Medical Services >

Heart Disease

Heart Disease

What is Heart Disease?

The heart is a muscle that constantly contracts, non-stop, day and night. In order for your heart to function at its best, it requires a healthy supply of blood, nutrients and oxygen. Heart disease develops when the body is struggling to supply the heart with the nourishment it needs. There are various forms of heart disease; such as, atherosclerosis, angina, heart attacks, congestive heart failure and many more. However, the most common form is called "coronary heart disease".

Heart disease is a broad term used to describe a range of diseases that affect your heart. The various diseases that fall under the umbrella of heart disease include diseases of your blood vessels, such as:

  • Coronary Artery Disease
  • Heart Rhythm (Arrhythmias) Problems
  • Heart Infections
  • Congenital Heart Defects

Heart disease is often used interchangeably with "cardiovascular disease." The latter refers to conditions that involve narrowed or blocked blood vessels. This can lead to a heart attack, chest pain (angina) or stroke. Other heart conditions, such as infections and conditions that affect your heart's muscle, valves or beating rhythm, also are considered forms of heart disease.

Coronary Artery Heart Disease

Coronary Artery heart disease occurs when plaque buildup narrows the arteries and reduces the blood flow to your heart muscle. Overtime, coronary heart disease can lead to heart failure and/or a condition called arrhythmia. Heart failure occurs when your heart cannot pump enough blood throughout the body. Most forms of arrhythmia are harmless, however, some can be very serious our life threatening. The more serious form can cause irregular heart rate. In this case, the heart may not be able to pump enough blood to the body. Therefore, lack of blood flow can damage the brain, heart, and other organs.

Symptoms

Heart disease symptoms vary, depending on what type of heart disease you may have. Some common symptoms include:

  • Chest pain (angina)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain, numbness, weakness or coldness in your legs or arms
  • A racing heartbeat
  • A slow heartbeat
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness and fainting
  • Swelling of the legs, ankles, feet, and/or abdomen

Consult with your doctor if you are experiencing or have experienced these symptoms.

Risk Factors

Below are some of the risk factors for vascular disease that may prompt you or your doctor to request one of our diagnostic tests:

  • Family history of heart disease
  • Overweight
  • Physical inactivity
  • High fat diet
  • Tobacco use
  • Elevated triglycerides
  • High LDL (bad) cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetic
  • High stress

How We Can Help

Many forms of heart disease can be prevented or treated with healthy lifestyle choices. Our heart services include non-invasive diagnostic testing heart disease. We provide the latest in cardiovascular testing.

Carotid Intima Media Thickness (CIMT) Procedure and Testing

We provide our patients with an ultrasound procedure that is a non-invasive, safe, convenient technique for detecting atherosclerosis before signs and symptoms occur. Our advanced testing provides information by detecting the extent of Arteriosclerosis Disease in the arterial walls. Your doctor may then prescribe therapies and recommend lifestyle modifications to help stop or reverse this precursor of heart disease. Since the Carotid Intima Media Thickness (CIMT) procedure is repeatable, over time it can be valuable in measuring treatment effectiveness and lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

What to Expect

This ultrasound procedure is a non-invasive, safe, convenient technique for detecting atherosclerosis before signs and symptoms occur. The CIMT procedure takes approximately twenty minutes for a trained and licensed ultrasound technologist to perform. The procedure is painless and there is no discomfort while the technologist scans the right and left carotid arteries with an ultrasound sensor device. There is no exposure to radiation at any time during the procedure. Once the procedure is done, the technologist will generate a detailed printed report for your physician to review. In addition, a similar report is mailed to you for your personal review. If your doctor determines from the procedure that measurements of your carotid artery walls indicate plaque build-up beyond safe limits, a follow-up office visit may be necessary to discuss life style changes and/or medication options to control plaque build up.

As the CIMT procedure is still considered a new diagnostic procedure, it may not be covered by your insurance plan. Therefore, the procedure is on a cash basis only. Our cash price is $295.00. Also, a follow-up visit with your physician may be necessary to discuss the results of the procedure and a treatment plan to control arterial plaque buildup.

Below are some of the risk factors for vascular disease that may prompt you or your doctor to request a CIMT:

  • Family history of heart disease or stroke
  • Overweight
  • Physical inactivity
  • Age 40 or older
  • High fat diet
  • Tobacco use
  • Elevated triglycerides
  • High LDL (bad) cholesterol
  • Low HDL (good) cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Menopausal
  • Diabetic
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Steroid use

How to Schedule a Test

Heart Disease testing must be referred by your primary care physician.

Same Day Appointments

Need to See a Physician Today?

Find A Physician

Put Your Health in the Right Hands