FirstHealth of the Carolinas

Heart Diseases We Treat

Groundbreaking for the Reid Heart Center

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S. It is important to learn about your heart to help prevent heart disease. If you have cardiovascular disease, you can live a healthier, more active life by learning about your disease and treatment options.

There are many types of heart disease that can affect the structures or function of the heart and blood vessels. In addition to conditions affecting the heart and chest, we also treat the vascular system with expertise in abdominal aortic aneurysms, carotid artery disease, venous disease and others.


Angina
Angina is a warning that the heart muscle is not getting enough oxygen-rich blood. Angina is often described as “chest pain,” but this can be misleading. Angina is not always painful, and it isn’t always felt in the chest.

For more information on angina visit our e-health library.

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Arrhythmias (Abnormal Heart Rhythms)
The heart is an amazing organ. It beats in a steady, even rhythm; about 60 to 100 times each minute. But, sometimes your heart gets out of rhythm. An irregular or abnormal heartbeat is called an arrhythmia. An arrhythmia can involve a change in the rhythm, producing an uneven heartbeat, or a change in the rate, causing a very slow or very fast heartbeat.

For more information on arrhythmias visit our e-health library.

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Atherosclerosis
Atherosclerosis is hardening of a blood vessel from a build up of plaque. Plaque is made of fatty deposits, cholesterol, and calcium. These substances stick to the blood vessel walls over time as people age, causing the artery to narrow and harden.

For more information on atherosclerosis visit our e-health library.

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Atrial Fibrillation
Atrial fibrillation occurs when the normal, organized pathway for the electrical impulse between the two chambers becomes disorganized and/or disrupted. The atrium quivers and is no longer coordinated with the ventricle. The resulting “storm of energy” causes a rapid and/or irregular heart rate.

For more information on atrial fibrillation visit our e-health library.

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Cardiomyopathy
Cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart muscle itself. People with cardiomyopathy, sometimes called an enlarged heart, have hearts that are abnormally enlarged, thickened, and/or stiffened. This causes the heart’s ability to pump blood to weaken. Without treatment, cardiomyopathy will get worse over time and often lead to heart failure and abnormal heart rhythms.

For more information on cardiomyopathy visit our e-health library.

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Congenital Heart Disease
Congenital heart disease is a type of defect in one or more structures of the heart or blood vessels that occurs before birth. Congenital heart defects may produce symptoms at birth, during childhood, and sometimes not until adulthood.

For more information on congenital heart disease visit our e-health library.

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Coronary Artery Disease (Heart Disease)
Coronary artery disease (CAD) is atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries, producing blockages in the vessels which nourish the heart itself. Atherosclerosis occurs when the arteries become clogged and narrowed, restricting blood flow. Without adequate blood flow from the coronary arteries, the heart becomes starved of oxygen and vital nutrients it needs to work properly

For more information on CAD visit our e-health library.

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Heart Attack
A heart attack, also known as a myocardial infarction, occurs when blood vessels that supply blood to the heart are blocked, preventing enough oxygen from getting to the heart. The heart muscle dies or becomes permanently damaged.

For more information on heart attacks visit our e-health library.

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Heart Failure (Congestive Heart Failure)
Heart failure, also known as congestive heart failure (CHF), means the heart can’t pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. This then leads to salt and water retention, causing swelling and shortness of breath. The swelling and shortness of breath are the primary symptoms of heart failure.

For more information on CHF visit our e-health library.

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Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
High blood pressure is abnormally high blood pressure with no known cause. High blood pressure puts stress on the heart, lungs, brain, kidneys, and blood vessels. Over time, this condition can damage these organs and tissues.

For more information on hypertension/high blood pressure visit our e-health library.

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Mitral valve prolapse
Mitral valve prolapse (MVP) occurs when the valve between the heart’s left upper chamber (left atrium) and the left lower chamber (left ventricle) doesn’t close properly. When the left ventricle contracts, the valve’s flaps bulge (prolapse) upward or back into the atrium. Mitral valve prolapse sometimes leads to blood leaking backward into the left atrium, a condition called mitral valve regurgitation.

For more information on MVP visit our e-health library.

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Mitral valve regurgitation
Mitral valve regurgitation happens when the heart’s mitral valve doesn’t close tightly, which allows blood to flow backward into the heart. The mitral valve is located between the heart’s two left chambers, and allows blood to flow forward through the heart during a normal heartbeat. When the mitral valve doesn’t function properly, blood can't move through the heart or to the rest of the body as efficiently. Mitral valve regurgitation can make you tired and short of breath.

For more information on mitral valve regurgitation visit our e-health library.

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Mitral valve stenosis
Mitral valve stenosis is a condition in which the heart’s mitral valve is narrowed (stenotic). This narrowing blocks the valve from opening properly, obstructing blood flow through the heart and from the heart to the rest of the body. Mitral valve stenosis can make you tired and short of breath.

For more information on mitral valve stenosis visit our e-health library.

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Pericarditis
Pericarditis is a swelling and irritation of the pericardium, the thin sac-like membrane that surrounds the heart. Extra fluid that builds up between the two layers of the pericardium restricts the heart’s action.

For more information on pericarditis visit our e-health library.

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