February 1 marks the start of Heart Disease Awareness Month. According to a 2015 report, heart disease is the No. 1 killer in the state of Texas.

For people living with heart disease symptoms, every minute matters. That's why University Health System Heart Vascular Institute and Cath Lab Director Dr. Hinan Ahmed is encouraging more people to get checked out if they're worried about heart health.

"We've made a lot of strides in the last 20 or 30 years,” Dr. Ahmed said. “We have new therapeutic tools and lots of surgical advancements that have extended patients’ lives and quality of lives.”

One of those advancements is coronary catheterization, where a catheter is inserted in the wrist and heads to the heart's arteries to take pictures to give doctors an idea of where you might have blockages.

"It takes about 10 or 15 minutes to take multiple pictures and do a good analysis of where the blockages are and how significant or severe they are,” Dr. Ahmed explained.

The procedure comes with some risk and isn't for everyone.

"It's patients who've been having symptoms and have abnormal results on their stress test and we want to take a look and see exactly where the blockages are,” Dr. Ahmed said.

Stents or balloons are then used to fix blockages.

Dr. Ahmed also says that anyone with heart concerns should seek help from a medical professional.

For more men's health information call 210-358-3045. You can also find the rest of our Real Men Wear Gowns stories- just go to WearTheGown.com.