Our Team Approach

Our comprehensive heart care is focused on a team approach, which means when you choose East Cooper Medical Center, you will work closely with a dedicated group of cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons, nurses and support staff in Mount Pleasant.

Each member of your heart team will give you specialized attention, carefully explaining your treatment options based on your condition and keep you as comfortable as possible. You and your heart will be in good hands with quality services and our team of experts.

Comprehensive Heart Care, Close to Home

If you or your loved one is battling with a heart condition, such as high-blood pressure, coronary heart disease, angina or atherosclerosis, getting safe care may help you better manage your life or even restore your heart to its healthiest state. East Cooper Medical Center offers innovative care delivered by cardiac care providers who work together to help treat various heart conditions.

Why Is Cardiovascular Health Important?

Heart disease is the number one cause of death for people in the United States, regardless of gender, race and ethnicity. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that one person dies from a cardiovascular disease every 36 seconds. Therefore, it is essential to do what you can to help protect your heart health, such as regularly seeing a cardiologist in Mount Pleasant, eating a heart-healthy diet, doing cardiovascular exercises and more.

What Is a Cardiologist?

A cardiologist is a heart doctor who has spent at least 10 years of education and clinical training to be able to specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and the prevention various conditions related to the heart, veins and arteries. This type of physician has also passed a cardiology exam given by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM).

What Does a Cardiologist Do?

To treat and diagnose diseases of the cardiovascular system, a cardiologist reviews patients’ medical history, gives physical exams and carries out tests and may perform procedures.

Procedures Cardiologists Perform

  • Angioplasty: Special tubing with an attached deflated balloon is threaded through the coronary arteries. The balloon is then inflated to widen areas where the blood flow to the heart muscle has been reduced or cut off. This procedure is often combined with the implantation of a stent, which is a wire mesh tube used to prop the artery open during the procedure and often left in permanently.
  • Cardiac catheterizations: A long, thin tube, called a catheter, is inserted in an artery or vein in the groin, neck or arm and threaded through the blood vessels to the heart. This procedure is used to diagnose and treat certain cardiovascular conditions.
  • Inserting a pacemaker: Using a fluoroscopy to get a continuous X-ray image, the doctor makes a small cut in the chest and inserts a pacemaker which is a small electronic device that helps influence the rhythm of an irregular heartbeat.

    Tests Cardiologists Carry Out

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG): Records the electrical activity of the heart.
  • Ambulatory ECG: Records heart rhythms while the person exercises or carries out their routine activities. Small metal electrodes are stuck on to the chest and connected by wires to monitor the rhythms.
  • Exercise test or stress test: Measures the changes of heart rhythm when resting and exercising, plus the performance and limitations of the heart.
  • Echocardiogram: Gives an ultrasound picture showing the structure of the heart chambers and adjacent areas and tells how well the heart is working.
  • Cardiac catheterization: Collects data and takes pictures through a small tube in or near the heart. It also can check the functioning of the heart and the electrical system and may help relieve a blockage.
  • Nuclear cardiology: Nuclear imaging techniques use radioactive materials to study cardiovascular disorders and diseases in a noninvasive way.

Cardiologists often treat patients who have had a heart attack, heart failure or other type of heart problem. A cardiologist also can give advice about preventing heart disease.

When Is It Time to See a Cardiologist?

Aside from annual heart check-ups, please see a cardiologist as soon as you experience symptoms of a heart condition, such as the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Back pain
  • Chest pain
  • Cold sweats
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Jaw pain
  • Nausea
  • Palpitations
  • Shortness of breath
  • Vomiting

We also recommend that you schedule a visit with a cardiologist if you are at a higher risk for a heart condition, whether it’s because of your lifestyle or a pre-existing condition. The risk factors may include any of the following:

  • Clinical depression
  • Diabetes or insulin resistance
  • Eating unhealthy food most of the time
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Family history of heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Physical inactivity
  • Smoking
  • Too much stress

What Is Cardiac Rehab?

Cardiac rehab, an important part of recovery after someone has experienced a heart attack or other heart problem, may help prevent another heart attack and help build healthy habits. Cardiac rehabilitation, a supervised program led by a cardiac rehabilitation specialist, includes

  • Physical activity
  • Education on how to live a healthy life, including healthy eating, taking medicine as prescribed and quitting smoking.
  • Counseling to help the patient find ways to relieve stress and improve their mental health.

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