At the Ephraim McDowell Heart & Vascular Institute, what we treat are a variety of cardiovascular conditions. These include: abdominal aortic aneurysms, angina (chest pain), atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), arrhythmia (irregular heartbeats), congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, heart valve conditions, high blood pressure, neuropathy (numbness in your limbs), peripheral artery disease, and syncope (fainting).
Heart failure is one of the more common conditions of what we treat. This condition impairs a patient’s lifestyle and results in frequent hospital admissions. We were only the third hospital in the state to offer the leading-edge CardioMEMS HF System. It involves placing a snesor in a patient’s pulmonary artery. It monitors the pressure daily and transmits the readings to the patient’s provider. As a result, the provider can monitor the changes in the patient’s pulmonary artery pressure and adjust their medicine before the patient notices other symptoms. Thus, care is provided before the patient’s heart failure worsens. Because of that, it reduces hospital readmissions.
Peripheral Artery Disease
Another common condition of what we treat is Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD). This is a common circulatory problem. A build-up of plaque in the arteries causes it. The plaque build-up is known as atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. Because it causes the blood vessels to narrow or become blocked, patients often have numbness. While this problem mostly happens in the legs, it can occur in other areas in the body. Our physicians can treat the problem no matter where it occurs.
To treat PAD, our physicians use a cutting-edge procedure, the Ocelot Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT). It allows physicians to visually navigate inside the blocked arteries using a catheter with a camera-like device inside. As a result, they can restore blood flow in completely blocked arteries through a very small skin incision. Thus, it saves patients from losing a limb or having bypass surgery.
Dr. Shawn Flynn is an interventional cardiologist on our staff. He performs TAVR as a visiting physician at the University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center. TAVR is a transcatheter aortic valve replacement for treating aortic valve stenosis. This is where the aortic valve narrows and fails to open properly, due to a build-up of calcium. TAVR uses small incisions and a catheter to insert the new valve. Because it is not an open procedure, patients recover faster and have a shorter hospital stay. As a result, they can get back to the life they once enjoyed.
Limb Preservation Program
Our vascular care specialists play an important role in other aspects of what we treat. This includes limb preservation. We offer this program through our Wound Healing Center. An interdisciplinary care team comprises the program. They work together to preserve limbs that are affected by wounds that won’t heal. Because the loss of a limb affects a patient’s long-term physical and emotional health, the care team is important to the patient. The team of specialty physicians and providers manages all of the patient’s medical conditions. The team determines medical and surgical options for preserving the patient’s limb. As a result of this team approach, patients receive care for all of their medical issues. Because the end result is to preserve the patient’s limb, patients enjoy a better quality of life.
Our Cardiac Rehabilitation program is dedicated to great care. Services are provided at Ephraim McDowell James B. Haggin Hospital in Harrodsburg. Pulmonary rehabilitation is also offered there.
This monitored exercise program is for patients who are recovering from a heart attack or heart surgery. It is also for patients with congestive heart failure. The program can help them reduce their risk factors for heart disease and other heart issues. In addition, it can help prevent future hospital stays, heart issues and death related to heart problems.
Patients are referred to the program by their physician. We keep the physician informed on their progress throughout the program. It consists of 36 total visits over 12 weeks. Patients use exercise bicycles, treadmills, arm ergometers, and recumbent steppers. While patients exercise, our highly-trained staff use telemetry monitors to track their heart rhythm, heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen saturation levels. As a result of these monitored activities, the heart is made healthier. That helps our patients achieve a level of independence and optimal health.
The program also includes healthy lifestyle education. Information is provided on health risk factors, conserving your body’s energy, medication and stress reduction. As a result, patients learn tools to achieve a healthy lifestyle. Thus, they have a better quality of life.
For more information, please call (859) 239-3752 for services.