Specific Cardiac Defects
St. Joseph Hospital’s highly skilled team has the proven expertise
to care for patients with many types of cardiac defects:
Coronary Artery Disease
Coronary artery disease causes a decrease in blood flow to the heart muscle.
When fatty substances called plaque are deposited in the inner lining
of an artery, the artery is narrowed, restricting or blocking blood flow.
The rupture of this plaque can cause a heart attack and subsequent chest
pain. St. Joseph Hospital offers the latest therapies and treatments for
coronary artery disease, from lifestyle management to the most advanced
open-heart surgery techniques.
The heart's valves open and close to keep blood flowing properly, with
oxygenated blood flowing into the heart and blood needing oxygen flowing
out. Valve disease occurs when the heart's valves do not function
properly. Some disorders cause stenosis (narrowing) or obstruction of
the valves, which forces the heart to work harder to pump blood to the
body. Other valve disorders are characterized by the inability of valves
to close completely. This regurgitation or insufficiency disorder allows
blood to leak back through the valve into the heart.
Congenital Heart Disease
Congenital heart disease is a heart defect that occurs during fetal development
in the uterus. About one out of every 100 babies is born with a congenital
heart defect, which can involve one or more heart structures or blood
vessels around the heart. In most cases, the cause of the defect is unknown,
but research has suggested that congenital heart disease may be the result
of a genetic abnormality or if the developing fetus is exposed to certain
medications, toxic substances, alcohol or drugs. During the past few decades
revolutionary advances in medical and surgical care for congenital heart
disease have resulted in excellent outcomes. This means that children
treated for a congenital heart defect have now reached adulthood. Many
of these patients are leading full, productive lives and have children
of their own. In fact, the number of adult patients with congenital heart
disease is now greater than those under age 20. Today at least half a
million adults in the United States have congenital heart disease.
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During atrial fibrillation, the heart's two small upper chambers quiver
instead of beating effectively. Blood isn't pumped completely out
of them, so it may pool and clot. If a piece of a blood clot in the atria
leaves the heart and becomes lodged in an artery in the brain, a stroke
results. About 15 percent of strokes occur in people with atrial fibrillation.
The likelihood of developing atrial fibrillation increases with age. Three
to five percent of people over 65 have atrial fibrillation.