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Saving lives

Our heart doctors and surgeons perform life-saving services and procedures. Learn more about the conditions we treat.

Chest pain

If you experience intense pain, tightness or pressure in your chest that lasts longer than a few minutes, or if the pain moves up to your neck, left shoulder, arm or jaw, go immediately to the hospital. Chest pain is one of the most common symptoms of a heart attack. Other symptoms include: prolonged pain in the upper abdomen, shortness of breath, sweating, indigestion or choking feeling (may feel like heartburn), light-headedness, dizziness or extreme weakness, rapid heartbeats, nausea, and fainting. Go to the ER at the first sign of a heart attack. Keep in mind that the best time to treat a heart attack is within the first hour symptoms occur.
A heart attack is not the only cause of chest pain, other causes include:
  • Angina
  • Aortic Dissection
  • Coronary Spasm
  • Pericarditis
  • Pulmonary Embolus

Heart surgery

Open-heart surgery involves opening the chest in order to repair damage to the heart. Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery is a form of open-heart surgery used to treat blocked arteries around the heart. While open-heart surgery has been offered for many years, it is a major operation that has its risks. Your doctor will consider a number of factors before recommending surgery, including your:

  • Age
  • Previous interventions, like angioplasty to open vessels
  • Symptoms
  • The number of blocked blood vessels you have and their location

Open-heart surgery may also be used to treat other conditions including:

  • Aortic and mitral valve conditions
  • Congenital heart conditions
  • Septal defects

In some cases, less invasive procedures can be used to treat valve conditions and atrial fibrillation. Your doctor will work with you to determine the safest procedure.

Heart arrhythmia

Irregular heart rhythm, or arrhythmia, is one of the most common types of heart conditions in the US. Florida Heart and Vascular is among a select group of facilities that offer atrial fibrillation ablation a procedure for shutting down specific areas of the heart that trigger an abnormally fast rhythm. Our state of the art labs are also among the only in the nation that offer 3-D mapping (through the Ensite System) which enables us to treat patients with multiple heart conditions.

Minimally invasive surgery

Some procedures that were traditionally performed through open surgery are now offered through minimally invasive techniques. Minimally invasive techniques include:

  • Laparoscopic surgery where a surgeon inserts a tiny microscope and instruments through small incisions in the chest. The surgeon directly moves the instruments to perform the surgery.
  • Robotic surgery, where the microscope and instruments are moved by a mechanical arm. The surgeon moves the arm from a console in the operating room. The mechanical arm offers improved stability and better range of motion than laparoscopic surgery.

Benefits of minimally invasive surgery include:

  • In some cases, faster recovery time
  • Less pain
  • Reduced risk of infection
  • Smaller incisions

Minimally invasive options may exist for certain valve, thoracic, and vascular surgeries. Your doctor can help you determine if you are a candidate for surgery.

Structural heart program

Experts in structural heart disease treatment are able to replace or repair certain heart valves with minimally invasive techniques using dedicated catheters. Significant progress has occurred in the field of transcatheter valve therapy, which is the fundamental reason to seek a cardiothoracic surgeon experienced in these techniques. Since its inception and following the very first human percutaneous valve replacement over 15 years ago, thousands of patients world-wide have benefited from this new technology.

Thoracic surgery

Thoracic or chest surgery involves organs in the chest such as the heart, lungs, airway and esophagus. Thoracic surgeons treat a variety of conditions, including:

  • Collapsed lung or pneumothorax
  • Lung nodules
  • Lung tumor removal
  • Pleural effusion or fluid around the lung

Thoracic surgeons are occasionally referred to as cardiothoracic surgeons because they are also capable of performing cardiovascular procedures.

Valve surgery

The valves of the heart help blood flow in the right direction. There are four valves: the aortic valve, the mitral valve, the pulmonary valve and the tricuspid valve. Occasionally, valves wear out and need to be repaired or replaced. Two commonly replaced valves are the mitral valve and the aortic valves. Due to advances in technology, these valves can be repaired through traditional open surgery or through minimally invasive surgery.

Vascular surgery

If the heart is the city center, blood vessels are the roads leading in and out of the city. Vascular surgeons take care of the blood vessels leading into and away from the heart anywhere from the neck down. This includes blood vessels in the arms and legs. Vascular surgeons treat a wide range of conditions including:

  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm
  • Carotid artery disease
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Non-healing wounds
  • Peripheral vascular disease
  • Pulmonary embolisms
  • Varicose veins

Treatments are offered through a variety of methods, including traditional open procedures, minimally invasive procedures, and endovascular procedures. Endovascular procedures are minimally invasive and usually involve needles instead of incisions during treatment.

Vascular surgeons may offer the following procedures:

  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm repair
  • Aortic stent replacement
  • Dialysis access creation
  • IVC Filter Placement
  • Limb salvage
  • Stent Placement

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