I had a change of heart.

Cardiologists in Port St. Lucie

Knowing where to go during a cardiac emergency can save a life. At St. Lucie Medical Center, we offer expert emergency services for incoming heart attack patients. We have an in-house cardiac catheterization laboratory, which allows our physicians to perform expedited diagnostic services and quickly provide medical intervention to open up blocked arteries.

To learn more about our cardiac services, please call our Consult-A-Nurse® team at (772) 742-9060.

Cardiac catheterization

St. Lucie Medical Center is home to a cardiac catheterization lab (cath lab) that plays a vital role in diagnosing and treating patients with heart conditions, including patients coming to the ER with heart attack symptoms. We use the latest, state-of-the-art technology and digital imaging equipment in our cath lab. Our physicians use the high quality images to see clearly inside the body to diagnose cardiovascular conditions and decide how best to treat them.

We perform the following diagnostic procedures and treatments in our cath lab:

  • Interventional cardiology procedures—These minimally invasive procedures offer advanced treatment for patients with blocked arteries, blood vessels and veins that are preventing proper blood flow to the heart muscle.
  • Diagnostic catheterization—This procedure allows your cardiologist to insert a catheter into an artery in the wrist (transradial approach), arm or groin and inject a dye into the arteries. The doctor watches the dye flow through the arteries on a high-definition video screen to access any blockages in the arteries.
    • Transradial cardiac catheterization—The transradial approach indicates that the catheter is inserted through the wrist instead of the groin. This is a lower risk option that allows for reduced bleeding complications, quicker recovery time and shorter hospital stay.
  • Angioplasty—This is a minimally invasive procedure used to widen or open a narrowed or blocked artery. The goal is to restore blood flow by means of inserting a catheter to the affected artery and expanding a tiny balloon to open the artery.
  • Stenting—A stent is a small device that is inserted and left in an artery with the purpose of restoring blood flow and keeping the artery open.

Heart screening and imaging

Our hospital offers a wide range of advanced imaging procedures and tests to evaluate heart function, including:

  • Electrocardiogram (EKG)—This imaging procedure records the electrical activity of the heart.
  • 2D echocardiography—Also referred to as an echo, this is an advanced form of ultrasound that produces images of the heart.
  • Transesophageal echo (TEE) test—This advanced form of echocardiography uses an endoscope that is guided into the esophagus to produce a clear image of the heart without interference on the image from the lungs and ribs.
  • Upper and lower venous ultrasound—This ultrasound looks at the veins to evaluate for vascular blood clots and deficiencies in blood flow.
  • Upper and lower arterial ultrasound—This ultrasound looks at the arteries to identify potential narrowing of the arteries.
  • Carotid ultrasound—This ultrasound look at the carotid arteries to assess blood flow to the brain.
  • Vein mapping—This process uses ultrasound imaging to map the veins underneath the skin and arm to set up for treatment of an arteriovenous (AV) fistula or cardiac surgery.
  • AV fistula ultrasound—This type of ultrasound is used in partnership with vein mapping to evaluate an AV fistula for dialysis.
  • Stress testing—This test allows a physician to examine how well the heart is performing under pressure. We offer both nuclear stress tests and treadmill stress tests.

Heart and lung function are undeniably intertwined. Our cardiologists often work in partnership with our pulmonologists to provide complete cardiac and pulmonary care.

Heart attack treatment

Our hospital is an Accredited Chest Pain Center as designated by the American College of Cardiology. This recognition acknowledges our ability to provide expert, fast care to incoming heart attack patients. Our emergency room (ER) is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is always prepared to provide life-saving care to incoming patients with heart attack symptoms.

Our doctors and surgeons are trained in providing expert treatment for ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) heart attacks. A STEMI heart attack indicates a full blockage of an artery supplying blood to the heart. Our hospital's cardiovascular specialists provide immediate intervention for incoming STEMI patients through angioplasty or stenting procedures.

Vascular care

The heart, veins and arteries all work together to form the highly complex cardiovascular system. At St. Lucie Medical Center, we care for patients with vascular conditions, such as peripheral vascular disease and critical limb ischemia.

We perform vascular treatments, including atherectories (removes plaque from blocked blood vessels). Many of our procedures performed in the cath lab are also effective treatments for vascular conditions, such as angioplasty and stenting.

Integrated cardiac services at Lawnwood Medical Center

Patients in St. Lucie County experiencing heart trauma or structural damage to the heart will be sent to our HCA Healthcare-affiliated facility Lawnwood Medical Center. Our hospitals work closely together to ensure patients receive the initial care they need as fast as possible but are also provided with the best follow-up and recovery care.

Heart disease symptoms and risk factors

It is vital for patients to know the signs and symptoms of heart disease and circulatory problems so they can manage their risk for developing heart disease.

It is important to receive regular checkups where your cholesterol and blood pressure levels are checked. Take the initiative to discuss your cardiovascular health with a qualified physician.

Common symptoms of heart disease include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Pain in the chest, arm, shoulder or neck

Knowing the risk factors for heart disease can help you take control of your heart health. Some risk factors can be controlled by lifestyle changes, which can reduce your chances of developing heart disease or allowing your current condition to worsen. Risk factors may include:

  • Family history of heart disease
  • High cholesterol
  • Gender and age, women 55 years old and older (or past menopause) and men 45 years old and older are at a higher risk
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • Low HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol)

Coordinated cardiovascular care

HCA Healthcare's Care Assure program is committed to ensuring complete follow-up care and discharge planning for patients as they are ready to leave the hospital. Our dedicated Care Assure nurse navigator identifies patients who meet the specified clinical criteria for necessary continued care and assists in scheduling follow-up appointments.

We track patient follow-up care to make sure no one "falls through the cracks," and that all patients in our care receive the attention they deserve. Our goal is to improve patient satisfaction through a long-term patient care relationship.

Altogether, Care Assure allows St. Lucie Medical Center to improve patient and physician satisfaction and enhance our coordination and delivery of quality healthcare services.