Doctor opens practice in his own backyard

August 4, 2011 Heather Chin
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Since Nidal Isber has lived in Bay Ridge for 28 years, thedecision to open his own medical practice in the neighborhood camenaturally. So, last year, the director of cardiac electrophysiologyat Richmond University Medical Center in Staten Island did justthat.

The resulting Heart and Brain Comprehensive Center at 352 86thStreet is a welcoming storefront that Isber hopes will be one ofthe go-to practices for southern Brooklynites with existing orlatent heart problems to get checkups and specialist care. Thebrain part of the center’s specialty is addressed by Isber’scolleague and long-time friend, Souhel Najjar, M.D., who works as aclinical associate professor of neurology at NYU Langone MedicalCenter.

I came to this area [because] I want to do not only cardiology,but electrophysiology as well, explained Isber, whose practice isalso affiliated with Staten Island University Medical Center. I amalso interested in recognizing and treating coronary artery disease- a very common problem – [characterized by symptoms such as] chestpain, shortness of breath and having had a prior heartattack.

As a 1996 graduate of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLAwho specialized in cardiac arrhythmias, cardiovascular disease,cardiology, vascular surgery and clinical cardio electrophysiology– an area that he directed at St. Vincent’s Medical Center for adecade until the hospital closed last year — Isber has bothexperience and long-term passion for his area of work.

I am in [these fields because I find them] the most interesting,challenging specialty, Isber said. It’s a pleasure.

This enthusiasm also seems to extend to patient care, as he – aswell as colleague Majjar – have high ratings in patience,communication, patient trust and scheduling, according to theindependent health care rating organization,

Patients are most often referred to the Heart and BrainComprehensive Center by their general practitioners, anothercardiologist or internist, or after a hospital visit, but Isbersaid one of his hopes is for people to know to come to me if theyfeel lightheaded, dizzy or have heart palpitations.

Risk factors for such symptoms are pre-existing conditions ofdiabetes, hypertension, obesity, high cholesterol or a familyhistory of heart disease. People need to be screened, so as not towait until a heart attack comes, said Isber.

Heart-related treatment services offered at the center include EKGtests, treadmill exercise/stress tests, stress echo test, andinterrogating (also known as analyzing) pacemaker data. Acceptedinsurance includes Aetna HMO, [Empire] Blue Cross and Blue Shield,Cigna, GHI, Healthfirst, Oxford Health Plans – Freedom Plan,various United Healthcare plans, as well as others.

One of the treatment options available that Isber is most proud ofis implant devices such as artificial pacemakers, which send smallelectrical shocks to the heart to regulate the heart rate.

Around 300,000 people a year die of sudden death becauseparamedics come too late, said Isber. The device is implanted,recognizes [the problem] and treats it in five seconds. The patientcan come to the office later for a check-up, unless there aremultiple shocks, then we send them to the hospital.

We also treat people who suffer all their lives from a fastheartbeat and dizziness, which the hospital might have labeled ananxiety attack, because by the time you get to the hospital, yourheart calms down. But a cardiologist will recognize it, hesaid.

If you have any questions about their services or would like tomake an appointment, call 718-748-6585.

Heart and Brain Comprehensive Center

Nidal Isber, MD, FACC, FHRS (cardiology andelectrophysiology)

Souhel Najjar, MD (neurology and neurophysiology)

352 86th Street

Brooklyn, NY 11209

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