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Programs & Specialties

Clinical Cardiology

At Einstein Healthcare Network, our clinical cardiology team works to improve the lives of patients suffering from cardiovascular disease, a general condition which affects your blood vessels and reduces your body’s ability to send blood to your organs, muscles and other tissues.

Below is a list of common conditions treated by our clinical cardiology team:

Congenital heart disease stems from an abnormality present at birth. While some conditions require immediate surgery on a newborn, it’s possible that some patients don’t know about their conditions until well into adulthood. Some common symptoms include: arrythmia, cyanosis, dissiness/fainting, shortness of breath, swelling of body tissue or organs, tiring quickly.

As the largest artery in your body, the aorta is a critical part of your circulatory system and can cause serious heart problems when weakened or torn as a result of high blood pressure, smoking, injuries, connective tissue disorders, congenital conditions like Marfan syndrome, atherosclerosis, and other conditions and diseases.

A weakening of the wall of your blood vessel that causes a bulge, which can leak, tear or cause blood clots to form.

A buildup of fatty deposits in your blood vessels that can restrict or block blood flow.

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the most common type of heart disease, and is caused by a buildup of plaque along the walls of an artery. In time, arteries harden, narrow and restrict the flow of blood to the rest of the body. The reduced blood flow and potential for blockages can lead to serious conditions such as arrhythmias, heart failure, heart attack and cardiac arrest.

When the blood supply to the muscle of your heart is reduced or blocked, a myocardial infarction, or heart attack, can result. In cases where your blood flow is partially blocked, you may experience symptoms for days or weeks leading up to the more serious cardiac event. When the blood flow to your heart becomes mostly or totally blocked, it can cause permanent damage to your heart and can result in unconsciousness or death.

One in three American adults have high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. Another one in three is at risk of developing high blood pressure. Of those with high blood pressure, nearly half do not have their blood pressure under control. Many people with high blood pressure have no symptoms, even if their blood pressure reaches dangerously high levels, which is why it is so important to have your blood pressure checked regularly. High blood pressure may also be a sign of a more serious underlying condition, such as thyroid problems, kidney problems or cardiovascular disease.

Like high blood pressure, high cholesterol often has no symptoms. However, it can lead to the buildup of fatty deposits in your blood vessels, causing them to become hardened, narrowed or closed, putting you at greater risk of a heart attack, heart failure or stroke. A simple blood test can be used to measure the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, or fats in your blood.

During mitral valve prolapse, blood that should flow into the left atrium (upper chamber) leaks back into the left ventricle (lower chamber) causing an irregular heartbeat, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, fatigue and chest pain.

Stenosis is the narrowing of blood vessels that results from atherosclerosis. This can lead to restricted or completely blocked blood flow.


Treatment Options

Depending on your symptoms, your cardiologist may recommend any number of treatments including medication, catheterization, and in some cases surgery.

When a blood vessel is significantly or totally blocked, you may need surgery to bypass the affected area. In most cases your doctor will harvest a healthy blood vessel from your leg, arm or chest. However, in some cases a donor or artificial blood vessel may be used. This healthy blood vessel is then grafted to the main artery, rerouting blood flow around the blocked or narrowed area.

Minimally invasive and open surgeries are also used to treat aneurysms, either by using clips to prevent blood from flowing into the aneurysm, or by placing a stent or graft, inside the artery.

Your doctor can thread a small, flexible tube called a catheter through the blood vessels in your arm, leg, chest, neck or other affected area through a small incision. In a procedure known as an angioplasty, a tiny balloon on the tip of the catheter is expanded inside your artery, widening a narrowed area. The catheter can also be used to place stents, which are spring-like tubes that keep your blood vessels open or reinforce an aneurysm. These minimally invasive procedures are often used to successfully treat many forms of cardiovascular disease, and can help prevent the need for open surgery.

If you have a significant buildup of plaque in a major artery, such as the femoral or carotid artery, your doctor may recommend surgically removing this fatty, waxy material. Compared with an angioplasty, an endarterectomy is a more permanent solution for restoring blood flow through severely narrowed arteries, and helps avoid the risk of blood clot formation around a stent.

Many patients with cardiovascular disease have mild symptoms, or do not display any symptoms at all. In cases where blood flow is not significantly restricted, your doctor may recommend medications to help reduce your blood pressure or cholesterol, along with regular monitoring and heart-healthy lifestyle changes.

 

Request an Appointment

If you experience symptoms such as swelling or pain in your arms or legs, have a family history of cardiovascular disease, or your primary care physician recommends that you see a specialist due to high blood pressure, high cholesterol or any other cardiovascular condition, schedule an appointment with an Einstein heart specialist today.

Request an Appointment

Training, Education and Research

At Einstein, our cardiology team is actively invested in graduate medical education and clinical research.

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