According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death, above all cancers, for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States.
With that in mind, Village Heart and Vein, a full-service cardiology group located in Lady Lake, has been focused on prevention since the day it opened its doors more than 12 years ago. Dr. Georg Couturier, the group’s founder and head cardiologist, says it’s very important for people in their 50s or 60s, even if not having obvious symptoms, to undergo a cardiac evaluation and to establish a baseline for future health comparisons. People with a known family history of heart disease should also be seen by a cardiologist since it’s hereditary.
“The point is prevention. You really want to be working on things before they happen. You want to prevent the stroke, you want to prevent the heart attack, prevent the stents,” says Dr. Couturier. “It makes a big difference, especially since the alternative is waiting until you have your first heart attack or stroke, and then it’s too late.” The award-winning doctor adds that since the practice is located so near The Villages, many of their patients are interested in keeping heart- healthy to remain active and enjoy their retirement doing all the things they love. “People can’t go back in time to undo things that may have contributed to heart damage, and they certainly can’t help it if heart disease runs in their family, so we encourage that everybody, especially as they get older, get an assessment of where their heart stands,” adds Dr. Couturier. “Then, if we need to address issues, work on reversing any damage, or focus on certain preventatives, we can get started immediately.”
HERE TO STAY
Dr. Couturier has been practicing cardiology for over 20 years, so when he opened Village Heart and Vein in 2010, it was an extension of what he was already so passionate about. His vision started with aligning himself with like-minded doctors at the top of their fields so that together, they could provide residents of surrounding communities with the best care possible in every branch of cardiology, electrophysiology, vascular and arterial medicine.
Today, the practice has become a staple in the area it serves, and all the credit goes to the foundation from which the group was founded, the technology and state-of-the-art equipment it incorporates, and a long- term commitment from the group’s team of dedicated doctors, which as of Aug. 1, grew by one to make six.
The doctors work hand-in-hand to serve each patient, regardless of their needs, with quality care under one roof with help from the group’s nurse practitioners and physician assistants. “We take a comprehensive approach to cardiology that with it, encompasses many fields, including electrophysiology, general cardiology, invasive cardiology and interventional cardiology, so that patients with any cardiac disease can be taken care of in our office by people in our office,” Dr. Couturier says. “We’re able to take care of all the functionalities of the heart, all the problems and all the conditions the heart can create, along with all your vascular and arterial needs.
Robert Howard, Village Heart and Vein’s practice administrator, says the group is proud of the footprint it has established in The Villages and beyond by taking the practice from a sole doctor to a team of six who all beat as one. “Village Heart and Vein is a collaboration of six established doctors who for years, successfully cared for patients individually,” says Robert. “Since then, the doctors, committed to taking cardiac patient care to a whole other level, have come on board to lend their expertise and help grow our practice into what it is today.”
With that, perhaps the greatest part of the team is that each and every doctor at Village Heart and Vein takes pride in building solid relationships with patients.
Regardless of whether a patient calls with questions, requires additional assistance after a visit, or comes to the communicate with them when needs arise outside of normal office visits,” Robert explains.
TOP-NOTCH OUTPATIENT FACILITY
In this day and age, a trip to the hospital for an emergency or surgical procedure is riskier and more complicated than ever.
Patients of Village Heart and Vein, however, need not worry about the possibility of an unwanted hospital stay.
Instead, the group has a partnership with an outpatient cardiac surgical center – a state-of-the-art facility in Wildwood designed for outpatient surgery called Outpatient Surgery Center of Central Florida – where its
same day following most procedures. “The surgical center is very, very good
and we are very proud to have it. People love it and they tell me all the time that it’s the best experience they’ve ever had,” Dr. Couturier says, explaining that the surgery center is not only equipped with all the latest technology and state-of-
the-art equipment, but is an accredited facility with accredited cardiologists.
Procedures performed there are heart catheterization, pacemaker
molding, shaping, and successfully growing Village Heart and Vein, and being able to partner with the other doctors involved in the surgical center says: “I’m very grateful for our staff, our doctors, our facilities, and proud because I love seeing our patients so happy and healthy because if they’re satisfied, then it makes you feel like, ‘OK, nice, we were really able to do a good thing.’