Dr. Amit Amin is a Washington University interventional cardiologist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital specializing in adult cardiovascular disease.
I am an interventional cardiologist and this is a specialized branch of cardiology that involves determining if a patient’s heart or arteries are clogged up via a diagnostic cardiac catheterization procedure or a heart catheterization procedure and if they are clogged up we can open them up with an angioplasty or a stent procedure.
The traditional approach of performing an angioplasty or stent procedure has been through the groin however that artery is deep and is prone to more complications. The wrist artery is very superficial and rests on the bone and is extremely easily compressed and going up through the small wrist artery results in firstly, an extremely safe procedure with less pain and discomfort and patients recover faster and the risk of complication almost goes down to zero. Technically, it is slightly more challenging but it is nothing that we can’t overcome with a little perseverance. All of the research as it relates to this transradial aspect of the angioplasty stent procedure shows a phenomenal reduction in complications such as bleeding and trauma to the arteries, myocardial infarction, death and stroke. Not to mention that patients love it, patient satisfaction is extremely high and recovery times are very fast and ultimately costs of care are very low. There are very few things we do in medicine that help patients and result in lower costs and using the transradial access for angioplasty, happens to be one of them, which is why I believe in it and that is why I practice this at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.
Well a normal week for me is divided into how I think about it, as procedure days and non-procedure days. The procedure days begin early. I am up early, I am in the cath lab at Barnes-Jewish Hospital where I am evaluating patients and talking to them and their families regarding the procedure and then the day just visits fast doing these procedures. Every patient is unique and everyone’s heart arteries are a little bit different, which makes it interesting and challenging. The non-procedure days I equally enjoy as well because I am seeing these patients in follow up after their procedure and it is a source of immense satisfaction to me, it is very gratifying to me to see their chest pain and symptoms completely go away after the procedure.
My source of inspiration early in life was my father who was a researcher and academician and through his research, I saw as I was growing up, I saw how he impacted millions of lives. This is back home in India. He has always inspired me to go into academics and push me into academic medicine and along the way I’ve met just some phenomenal physicians and researchers which has inspired me tremendously to become what I am today and I’m eternally grateful for these early life-changing experiences that I’ve encountered along the way.
The reason why I came to Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Hospital, I’ll say this very simply: it is the best place to practice what I do. To elaborate further, it is the environment and the people I work with. The environment is extremely stimulating, the people I work with are immensely dedicated and we have just one singular goal in mind: to benefit our patients and it is this aspect, the dedication and the integrity of the people I work with and the stimulating environment that makes it just such a delight to be in.