• Is a Daily Aspirin Safe for Everyone?

    Aspirin works as a blood thinner in the body, meaning that it can slow the formation of blood clots, which are the cause of most heart attacks. Because of this, cardiologists recommend that some people who are at high risk for heart disease take a baby aspirin each day as a preventative measure.

    Watch this video to learn about the safety of taking a daily aspirin. Some cardiologists worry that the risk of aspirin causing internal bleeding for some individuals may outweigh the benefits of blood clot prevention.

    Are you looking for skilled cardiologists near Phoenix? Cardiac Solutions is a physician-owned clinic business that provides cardiac health treatments at four convenient West Valley locations. To learn more about treatment for heart conditions, call us today at (623) 876-8816.

  • Adjusting to Life with an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator

    An Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator, or ICD, is capable of both monitoring and treating heart conditions that can lead to dangerous arrhythmias. When a heart arrhythmia is detected, the device can deliver a small or large electric shock to return the heart to its normal rhythm and prevent conditions such as cardiac arrest. If you have received an ICD, understanding how this device works and how to manage your heart condition will improve your health and quality of life.

    Learn More About Your ICD and Heart Health
    Taking the time to learn more about the benefits of receiving an ICD and how you can work together with this device and your heart doctor to manage your heart health can reduce stress, worry, or confusion about your health. An ICD can regulate your heart function in many ways, from acting as a pacemaker to administering a shock to “reset” the heart when a serious or life-threatening heart arrhythmia is detected. Understanding how this device has made everyday life safer for you is a positive step toward integrating your ICD into your heart disease management plan.

    Make a Plan for Receiving a Shock
    While you may never receive a significant shock from your ICD, it is highly possible that your device may need to deliver a shock that you will notice at some point in your life. Discuss what to expect when you receive a shock with your heart doctor, and ask about the actions you should take if you are subjected to an ICD shock . Just like handling other medical situations, knowing the steps you will take if you receive a shock can reduce worry about this situation if it occurs.

    ICDs have been shown to improve patient quality of life as well as or better than antiarrhythmic medications. You can find out more the causes and treatment options for heart arrhythmia near Phoenix when you visit Cardiac Solutions on the web, or give us a call at (623) 876-8816.

  • Understanding the Basics of Heart Murmurs

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    A heart murmur is an unusual sound, ranging from very soft to very loud, that is heard during a heartbeat. There are two types of heart murmurs: innocent, and abnormal. Innocent heart murmurs are very common, and are not a sign of an underlying heart condition. Abnormal heart murmurs might indicate an underlying heart condition like congenital heart disease, coronary heart disease, coronary artery disease, or peripheral vascular disease.

    An innocent heart murmur doesn’t cause heart disease or heart disease symptoms, and doesn’t require treatment. If a cardiologist or heart doctor diagnoses you with an abnormal heart murmur, he’ll also determine the underlying heart condition causing the murmur. The treatment will depend upon the type and severity of the underlying heart condition. Treatment typically includes medication, activity modification, and lifestyle changes.

    If you’re concerned that you might have a heart murmur, heart arrhythmia, or other heart condition in Avondale , come see us at Cardiac Solutions. The experienced cardiologists and heart doctors at our four clinic locations can perform extensive testing to determine if you have a heart condition. To learn more about our locations and cardiovascular care services, call us today at (623) 876-8816.

  • Common Causes of Heart Palpitations

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    Heart palpitations, or heart arrhythmias, can be a heart disease symptom , or indicative of another underlying heart condition. It’s important to work closely with your cardiologist or heart doctor to identify the cause of your heart arrhythmia so you can reduce your risk of coronary heart disease or congestive heart failure. Here is a look at some of the most common causes of heart arrhythmias.

