Heart Disease

When moments matter, count on us

Cardiac care has evolved rapidly over recent years. Today, there are so many ways to prevent and treat heart disease—especially with the help of our integrated care team and the most advanced technology.

We’ve been recognized by the American Heart Association for years because of our dedication to speed and positive patient outcomes in treating serious heart disease.

The first step is knowing the symptoms and signs of heart disease.


Angina

Angina is a painful or tight feeling in your chest that occurs when the heart doesn’t get enough oxygen. Angina can be caused by coronary artery disease (CAD), and can be a warning of a heart attack (acute myocardial infarction). Symptoms include lightheadedness, shortness of breath, nausea, belly (abdominal) pain or unexplained sweating.


Aortic Valve Stenosis

Aortic valve stenosis refers to a problem with the opening of the aortic valve, which can lead to weakened heart muscle or thicker ventricle muscle. Possible symptoms include dizziness and fainting, trouble breathing or rapid breathing, chest pain, trouble feeding (in infants) or tiring easily during exercise.


Arrhythmia

Arrhythmia is the abnormal change in the rate or pattern of the heartbeat. Some types of arrhythmia can cause the ventricle to beat faster than normal, leading to fainting or cardiac arrest.


Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is a common type of arrhythmia, which includes any problem with the speed or pattern of the heartbeat. If untreated, AFib can increase the risk of blood clots or stroke. Symptoms include a fast, pounding or irregular heartbeat, dizziness, shortness of breath, tiredness, fainting or chest pain.


Complex Heart Valve Disease

Complex heart valve disease is severe stenosis or regurgitation of any heart valve, complicated by advanced age, COPD and severe aortic calcification, among others.


Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary artery disease begins when fat-like substances and cholesterol, such as plaque, build up along the artery wall. Because of this buildup, arteries have trouble supplying blood to the heart. Symptoms include pressure, tightness, achiness, or pain in your chest, jaw, neck, back or arm.


Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Dilated cardiomyopathy happens when the heart thins and enlarges. Symptoms include shortness of breath, especially when you exert yourself, unexplained tiredness, chest pain, fluid buildup in the lungs, fluid retention resulting in swollen feet or ankles or unexplained weight gain, heart skipping beats, fluttering, or thumping and fainting, dizziness or lightheadedness.


Heart Attack/Myocardial Infarction/STEMI

Heart attack, also known as a myocardial infarction or STEMI, occurs when your heart is starved for oxygen. It must be treated immediately. If you have these symptoms, call 911 right away. This includes chest discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, burning, fullness, tightness, or pain, discomfort in other areas of the upper body, pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach, shortness of breath, a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.


Heart Failure

The heart pumps oxygen-rich blood to all parts of the body. When the heart is not able to pump as well as it should, blood and fluid may back up into the lungs, making other parts of the body unable to function normally. Symptoms include shortness of breath, trouble breathing at night, especially when you lie down, swelling in the legs and feet or in the belly (abdomen), becoming easily fatigued, irregular or rapid heartbeat, weakness, lightheadedness or swelling of the neck veins.


Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy happens when the heart muscle grows thicker and stiffer than normal, making it difficult for the heart to pump blood properly. Symptoms include trouble catching your breath, unexplained tiredness, lightheadedness, dizzy spells or fainting, rapid, pounding heartbeat, chest tightness or pressure, and fluid retention resulting in swollen feet or ankles or unexplained weight gain.


Hypertension

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure of 140/90 mm Hg or higher, can be treated with medicine or by making lifestyle changes. It is sometimes referred to as the silent killer because it often has no symptoms. Frequent blood pressure checks and appointments with your primary care provider can help diagnose and treat hypertension sooner.


Mitral Regurgitation

Mitral regurgitation is when blood flows backward into the heart, which can result in fast or irregular heartbeats. Symptoms include shortness of breath with physical activity or when lying flat, feeling tired, less ability to exercise, awareness of your heartbeat, swelling in your legs, abdomen and the veins in your neck, or chest pain (less common).


Mitral Valve Prolapse

Mitral valve prolapse is the most common heart valve condition, resulting from extra tissue in the valve that can prevent it from closing properly. Symptoms include mild chest pain, pounding or racing heart (palpitations), shortness of breath when lying down or trouble breathing with activity.


Pulmonary Valve Stenosis

Pulmonary valve stenosis occurs when the pulmonary valve doesn’t open all the way, blocking blood flow to the lungs. Symptoms include difficult or rapid breathing, trouble feeding and poor weight gain in infants, and cyanosis (skin, lips, and nails appear blue due to lack of oxygen in the blood).

St. Luke's Regional Heart & Vascular Center

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