October 22, 2014
Watson Clinic CT Scans

Watson Clinic Executive Wellness Program in Lakeland offer patients cardiac CT scans.

Henrique Kallas

Dr. Henrique Kallas, medical director at Douglas Williams Executive Health Program at the University of Florida: “What people don’t realize is that being diabetic or even pre-diabetic puts you at risk for heart disease.”

Baptist Hospital in Miami

Baptist Hospital in Miami

Dr. Mark Moon

Dr. Mark Moon, medical director at the Mayo Clinic’s Executive Health Program in Jacksonville, says lack of adequate, quality sleep contributes to early mortality and low sex drive.

James Brownlee Jr

Dr. H. James Brownlee Jr. is medical director of the Monsour Executive Wellness Center at USF Health in Tampa.

Cleveland Clinic Florida

Cleveland Clinic Florida in Weston

Dr. Stephen Avallone

Dr. Stephen Avallone, medical director of the Huizenga Executive Health Program at Cleveland Clinic in Weston, examines a patient.

Treadmill

Despite time constraints, executives should complete a minimum of three hours a week of aerobic activity

Blood Pressure

Doctors say an optimal blood pressure is 120/80 or lower. 

Executive Physicals & Wellness

Florida's Top Docs Talk Basics

Medical directors of executive health programs in Florida identify the essential health factors every executive shouldn't ignore.

Heart Health
Doctors at the Watson Clinic Executive Wellness Program in Lakeland look for red flags such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and elevated glucose levels. If there is an indication of a heart concern, Richard Gould, clinical services director of Watson Clinic’s executive physical program, offers patients who are at high risk or show symptoms the option of a cardiac CT scan. The test gives doctors 3-D images of the coronary arteries without performing an invasive angiography. Gould says the test allows a physician to look at the heart from every angle, as if it were outside the patient’s body. Most important, it allows a doctor to look inside the ventricles and arteries for plaque or calcium buildup and even check the aorta for aneurysms.

Blood
Blood analysis can reveal a variety of medical conditions, including iron deficiency, kidney and liver function, thyroid problems and malignancy. Doctors recommend a basic blood test, known as metabolic panel, at least once a year along with a check of cholesterol levels. They also measure glucose levels through blood to determine the patient’s risk for diabetes. “A huge number of people are pre-diabetic and don’t realize it,” says Henrique Kallas, medical director at Douglas Williams Executive Health Program at the University of Florida. “What people don’t realize is that being diabetic or even pre-diabetic puts you at risk for heart disease.” Kallas suggests controlling blood sugar levels with diet, exercise and weight control during the pre-diabetic stage.

Colon
To maintain a healthy colon, physicians advise eating more fiber, drinking more water and exercising frequently. Doctors say colon/rectal cancer is common but preventable early by regular screening. Kallas at Douglas Williams suggests that executives get a colonoscopy beginning at age 50. However, if there’s a family history of colon cancer or polyps (abnormal growths), then he suggests earlier testing. Current guidelines recommend that African-Americans get tested at age 45. “The screenings help us to identify and remove polyps before they become cancer,” Kallas says.

Test Questions

» Blood chemistry and lipid panel: This may be the most basic and critical test physicians order as part of an executive health exam. To cater to executives, many programs will send a phlebotomist to an executive’s office or home to draw blood.

» Colonoscopy: This screening exam for colorectal cancer is recommended for men and women over 50. Along with the traditional “scope” — a camera mounted on a flexible tube —  newer CT or MRI scanning devices offer a non-invasive, virtual alternative, with no sedation or scopes. Patients still have to drink a laxative to clear out the colon beforehand, however. And physicians point out that a virtual colonoscopy does not allow the doctor to remove tissue samples or polyps as during the traditional procedure — if one shows up on the scan, patients will still need a follow-up scope.

Tags: Healthcare

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