Dial 911 if you are experiencing chest pain.
Dr Joshua Busch, MD and cardiologist, shares ten tips on
Experiencing a heart event or discovering you have a heart condition can be both frightening and life-affirming. To recover and make changes for a heart-healthy future takes courage, stamina and willpower, along with the latest advances in medical care. Valley Medical Center’s team of highly trained cardiologists offer patients a comprehensive approach to managing heart conditions through early detection, treatment, lifestyle adjustment and appropriate use of advanced medical technology. They are also provide 24-hour hospital emergency coverage at the highest level of patient care. Our comprehensive cardiovascular program offers a full range of diagnostic and interventional services.
VMC is the recipient of The Joint Commission’s coveted Gold Seal of Approval™ for Stroke care, and Get with the GuidelinesSM Stroke (GWTG-Stroke) Bronze Performance Achievement Award. Our cardiac catheterization door-to-balloon time, or the time it takes for a patient to arrive at our Emergency department door until a life-saving angioplasty is performed—is just under 60 minutes, or one-third faster than the national industry standard of 90 minutes or less.
Advancements in medicine and technology over the last few decades changed the way we manage cardiac care. Treatments more commonly rely on minimally-invasive procedures rather than major surgery. This means lower risks, faster recovery and more positive results.
Valley Medical Center's Cardiac Care includes nationally-recognized emergency cardiac care, as well as a full spectrum of services, from our 24-hour Chest Pain Clinic to our ground-breaking Cardiac Rehabilitation program. VMC is also recognized as a national leader in best practices for cardiac care.
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Vance is an “every man” who lived with heart disease and didn’t know it—until one day when a blockage in the largest artery in his heart cut blood flow in half. He had the most serious type of heart attack you can have.
Watch Vance's Story
What is Cardiology?
Cardiology is the subspecialty of internal medicine concerned with the functioning of the heart, blood vessels and circulation of blood throughout the body. It may also encompass evaluation of the lungs.
Cardiologists prevent, diagnose and treat conditions of the heart, blood vessels and circulation system in adult patients, such as hypertension (high blood pressure) or chest pain/heart pain. But as broadly trained internists, they may also perform a general physical checkup. If a condition is found that falls within cardiology, they will handle the treatment. If it requires the services of another physician, they will refer you appropriately. As a rule, blood counts, urinalyses and X-ray tests will be conducted on most patients undergoing a complete examination in a cardiologist's office.
When do you need a cardiologist?
Frequently, a cardiologist is called in cases of chest pain or discomfort in which the diagnosis is unclear or where specialized medical care is needed. Not everyone who suffers from breathing problems or pain in the chest needs a cardiologist. Many patients may be handled quite effectively by an internist. A cardiologist's skills are most necessary in comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of the heart and circulatory system. Learn about different areas of cardiac care.
How cardiologists work with other physicians?
In many cases, patients with heart conditions are followed jointly by a general internist and a cardiologist. This joint care works best for all concerned. The cardiologist can add new therapies and feel confident of the follow-up care from a fellow internist.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Heart Conditions
- Echocardiogram (Echo)
- An echocardiogram (often called "echo") is a graphic outline of the heart's movement. During this test, high-frequency soundwaves, called ultrasound, provide pictures of the heart's valves and chambers.
- This allows the technician, called a sonographer, to evaluate the pumping action of the heart. Echo is often combined with Doppler ultrasound and color Doppler to evaluate blood flow across the heart's valves.
- Electrocardiogram (EKG) / Stress Test / Holter monitor
What is an electrocardiogram?
An electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) is a measurement of the electrical activity of the heart.
By placing electrodes at specific locations on the body (chest, arms and legs), a graphic representation, or tracing, of the electrical activity can be obtained. Changes in an ECG from the normal tracing can indicate one or more of several heart-related conditions. Conditions that are not heart conditions may also cause changes in the ECG.
Cardiac electrophysiology is the science of diagnosing and treating the electrical activities of the heart.
These studies are performed to assess complex arrhythmias, evaluate abnormal electrocardiograms, assess risk of developing arrhythmias in the future and design treatment. These procedures increasingly include therapeutic methods in addition to diagnostic and prognostic procedures.
Nuclear medicine is a branch of medical imaging that uses small amounts of radioactive material to diagnose or treat a variety of diseases, including many types of cancers, heart disease and certain other abnormalities within the body.
Ultrasound imaging is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. It involves exposing part of the body to high-frequency soundwaves to produce pictures of the inside of the body. Because ultrasound images are captured in real time, they can show the structure and movement of the body's internal organs as well as blood flowing through blood vessels. Vascular ultrasound provides pictures of the body's veins and arteries.
Learn more about treatment for heart conditions.
Important Phone Numbers
Chest Pain Clinic, 425.656.4037
Cardiac Rehabilitation, 425.228.3440, ext. 4991