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Heart & Vascular Conditions Treated

The cardiology team at Advanced Heart and Vascular Institute includes board certified and fellowship trained cardiologists, specializing in Nuclear Cardiology, Cardiovascular Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Computed Tomography, Interventional Cardiology, and more. The following conditions may be treated at Advanced Heart and Vascular Institute. (This list is not comprehensive.) Click on a condition to learn more.

If you come across a treatment or procedure you’re unfamiliar with in the text below, you may refer to this resource page for more information.

Aortic Aneurysms

An aortic aneurysm is a ballooning or bulging of the aorta, the body’s main artery, which carries blood away from the heart to the rest of the body. Aneurysms typically occur in the thoracic cavity or the abdomen. Individuals may experience abdominal pain, searing pain in the chest or back, cold or numb extremities, or – in severe cases – stroke.

At Advanced Heart and Vascular Institute, cardiologists may detect an aortic aneurysm during a physical exam or with the use of an abdominal ultrasound, x-ray, or echocardiogram. If the aneurysm requires treatment, an endovascular aneurysm exclusion procedure may be performed via catheter. In this procedure, a stent is placed within the aorta to relieve pressure on the aortic wall.

Arrhythmia (or Dysrhythmia)

A heart arrhythmia (also called “dysrhythmia”) is an abnormal heartbeat. Some arrhythmias are faster than normal (tachycardia); others are slower (bradycardia). Irregular heartbeat may be present at birth, or caused by the use of alcohol, caffeine, diet pills, tobacco, or decongestants. Still, other heart arrhythmias may be caused by a previous heart surgery or other health conditions.

At Advanced Heart and Vascular Institute, your cardiologist may use an electrocardiogram, echocardiogram, or electrophysiology study (EPS) to diagnose your dysrhythmia. (Remember, you can learn more about these procedures here.) Treatments for arrhythmia may include medication and/or pacemaker implantation.

Atherosclerosis (Heart, Leg & Neck)

Atherosclerosis is a disease caused by plaque buildup in the arteries. Plaque is a hard substance composed of fat, cholesterol, fibrin, cellular waste, and calcium. As plaque attaches to arterial walls, it irritates the walls, causing them to become inflamed. A vicious cycle ensues, and the passageway for blood continues to narrow, increasing the risk for heart attack and stroke.

Blocked arteries in the heart may cause heart attack; arterial blockages in the neck can lead to stroke; and blockages in the legs cause peripheral arterial disease, which can lead to heart attack and stroke (in addition to non-healing wounds and sores in the leg).

Atherosclerosis can be managed and prevented. Find out how. Your cardiologist may treat blocked arteries with medication or interventional therapies, such as angioplasty, carotid intervention with embolic protection, laser recanalization, thrombolysis, or intravascular stenting.

Cardiomyopathy

Cardiomyopathy is a leading cause of heart failure, which affects approximately half a million Americans every year. There are three types of cardiomyopathy: dilated cardiomyopathy, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), and restrictive cardiomyopathy (RCM). While cardiomyopathy may be present at birth, it is not uncommon for adults to develop this disease as a result of high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid disease, infection, drug abuse, or other health conditions/lifestyle choices.

Common symptoms of cardiomyopathy include swelling in the legs, ankles, and feet; being short of breath; arrhythmia; abdominal bloating; and fatigue, lightheadedness, dizziness, and fainting. If you’re experiencing these symptoms, your cardiologist at Advanced Heart and Vascular Institute may use the following tools to diagnose your condition: chest x-ray, echocardiogram, electrocardiogram, or lab blood testing. Patients with severe symptoms may undergo cardiac catheterization.

Cardiomyopathy may be treated with blood pressure medications, heart rate medications, anticoagulants, anti-inflammatories, or electrolytes and diuretics, depending on the patient’s condition and symptoms. In some cases, a pacemaker may be appropriate.

Congenital Heart Diseases

According to estimates, somewhere between 650,000 and 1.3 million adults in the U.S. live with congenital heart defects. Some defects are undiagnosed until symptoms appear in adulthood. Other congenital heart diseases pose problems at birth that patients must learn to cope with from an early age.