    Intense Emotions or Physical Activity
    Intense emotions such as fear, anxiety, and stress can cause heart palpitations and heart arrhythmias. People who frequently suffer from panic attacks are more likely to suffer from heart palpitations. Extreme physical activity can also increase your risk of heart palpitations or heart arrhythmias. This includes running, weight lifting, and playing vigorous sports. You should discuss your emotional health and your level of physical activity with your cardiologist to determine if it’s related to your heart condition.

    Certain Medications and Medical Conditions
    Thyroid disease, low blood sugar, anemia, low blood pressure, frequent fevers, and dehydration can all contribute to heart arrhythmias. Hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, menstruation, or pre-menopause can also trigger a heart arrhythmia. Medications that contain stimulants or pseudoephedrine, such as asthma medication, diet pills, decongestants, and cold medications can cause heart palpitations and heart arrhythmias. Your heart doctor will be able to advise you as to whether you have an underlying medical condition or are taking medications that might exacerbate your heart condition.

    Consuming Certain Substances
    There are other substances that you can consume that will aggravate your heart condition and cause heart palpitations or a heart arrhythmia. Caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol will all contribute to heart palpitations, as well cocaine and amphetamines. Certain herbal and nutritional substances may also cause heart arrhythmias.

    If you’ve recently suffered from a heart arrhythmia near Peoria , come see our experienced cardiologists at Cardiac Solutions. The heart doctors at any one of our four convenient locations can perform an echocardiogram to measure your heart health and identify an underlying heart condition. To learn more about our cardiovascular care services, call us today 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.

  • Tips for Boosting Your Good Cholesterol

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    Cholesterol is a waxy substance found throughout the body. There are two types of cholesterol: high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. If your heart doctor has indicated that you have high cholesterol , it means you have more LDL or “bad” cholesterol than is recommended. Reducing LDL cholesterol while increasing HDL or “good” cholesterol can improve overall health and reduce your risk for heart disease.

    Understanding Good Cholesterol
    Bad cholesterol can build up inside your blood vessels, causing narrowing and blockages that lead to a higher risk for heart attack. By contrast, good cholesterol acts as a removal system for bad cholesterol, seeking out and binding to bad cholesterol in the body, then transporting it to the liver, where it is broken down. Both men and women should aim for good cholesterol levels of 60 mg/dL or higher. Your heart doctor may consider you at risk for cardiovascular disease if your HDL cholesterol is less than 40 mg/dL for men or less than 50 mg/dL for women.

    Good Cholesterol and Physical Activity
    Regular physical activity can help you increase your HDL cholesterol levels . Even if you have never exercised before, adding just 30 minutes of walking to your daily schedule five days a week can increase good cholesterol by five percent within two months. Aerobic activities are best for boosting good cholesterol, and include swimming, jogging, bicycling, and active sports.

    Good Cholesterol and Diet
    Diet also plays a significant role in your HDL cholesterol levels. Foods with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, such as peanut oil, olive oil, and canola oil, will improve your HDL cholesterol levels. Omega-3 fatty acids also contribute to higher HDL cholesterol levels, so consider including plenty of nuts and fish in your diet as well. Foods to avoid for better HDL cholesterol levels include alcohol and options high in saturated fats.

    Increasing HDL cholesterol can help you combat high cholesterol by reducing LDL cholesterol in the body. You can find out more about fighting heart disease in Phoenix by visiting Cardiac Solutions online or calling (623) 876-8816.

  • What to Expect When You Get a Cardiac Implantable Device

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    Cardiac implantable electronic devices, or AICD, provide electrical stimulation to the heart. These devices may prompt the heart to beat regularly, such as a pacemaker, or act only as necessary to alleviate dangerous heart rhythms, such as an implantable defibrillator. If a pacemaker or defibrillator is recommended for you, your heart doctor will explain the type of AICD you will be receiving, as well as what to expect before, during, and after the procedure.

    Prior to Surgery
    Your heart doctor will provide you with the information you need to prepare for your surgery. If you need to alter any of your medications, your cardiologist will let you know. You should not eat or drink anything after midnight on the night before your procedure. If you will need to stay in the clinic overnight, prepare an overnight bag with your necessities and a one-day supply of medication.

