Cardiovascular and thoracic care in Plantation

Westside Regional Medical Center provides superior heart care from a highly skilled team of physicians specializing in internal medicine, cardiology, cardiac electrophysiology and cardiovascular surgery. This team implements demonstrated expertise and commitment in treating a wide range of cardiovascular conditions, including chest pain and heart attack.

Our experienced physician specialists, nurses, technologists and other cardiovascular health professionals know that having a healthy heart is critical to leading a healthy life.

For more information about our heart program or to schedule an appointment, call our Consult-A-Nurse® team at (954) 370-5585.

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Our heart screening and imaging services

Westside Regional's cardiologists screen for a variety of heart conditions and abnormalities using the latest diagnostic tests and methods, including:

  • Electrocardiography (EKG)—Test using sound waves to show electrical heart activity patterns and possible abnormal heart movements
  • Cardiac stress testing—Test monitoring the heart's activity during exercise using electrodes
  • Echocardiography—Image test of the heart which shows current blood flow through the heart and blood vessels, as well as the size, color and motion of the heart
  • Vascular and arterial imaging—Tests using high-frequency sound waves to create images to show the flow of blood and overall state of the vascular region
  • Holter monitoring—Screening method during which the electrical activity of the heart is recorded as a patient performs daily activities
  • Filmless heart imaging—Screening tests using fully digital images to view and assess the condition of the heart and coronary arteries

Cardiac catheterization

Cardiac catheterization is a diagnostic procedure using minimally invasive techniques and imaging guidance to check your heart and its blood supply. During a heart catheterization, or "cath," an X-ray is taken as a tubed wire is passed through blood vessels up to the heart.

This nonsurgical method can help a cardiologist:

  • Locate any narrowed or clogged arteries of the heart
  • Measure pressures within the heart
  • See how well the heart valves and heart chambers are working
  • Check for heart defects
  • Evaluate an enlarged heart
  • Decide on a personalized treatment plan

Westside Regional's specialized cardiac catheterization labs are equipped with the latest medical technology and are available on a 24-hour elective and emergency basis.

Cardiovascular procedures we perform

A number of medical and surgical interventional procedures are performed by the staff of the Cardiovascular Program to help restore flow to the heart and correct abnormalities. Treatments and procedures offered by the highly trained heart surgeons at Westside Regional include:

  • Coronary (balloon) angioplasty—A procedure to allow better blood flow to the heart muscle by surgically opening (usually with a balloon) a heart artery, which has become narrowed
  • Intracoronary stent implantation—A procedure to open an artery by placing a mesh, metal tube (known as a stent) in the artery
  • Clot-dissolving drug administration—Certain medications can dissolve blood clots, helping to open blocked arteries
  • Pacemaker implantation and maintenance—A procedure to insert and/or maintain a pacemaker, a battery-operated device which sends electrical impulses to the heart to maintain a healthy heartbeat
  • Coronary artery bypass—An open-heart surgery to restore blood flow to the heart muscle
  • Minimally invasive coronary bypass—A less invasive alternative to traditional coronary artery bypass, which requires a large chest incision, used to restore proper blood flow to the heart
  • Heart valve repair and replacement—Procedures to repair or replace faulty heart valves and restore proper blood flow
  • Peripheral vascular surgery—A surgical procedure used to remove plaque buildup inside an artery

Transcatheter valve therapies

Transcatheter valve therapies are minimally invasive procedures to treat faulty heart valves. These procedures repair or replace the valve through a catheter instead of making a large incision in the chest.

A valve may need to be replaced or repaired because it leaks or does not open properly. When the valve malfunctions, it interrupts the proper path of blood flow.

Transcatheter mitral valve repair

A transcatheter mitral valve repair (TMVR) fixes a leaky mitral valve (a condition called mitral regurgitation).

Symptoms of mitral regurgitation include:

  • Difficulty breathing while walking
  • Fatigue
  • Need to sleep upright instead of lying flat in bed
  • Palpitations or rapid, fluttering heart
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swollen ankles or feet
  • Unable to do activities you used to enjoy

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) replaces or repairs a narrowed heart valve that won’t open properly (a condition called aortic stenosis).

Symptoms of aortic stenosis mirror those of mitral regurgitation, however, patients may also experience chest pain and lightheadedness, dizziness and/or fainting.

Arrhythmia treatment

Heart arrhythmia, an irregular heartbeat, occurs when the heart’s electrical system is malfunctioning. Westside Regional’s physicians use our Electrophysiology (EP) Lab to provide advanced diagnostic services and multiple modalities to treat, and even cure, atrial fibrillation, the most common heart rhythm disorder.

Thoracic diseases treatment

In addition to our cardiovascular surgical services and treatments, we have expert thoracic surgeons who treat:

  • Lung cancer
  • Benign diseases and tumors of the lung
  • Chest reconstruction after major trauma or surgery
  • Lung volume reduction surgery for emphysema
  • Mediastinal tumors and diseases (including the surgical treatment of myasthenia gravis)
  • Mesothelioma
  • Pleural diseases (including pneumothorax, infections and pleural effusions)
  • Chest wall tumors

Heart attack care

A heart attack can be fatal, but it does not have to be. We can all take proactive measures to have better cardiovascular health and educate ourselves on the symptoms of a heart attack in order to seek help early.

What is a heart attack?

A heart attack, also called a myocardial infarction, is what occurs when blood flow to the heart is blocked. The blockage is typically caused by an accumulation of fat, cholesterol or other substances that form a plaque within the arteries of the heart.

Heart attack signs and symptoms

What are heart attack symptoms?

If you believe someone could be having a heart attack, call 911 immediately. You could save someone's life by recognizing the following heart attack symptoms and signs:

  • Pain, pressure, tightness or an aching discomfort in your chest or arms, which lasts for more than a few minutes
  • Back, jaw or neck pain
  • Irregular or racing heartbeat
  • Heartburn, indigestion, nausea or abdominal pain
  • Cold sweat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness, sudden lightheadedness or fainting heart attack patients

Rapid, specialized protocols for heart attack treatment

When a patient is experiencing heart attack symptoms, our team provides rapid care based on life-saving, results-driven standards.

Specifically, we use the Code STEMI (ST elevation myocardial infarction) protocol, in which a specially trained cardiac care team quickly assembles and is ready to treat a patient and perform any interventional procedures the patient needs. For patients, this translates into increased survival rates and decreased brain damage.

Recognized stroke care

As with heart attack, every minute matters when you're experiencing a stroke. Westside has been recognized by both The Joint Commission and American Heart Association for providing rapid, effective stroke treatment that meets stringent guidelines, leading to better patient outcomes.

Cardiovascular ICU

Our cardiovascular treatment facilities include a 14-bed Cardiovascular ICU (CVICU), 12 intensive beds and, for less critical patients, a step-down telemetry (continuous heart monitoring) post-treatment nursing area. The CVICU provides advanced care for patients who have experienced a cardiac event, such as heart attack or heart failure, or who need extra attention following a heart procedure.