• The Role of Nuclear Testing in Cardiac Care

    Human heart glowing in chest

    Nuclear medicine is a type of medical imaging that utilizes small amounts of radioactive material to diagnose and treat disease. Common nuclear tests include exercise stress tests, chemical stress tests, cardiac viability studies, exercise treadmill stress test, and multi-acquisition gated scan (MUGA) procedures. While nuclear testing is often utilized to evaluate the liver, lungs, gallbladder, and thyroid gland, it has also been shown to be extremely effective in cardiac care :

    Diagnosing Cardiac Conditions
    Nuclear testing may be performed to diagnose a wide array of cardiac conditions. Common diseases or conditions identified through nuclear testing include coronary artery disease, right-sided heart failure, and valvular heart disease. Nuclear medicine can also identify and quantify shunts (patterns of blood flow that deviate from the normal circulatory system), blockages, chemotherapy cardiac toxicity, heart transplant rejection, and acute heart attacks.

    Assessing Eligibility for Procedures
    In addition to identifying potential problems and assessing your risk for certain cardiac conditions, nuclear medicine may also be utilized to assess your candidacy for treatment. For example, your heart doctor will typically order several nuclear tests before determining your eligibility for an angiogram or stent procedure.

    Measuring Effectiveness of Treatment
    In some cases, nuclear tests are performed in order to measure the effectiveness of a specific treatment method, typically bypass and therapy for heart failure. This makes nuclear testing even more important in cardiac care.

    Whether you are interested in nuclear testing, an echocardiogram, a vascular ultrasound, or arrhythmia detection, the heart doctors and staff members with Cardiac Solutions in Phoenix are here to help. Give our heart center a call at (602) 714-9630 or visit us online to set up an initial consultation with one of our cardiologists. We provide a number of services in the Avondale, Sun City West, Glendale, and Peoria areas. 

  • A Closer Look at EECP for Chest Pain

    Chest pain

    Chest pain is a common problem among men and women alike and may be caused by a number of factors. If your chest pain is the result of insufficient blood flow or oxygen, enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP) therapy from your heart doctor may be right for you:

    Uses
    EECP is a non-surgical treatment for individuals with chronic chest pain. Also known as angina, chest pain often develops when the heart muscles are deprived of sufficient blood and oxygen, forcing the heart to work harder to pump blood back through the arteries.

    Candidates
    Ideal candidates for EECP include those with chronic angina. Ideal candidates are not achieving pain relief with medications and are not eligible for an invasive treatment method such as a balloon angioplasty or bypass procedure. Individuals suffering from advanced heart failure, serious heart valve conditions, arrhythmias, uncontrolled hypertension, peripheral artery disease, or blood thinners may not be candidates for the procedure.

    Procedure
    During your EECP procedure, air cuffs will be placed on your calf, lower thigh, and upper thigh. You will be instructed to lie on a table while you are hooked up to an electrocardiogram monitor using adhesive patches attached to your chest. The ECG machine will measure the electrical activity of your heart while the cuffs inflate and deflate. As your heart relaxes in between heartbeats, the cuffs will inflate in rapid succession to propel blood back to the heart, ultimately enabling your heart muscles to receive oxygenated blood.

    Benefits
    Studies show that individuals who undergo EECP experience a reduction in the frequency and severity of chest pain attacks. They are also able to exercise for longer periods of time and reduce their dependence on angina medications. Additionally, EECP procedures do not require the need for any incisions, needle pricks, or anesthesia.

    Find out if you are a candidate for EECP by contacting the cardiologists at Cardiac Solutions heart clinic. Our heart doctors offer EECP and other cardiology procedures in Phoenix. Call us at (623) 876-8816 to learn more today.

  • Angina Explained

    Angina is a form of chest pain caused by a narrowing of the arteries that impedes blood flow to the heart and forces the heart to work harder. In this video, you can take a closer look at the causes and symptoms of angina.

