In a cardiac emergency, time is of the essence—and every second counts. Your hospital should have tools and technologies to quickly assess and diagnose your condition and begin effective treatments. At Florida Hospital Waterman, our Heart Center offers superior surgical outcomes and cutting-edge technologies, all within our newly built and redesigned heart center. Whether you’re battling heart disease, stroke, diabetes or another vascular condition, we have you covered. Learn more about the Florida Hospital Waterman Heart Center.
In addition to specialized surgical services, our expert team of cardiologists, nurses and medical staff also provide:
- Stress tests: This is the most widely used test to detect heart disease. In it, patients exercise until they reach a predicted heart rate, and an electrocardiogram is evaluated for changes that may indicate potential cardiovascular problems.
- Echocardiograms: This technique uses sound waves to create moving pictures of the heart, providing detailed images about the heart’s size and shape, pumping strength, and the location and extent of tissue damage.
- Electrophysiology: Intracardiac electrophysiology studies examine how well the heart’s electrical signals are functioning. This diagnostic test is used to look for abnormal heartbeats or heart rhythms.
- Angioplasty/interventional cardiology: This is a procedure we use to reopen blocked coronary arteries by inserting an inflatable, balloon-like device to a catheter to widen diseased arteries and allow increased blood flow to the heart.
- Cardiac catheterization: For more than two decades Florida Hospital Waterman has been providing heart catheterizations, a technique used to discover if a patient has disease in his or her coronary arteries. This test pinpoints the size and location of fat and calcium deposits that narrow the coronary arteries, and help our experts determine the best course of treatment.
- Peripheral vascular intervention: This is a minimally invasive procedure that removes the plaque in hardened arteries to restore blood flow without the need for surgically opening the arm or leg. The surgeon will use a catheter inserted into the blood vessel through the arm or leg and threaded to the site of the disease to perform this operation.
- Valve replacement and repair: This is a procedure to replace or repair heart valves, which play a vital role in the flow of blood through the heart.
- Customized cardiac rehabilitation: Our expert cardiac team works with rehabilitation specialists to develop a customized medical rehabilitation plan for patients recovering from a heart attack and other forms of heart disease, or those who have undergone surgery to repair heart disease.
Coronary Artery Bypass & Off-Pump Bypass Surgery
For patients with severe coronary artery disease, and for whom other treatments such as medicine or angioplasty have not been successful, the Florida Hospital Waterman Cancer Institute offers specialized surgical care. We offer coronary artery bypass and off-pump surgery, a procedure in which a healthy vein or artery from another part of the body is grafted onto a blocked coronary artery, creating a new passageway for oxygen-rich blood to reach the heart.
This vein or artery may be removed from the leg, chest or forearm, and is attached to the aorta on one end and the disease coronary artery on the other, just past the blocked area. Blood is then redirected through the graft, detouring around the diseased section and increasing blood flow to that area of the heart.
This procedure typically requires the chest to be opened surgically, and a heart-lung bypass machine is used to circulate the blood and add oxygen while the heart is stopped during the grafting procedure.
For some patients, “off-pump” surgery may be an option. With this less-invasive technique, the heart muscle is slowed with medication but is still beating during the procedure, circulating blood and oxygen on its own without the need for a heart-lung bypass machine. For patients with lung problems, a history of stroke or those who may have difficulty tolerating the heart-lung bypass machine, off-pump bypass surgery may be the best option. Other candidates for off-pump surgery include those who have undergone conventional coronary artery bypass surgery and have recurring or new blockages in the grafts, patients who have recurring problems after angioplasty and patients who cannot tolerate more invasive surgery.
The primary benefit of off-pump bypass surgery is decreased recovery time, which may range from three to four weeks compared to four to six weeks for traditional coronary artery bypass surgery. A further benefit is that patients are awake and alert much earlier after surgery, with decreased likelihood of cognitive impairment. Additionally, the risk of stroke, bleeding and kidney failure—as well as the need for blood transfusions—is significantly reduced.