Your heart is your engine. If it stops working properly, you feel exhausted, uncomfortable and frustrated. You could even land in the emergency room with a heart attack. The right heart treatments can vastly improve your quality of life, helping you breathe easier, move faster and feel younger, often without major surgery or long hospital stays. From cardiothoracic surgery to routine screenings, stress tests to interventional cardiology, our team will develop a customized treatment plan to manage and improve your heart’s health.
Cardiothoracic surgeons are diversely trained and highly experienced in heart and chest surgery. Their high-level of skill allows them to operate on the heart, lungs, esophagus, diaphragm, blood vessels, and other organs in the chest. These physicians have a higher level of education and offer a degree of expertise found only in the most advanced of hospitals.
A wide range of techniques and procedures are offered throughout our facilities to treat some of the most complex of cases including:
- Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery, including traditional surgery, robotic minimally invasive direct coronary artery bypass (MIDCAB), and Thoracoscopic CABG - A surgical procedure that diverts the flow of blood around a section of a blocked or partially blocked artery in your heart. During this procedure, a healthy blood vessel is taken from your leg, arm or chest and connected to the other arteries in your heart so that blood bypasses the diseased or blocked area.
- Endovascular Stent Graft - An endovascular stent graft is a woven fabric tube wrapped around a metal stent used to treat aortic aneurysms. Known as a stent-graft device, this minimally invasive approach is most commonly used to treat abdominal & thoracic aortic aneurysms.To determine if you are a candidate for endovascular stent graft, your physician will perform a history and physical examination. You may also undergo some tests to evaluate your heart health as well as the size, shape and location of your aneurysm. These tests may include:
- Angiogram: An X-ray of blood vessels to identify blockage; it is performed by inserting a tube into an artery in the leg and injecting a contrast dye into the artery
- CT scan (computed tomography scan: An imaging procedure that uses X-rays and computer technology to produce cross-sectional, detailed images of the body, including bones, muscles, fat and organs
- Pericardiectomy - A pericardiectomy is performed for chronic pericarditis (inflammation of the sac-like covering around the heart) and involves removing the membrane that surrounds the heart. This is done so chronic fluid does not accumulate in the area between the heart and pericardium, which can squeeze the heart and cause it not to function properly.
- Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) - The Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedure replaces the aortic valve with a bioprosthetic valve (cow valve) through a small tube (catheter) in the patient’s groin, or through a small incision in the chest wall–either of which are performed without opening the chest wall as would traditionally be done in open-heart surgery. Recovery is much faster, with most patients recovering in a few weeks – with an average hospital stay of two to four days.
Recognizing symptoms of a rhythm disorder, like arrhythmias, requires a careful study of the symptoms, which can include:
- Low blood pressure
If these symptoms sound familiar, your heart might be experiencing an electrical problem. When left untreated, your irregular heartbeat might lead to feelings of weakness or worse – heart failure, and could result in a variety of heart conditions including:
- Atrial fibrillation
- Supraventricular tachycardia
- Ventricular tachycardia
- Sick sinus syndrome
- Heart blockage
- Pacemaker or defibrillator malfunction
- Wolf-Parkinson-White syndrome
If you have been diagnosed with a heart condition, an electrophysiology study may be conducted to determine the best course of treatment. Often we use an electrophysiology study as a method to check the heart before placing a pacemaker or an implantable cardioverter defibrillator.
Procedures performed include:
- Catheter ablation
- Electrophysiology study
- Evaluation and treatment of arrhythmias
- Implantation and management of pacemakers and cardioverter-deﬁbrillators (ICD)
- Intracardiac echocardiograms
- Management of antiarrhythmic medications
Interventional cardiologists have one to two years of additional education and training in diagnosing and treating heart disease. Our interventional cardiologists combine their clinical excellence along with advanced, state-of-the-art technology to treat heart conditions in a safe and effective way. In particular, they are skilled in performing nonsurgical, minimally-invasive procedures to correct a variety of cardiovascular issues which can include reducing reduce blocked arteries or stopping heart attacks. This kind of revolutionary procedure gives new hope to patients who are too ill to undergo open heart surgery.
Typically, patients are allowed to go home the same day of the procedure or are only hospitalized for one night, instead of a longer stay required by open heart surgery. Other benefits to interventional cardiology procedures can include:
- Less excessive scarring
- Shorter recovery time
- Faster symptom relief
- Reduced complications
- Less blood loss
- Absence of general anesthesia
- Less risk of complications
- Less trauma to the body and heart
Heart & Thoracic Services – Princeton
833 S.W. Princeton Ave, POB III, Suite 200A
Birmingham, AL 35211
Brookwood Baptist Health Specialty Care Heart & Thoracic Services - Shelby
1004 1st St N
Suite # 270
Alabaster, AL 35007
Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgery at Brookwood
2018 Brookwood Medical Center Dr
Medical Office C, Suite 215
Birmingham, AL 35209