If you have Heart/Cardiovascular Disease

The American Heart Association estimates that over 800,000 people8172IfYouHaveHeartCVDisease die from cardiovascular diseases in just one year.

Southeast Alabama Heart & Vascular Center is here to help keep you from becoming part of this deadly trend.

1) We help you find out if you're at risk for heart diseases 
2) We identify your medical problems using our advanced diagnostics capabilities 
3) We provide the full range of treatments you need 
4) We work with you to rebuild your health and quality of life for the long term 

Call today and take the first steps to protecting yourself – and the people you love – from the deadly impact of heart disease.

If you live in southeast Alabama, northwest Florida, and southwest Georgia, make your appointment now - please call (334) 793-8143.

Southeast Heart and Vascular Center is located at Southeast Alabama Medical Center
1108 Ross Clark Circle, Dothan, Alabama
Outpatient Tower - 3rd Floor

Understanding Your Condition

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is an abnormal function of the heart or blood vessels that increases your risk for heart attack, heart failure, sudden death, stroke and cardiac rhythm disorders.

• According to the Cardiovascular Disease Foundation, one in three American adults has some form of cardiovascular disease.
• Heart disease and stroke are the most common cardiovascular diseases, making them the first and third leading causes of death for both men and women in the United States.
• When all combined, the various forms of cardiovascular disease make it the leading cause of death in America.


What causes cardiovascular disease?
• Structural defects in the heart itself, infections and information, and genetic predisposition.
• In addition, unhealthy lifestyle choices such as smoking, poor diet, and lack of exercise increase the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease.

The varied types of cardiovascular disease can produce a range of symptoms, but two of the most common ones are problems affecting the heart and problems affecting the brain.

If the arteries that supply blood to your heart are affected, you may experience:
• Chest pain or chest discomfort (angina)
• Pain in one or both arms, the left shoulder, neck, jaw, or back
• Shortness of breath
• Dizziness
• Faster heartbeats
• Nausea (feeling sick to your stomach)
• Abnormal heartbeats
• Feeling very tired.

If your brain is affected, typically by a blood clot that gets stuck in a small artery or by hardening of your arteries (atherosclerosis) you may have symptoms of a stroke or a transient ischemic attack (also referred to as a TIA or "mini-stroke"):
• Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body
• Sudden confusion or trouble speaking or understanding speech
• Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
• Sudden dizziness, difficulty walking, or loss of balance or coordination
• Sudden severe headache with no known cause.

Your Risk

In cardiovascular disease, there are a number of risk factors, some that you can control and others that you cannot.

• Risk factors that can be controlled: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, excess weight, physical inactivity, smoking, diabetes, excessive alcohol consumption, illegal drug use and stress.
• Risk factors you cannot control: previous heart attacks, a family history of heart disease, increasing age, gender and race.

Your Diagnosis

The Heart & Vascular Center's sophisticated diagnostic technology allows our physicians to identify, treat and manage all types of cardiovascular diseases – often using techniques that don't require entering your body!

• Ultrasound techniques (including stress echo, transesophageal echo): By using specially focused sound waves we can "see" your blood vessels and evaluate how well blood is flowing through them or if there are disruptions or blockages. Once we see an immediate picture of how severe your problem may be we can begin working with your doctor to plan the most effective treatment.

• The various ultrasound techniques not only identify problems quickly, they are also free of the risks and discomfort associated with injections, X-rays or other invasive procedures. Best of all, with almost no risks these tests can be done safely and frequently over time to track your progress and how your disease is responding to treatment.

• Holter monitoring: We may ask you to wear a portable heart recorder called a Holter monitor. It will record your heart's activity as you go about your daily activities. The results will indicate (like in an electrocardiogram) what type of problem you may have.

• Stress tests (including treadmill test, nuclear treadmill stress and tilt study): Our stress testing labs let us use simply forms of stress on your heart (for example, walking on a treadmill) to record your heart's irregularities.

Your Treatment

Once testing determines the type of problem you're facing, the Heart & Vascular Center's skilled specialists will then talk with you and your doctor about the options for immediate and long-term treatment. Treatment may include (either alone or in combination):
• Minimally invasive treatments
• Non-invasive surgical therapies
• Surgical treatments
• Drug therapy

Minimally invasive treatments • Angioplasty (reopens blocked blood vessels
• without surgery)
• Stent treatments (tiny metal mesh tubes are inserted after angioplasty in some cases to keep blood vessels open)
• Lytic therapy (dissolves clots through injection of special medicines)
• Placement of endografts (stents that can open narrowed arteries or be inserted into aneurysms to prevent rupture)
• Laser atherectomy (to remove dangerous plaque that can block arteries and lead to strokes, heart attacks and other dangerous conditions)
Surgical Treatments
• Endarterectomy of neck arteries (removing plaque buildup to prevent strokes)
• Vein excision (to treat painful varicose veins)
• Bypass grafts (for blocked arteries)
• Implants of pacemakers, automatic defibrillators, and other devices


Monitoring Your Health

The Heart & Vascular Center can help you medically, but long-term health improvements also include you taking steps to control your risk factors and address other wellness issues.

• We offer a number of specialized cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation programs to help you during your recovery period 

• SAMC provides a variety of classes and other support programs that can help you manage your diabetes, quit smoking or deal with the stress of living with heart disease. 

• You can also take charge of the other elements in your life that contribute to your overall health:

• Better diet: http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=1200010

• More exercise: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/PhysicalActivity/Physical-Activity_UCM_001080_SubHomePage.jsp

• Controlling other health risks: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/GettingHealthy_UCM_001078_SubHomePage.jsp