Doctor Marc Silvestri is in Dubai. At the vanguard of a French coming, or so it seems, in the field of improving general heart health. Not that this 'Doctor' from Marseille is new to Dubai, or Dubai to him. This is his second trip to the city that has 'put the map on the world'.

By Sushil Kutty

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Published: Fri 3 Sep 2004, 3:28 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 1:00 AM

The first time, he was on a look-and-see trip, sort of the eye giving a vote of confidence to the ear. This time round, it's to take his place in the Dubai cath lab, in as much as the doctor has decided to keep returning to Dubai, every couple of months, to lend his knowledge and skills in cardiology to removing anomalies in the heart.

All these years, Dr Silvestri has been cardiologist at the Unite Cardio-Vasculaire, Marseille. He will continue to be cardiologist at UCV, but off and on, he would be taking a flight to Dubai, do his duty as visiting interventional cardiologist at the Belhoul Speciality Hospital, Dubai. His field of expertise: coronary angiography and angioplasty, placing stents in arteries put to risk with a blockage or two.

Dr Silvestri delivered a talk on the "Unprotected Left Main Revascularisation in the D.E.S ERA" Wednesday evening. To the layman, what he dwelled on would be Greek (even French!), but he did utter thoughts that must have given heart to even the most non-medical of minds: "To sum up, a complex anatomy of left main, which is technically difficult to get through to and the problem of the restenosis remain the last limits for angioplasty strategy. As a therapeutic option, it should stand out next to bypass surgery as it does not imply over mortality."

That was a summing up only cardiologists (in the company of cardiologists) would and could read between the lines to get a gist of what was being thrashed threadbare. For doctors - no matter whether French or German; Indian or Chinese; Tahitian or Croatian - are the only ones who understand and speak the same language, in many tongues! Anyway, to continue in English, Dr Silvestri would be available for consultation in Dubai and, if he advises so and the patient wants so, those with heart ailments can opt to be treated by him with minimal invasion - install a stent or two, go in for restenosis et al.

"Dr Marc would be soon legally practicing in Dubai. He's got the DoH go-ahead," said Belhoul Speciality marketing manager Dr Alnakkash Maha. Dr Silvestri comes with 20 years of experience in angioplasty and stenting, she added, stating that Dubai would gain from his experience as the incidence of heart disease in Dubai (and the region) was on the higher rather than on the lower end of the scale.

"The population is growing, very cosmopolitan and among them the vast majority prone to heart disease, especially the south Asians," said Dr Silvestri, who is as much into research as he is into clinical practice. He claims to be one of the first to do an angioplasty in the world, in the left main trunk artery. "He and his French team were also the first in the world to use special anti-platelet regimen - a drug that helps avoid formation of clots," added Dr Maha.

Talking on the recent developments in angioplasty and stenting, Dr Silvestri said that special anti-platelet regimen drugs "dramatically reduces the early use of stents", adding that the deadly combination of Diabetes and Dubai made it imperative that the people of the city got the best when it came to treatment of heart disease, and high blood pressure besides of course Diabetes.

Dr Silvestri is particularly fascinated (and he's alone in this among cardiologists) with the latest advance: drug eluting stents which when compared to conventional stenting, "dramatically reduces" the recurrence of restenosis, a problem quite common to diabetics with heart disease.

Dr Silvestri sees a good practice for him in Dubai, especially with the large Indian population, who are very prone to heart disease.

He comes armed with knowledge of the Indian context, with visits to Delhi and Mumbai, and memberships in several Indo-French organisations besides knowledge gained from conducting various workshops in India. "The average size of the Indian artery is 2.5mm, the vessels are smaller," he noted.

Dr Silvestri is looking forward to working in Dubai. He finds the city "amazing" and said that the "future is Dubai".

That the cath lab in Belhoul Speciality Hospital is "honestly even better than mine". Now what do you say to that in French. Wouldn't even try... French is Greek to most of us. That's the problem. The consolation: The heart, it beats in a common language. If it doesn't? Well, we do have cardiologists at hand, don't we? One of them even French!

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