• What are the Symptoms and Treatments of Ventricular Arrhythmias?

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    When the heart produces irregular rhythms that originate in its lower chambers, or ventricles, this condition is referred to as a ventricular arrhythmia. Three ventricular arrhythmias frequently treated by cardiologists include ventricular fibrillation, premature ventricular contractions, and ventricular tachycardia.

    Ventricular Fibrillation
    One of the most dangerous types of heart arrhythmias is ventricular fibrillation. This condition involves an irregular and uncontrolled heartbeat that can become chaotic and rapid, sometimes reaching as high as 300 beats per minute. This results in reduced blood flow from the heart to the brain and can lead to fainting. Other symptoms include chest pain, dizziness, and the sensation of an abnormal heartbeat. Immediate treatment for ventricular fibrillation typically involves CPR or cardioversion, a procedure which can shock the heart back into a normal rhythm. Doctors may recommend medications or an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) to prevent future episodes. To improve blood flow, some patients may require coronary angioplasty or coronary bypass surgery.

    Premature Ventricular Contractions
    Also referred to as PVCs, premature ventricular contractions are extra heartbeats that begin in one of the heart’s ventricles. These contractions are common and frequently produce no symptoms. In some occurrences, the individual may notice a fluttering sensation, skipped or missed beats, or a pounding feeling in their chest. For many patients, treatment begins with lifestyle changes, such as eliminating tobacco and caffeine, which can both trigger a PVC. Beta blockers may be prescribed to suppress PVC episodes, and doctors may recommend radiofrequency catheter ablation therapy when other treatments fail.

    Ventricular Tachycardia
    Caused by a problem with the heart’s electrical system, ventricular tachycardia is a condition in which the heart’s ventricles beat too quickly. Episodes can be brief and may not cause symptoms, but longer instances can lead to dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting. Common treatments for ventricular tachycardia include ICD insertion, pacemakers, cardiac ablation, cardioversion, and medications.

    If you’re experiencing heart disease symptoms in Phoenix, the skilled cardiologists at Cardiac Solutions can diagnose and treat your heart condition . To learn more about heart disease or schedule an appointment, call us today at (623) 876-8816.

  • Understanding Common Mitral Valve Problems

    heart disease Phoenix The mitral valve is responsible for stopping and starting the blood flow between the left atrium and the left ventricle. A few mitral valve problems commonly seen by cardiologists include mitral valve prolapse, mitral valve regurgitation, and mitral stenosis.

    Mitral Valve Prolapse
    Often referred to as MVP, mitral valve prolapse is a condition in which the mitral valve’s two flaps fail to close evenly or smoothly. In many cases, MVP is caused by benign growths of collagen that develop on the flaps. This condition is often harmless, but treatment may be required in some cases. For individuals who do experience symptoms, the condition is described as mitral valve syndrome and is associated with dizziness, fatigue, chest pain, heart palpitations, and shortness of breath.

    Mitral Valve Regurgitation
    This condition occurs when blood leaks backward through the mitral valve with every contraction of the left ventricle. Mitral valve regurgitation can lead to increased pressure and blood volume in the area, and severe cases can result in fluid buildup in the lungs, heart palpitations, or heart failure. Because it tends to enlarge the left atrium, this condition may be linked to the development of atrial fibrillation, a problem that reduces the heart’s pumping efficiency.

    Mitral Stenosis
    Caused by a blockage or narrowing of the mitral valve, mitral stenosis occurs when blood is forced to back up into the heart’s left atrium instead of flowing smoothly into the left ventricle. In many cases, patients suffering from mitral stenosis were diagnosed with rheumatic fever as a child. This condition can also be caused by any health condition that narrows the mitral valve. Symptoms of mitral stenosis can include difficulty breathing, coughing, chest pain, heart palpitations, and frequent respiratory infections. Some people may also experience edema or fatigue.

