Meet Dr. Pratiksha Gandhi, MD, Founder, Institute of Preventive Cardiology (IPC), Mumbai on preventing heart attacks & reversing heart disease

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“We have the testimonies and pictures of a patient with 25% cardiac function, who would generally be advised to not leave home as he is going to have cardiac failure, was scuba diving!” says Dr. Pratiksha Gandhi, on helping patients.

     Cardiologists are doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating diseases or conditions of the heart and blood vessels which in totality called the cardiovascular system. One might visit a cardiologist in case they get to know about your risk factors for heart disease and find out what measures you can take for better heart health. 

Dr. Pratiksha Gandhi, MD, Founder, Institute of Preventive Cardiology (IPC), Mumbai. She also is a Global Healthcare Leader, World-renowned Preventive Cardiologist, Investor, Business Mentor, Parallel Entrepreneur, Serial Entrepreneur, Author, Speaker, Researcher, with a mission to eradicate the cardiovascular disease by preventing heart attacks & reversing heart disease using non–invasive cost-effective treatments. 

She is India’s First Woman Preventive Cardiologist & founder of IPC (Institute of Preventive Cardiology), founded in 1999, in Mumbai. IPC is India's pioneering evidence-based chain of Preventive Cardiac Care & she is also the founder member of the EECP expert committee in India in association with the International EECP registry at Pittsburgh, USA. 

She has been an investor and business mentor to various Health care companies & has successfully expanded businesses globally having launched new and innovative products & devices in the preventive healthcare industry. 

She has worked with several international firms & has set up their distribution channels in foreign markets. Apart from healthcare she has also invested in Education, Entertainment, Real Estate, and Food industry over the last three decades.
She is a renowned international speaker & award-winning author, published 1000s’ of articles, created several health shows on TV channels & spread her message of heart care prevention to millions of people globally. 

In 2016, the International Association of Cardiologists, New York, USA recognized her as The Leading Physician of the World

Recently she was awarded as one of the Top 50 global women healthcare leaders in March 2017. 

Reversing heart disease, heart blockages using the yogic techniques

Dr. Pratiksha walks down the memory lane where it all begins with her first case, wherein a patient came into her then small nursing home way back in 1997 in Mumbai, he was in a complete breakdown condition, she describes, who told her that it is better to die than to go for a surgery, I asked him why? He said that he has his retirement amount of Rs. 1.5 lakh which he would need to live his life, educate and marry off his children. To which I explained to him that he wouldn’t survive without the surgery. I was emotional, thinking that how can we just let someone die? Of course in allopathic medicine, we are taught to do angiography, angioplasty, but I am also a trained teacher in yoga and meditation and I have been associated with a research study of reversing heart disease, heart blockages using the yogic techniques. Since I had practiced at KEM hospital and at that time there was no one was practicing preventive cardiology as it was literally not known, I thought of combining the ancient techniques with modern allopathic techniques. And the success of that study was that in 6 months not only did his condition reversed and the patient survived but he thrived, so much so that he could walk 5- 6 Km. This actually laid the foundation of preventive cardiology where we started reaching out and we had many TV shows and thousands of articles to spread the message of heart care prevention to millions of people globally,” she says.

Her work was applauded by late President Dr. Kalam 

Dr. Pratiksha remembers him fondly as a great human being and she was invited by him, “The biggest boost came from Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. He wanted to know about ECP as we were the first ones to use and advocate ECP as an alternative to bypass surgery,” she says.

ECP gives a 95% success rate

Dr. Pratiksha was trained in the US, where ECP is advocated after bypass and angioplasty fail. “So I felt that if something can work after bypass and angioplasty fails, then why won’t it work before the invasive procedures? Since there are so many Indians who cannot afford the surgery, so many want an alternative, even the upper class or celebrities who have come to me for treatment do not want to go through the pain, blood, and scars. That is how we were able to fill this huge space through ECP by using it as an alternative which gave us around 95% of success rate,” she says.

Surgery is outdated

Dr. Pratiksha’s 20 years of hard work with ECP has given a proof of concept that there are alternatives to surgery,I feel that surgery is an outdated procedure just being practiced for insurance and for people who do not want to modify their lifestyles. My firm belief is that, if people take care of their heart health along with lifestyle changes and non-invasive techniques, then definitely we all will be able to live a wonderful life. And that sincerely is our main mission,” she says.

