Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. February is American Heart Month and there’s no better time to find out how you can lower your risk and improve your heart health.
“A majority of the risk factors for developing heart disease are related to lifestyle and dietary choices,” says cardiologist Suzanne A. Feigofsky, M.D. “A regular exercise routine along with eating a well-balanced diet rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables are great ways to take control of your risk factors.”
Advancing Treatment to Heal Hearts
The expert cardiac care team at the MemorialCare Heart and Vascular Institute at Saddleback Memorial provides comprehensive services for prevention, screening, diagnosis and treatment of heart disease.
The institute’s recent acquisition of biplane imaging technology further enhances treatment of numerous cardiac conditions, including treatment for a common condition called atrial fibrillation.
An abnormal heart rhythm that can cause stroke or heart failure, atrial fibrillation affects more than two million people in the United States. Many who live with this type of arrhythmia don’t know they have it. Risk factors include high blood pressure, obesity, excessive alcohol intake, sleep apnea and advanced age.
“Atrial fibrillation can often be controlled with medication,” says Dr. Feigofsky. “But for some patients, drugs are ineffective or lead to unacceptable side effects. For these individuals, an additional intervention – called Afib ablation – is sometimes appropriate. Simply put, this procedure involves the removal of heart tissue that causes the abnormal rhythm.”
“The new biplane imaging system available at Saddleback Memorial enables us to more effectively treat patients who can benefit from Afib ablation,” says cardiologist Sinjin Lee, M.D. “Biplane imaging helps us minimize radiation to the patient, and when used with advanced equipment and 3D mapping software, tells us exactly what part of the heart is causing the arrhythmia so we can correct it.”