    If you’re looking for treatment for heart disease in Phoenix, call Cardiac Solutions today at (623) 876-8816. Our cardiologists have provided the West Valley area with exceptional cardiac care since 1984, and we now have four convenient clinics that are located in Glendale, Avondale, Sun City West, and Peoria.

  • A Look at the Pros and Cons of Anticoagulant Medications

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    Anticoagulant medications are often prescribed for patients with various forms of heart disease. These medications are designed to reduce the blood’s ability to clot, which can lower your risk for a heart attack or stroke if you suffer from a condition such as coronary artery disease or atrial fibrillation . If your heart doctor near Phoenix has suggested anticoagulant medications as part of your cardiac treatment program, he will explore the pros and cons of this medication with you to determine whether it is the right step for your heart health.

    The Pros of Anticoagulants
    Anticoagulant medications offer several health benefits to patients with heart disease. Certain heart conditions can raise your risk for the development of blood clots, which can lead to serious complications if the clot is large enough to block the flow of blood to vital organs of the body. Because anticoagulant medications reduce the clotting factors of your blood, they have been proven to reduce the risk of blood clots that could cause a serious medical emergency, such as a heart attack or stroke.

    The Cons of Anticoagulants
    While anticoagulants can significantly reduce your risk for a heart attack or stroke, they do alter the time it takes your blood to clot, which can cause problems under some conditions. Patients taking anticoagulants are more likely to develop bruises and bleed heavily if they are injured, which can lead to significant blood loss if the cut is large or deep. In some cases, anticoagulant medications can also raise your risk for internal bleeding, such as in the gastrointestinal tract or brain. If your heart doctor does prescribe anticoagulant therapy, you will need to have your blood checked regularly to ensure the medication is working correctly—while this procedure is minor, it is associated with time and financial commitments.

    Cardiac Solutions is dedicated to helping patients with all types of heart conditions in Phoenix enjoy greater health and quality of life . You can find out more about our team of experienced cardiologists and our treatment solutions on our website or by calling (623) 876-8816 today.

  • Tips for Living with Cardiomyopathy

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    Cardiomyopathy is a chronic and progressive condition that weakens the muscles of the heart, often leading to congestive heart failure. If you have been diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, your heart doctor will help you develop a lifestyle plan to slow damage to the heart, reduce stress on the cardiovascular system, and minimize your heart disease symptoms. While cardiomyopathy can cause serious complications once severe heart damage occurs, there are several ways to reduce the effects of this disease on your heart and your quality of life. Your heart doctor may suggest making lifestyle changes that include maintaining a healthy weight, focusing on a heart-healthy diet, quitting smoking, and reducing or managing stress in your everyday life. Other treatment options can include medications and implantable devices, such as a defibrillator or pacemaker, to improve cardiovascular function and further reduce stress on your heart as it works.

    Cardiac Solutions offers comprehensive heart care at four locations near Phoenix, including Sun City West, Avondale, and Glendale. You can schedule an appointment with one of our cardiologists for the answers to your questions about cardiovascular disease in Phoenix by calling (623) 876-8816 or visiting our website.

  • Myths About Heart Disease in Young Patients

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    Many young people don’t believe they’re at risk for heart conditions like coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease, coronary artery disease, or congestive heart failure. In fact, a cardiologist or heart doctor can tell you that genetic factors and lifestyle choices can increase a young person’s risk of heart disease. Here’s a look at some common myths about heart disease in young patients.

    Myth: Young People Don’t Die from Congestive Heart Failure
    Most people believe that when a young person dies, it was due to an unavoidable accident or injury. In reality, around half of the deaths of people aged 18-35 are due to coronary heart disease . This includes coronary artery disease, congenital heart disease, congenital heart abnormalities, structural heart abnormalities, and other cardiac abnormalities and heart conditions.

