Cardiology conditions affect the heart and blood vessels, usually due to an arterial blockage or a problem with heart rhythm. If there is something wrong with your heart, you may not realize it until you experience a heart attack or arrhythmia, which are potentially life-threatening.
Patients with cardiovascular conditions usually require life-long care. Let’s talk about some of the most common cardiology conditions and how they are treated.
CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE (CAD)
This is the most common type of cardiovascular disease, caused by plaque buildup in the arteries, which supply blood to the heart. Coronary artery disease causes chest pain, shortness of breath, and other symptoms. Treatment for coronary artery disease focuses on reducing the risk of heart attack through lifestyle changes and medication. Interventional procedures such as peripheral balloon angioplasty (to widen the artery) and stent placement (leaving a metal tube in place to keep the artery widened) help fight against plaque build-up.
CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE
Heart failure is characterized by the heart being unable to pump enough blood for the body’s needs, with the risk of organ damage or fluid collection in the lungs. Symptoms of congestive heart failure include shortness of breath, swelling in the legs and feet, and fatigue. Heart failure is a chronic disease that requires lifelong treatment, which includes medications. Surgery to implant cardiac devices may be recommended to treat the underlying cause, which could be a blocked artery or faulty heart valve. A pacemaker can also be used to help slow the progression of heart failure by correcting the heart’s electrical system.
ATRIAL FIBRILLATION (AFIB)
This heart condition causes irregular heartbeat or arrhythmia and is due to electrical signals that control the heartbeat failing to work properly, which can increase the risk of blood clots in the heart, as well as stroke and heart failure. Symptoms of AFib include rapid and irregular heartbeat, a sudden fluttering or racing sensation in the chest, shortness of breath, and general fatigue and weakness. Treatment for AFib may include medication or an implantable device such as a pacemaker to help correct the irregularity of the heartbeat.
A heart attack, also known as myocardial infarction, happens when the blood supply to part of your heart becomes completely blocked. A buildup of plaque is usually what causes this. When the plaque breaks off, a blood clot forms within the artery that serves as an obstruction, which can potentially completely damage heart muscle.
Treatment for heart attack has dramatically improved, however, calling 911 is still the first step to take if you or someone else is exhibiting symptoms of a heart attack. Treatment for a heart attack includes medication and surgery, such as coronary angioplasty and stenting and bypass surgery, which is usually performed after your heart has had time to recover from the attack. Bypass surgery entails placing new veins or arteries after a blocked or narrowed artery to allow blood to bypass the problematic blood vessels.
BOARD-CERTIFIED CARDIOLOGISTS IN WOOSTER, OH
Heart health is very important, as it is central to overall health and wellness. Doctors recommend that patients, no matter what age, take steps to reduce their risk of cardiology conditions. If you do suspect a heart condition, The Cardiovascular Institute at Wooster Community Hospital can provide all your cardiology needs. We have established a specialty area for the Wooster community to reduce the prevalence of cardiovascular disease and poor health outcomes. From diagnostics to treatment and prevention, our team of board-certified cardiologists and professional clinical staff are committed to your care.
For any questions about our cardiovascular services or to schedule an appointment with a Wooster Community Hospital cardiologist, call The Cardiovascular Institute today at (330) 263-8282. Our friendly and helpful staff looks forward to assisting you!