Congenital heart disease can affect the valves, aorta, or the walls between the heart’s upper and lower chambers. Symptoms can vary, depending on the nature of the heart defect. However, standard symptoms of congenital heart disease include shortness of breath, chest pain, difficulty exercising, fatigue, and dizzy spells/fainting.

At Advanced Heart and Vascular Institute, cardiologists may diagnose and evaluate patients by reviewing the patient’s medical history and performing some kind of heart-imaging test, such as an echocardiogram, chest x-ray, or nuclear study. Depending on what your cardiologist finds, you may receive treatment for your congenital heart condition. Treatment may be administered via cardiac catheterization, a minimally invasive procedure that allows the cardiologist to perform complex repairs of the heart and vascular system without the need for incisions.

Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary artery disease is the most prevalent form of heart disease. It occurs when the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart muscle, become blocked with plaque (see Atherosclerosis above). When the heart cannot get enough oxygenated blood, heart failure and/or heart attack may follow.

In many cases, coronary artery disease does not present symptoms until the disease is fairly developed. These symptoms are the “classic” ones you may think of when you think of heart problems: chest pain (angina), shortness of breath, and heart attack (which has its own symptoms of nausea and pain in the chest, shoulder, or arm).

At Advanced Heart and Vascular Institute, cardiologists are active agents in helping detect coronary artery disease before symptoms appear. This approach (as opposed to caring for patients after symptoms appear and the disease is far along) can help eradicate and prevent heart attack and stroke in the Phoenix area – and beyond. Learn more.

Coronary artery disease may be diagnosed with a basic medical evaluation and diagnostic tests, such as CT scan, EKG/ECG, echocardiograph, chest x-ray, lab blood testing, and nuclear studies and tomography. Cardiac catheterization may also be used to diagnose and treat some patients.

Heart Valve Disease

The heart has four valves, which are critical in moving blood between the pulmonic artery, the heart’s chambers, and the aorta. There are two main problems that might occur with any of these valves: (1) stenosis, in which the valve does not fully open, and (2) insufficiency, in which the valve does not fully shut. These heart valve problems may be present at birth or acquired as a result of heart disease, damage, or infection.

The symptoms of heart valve disease may include chest pain and discomfort, sudden weight gain, abdominal swelling, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and feelings faintness/dizziness. Patients who have had infective endocarditis, rheumatic fever, a heart attack, and/or currently have heart failure are at an elevated risk for developing heart valve disease.

In many cases, heart valve disease can be diagnosed and treated by a cardiologist using minimally invasive techniques. Today’s catheter-based approaches allow interventional cardiologists at Advanced Heart and Vascular Institute to repair and replace some heart valves without making a single incision. Procedures include mitral balloon valvuloplasty and aortic balloon valvuloplasty.

Peripheral Vascular Disease

Peripheral vascular disease – commonly referred to as peripheral arterial disease (PAD) – is a serious health condition that affects between 8 and 12 million Americans. PAD is frequently undiagnosed, as symptoms are often associated with those of other coexisting health conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease.

Symptoms of peripheral arterial disease include pain in the legs while walking (intermittent claudication), cool, shiny, red skin, burning/aching in the toes and feet, and non-healing ulcers on the legs and feet. Diagnosing and managing PAD is essential, as symptoms can lead to heart attack, stroke, and limb loss.

Cardiologists at Advanced Heart and Vascular Institute help patients manage their disease and reduce symptoms through diet and lifestyle changes, medication, and – when necessary – interventional therapies, such as balloon angioplasty and catheter-based atherectomy.

Our site offers many patient resources on peripheral arterial disease. You can begin learning more about the disease here.

Looking for a Cardiologist in Tempe, Phoenix, or Globe, AZ?

For more information about Advanced Heart and Vascular Institute – or to schedule an appointment – contact us at 602-507-6002. Services available through cardiologists in Phoenix, Tempe, and Globe, AZ.

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