Heart and blood vessel diseases are often referred to as “silent killers” because they can go unnoticed as they develop over time. More than 62 million Americans have some form of cardiovascular disease. In South Carolina, heart disease is one of the three leading causes of death.
Some people are born with cardiovascular disease, but most cardiovascular diseases are closely tied to lifestyle choices and affect people later in life. While there are many kinds of cardiovascular disease, some of the most common conditions include:
Coronary artery disease
Coronary artery disease is a condition where the heart muscle doesn't get enough blood and oxygen. Like many heart problems, coronary artery disease is caused by plaque build-up in the walls of the arteries. This buildup narrows the arteries, making it harder for blood to flow through. If a blood clot forms, it can stop the blood flow, causing a heart attack.
Heart failure means the heart isn't pumping enough blood to meet your body’s needs. Heart failure does not mean you are about to die, or that your heart has stopped. It indicates that the heart is not squeezing as well as it should. Heart failure usually does not occur suddenly but gradually develops over the time. Heart failure generally occurs in people with coronary artery disease or hypertension where eventually the heart becomes too stiff or too weak to pump efficiently. Sometimes a viral illness, excessive alcohol or drug consumption, heart valvular disease and other factors can also cause a weakening of the heart muscle that leads to congestive heart failure.
Arrhythmias are abnormal rhythms of the heart. Sometimes the heart’s electrical signal does not move in the proper sequence. This causes the heart to beat faster or slower than normal, or erratically. Some arrhythmias are relatively harmless and require no treatment while others are more serious and need attention.
Heart valve problems
Heart valves are like one-way doors that control the flow of blood from one chamber of the heart to another, or from the heart to other parts of the body. When valves don’t open enough, it’s difficult for blood to flow through. When they don’t close, blood leaks backward through the valve.
Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD)
PVD occurs when the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the legs and feet is blocked or decreased. This deprives the feet and legs of oxygen and nutrients, and usually causes numbness or tingling in the thigh, calf muscle and feet.
How Do I Know if I Have Cardiovascular Disease?
The noninvasive vascular lab at AnMed Health Heart and Vascular Center provides a variety of tests and screenings to evaluate how your veins and arteries are functioning. Our quality, skill and superior standards for interpretation have earned accreditation for vascular testing and echocardiography from The Intersocietal Accreditation Commission.
Vascular Score is a group of three screenings that checks for:
Each screening is only $45 or you can get all three for $135. If doctors discover you have vascular disease, other tests or procedures may be necessary.
Echocardiogram is used to evaluate the heart using a non-invasive ultrasound. Then the results are interpreted by board certified cardiologists.
Stress tests show your physician how your heart responds to exertion. At AnMed Health Heart and Vascular Center, we specialize in two types of cardiovascular stress tests:
Both of these stress tests can be done with or without echo or nuclear imaging. The exercise stress portion of each test is monitored by a cardiologist or an internal medicine physician. Nuclear and echo images from the stress tests are interpreted by a board-certified cardiologist.
Stress tests help your doctor:
Determine if there is adequate blood flow to your heart during increasing levels of activity
Evaluate the effectiveness of your heart medications to control angina and ischemia
Determine the likelihood of coronary heart disease and the need for further evaluation
See the effectiveness of procedures done to improve blood flow within the heart vessels in people with coronary heart disease
Identify abnormal heart rhythms
Assist you in developing a safe exercise program
The noninvasive cardiovascular lab is located on the first floor of AnMed Health Heart and Vascular Center on the Medical Center Campus. Appointments can be made through First Call Scheduling by calling 864.512.2255. Physician referral is required for noninvasive vascular lab tests.
For your convenience cardiovascular tests are offered in more than one location. Services in each location vary, so please double check with your physician or call ahead if you have any questions about where to go.
Location: Oglesby Center, Service Area 1, first floor
Hours: 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays
Holter Monitoring, Event Monitoring
Location: Medcial Center EKG or Device Specialty Clinic, 800 N. Fant St.
Outpatient Diagnostics Center
Location: Cardiac and Orthopaedic Building, 100 Healthy Way
Services: Echo, Non-Invasive Vascular Diagnostics, EKG, Stress Testing
Hours: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays
Heart and Vascular Diagnostics and Screening
Location: Heart and Vascular Center, Medical Center, First Floor
Services: Echo, Non-Invasive Vascular Diagnostics, ECG, Holter Monitoring, Event Monitoring and Stress Testing
Hours: 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Telephone: 864.512.8950 (front desk), 864.512.2255 (patient scheduling)