The first doctor to be awarded the women entrepreneur in 2006

Dr. Pratiksha was the first doctor to be awarded the women entrepreneur award in 2006, “It was a memorable day for me because in the nominations there were other industrialist women and I felt I was nowhere close to them. The deciding members were prestigious people of the likes of the editor of Financial Express and I even asked them as to why they picked me to which they said that it is my original contribution in the field of medicine. This made me feel that I am blessed by the Divine and being awarded for something like this was truly beautiful and this inspires me to keep on contributing more to my field,” she says.

Almost 50% of the angioplasties are unnecessary

Dr. Pratiksha does advice surgery to patients who do not have any option left or at the end stage, “We see that nowadays many surgeries are being done unnecessarily and people are not being given a chance. In fact in the courage trial, they have said that almost 50% of the angioplasties done are not required as they can be managed with cardiac rehab or optimal medical management.

What we are offering to our patients is the latest innovation which is cellular health. Traditionally if you look at heart, they always say cholesterol is high, weight is more, smoking, alcohol, diabetes, hypertension, etc, 4 – 5 risk factors, just take care of this. But if you notice, most of our Indians are vegetarians, no diabetes, hypertension, so the problem that we are facing in this silent epidemic is premature people, who have gone through one or two bypass surgeries or angioplasties, they are being out on repetitive invasive procedures,” she says.

Focus is completely on non-invasive diagnostics

Dr. Pratiksha feels that there is abuse going on through CT coronary scans. “My focus is completely on non-invasive diagnostics. My philosophy is I do not want to put dyes into the people’s system. These are radioactive which will affect the kidneys. In the name is treating the heart we are messing with other organs. We are working with epigenetics with actually activating the cells with genetic mechanisms so that healing happens at the cellular level. So we are using such techniques in our program and our ultimate goal is taking heart care to every home through our online program,” she says.

Education is the key, not surgery

Dr. Pratiksha throws light on her not-for-profit, Global foundation of Preventive Cardiology since heart disease is of ignorance. They have this foundation which is headquartered in California, USA and runs with the mission to educate and empower people globally for heart health. “Education is the key, surgery is not the key. Surgery is just the last resort. If we educate people better, we can save them,” she says.

Use of technology for non-invasive procedures

Dr. Pratiksha points out that in cardiology, due to insurance, reimbursements, and pharma industries, the entire innovations are directed to create more and more diagnostics and procedures. “Being a preventive cardiologist, my focus has been on how we can use technology on non-invasive procedures. The focus of prevention is always that needs of so many should prevail over the needs of the few. It takes millions of dollars to get into these curative things but in the same amount we can prevent diseases in plenty of people, as to change a lifestyle or eat healthily doesn’t cost one. Because of this ‘lopsided approach’ as I call it, in medicine, we have become like sick care, wherein we are just handling emergencies and people are unable to afford it,” she says.

Focusing on cost-effective methods and working on mindsets

Dr. Pratiksha says that they are into education and using AI devices to create a natural bypass. “We are working with VR technology which will help people prevent heart issues,” she says, “The point is, as a preventive cardiologist, I have lost the count of talks and lectures I have given in various parts of our country, but the majority of the people have a breakdown mindset, it is basically when things go wrong, they want to wake up and start making things right. The whole concept now is of the mindset, though the blockages happen in the body, you need a certain kind of mindset to come out of it, hence we are getting into neuroscience as well. So this is something which is latest and not usually happening in conventional cardiology setups and we focusing on this would be rewarding to the patients,” she says.

Heart disease is killing more people than COVID

Dr. Pratiksha explains that heart disease is a silent and number 1 killer. 24.6% of people are dying due to heart issues in India. Every 4 seconds there is a death due to a heart problem. Even today, it is killing more people than COVID.Suddenly due to corona, people are forced to change their habit patterns, sanitize, maintain cleanliness and they have become more aware to build up their immunity as heart patients fall in the high-risk category making them susceptible to infections. Due to this, we are doing online consultations and programs since a study found that, Cardiac hospital admission rate has dropped by 50% not because the disease has disappeared but because people are scared to visit the hospital due to this pandemic. So they are more sensitive to take care of at home and thus we have changed gears and we are successfully catering to these people at home by providing consultations, diets and making sure that while sitting at home, they can take charge of their heart health,” she says.

