Medical Services, Southeast Houston Cardiology

By: Southeast Houston Cardiology  09-12-2011

The cardiologists at Southeast Houston Cardiology acquired special training to monitor and treat critically ill cardiac patients. They admit and care for patients with heart attacks, heart failure, irregular cardiac rhythms and cardiopulmonary arrests on a daily basis in specialized areas of the hospitals called coronary care units.

In some circumstances blockages of the arteries may be so severe that cardiologists are unable to dilate open the blocked arteries. In these cases open-heart surgery to bypass the blocked arteries with surgically transplanted veins may be necessary. These surgically placed grafts improve blood flow to the muscle of the heart.

The cardiologists at Southeast Houston Cardiology refer to several groups of prominent cardiovascular surgeons at five different medical centers in the Houston area. If surgery is required, our cardiologists visit patients and monitor their progress in the hospital on a daily basis.

Computer Tomography (CT Scanning) is used to measure the amount of calcium in the coronary arteries (the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle). The more coronary artery calcium the greater the patients risk of a future cardiac event or heart attack. Calcium scoring is a simple and quick test that does not require IV contrasts and takes less than 10 minutes to complete.

With modern technology the coronary arteries can be visualized using a multislice CT scan thus avoiding the risk and discomfort associated with invasive cardiac cath procedures. During a cardiac cath a needle is placed directly into the femoral artery located in the groin and a catheter is threaded directly into the heart to visualize the coronary arteries. A CT coronary angiogram done with a multislice CT scanner requires intravenous contrast but no arterial catheter or femoral artery puncture is required. Contrast is injected through an intravenous line and x-ray pictures are timed with the flow of contrast through the coronary arteries allowing the physician to diagnose blockage. The coronary arteries can be visualized noninvasively and blockage can be definitively diagnosed without the risk of an invasive procedure.

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