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Cardiology

Cardiology is the medical treatment of diseases of the heart and parts of the circulatory system. Cardiologists are the doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating these conditions.

Experienced heart specialists

A healthy heart forms the foundation of a healthy life. Let's get you there.

For over 50 years, Western North Carolina has been able to count on the patient-centered cardiologists at Mission Health hospitals. We specialize in care for all ages, using cardiothoracic surgery and all manners of treatment to care for a full range of conditions.

Related specialties

Learn more about our related specialties.

Heart conditions we treat

Cardiac issues can range from an inconvenience to a life-threatening emergency. Our cardiologists are prepared to treat a full range of conditions, including:

  • Aortic aneurysm
  • Aortic stenosis
  • Arrhythmia
  • Atrial fibrillation (AFib)
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Complex valve disease
  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Lung esophageal cancer
  • Myocarditis

Heart and vascular services we provide

Cardiac complications can require several specialties for recovery. Our specialists take a multidisciplinary approach to give you the best possible options for your condition.

Available care at our heart hospitals

Through a collaborative, individualized plan of care, our heart doctors work to provide the best possible relief by staying in close contact, beginning with diagnosis and into your recovery. When you come to one of our hospitals for cardiovascular issues, you gain access to a wide variety of treatments that can hopefully relieve you of pain, discomfort and worry.

Cardiac rehabilitation

Through our nationally accredited rehabilitation program, we work to instill and inspire a new way of life for you as you move through and beyond your cardiovascular recovery journey. Our medically supervised exercise program not only involves you, but your family members as well, so that your outside support system can help you continue the progress you've made in the hospital. If you have experienced heart failure, a heart attack or undergone advanced cardiac surgery, our rehabilitation program may be right for you.

Cardiovascular disease treatment

Signs and symptoms of coronary heart disease (CHD) can differ between men and women. Men typically experience symptoms, such as dull, heavy to sharp chest discomfort, as well as pain in the neck, jaw, throat, upper abdomen or back. Women, on the other hand, experience what is called "silent CHD," where they exhibit no signs or symptoms. As such, some women may not be diagnosed until they show symptoms of a heart attack, heart failure or arrhythmia, where they show fluttering feelings that indicate an irregular heartbeat. Frequent provider communication is important for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and our doctors are always available to discuss any concerns you may have. If you think your lifestyle may be contributing to the development of heart disease, we're here for you.

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)

ECMO machines assist with breathing and are used during complex heart treatments when medications or ventilators have proven unsuccessful. During the ECMO process, tubes are connected from the machine to your chest, and fresh oxygen flows into your body for better, more consistent breathing. Depending on your condition, the oxygen tubes can be placed in an artery and a vein or just a vein.

Heart attack care

When it comes to a heart attack, time matters. Seconds, not minutes, can make all the difference, and our cardiologists and emergency personnel are ready to make that difference. At our hospitals, we pride ourselves on having some of the lowest door-to-treatment times in the country. If you or a loved one is experiencing a combination of progressive chest pain, extreme fatigue, nausea and vomiting, neck and upper back pain or shortness of breath, call 911 immediately.

Heart failure care

While heart failure can’t be cured, it can be treated, and you can still live an enjoyable life. Heart failure occurs when your heart can’t pump blood as well as it should, limiting the amount of oxygen your body needs to properly operate. Some signs that you may be experiencing this disease include fatigue, shortness of breath and swelling in the feet, ankles, legs and abdomen. After a diagnosis has been reached, we work to reduce symptoms, halt the disease's progress and help you manage risk factors. We also offer ventricular assist devices, ace inhibitors, beta-blockers, surgical procedures and cardiac resynchronization therapy, both as compliments to lifestyle alterations and necessities if those alterations prove to not be enough.

Heart and vascular surgery

We understand the stress that can accompany surgery, so we always encourage nonsurgical treatments whenever possible. However, this is not always viable. Our health system is home to comprehensive heart and vascular surgery programs that treat a wide range of conditions with leading-edge procedures that can get you on the road to recovery and bountiful living. Our skilled surgeons specialize in valve replacements and repair, cardiovascular oncologic procedures, bypass surgery, device implantation and arrhythmia surgery. Additionally, for certain conditions, we are able to offer minimally invasive surgical options, which afford you minimal scarring, faster recovery times and shorter hospital stays.

Interventional cardiology

Interventional cardiology, or, cardiac catheterization, uses catheters to diagnose and treat heart conditions. By using catheters, rather than traditional surgical procedures, we are able to ease stress on both you and your heart, accomplishing the same results with a simpler procedure. Tests and procedures we perform in this fashion include heart valve replacement or repair, stent placements, angioplasty, angiogram and intravascular ultrasound.

Pediatric heart care

As a parent, the health of your child is your top priority. We know that heart troubles are cause for extra concern, so the doctors in our pediatric heart program are equipped to expertly treat infants, children and adolescents, just the same as adults. With both inpatient and outpatient care available, we emphasize prevention of common causes that can lead to cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke, while examining your child's family history and using that as a guide.

Do you need to see a cardiologist?

There are numerous factors that go into having a healthy heart. Knowing your risks could help you prevent a tragedy. If you think you may need cardiac care, there are several questions you can ask yourself about your own cardiovascular health that your doctor will also likely ask, including:

  • Are you overweight?
  • Do you exercise regularly?
  • Do you have diabetes?
  • Do you smoke cigarettes?
  • How often do you eat high-fat and fried foods?
  • Is there a history of heart disease in your family?
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Heart attack care and treatments

We have protocols in place if you're experiencing symptoms that could indicate a heart attack.

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