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Cardiology

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Cardiology

Cardiology specifically refers to the branch of medicine that deals with diseases and abnormalities of the heart.  At Stroobants Cardiovascular Center our patience receive both the convenience of an extensive network of facilities throughout central Virginia as well as the ultimate in quality cardiac care and personal attention specific to their needs.

Stroobants Cardiovascular Center is home to twenty-seven cardiologists, thirteen advanced practitioners and two cardiothoracic surgeons, all who specialize in the major disciplines of cardiology including electrophysiology, interventional, noninvasive cardiology and pediatric/adult congenital.  Our physicians are board certified in cardiology and are acknowledged both nationally and locally as leaders in the field of cardiovascular care.  The group is supported by a full-time staff of nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, medical assistants and certified technologists.  By treating the person, not just the symptoms, our physicians forge an alliance that helps to ensure the health and the well-being of every patient.

Disease & Prevention

Cardiovascular disease is the number 1 killer of men and women in the United States. Stroke, which ranks number 3, is the leading cause of serious long-term disability. The cost of heart attack and stroke is estimated at more than $475 billion a year.  Your cardiovascular system comprises your heart muscle (“cardio”) and the rest of your body (“vascular”).

The disease can lead to:

Angina

Chest pain caused when plaque buildup begins to affect the blood flow to the coronary arteries (arteries that carry blood specifically to the heart).

Heart Attack

Oxygen-rich blood is unable to reach the heart because of a blood clot caused from continual plaque buildup or when plaque becomes fragile and ruptures.
Stroke The result of a blockage in the carotid arteries (arteries in the neck leading to the brain).

Aneurysm

Thickened plaque in arteries of the heart or brain results in the pooling of blood, causing an artery wall to become fragile and bulge or rupture

Peripheral vascular disease (PVD)

Atherosclerosis also can affect blood circulation to the arms, legs or abdominal area. PVD commonly causes numbness or weakness in the legs and feet, making walking difficult.

It is important to know your risk factors for heart attack and stroke, and take proactive steps to help prevent these life-threatening conditions.

Risk Factors Vs. Healthy Choices

Smoking Stop smoking
Obesity, overweight Control weight
Physical inactivity Exercise regularly
High Cholesterol Eat low-fat, low cholesterol diet
Stress Reduce stress
Diabetes Keep blood sugar under control
High blood pressure Take medicine as directed for high blood pressure
Drug or alcohol abuse  
Gender  
Family history of heart disease  
Increasing Age  

Centra Medical Group Stroobants Cardiovascular Center Healthy Living Center also offers programs, assessments, and classes to aid you in your endeavor to prevent cardiovascular disease

Warning Signs and Symptoms of a Heart Attack

A heart attack or myocardial infarction (MI) occurs when the blood flow to a section of the heart is suddenly blocked and the heart cannot get oxygen. If the flow of blood is not restored quickly, the section of heart muscle begins to die.

Heart attacks are usually the result of coronary heart disease, the result of buildup of plaque inside one or more of the heart's arteries. Heart attacks are caused 95 percent of the time by the rupturing of a piece of plaque and the subsequent formation of a blood clot (thrombus), which blocks the artery and starves the heart of oxygen.

 

Heart Attack Warning Signs

Chest discomfort/chest pain, (squeezing or uncomfortable pressure)

Shortness of breath

Cold sweats

Nausea or vomiting

Lightheadedness

Discomfort in other areas of the upper body (pain or discomfort in one or both arms, back, neck, jaw, teeth or stomach).

Symptoms may come and go, be continual or brought on by exertion.

 

Don’t wait!! Time is heart muscle.  If you or someone you know is exhibiting the signs and symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, call 9-1-1- immediately.

To determine your risk of experiencing a major coronary event take the HeartAware Assessment!

There are four primary types of cardiovascular disease.

Coronary Heart Disease

Coronary Heart Disease
Coronary Heart Disease

The most common form of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease is caused by fatty plaque buildup in the coronary arteries. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), commonly called "bad" cholesterol, is a major component of this plaque. When the arteries are narrowed by the buildup of plaque, the lack of oxygen (ischemia) to the heart can cause chest pain. If plaque and a blood clot completely block the artery, a heart attack occurs. Approximately 935,000 heart attacks occur annually in the United States, and about half of them are fatal.

Cerebrovascular disease

Cerebrovascular disease
Cerebrovascular disease

Cerebrovascular disease is a condition in which an area of the brain is temporarily or permanently affected by bleeding or lack of blood flow because of a buildup of fatty plaque. The condition can lead to a stroke or "brain attack." An estimated 795,000 strokes occur every year in the United States, 13 percent of which are caused by ruptured blood vessels that cause hemorrhaging (bleeding) instead of plaque buildup or blood clots. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), stroke kills almost 130,000 Americans every year.

Chronic heart failure

Chronic heart failure
Chronic heart failure

Also known as congestive heart failure, chronic heart failure is a gradual failure of the heart muscle to fill and pump properly, which leads to edema (buildup of fluid) around the heart muscle, lungs and ankles. As the heart becomes enlarged, symptoms include fatigue, labored breathing, rapid heartbeat and rapid weight gain. The leading causes of chronic heart failure are hypertension (high blood pressure), aging and diabetes. About 5.1 million people in the United States suffer from chronic heart failure, and about half of them will die within five years of diagnosis. Heart failure costs the nation an estimated $32 billion each year in healthcare services, medications and missed days of work, according to the CDC.

Peripheral vascular disease

Peripheral vascular disease
Peripheral vascular disease

Caused by a buildup of plaque and/or blood clots in the arteries leading to or within the arms, legs and abdomen, peripheral vascular disease can cause pain in the limbs and difficulty in wound healing that may lead to gangrene and/or amputation. The condition affects approximately 8 million Americans, most of whom are smokers and diabetics. African Americans are more likely to develop peripheral vascular disease than other ethnic groups.