    The Surgery
    The surgical procedure to implant your AICD will be short. Local anesthesia is used, meaning you will be awake, but you will receive additional medication to make you feel relaxed and sleepy, and you will not feel any pain. A small incision approximately two inches in length is made, through which the wires of your device are guided into the heart. These wires are connected to your device, which is programmed to meet your needs and placed beneath the skin of your chest, then the incision will be closed. In most cases, you will only need to stay at the clinic for a few hours for observation before returning home. You should avoid strenuous activity for two weeks and monitor your incision as per your cardiologist’s instructions.

    Cardiac implantable electronic devices offer effective treatment for a variety of heart conditions, including heart arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation, and congestive heart failure in Phoenix. At Cardiac Solutions, our cardiologists offer vascular surgery and cardiac implantable electronic devices, as well as other treatment options for heart disease. You can reach us by phone at (623) 876-8816, or contact us online for the answers to your questions about diagnosing and treating cardiovascular disease.

  • A Brief Overview of Beta Blockers

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    Beta blockers, also called beta-adrenergic blocking substances, are used to treat a variety of heart conditions. This type of medication is often prescribed by cardiologists to treat high blood pressure and many forms of heart arrhythmia; a beta blocker may also be recommended for patients that have recently suffered a heart attack. Beta blockers work by blocking the effects of stress hormones on the heart, which can affect the heart’s ability to function or put added strain on the cardiovascular system. By blocking this effect, beta blockers help the heart remain relaxed and beat at a steady and comfortable rate. Some of the most commonly-prescribed beta blockers are Sectral, Zebeta, Cartrol, Brevibloc, and Lopressor.

    Your heart doctor at Cardiac Solutions is here to help you develop the right treatment plan for your ongoing heart health. Our cardiologists specialize in diagnostic testing and treatment of heart disease in Phoenix, including high cholesterol, peripheral vascular disease, heart arrhythmia, and congenital heart disease. We invite you to check us out on the web, or give us a call at (623) 876-8816 to request an appointment.

  • Symptoms of Aortic Valve Stenosis

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    Aortic valve stenosis is a narrowing of the aortic valve in the heart. It is a common and serious type of valve disease that affects blood flow and pressure in the heart’s left chambers. Due to this restriction, the heart must work harder to pump blood, causing a variety of symptoms that you may notice. Some common symptoms of aortic valve stenosis include chest pain or a feeling of tightness in the chest, dizziness or fainting after physical exertion, and fatigue or shortness of breath, particularly after mild to moderate physical activity. Individuals with aortic valve stenosis may also experience heart palpitations or develop a heart murmur. If you are diagnosed with aortic valve stenosis, the best solution is typically vascular surgery to replace the damaged valve.

    If you have questions about aortic valve stenosis or other forms of heart disease, the cardiologists at Cardiac Solutions have the answers you need for better heart health. You can reach our clinics by calling (623) 876-8816 to speak with a heart doctor near Phoenix about treatment for valve disease and other forms of heart disease.

  • Smart Food Choices for Your Heart

    Eating a healthy diet is an effective way to prevent or even manage a variety of heart conditions, including high cholesterol and coronary heart disease. Working with your heart doctor near Phoenix is the best way to develop a diet that is right for you and your heart.

    This video gives a brief overview of some of the foods that cardiologists recommend including and excluding in a heart-healthy diet. Some of the foods you should aim to eat regularly are raisins, beans, and salmon, which all have cardiovascular benefits. Limiting ingredients such as saturated fats and sugars can help you manage your weight and your cholesterol for better heart health as well.

    At Cardiac Solutions, our experienced cardiologists can help you integrate heart-healthy choices into your lifestyle. You can learn more about treating heart conditions in Phoenix on our website, or by calling (623) 876-8816.