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Heart Care

During a cardiac emergency, speed matters. The sooner you can get the treatment you need, the better. But when you're living with ongoing heart disease, you also need experienced care tailored to your individual needs. There's a lot to know, and you'll need a team that takes the time to explain your options and guide your care.

Get the treatment you need for both urgent and ongoing cardiology concerns at Lake Regional Health System. Our heart care specialists are committed to excellence in the treatment of heart attack, heart failure and other forms of cardiovascular disease.

Cardiology Experience that Counts

Our heart care team includes three board-certified interventional cardiologists, a cardiovascular-thoracic surgeon, and registered nurses and X-ray technicians who specialize in cardiac care. Our team works together, collaborating to ensure that you get the care you need when you need it.

When you have a medical emergency, our team springs into action to help you. And they work remarkably fast. Our average "door to balloon" time—the interval between someone having a heart attack arriving at our emergency department to being treated in our cath lab—is outpacing the national average, according to the American College of Cardiology.

We also offer a number of diagnostic tests that can help you understand your heart issue and what you'll need to do to get better. When you have a test, your cardiologist will take the time to explain the results and answer your questions, so you'll know just what to do next.

The cardiologists at Lake Regional are skilled at evaluating and treating all types of cardiovascular disease and disorders, including:

  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Pericarditis
  • Arrhythmia
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Valve problems
  • Peripheral artery disease (PAD)

Treatment Options

When your heart issue requires surgery, our team can help. We offer a number of cardiac surgeries, including:

  • Angiography
  • Balloon angioplasty
  • Cardiac stenting
  • Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) placement
  • Digital cardiac catheterization
  • Coronary artery bypass
  • Heart valve repair and replacement
  • Mechanical thrombectomy
  • Pacemaker placement
  • Peripheral stenting
  • Placement of peripheral left ventricular assist device (LVAD)
  • Rotational atherectomy

Your heart issue might be treated within our Cardiac Catheterization Lab. It features state-of-the-art equipment that can help your cardiologist diagnose and treat cardiac and peripheral vascular disease. Our lab is the first in the state to acquire flex vision technology, providing the best imaging quality available. We treat nearly 1,900 patients in our lab each year—and we offer each patient personalized care.

Heart Attack, Sudden Cardiac Arrest and Congestive Heart Failure

All three of these heart problems are serious, but their causes are different and they require different treatments. Learn how to recognize each one and what to do if any of them is suspected.

Heart Attack

A heart attack happens when there’s a sudden blockage in the flow of blood to a section of the heart muscle. If blood flow isn’t restored quickly, the affected section of the heart begins to die.

The leading cause of heart attack is coronary heart disease, also called coronary artery disease. In this disease, plaque builds up inside the coronary arteries. A blood clot can form on the plaque’s surface, and if the clot grows too big, it can mostly or completely block blood flow.

The most common symptoms of heart attack — in both men and women — are chest pain and discomfort; upper body discomfort; and shortness of breath. Other possible symptoms include breaking out in a cold sweat; feeling unusually tired for no reason, sometimes for days; nausea and vomiting; and light-headedness or sudden dizziness.

If you think you or someone else may be having a heart attack, call 911. Immediate treatment is needed to restore blood flow to save the heart muscle.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Someone having a minor heart attack might be able to continue activities, even as the restricted blood flow damages the heart. In contrast, there’s no such thing as “minor” sudden cardiac arrest, which happens when the heart suddenly stops beating.

With no heartbeat, blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs. As a result, untreated sudden cardiac arrest usually causes death within minutes.

Sudden cardiac arrest has different causes. People who have heart disease are at higher risk, and sudden cardiac arrest can happen during a heart attack. But, it also can happen in people who seem to be healthy.

If you suspect someone is suffering from cardiac arrest, call  911. If the person is not breathing, give CPR.

There’s usually not time to get to a hospital for treatment. That’s why it’s important for people in the general public to have access to and training with automated external defibrillators. These devices — often found in malls, churches, schools and other public spaces — send an electric shock to the heart to try to restore normal rhythm. To use an AED, turn it on and follow the prompt.

Congestive Heart Failure

Congestive heart failure is a chronic condition and can last several years. The heart is still pumping but not as well as it should be.

In some cases, the heart can’t fill with enough blood. In other cases, the heart can’t pump blood to the rest of the body with enough force. Some people have both problems. In all cases, the body does not receive enough blood flow to meet its needs for blood and oxygen, resulting in fatigue, breathing problems and weight gain from fluid buildup.

The most common causes for heart failure are coronary artery disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Other causes include heart muscle disease, heart valve disease, irregular heartbeat, congenital heart defects and injuries to the heart muscle.

Treatment depends on the condition’s severity but usually include lifestyle changes — such as eating healthier and losing weight — medication and ongoing care. Patient and caregiver education is essential for successful management of heart failure. As complications arise, early intervention can prevent setbacks and hospitalizations. This requires at-home monitoring and knowing when to seek care.

Pay attention to your breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, appetite, weight and foot/ankle/leg swelling. If any of these worsens, alert your doctor.

Other Resources to Help Your Heart

Adjusting to a serious health problem often takes time. You may experience depression or anxiety. Through our Mended Hearts support group, you will learn you are not alone. Lake Regional's Mended Hearts group meets the second Thursday of each month at noon on the hospital's second floor.

We also provide a continuum of care through our accredited Cardiac Rehabilitation Program, which helps patients more quickly recover from heart attacks, heart surgeries and other cardiac problems.

Managing one chronic condition is hard enough, but most people with heart disease have other ongoing medical issues. Lake Regional’s Palliative Chronic Care Management program provides extra one-on-one support. This Medicare-covered service connects you with a registered nurse who serves as your case manager. This individual works with you and your various health care providers to ensure everyone is on the same page. Your nurse case manager also calls you at least once a month to see how you are doing, and you can call your nurse as often as needed with questions. Learn more.

Meet Our Cardiologists

To find out more about our cardiologists, visit our Provider Directory. You don't need a referral to visit our cardiology clinics.

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If you'd like to know more about the services we offer, call 573.302.2280.