    Unlike a heart attack, individuals with angina experience a cramping or constricted feeling. Angina may be classified as stable if it generally occurs with exercise and stops quickly. It may be classified as unstable if it lasts longer and happens at rest or with very little exertion. 

    The heart doctors with Cardiac Solutions in Phoenix provide a number of general cardiology and electrophysiology procedures. Give us a call at (623) 876-8816 to set up an appointment with our heart clinic. 

     

  • Cardiac Solutions: The Dangers of Mindless Eating

    Christmas cookies with cinnamon and anise on white isolated back

    Mindless eating is consuming food just because it’s there. It’s eating while distracted, such as watching TV, working at a computer or texting on our smartphones. It’s eating for emotional comfort instead of for hunger. Simply put, it’s not paying attention to what we eat which can lead to being overweight and even obesity

    Awareness
    When you pay attention to what you’re eating, you can make small changes that make a big difference. Here are some tips toward a more mindful approach:

    • Control portions – Especially during the holidays, know that you’ll have more opportunities to eat festive snacks and desserts. You don’t have to deprive yourself, just eat smaller portions and less often.
    • Eat –  when you’re hungry. Just because the clock says noon doesn’t mean you have to eat. If you’re not hungry, wait until you are – just don’t wait until you’re famished because you might overeat. Also, don’t eat just because the food is available. Learn more about why you might be eating when not hungry.
    • Plan – Prepare healthy snacks throughout the day. If you tend to get hungry between meals, bring along a 200-calorie, whole grain, high-fiber snack. Fiber keeps you feeling full longer. Learn how a little planning helps your heart, and your budget.
    • Slow down  – Enjoy each bite and put your fork down while chewing, then take a drink between each bite. This gives your body enough time to trigger your brain that you are satisfied (not necessarily full).
    • Pay attention –  Do not eat in front of the TV or computer, or while standing in the kitchen or talking on the phone. When you do these things, you’re more likely to lose track of how much you’ve eaten.
    • Use technology –  As we continue to become increasingly distracted by modern technology, our focus on health can fall to the back burner. But it doesn’t have to be that way. “We can actually use our smartphones and other electronic devices to help us,” said Platt, a volunteer with the American Heart Association . “There are now apps that manage food records, count calories, help you track what you eat and even provide guidance on healthy food choices at the grocery store and restaurants.”
    • Keep a Food Diary –   Write down everything you eat, look at it, then identify why you ate it – was it hunger, stress, boredom? Then look for areas you can make adjustments and incorporate healthy changes. “Keeping a food diary is really key to awareness,” Platt said. “Most people are surprised at all they’ve consumed when they review what they’ve eaten.”

    The employees at Cardiac Solutions love the application “Lose It!” Check it out at their website  today.

  • A Very Merry Cardiac Solutions Christmas!

    Cardiac Solutions - Full Care Center Christmas Presents

    Cardiac Solutions wanted to make sure children of ALL ages had the opportunity to experience Christmas this year! So we’ve adopted a local Full Care Center and will be shipping these wonderful gifts to them first thing tomorrow.

    Seniors are sometimes forgotten this wonderful time of year and we wanted to make sure they enjoyed all this blessed season has to offer.

  • Why Ongoing Care Is Ideal for Cardiac Conditions

    Doctor preparing online internet prescription

    Many doctors specialize in certain fields of medicine in order to provide the best care possible to patients. Cardiology is a specialized branch of medicine which focuses on preventing, diagnosing, and treating heart disorders. Cardiologists often provide a number of treatment methods for cardiac conditions including medications, non-invasive clinical programs, and surgical procedures such as interventional stents and angiograms. However, cardiac care for individuals with certain heart conditions shouldn’t necessarily end once treatment is over. Here is a look at why ongoing care is crucial for individuals with cardiac conditions:

    Decreases Risk of Future Complications
    In addition to ensuring successful treatment for existing conditions, ongoing cardiac care decreases the risk of additional health complications. For example, the heart begins to heal soon after suffering a heart attack but will often develop scar tissue, interfering with its ability to pump blood as effectively and increasing the risk of angina. Additionally, most individuals who survive heart attacks develop some degree of coronary artery diseases later in life. Visiting your cardiologist on a regular basis and participating in personalized outreach programs can help decrease your risk for such complications down the road.

