Q&A: Seattle Top Doctor Mahesh Mulumudi on Keeping a Healthy Heart

The interventional cardiologist at The Everett Clinic shares his thoughts on the latest in cardiology and how people can improve their heart health
With the help of a stethoscope attachment (on the back of his phone) and an app, Dr. Mahesh Mulumudi captures his heartbeat

This article appears in print in the April 2018 issue, as part of the Top Doctors cover story. Click here to subscribe.

Why did you choose this specialty?  
Cardiology is an exciting specialty in many ways. It is one of the fields that demands thoughtful evaluation of patients, many of whom need care on an emergent basis; enables me to review and interpret imaging studies to make objective decisions; and gives me the ability to fix some heart abnormalities, such as blockages in the arteries and valves.  

What are your areas of special interest?  
I have a special interest in intervening on complex heart artery blockages, replacing aortic valves using catheters and opening blocked arteries in the legs and neck.  

How is technology impacting your field?
With today’s technology, earlier detection of heart problems is possible. Technologies that can detect vulnerable plaque in the heart arteries and cholesterol plaque that can cause a heart attack are the “philosopher’s stone” I am waiting for. These technologies are possible and when they materialize, our industry will likely be able to prevent extensively prevalent issues such as heart failure and death from heart attacks.  

What’s the biggest misconception that patients have about what you do?  
Sometimes patients feel that physicians can fix anything and everything; however, there are limits to what we can do with interventional therapies. Prevention still rules the roost of cardiology, and nothing beats preventing a heart attack.  

Is there a patient behavior that you wish you could change?  
Smoking cessation and good diet form the cornerstone of preventing cardiac conditions. If I could, I would make everyone, myself included, in the world exercise regularly; that would be my dream state. Regular exercise helps heart health. 

What should patients look for when choosing a doctor? 
All physicians, just like all people, have a variety of different personalities. My advice would be to choose a physician who is open to questioning from their patients. In my experience, questions from patients generally prompt me to think critically and make better care decisions.  

What’s the most fun—outside of medicine—that you’ve recently had? 
Sending my son off to college and seeing my daughter perform her arangetram, an Indian classical dance debut, in July and August this year. It was a really fun moment for me to see my children come into their own.

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