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Winthrop University Hospital
heart-institute

The most advanced levels of diagnostic technology, medical management, interventional cardiology and cardiac surgery available anywhere are in place at Winthrop's Institute for Heart Care. Clinicians in the Division of Cardiology also address modifiable risk factors to help their patients stay well.

An Emphasis on Wellness

Risk factors such as hypertension (high blood pressure), elevated cholesterol, smoking, lack of exercise, diet and stress are all linked to cardiovascular disease. Healthcare professionals in the Institute for Heart Care educate and encourage their patients and provide them with the resources they need to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease.

Diagnosing Disease:
Advanced Technology in Skilled Hands

Focused on detecting disease in its earliest stages, Winthrop's experienced cardiac diagnosticians work in modern facilities equipped with the latest technology. Diagnostic tests they administer might include:

Stress Test

Also known as exercise electrocardiography, this test evaluates the heart's ability to handle exercise. Abnormal findings may indicate obstructed blood flow to the heart. The test is also useful for judging fitness prior to beginning an exercise program.

Holter Monitoring

Holter monitoring provides physicians with information about the heart that is recorded over a 24-hour period.

Echocardiography

Echocardiography is a non-invasive test that uses sound waves to provide physicians with an image of the heart. Both structure and function of the heart can be viewed, and physicians can obtain detailed analyses of blood flow through heart valves.

Nuclear Cardiac Imaging

Injected nuclear compounds assist in providing high-quality images of the heart during both stress and rest periods. Overall blood supply to the heart and its function can be assessed with this technique.

Transesophageal Echocardiography (TEE)

TEE combines ultrasound, Doppler and endoscopic techniques to provide clear images of heart valves without muscular barriers. TEE is particularly useful for evaluating heart function before and after coronary artery bypass surgery and during valve replacement surgery.

Cardiac Catheterization

Also known as angiography, cardiac catheterization is an x-ray of the blood vessels in the heart that can detect blockages in coronary arteries. Images generated by angiography help physicians determine future courses of treatment.

Electrophysiology Testing

A number of diagnostic procedures might be used to precisely diagnose heart rhythm disturbances. Winthrop's Pacemaker-Arrhythmia Center provides outpatient event recording as well as memory loop recording, specialized tests that help physicians evaluate irregular heartbeats. Within the Electrophysiology Laboratory, sophisticated diagnostic tests help physicians locate the precise origin of rhythm disturbances. In the Syncope Center, tilt table testing and electrophysiology studies help identify the underlying causes of syncope, an unexplained loss of consciousness.

Treatments to Restore Health

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)

TAVR is the name for a new, revolutionary procedure in cardiology and cardiac surgery that enables patients with a condition called severe aortic stenosis to receive a new heart valve without undergoing open-heart surgery.

Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory

In Winthrop's technologically advanced Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories, many patients find relief of their cardiovascular disease through non-surgical methods, including:

Angioplasty
Also known as "balloon angioplasty," this procedure involves threading a balloon-tipped catheter into a blocked artery and inflating the balloon inside the obstruction. The balloon presses the plaque, which may be obstructing the artery, to the walls of the vessel, clearing the way for blood flow to be restored.

Stent Placement
Frequently, as part of the angioplasty procedure, tiny metal stents, which are cage-like devices, are placed against the artery wall where they remain in place, keeping the pathway open. In certain instances, cardiologists may place stents to relieve blockages in kidney arteries, which may be contributing to hypertension or kidney dysfunction.

Balloon Valvuloplasty
During catheterization, a special balloon is threaded across a narrowed heart valve. By inflating the balloon across the valve, the opening in the valve is enlarged and this may lead to improvement of symptoms.

Atherectomy
During catheterization, a tiny blade-like instrument is threaded into the artery. It is used to shave plaque away from the sides of the vessel, clearing the way for restored blood flow.

Pacemaker-Arrhythmia Center

Winthrop's Heart Rhythm Team consists of cardiologists and electrophysiologists who are leaders in their field. They offer treatments for all types of heart rhythm disturbances, including supraventricular tachycardia (rapid heart rhythm originating in the upper chamber of the heart) and ventricular tachycardia (rapid rhythm originating from the lower chamber of the heart). Treatments may include:

Radiofrequency Catheter Ablation
This state-of-the-art technique is often used to treat the entire range of heart rhythm disturbances. Electrophysiologists thread a catheter into the heart. Sensors on its tip detect the precise location of the rhythm disturbance. Radiofrequency energy is then directed to the location to eliminate the source of the arrhythmia.

Implantable Devices
Winthrop has been at the forefront of device implantation and has paved the way with many "firsts." These procedures may benefit patients with a range of supraventricular arrhythmias, including AV Node Reentrant Tachycardia, Wolf Parkinson White Syndrome, Atrial Flutter, Ectopic Atrial Tachycardia, Idiopathic Ventricular Tachycardia and Drug Refractory Atrial Fibrillation. Device implantation techniques are often used in concert with medical therapy to produce optimal results. Implantable devices include the latest generation of pacemakers, implantable defibrillators and implantable loop recorders. In addition, electrophysiologists are involved in clinical research projects investigating newly emerging implantable devices.

One of the State's Best-Ranked Cardiac Surgery Programs

"...I underwent a triple bypass which was
skillfully performed... The attention to
detail and the overall quality of care I
received were extremely reassuring..."

Winthrop's highly rated Department of Thoracic & Cardiovascular Surgery is among the busiest in the Long Island region, and one of the most highly regarded in the State. Among the innovations offered are:

Heart Valve Repair & Replacement

Damaged valves can seriously impair the heart's ability to pump blood. Heart surgery to repair or replace the valve is indicated in patients for whom medication is not helpful.

Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery

The Institute for Heart Care's renowned cardiothoracic surgery team is highly skilled at this technique, in which blocked coronary arteries are bypassed to restore normal blood flow to the heart. New advances in coronary artery bypass surgery include minimally invasive techniques, which, in selected patients, may make it possible for bypass to be performed through several small incisions rather than one large incision to open the chest cavity. Some patients may be candidates for beating heart surgery, in which bypass surgery is performed without stopping the heart and therefore, without the necessity of using a heart-lung machine to circulate blood.

Cardiac Rehabilitation

The Institute for Heart Care includes a 12-week personalized Cardiac Rehabilitation Program. The program combines exercise with education. Its knowledgeable and supportive staff helps patients reach their fitness goals in a safe, monitored environment. Information on cardiovascular disease and risk factor reduction is also provided. The goal of this program is to help cardiac patients return to active, productive lives armed with knowledge, skills and confidence.

Research

Specialists in Winthrop's Institute for Heart Care are leaders in their field. They are actively involved in clinical research, striving to determine the most effective techniques, working to evaluate the newest medications, and diligently applying the latest findings in their clinical practices so that their patients can benefit from the most current standards of care.

Put Your Heart in Our Hands...

To learn more about Winthrop's Institute for Heart Care, or for a physician referral, call 1-800-443-2788.

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