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Heart Care

Most awarded heart program at Independence hospital


When faced with a condition where every minute counts, you want the very best life-saving treatments and technology as well as the expertise of an experienced team of heart care professionals. Centerpoint Medical Center's cardiology services are recognized nationally. Our entire care team - cardiologists, interventional radiologists, and vascular surgeons - are among the best in the region and are always focused on you.

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Area’s Most Awarded Heart Program

Centerpoint Medical Center provides you expert heart care, close to home. Our heart program has earned more awards than any other hospital in the area, serving all of Eastern Jackson County. With this level of recognition, no one in the area compares.

The Joint Commission, an independent, not-for-profit organization that accredits and certifies more than 20,500 health care organizations and programs in the United States, has awarded Centerpoint an advanced level of certification. Joint Commission accreditation and certification is recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting certain performance standards.


See all of our Heart Awards


Symptoms

Symptoms of heart disease are varied and hard to predict without the oversight of a primary care physician and/or cardiologist depending on your familial risk factors. It is a good idea to consult a physician early as drug therapies and advances in medicine have improved early interventions.

  • Chest pain or discomfort — it may feel like pressure or a squeezing pain in your chest. It may feel like indigestion. You may also feel pain in your shoulders, arms, neck, jaw, or back.
  • Shortness of breath — often comes along with chest discomfort but can also occur before.
  • Other symptoms — breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or light-headedness, upper body discomfort in one or both arms, the neck, jaw, or stomach.

Testing

Key heart tests include:

  • Coronary Calcium Score — This indicates plaque that may have built up in the arteries via a non-invasive CT scan.
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) — This records the electrical activity of the heart as it contracts and relaxes.
  • Blood test — Checks for enzymes or other substances released when cells begin to die. They are "markers" of the amount of damage to your heart.
  • Nuclear scan — Reveals the damaged areas of the heart that lack blood flow. It also can show problems with the heart's pumping action. The test uses radioactive tracers to study how blood flows in your heart.
  • Coronary angiography (or arteriography) — A test that uses dye and special X-rays to show the inside of your coronary arteries.

Treatments

Lifestyle changes help prevent or control coronary heart disease (CHD) and reduce the risk of a first or repeat heart attack. Sometimes, though, you may need medical interventions.

  • Antiplatelet drugs, such as aspirin, keep blood clots from forming.
  • Anticoagulants (blood thinners) prevent blood from clotting or prevent existing clots from getting larger. They can keep harmful clots from forming in your heart, veins, or arteries.
  • Digitalis makes the heart contract harder when the heart's pumping function has been weakened. It also slows some fast heart rhythms.
  • ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitors stop production of a chemical that narrows blood vessels. They help control high blood pressure. You may also take an ACE inhibitor after a heart attack to help the heart pump blood better. People with heart failure, a condition in which the heart is unable to pump enough blood to supply the body's needs, may also take them.
  • Beta blockers slow the heart and make it beat with less contracting force, so blood pressure drops and the heart works less hard. They are used for high blood pressure, chest pain, and to prevent repeat attacks.
  • Nitrates (nitroglycerin) relax blood vessels and stop chest pain.
  • Calcium channel blockers relax blood vessels.
  • Diuretics decrease fluid in the body. They treat high blood pressure. Diuretics are sometimes referred to as "water pills."
  • Blood cholesterol-lowering agents decrease LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels in the blood.
  • Thrombolytic agents (clot busting drugs) are given during a heart attack to break up a blood clot in a coronary artery and restore blood flow.

Additional Interventions

  • Angioplasty - Also known as Percutaneous Coronary Interventions [PCI], Balloon Angioplasty and Coronary Artery Balloon Dilation.
  • Bypass Surgery - Treats blocked heart arteries by taking arteries or veins from other parts of your body — called grafts — and using them to reroute the blood around the clogged artery to supply blood flow to your heart muscle.
  • Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery - An alternative to standard bypass surgery (CABG). Small incisions ("ports") are made in the chest. Chest arteries or veins from your leg are attached to the heart to "bypass" the clogged coronary artery or arteries.
  • Coronary Artery Stents - A stent is a wire mesh tube used to prop open an artery during angioplasty. The stent stays in the artery permanently.
  • Radiofrequency Ablation - A catheter with an electrode at its tip is guided through the veins to the heart muscle with real-time, moving X-rays (fluoroscopy) displayed on a video screen. The catheter is placed at the exact site inside the heart where cells give off the electrical signals that stimulate the abnormal heart rhythm. Then a mild, painless radiofrequency energy (similar to microwave heat) is transmitted to the pathway.
  • Coronary Tumor Removal

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