Biggest achievement and Living without heart surgery

Dr. Pratiksha feels great to be recognized for her work. She says that her biggest achievement is the smiles on the faces of her patients. “When I wrote this book – Living without heart surgery, which was published in 2017, I had all my patients who had averted bypass surgery and angioplasty and they contributed to my book with their reports, pictures and angiography reports, which has made this book the most unique one in the world as patients generally are not comfortable sharing information but this 100 groups of people were so courageous and I thank them that they reached out their voices and gave testimonies as to how it is possible to live life without surgery, wherein they have not only survived but thrived. We have the pictures of a patient para-sailing, another one with 25% cardiac function, who would generally be advised to not leave home as he is going to have cardiac failure, was scuba diving. This is precious and priceless beyond words. Nothing can compare to this kind of beautiful transformation wherein the wives of a few now come and thank me or inform that their son has passed college or their daughter is married when a few years back they were skeptical if their husbands would even survive and live to see these precious days. All these stories are my achievements and I hold it in my heart very dearly. I am blessed by all the awards that I have been organically bestowed by the society who have applauded and acknowledged my efforts. Even on the international level, we have been seeing support and co-operation. We have an incredible team which is working on non-invasive methods so the support that I was looking for collaboration with the brightest minds in medicine and cardiology makes me look forward to a great future without surgery,” she says.

Preventive cardiology practice at IPC

Dr. Pratiksha throws light on practicing preventive cardiology, “EECP is a device wherein people have to come in daily for 1 hour for 35 days. It is geography and time-sensitive. Now we have a device for cellular programs where we are doing vibration healing, getting into their lifestyle, patterns, and thoughts, so my whole aim would be how can we prevent or reverse heart disease without any invasive methods.  We are working on it currently. ECP is something that we did 20 years back and it has yielded great results but I feel even after people do ECP, they need to focus on their lifestyle. So we are running this online program wherein we are having a holistic approach and we will soon be coming out with a device where we are working with microcurrent therapies like small devices with different healing frequencies. We are working with all these things which will give the opportunity to the people at home to heal themselves,” she says.

Take charge of your heart health

Dr. Pratiksha thanks all the doctors and gives out a special message to them, “Believe in yourself. We are here with a real commitment to our patients. I know conventional medicine teaches us a lot of protocols and guidelines but the main thing is to become a doctor who has a place in the hearts of the people. I feel you need to understand the patient in totality as a human being and not just look at the heart alone. I feel I am so blessed and satisfied in my practice that all the hundreds and thousands and the millions of patients in the future who would get benefitted from what we are doing, our main goal is to go to the core of the heart of the people we are interacting. I also believe in being God tuned physicians, understand that we are just like instruments in the hands of God. So get out of this ego, because unfortunately in the medical system, pharma companies all put their ego that I am everything and this stresses the doctors as well. So whenever a patient comes to me, I say to myself that I am an instrument in the hands of the God and the healing happens and it is something that is magical,” she says. 

She goes on to give out a message to the patients as well, “My message to all, be it heart patients or normal people is that it is in your hands to take charge of your heart health. There is a doctor inside each one of you; we just need to awaken it. In actuality, you are doing the healing; we are just the tools to help you. Do not blindly depend on the doctor and remove doubts, fears, and negativity and work on yourself so that you can stay away from any disease, not only heart disease, and have a great living,” she says.

(Edited by Rabia Mistry Mulla)


Contributed By: Dr. Pratiksha Gandhi, MD, Founder, Institute of Preventive Cardiology (IPC), Mumbai
Tags : #medicircledoctorspeak #medicircle #smitakumar #drpratikshagandhi #heartattacks #cardiovasculardiseases #cardiacfailure #preventivecardiologist #preventivecardiology #IPChearthealthcentre #doctorsadvice #ECG #noninvasivediagnostic #nonsurgicaltherapy #Doctors-Speak

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