LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — There's nothing like a free-flowing, smoothly-running interstate highway to help us get to where we need to be safely.
But if there's unexpected and unseen blockages, you have problems. It's the perfect metaphor for our circulation system -- one that CHI St. Vincent Vascular Surgeon Steven Meadors uses all the time.
"The major highways of blood flow get blocked off and people become dependent on the backroads, if you will. But we all know getting from point A to point B is a lot harder on the backroads," Dr. Steven Meadors.
Dr. Fred Meadors knows how dead this situation can be.
"Cardiovascular illnesses are the number on killer of Americans," Dr. Fred Meadors said.
And in the time of COVID, this fact is often overlooked.
Both Steven and Fred Meadors consult often. They are father and son.
They both represent the current state of cardiovascular medicine in the United States. Traditional care combining with new technologies.
"This meeting of the earlier generation with the current generation has really been a positive thing for us and for our patients," Dr. Fred Meadors said.
Technologies allow the son to be more of a vascular specialist. He's starting to win the battle against one of the heart's most mysterious ailments -- aneurysms.
"So the special thing about vascular surgery nowadays is that I'm trained in all techniques of treating aortic aneurisms," Dr. Steven Meadors said.
It's an unseen killer that technology can help uncover.
"And I am well-versed in putting in aortic stint graphs that save patients' massive incisions," Dr. Steven Meadors said.
Incredibly, recovery is one night in the hospital.
The elder Meadors is no stranger to technology himself, especially when it comes to heart valves.
"We're treating more and more patients with aortic stenosis with new technology, and that's been exciting, especially for the more elderly," Dr. Fred Meadors said.
Both father and son, each knowing his place in medicine today is valuable.
"Hopefully, some sage wisdom that I've acquired over 30 years of treating patients, but he brings the latest in technology," Dr. Fred Meadors said.
And this is what the son gets from the father.
"It's really the art of medicine and realizing that you're taking care of people and that we're to help people," Dr. Steven Meadors said.
The doctors told us that heart health begins with seeing your primary care physician.