look up the doctor on the Internet. Some physicians maintain web pages, and you can also search The American Medical Association at http://www.ama-assn.org.
  • Is the doctor board certified?
  • Call the State Medical Licensing Board to determine if complaints have been registered, or if disciplinary action has been taken against the physician.
  • With which hospitals does the doctor have privileges?
  • If your doctor is unavailable, who provides patient care in his or her absence?
  • Is the office well-staffed, clean and well-organized?
  • Are the office hours convenient?
  • Does the office have a policy about delays in scheduled appointments?
  • If your doctor said you need to have certain tests or see a specialist, does the office make the appointments for you?
  • Does the office offer help with insurance and other financial matters, especially if hospitalization is necessary?
How To Judge Quality

Quality is subjective and can be measured in many different ways, but the following six criteria are often cited as the best indicators to ensure you receive quality care for your medical condition.

Credentials
Board certification means that doctors have completed the amount of training that a specialty board requires. Board certification is generally accepted as a good indication of competence and experience.
Experience
The more experience a doctor has the better the patient outcome. According to a report published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, there is a lower patient mortality rate for a given procedure when the physician has high-volume experience performing that procedure.
Range of Services
Practices that offer a broad range of services can effectively treat more complex medical conditions and are equipped to manage complications should they occur. Additionally, for diseases where many options for care exist (prevention, drug therapy, non-surgical intervention, surgery) your physician has more choices. That means you will be matched with the procedure that is best for you.
Research & Education
Learning is a lifelong process and pursuit. A team approach to patient care facilitates the sharing of knowledge, research and clinical findings, resulting in the most rapid transfer of specific knowledge from the laboratory to the bedside. You will benefit from the latest diagnostic and treatment options so look for a physician who has completed a Fellowship in his or her specialty and continually participates in research and clinical trials.
Patient Satisfaction
Patient satisfaction often reflects the personal sides of care such as how willing doctors and nurses are to listen, answer questions and explain treatments; how much time the doctor spends with the patient. While fairly subjective, feedback from other patients can predict what your experience is likely to be.
Outcomes
It is impossible to eliminate all risks of death and complications, especially for seriously ill patients. But, risks can be reduced by choosing a physician with a lower mortality rate and/or a higher long-term survival or success rate. It is important to compare rates with patients most like you, as risks are generally higher for patients over age 65 who have other medical conditions, who are having a repeat coronary procedure, or who are undergoing multiple procedures. Ask prospective doctors for their mortality rates and if they are reluctant to give this information, look elsewhere.