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Dr Guo Wei Qiang Kenneth

"Nothing makes a doctor happier than to see their patients get well. Bumping into them along the streets of Singapore, rather than in the clinic or the wards, means that they are doing well and getting along with life. I usually introduce them as my friends to my wife, rather than patients."
Dr Kenneth Guo is a cardiologist practising at Parkway East Hospital. His clinical interests are in treating patients with congenital heart disease, pulmonary hypertension and right heart failure, and he is skilled in both non-invasive and invasive cardiac imaging.
  • Specialty:

    • Cardiology
  • Qualifications

    • Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, National University of Singapore
    • Master of Medicine (Internal Medicine), National University of Singapore
    • Member of the Royal College of Physicians
    • Fellow of the Academy Medicine, Singapore (Cardiology)
  • Languages Spoken

    • Cantonese
    • English
    • Mandarin

Getting to Know Dr Guo Wei Qiang Kenneth

Getting to Know Dr Guo Wei Qiang Kenneth

Q: What led you to become a cardiologist?

I wanted to be someone who could make a huge difference in my patient’s lives. Nothing touches the heart more than being a cardiologist. The heart is a complex and amazing organ which still marvels me till today.

It starts off as a simple tube when the fetus is still developing in the mother’s womb, and slowly shapes itself into a 4-chambered structure, composing of muscle, valves, and its own blood supply and electrical conduction system. There are so many things that can go wrong during the developmental stage, yet the majority of us are born with a completely normal heart.

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Q: What kind of conditions do you treat, or specialise in treating?

My job is to make sure the heart goes on pumping well so that my patients can go on to lead meaningful lives. A lot of work starts early with lowering risk factors, where I try to help patients take steps to control their blood pressure, cholesterol, sugar levels, weight and stress. Sometimes, they run into problems and I have to get them out of it. This may mean helping to unclog blocked arteries, resetting the heart’s electrical system or optimising their medication so that the pump can run more efficiently.

My interest also lies in adult patients born with congenital heart defects. They range from simple holes, to complex conditions such as Tetralogy of Fallot or a criss-cross heart.

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The majority of these patients do well. Some may need a corrective procedure or surgery to make things right, and they continue to lead long fruitful lives.

I also see patients with pulmonary hypertension. This not-so-uncommon condition causes breathlessness and fainting. It is not easy to pick up, and treatment is complex, so there are not many in Singapore who can confidently help these patients. Fortunately, it is a very treatable condition, and there are many options these days to help patients feel better, and even get them back to work.

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Q: How does your expertise in echocardiography help in the care and management of your patients?

Echocardiography is a simple bedside test that allows us to diagnose a patient’s condition, and be used as a tool to follow up on the patient’s progress. It involves ultrasound waves, and no radiation is required. This is important for patients who are young or intend to start a family. For patients in intensive care, echocardiography helps to identify the cause of low blood pressure.

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It could be an issue of insufficient fluids, a weak heart or a problem with the valves. By identifying the problem, we are able to treat the issue at hand, and bring the patient back to good health. In the operating theatre, it is used to help the surgeon identify and profile the problem areas, and at the end of operation, to make sure that the repair is good before the chest is closed up.

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Q: Could you share your philosophy in treating patients?

I would always want my patient to be a partner in their care. My role is to help them identify the problems, and this often means an initial longer consultation. It usually involves drawings or a using a heart model to help them better understand what their issues are. The next step is to help them start on lifestyle and dietary changes, and keep them on it. 

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Lastly, we get to discuss the role of medication, procedures and surgery. The whole process may take several visits, and I would often encourage my patients to bring their loved ones along, so that they too can help understand what the patient is going through. By doing this, we are empowering the patients to make decisions that are right for themselves.

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Q: What are some of the most fulfilling aspects of your job?

Nothing makes a doctor happy than to see them get well. Bumping into them along the streets of Singapore, rather than in the clinic or the wards, means that they are doing well and getting along in life. I usually introduce them as my friends to my wife, rather than patients. She does the same as well.

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Q: Please describe a particularly difficult case that you successfully treated.

I had the opportunity to meet this middle-aged gentleman some years back. He had a chronic condition where blood clots accumulated in the great vessels of the lungs over a period of many years. We call this condition chronic thrombo-embolic pulmonary hypertension. He was predisposed to having blood clots, and they originated from the veins of his legs. Over time, pieces of it broke off, travelled to the lungs and clogged the great vessels.

He came to us one day on the brink of death. His blood pressure was very low, and his heart was throwing off an uncontrollable rhythm every few minutes. I thought we were going to lose him that day.

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Fortunately, he turned around and his condition stabilised. We had his heart optimised, and he got out of hospital at that visit. Medication helped but he needed more than that to get better. He needed an operation called a pulmonary endarterectomy, and with the help of the surgeon and anesthesiologist, he had the chronic clots removed. He walked out of the hospital, and I am happy that we made a difference in his life.

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