    Myth: Only Older Men Suffer from Heart Attacks
    There has long been a dangerous belief that only older men suffer from heart attacks and heart disease. While the average age for a first heart attack in men is 65, 4-10% of all heart attacks occur in men younger than 45. Young women are also at risk for heart attacks, particularly if they have high cholesterol, and underlying heart condition, frequent incidences of angina or heart arrhythmias, a family history of heart disease, a sedentary lifestyle, or if a cardiologist previously diagnosed them with congenital heart disease.

    Myth: Younger Hearts Aren’t Susceptible to Coronary Artery Disease
    Because younger hearts are typically very healthy, many people believe that they aren’t susceptible to coronary artery disease. In actuality, coronary artery disease is the cause of about 80% of heart attacks in young patients. Only 4% of heart attacks are due to congenital heart disease.

    If you’re concerned that you might be at risk of coronary heart disease near Sun City West , come see us at Cardiac Solutions. We operate four convenient locations, and our cardiologists and heart doctors can evaluate your heart health to determine if you’re at risk for a heart condition. To learn more about cardiovascular disease and heart disease symptoms, call us today at (623) 876-8816.

  • What Are the Common Triggers for Carotid Artery Disease?

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    The carotid arteries are blood vessels that carry blood and oxygen through your body to your brain. These arteries may narrow due to a build up of fatty substances, calcium, and other waste products. Carotid artery disease is very similar to coronary artery disease, which causes a build up in the arteries of the heart. Both carotid artery disease and coronary artery disease increase your risk of heart attack and congestive heart failure.

    A cardiologist or heart doctor can help you recognize the common triggers or risk factors for carotid artery disease. The most common triggers are high cholesterol, smoking, high blood pressure, poor diet, lack of exercise, obesity, and diabetes. You are also at a higher risk of developing carotid artery disease, coronary artery disease, and coronary heart disease if you have a family history of the conditions.

    If you’re concerned that you have carotid artery disease or coronary artery disease in Phoenix , come see us at Cardiac Solutions. We can perform extensive testing for heart conditions at any one of our four convenient locations. To talk to a cardiologist or heart doctor today, call us at (623) 876-8816.

  • What Is Cardiac Catheterization?

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    If you suffer from heart disease, your heart doctor may want a more accurate picture of your heart. Cardiac catheterization is a minimally-invasive vascular surgery procedure that cardiologists use to visualize the arteries of the heart, including any blockages that may affect them. After your procedure, the information obtained during cardiac catheterization will be used to develop a personalized treatment plan.

    The Catheterization Procedure
    During cardiac catheterization , a small, flexible tube is fed into the heart via your circulatory system. This tube is typically inserted through a large blood vessel in another part of the body, such as the groin, arm, neck, or leg. The catheter is threaded through the blood vessels and into the heart; once in place, dye can be released into the heart via the catheter to make the blood vessels inside the heart visible during X-ray imaging. Alternatively, ultrasound may be used to image the heart and its blood vessels for better visualization. As a patient, you will be awake and aware during the procedure; however, you will be given a local anesthetic at the catheter insertion point, as well as a sedative to help you feel calm, relaxed, and comfortable.

    Treatment During Catheterization
    In some cases, treatments can be administered during the cardiac catheterization process. Your heart doctor can use the catheter to insert tools to clear blockages or widen a narrowed heart valve for improved blood flow and heart function. If you suffer from a heart arrhythmia, your doctor may use a special tool to selectively destroy small clusters of cells and restore a normal heartbeat. Tissue samples can also be taken from the heart muscle directly and removed via the catheter for further testing.

    At Cardiac Solutions, we offer cardiac catheterization and other vascular surgery solutions to best meet your heart health needs. You can check out our website to learn more about what to expect from diagnostic procedures such as cardiac catheterization or an echocardiogram near Phoenix, or contact our clinic at (623) 876-8816 to discuss the heart conditions we treat.