    Improves Quality of Life
    Ongoing cardiac care not only decreases your risk for further health complications, but also helps identify problems during the early developmental stages. In this way, ongoing cardiac care can treat conditions before they become a problem, ultimately increasing your longevity and overall quality of life.

    Cardiac Solutions is recognized as a leading provider in quality cardiac care. Our team-oriented, personalized approach ensures that we are able to provide you with the treatment you need for all of your cardiac conditions. Get on the road to a healthier heart by visiting our website or giving us a call at (623) 876-8816. You can also set up an appointment with our heart doctors by visiting our Phoenix-area heart center.

  • Start Exercising to Support Your Heart

    Regular physical activity can help prevent heart disease before it starts. Unfortunately, surveys by the American Heart Association show that fewer than two out of every 10 individuals are actually getting the recommended 150 minutes of exercise per week.

    This video provides a number of tips on how you can exercise for a healthier heart. Starting an exercise routine is not always an easy task, but you can help boost your heart health by participating in moderate physical activity for 30 minutes a day, five days per week. Consider walking, jogging, swimming, yoga, or anything else that helps increase your heart rate. If you are not on a regular exercise routine or have not exercised before, please consult your physician  before starting an exercise program.

    Make sure you are protecting your heart health by contacting the heart doctors at Cardiac Solutions . You can learn more by visiting us online or calling us at (623) 876-8816. 

     

  • What Is a Renal Angiogram?

    Male kidney anatomy

    A renal angiogram, or renal angiography, is a diagnostic test which uses x-ray technology to create an image of the blood vessels within the kidneys. Your cardiologist may recommend a renal angiogram in order to assess your risk for vascular conditions, monitor treatment efficacy, or track the progression of a current condition.

    Uses
    Renal angiograms are used to assess blood flow to the kidneys and can be used to identify several different types of vascular abnormalities. This includes stenosis, vasospasm or spasm of the blood vessels, aneurysms, and blood clots within the blood vessels. Renal angiograms can also be used to show signs of occlusion or blood vessel blockage, high blood pressure in the kidneys, and arteriovenous malformation.

    Procedure
    After being positioned on an x-ray table, your cardiologist will insert an IV into your arm or hand and connect you to an EKG monitor using small adhesive electrodes. Once your skin has been cleansed and injected with a local anesthetic, a small needle is inserted into an artery in your groin or elbow. A catheter is then inserted and navigated towards the aorta near the renal arteries using fluoroscopy guidance. Contrast dye is injected to make the blood vessels apparent before a series of x-rays are taken. The catheter is then withdrawn while the insertion site is cleansed and dressed.

    Recovery
    The procedure is usually performed on an outpatient basis, meaning that you will be released home after a recovery period. It is important to drink plenty of fluids to help flush the remaining contrast dye out of your system and keep yourself hydrated. You will also want to get as much rest as possible and avoid strenuous activities for the first day or two.

    Get the information you need regarding renal angiograms and cardiac care by contacting Cardiac Solutions at (623) 876-8816. Our cardiologists serve the Phoenix area and provide quality care to all of our patients.  

  • Celebrate Heart Healthy Living With Cardiac Solutions!

    CHF_CardiacSolutions

  • Daniel Schipper set to join Cardiac Solutions’ Physician Assistant team on December 10, 2012

    stethoscope and heart

    Cardiac Solutions is pleased to announced the arrival of a new Physician Assistant to our team. Please help us in welcoming Daniel Schipper (PA-C)  as he joins our team tomorrow!