  • Heart Disease: Know the Signs

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    Cardiologists know that heart disease can progress without any noticeable signs or symptoms until a heart attack, heart arrhythmia, or congestive heart failure develops. When heart disease does cause symptoms, patients may experience angina. Angina refers to chest pain or discomfort. It occurs when there isn’t enough oxygenated blood flowing to the heart. The symptoms of angina may differ between men and women. Men are more likely to experience pressure or squeezing in the chest. These sensations may extend to the arms. While women may also experience pressure or squeezing, they frequently report sharp chest pain. Sharp or burning pain may extend to the upper abdomen or back, neck, jaw, and throat.

    Cardiologists can help heart disease patients manage their conditions to reduce their risk of a heart attack or other complications. However, if new symptoms arise or existing symptoms worsen, patients should seek medical help promptly.

    At Cardiac Solutions, it’s our mission to save lives throughout the West Valley by providing exceptional medical management and lifestyle counseling to patients with heart disease . To get in touch with our cardiologists near Glendale, call (623) 876-8816.

  • Comparing Stable and Unstable Angina

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    Patients with heart disease may experience angina. This is chest pain that may feel like pressure or a sharp pain. Angina isn’t a type of heart disease in itself; rather, it’s a symptom of an underlying problem. To provide an effective management plan for angina, a heart doctor will first need to determine which type of angina a patient has. The most common type is stable angina, which develops when the heart is under stress. Patients with stable angina can learn to recognize the pattern of symptoms, including when they typically occur. With the onset of symptoms, patients can rest and take prescribed medications to resolve the pain. It’s important to understand that stable angina may indicate that patients are at a higher risk of a heart attack at some point.

    A heart doctor may diagnose a patient with unstable angina if the chest pain does not follow a predictable pattern. Unstable angina can occur while a person is at rest or exercising. The symptoms may be quite severe and they may not resolve with rest and medication. Unstable angina is a medical emergency. It may indicate an imminent heart attack.

    Cardiac Solutions provides effective treatment plans for patients with angina and other heart conditions in Avondale, Phoenix, and Glendale. If you’re experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911 immediately; otherwise, you can contact our cardiology offices at (623) 876-8816.

  • How to Reduce Sodium in Your Diet

    Heart conditions are often managed with a combination of lifestyle modifications and medical treatments. One of the changes your heart doctor may recommend implementing is reducing the amount of sodium you eat. Following a low-sodium diet can help you prevent or manage heart disease. In addition to refraining from adding salt to foods, you’ll need to watch out for hidden sodium in common foods.

    Reduce Sodium in Diet Going Grocery Shopping
    Adding lots of fresh vegetables and fruits to your grocery cart is one way to reduce the amount of sodium you eat. You could also choose frozen vegetables with no added salt. Packaged foods often contain high amounts of sodium. Read nutrition labels carefully before purchasing processed products. Be particularly careful with condiments, which often contain lots of salt. Select fresh or frozen poultry that hasn’t been treated with a sodium solution.

    Dining Out
    Restaurant meals are notoriously high in sodium. Consider choosing a restaurant that provides nutrition information for its meals. Otherwise, avoid menu items with the following descriptive words:

    • Brined
    • Cured
    • Smoked
    • Au jus
    • Miso
    • Teriyaki

    While ordering, ask your server to instruct the chef not to use extra salt and to leave sauces to the side of the plate.

    Preparing Food at Home
    Making homemade meals from fresh ingredients is an excellent way to control the amount of sodium you eat. Instead of adding salt, you can use lemon juice, onions, garlic, pepper, and other flavorful ingredients. If you use mixtures of dried herbs and spices, make sure that the product doesn’t contain added sodium. Look for recipes that incorporate potassium-rich foods, such as tomatoes, greens, kidney beans, and sweet potatoes. Increasing your potassium intake can help you control your blood pressure.

    Cardiac Solutions provides educational classes for patients and family members, which cover topics such as following a low-sodium diet after a diagnosis of congestive heart failure. Call (623) 876-8816 to reach one of our convenient locations in Arizona. Or, visit us on the Web to learn more about working with our cardiologists near Glendale, Phoenix, or Avondale.