Cardiology Blog

Posts for category: Heart Problems

By Cardiology Associates of Morristown
December 05, 2018
Category: Heart Problems
Tags: heart disease  

Find out everything you want to know about this serious but common heart problem.

Has one of our Morristown, NJ, cardiologists, Dr. Mark Blum, Dr. John Cosmi, or Dr. Ira Freilich, recently diagnosed you or a loved one with heart disease? Have you been hearing more and more about heart disease on the news and want to know what you can do to prevent it? Whether you have heart disease or not, it’s important that you are providing your heart with the proper care it needs. Read below to learn the answers to your top questions about this chronic and common health problem.

Q. What is heart disease?

A. Heart disease is made up of different conditions that affect the health and function of the heart. For example, conditions that fall under heart disease may affect the coronary artery, blood vessels, or even the rhythm of the heart (arrhythmias). In some cases, you may have even been born with a congenital heart defect.

Q. What are the symptoms or warning signs of heart disease?

A. The symptoms you experience will depend on the type of heart disease you have. Common symptoms include:

  • Chest pain and tightness
  • Fluttering of the heart
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coldness or weakness in the arms or legs
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Swelling around the legs and abdomen
  • Quickly fatigued by exercise or certain activities

It’s important to visit our Morristown, NJ, heart doctors if you are noticing any of these symptoms and particularly if you are dealing with chest pain and tightness, or shortness of breath.

Q. How is heart disease diagnosed?

A. When you come in for an appointment we will go through your medical history and discuss the symptoms you are having. We will ask questions regarding your symptoms to get an idea of what’s going on. From there, we can decide the best diagnostic tests. Common tests for heart disease include:

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Heart/holter monitor
  • Stress test
  • CT scan
  • MRI

Q. What are the treatment options for heart disease?

A. Your doctor will discuss the different treatment options available to you depending on the type of heart disease you have. In most cases, this will be a variety of lifestyle changes (e.g. quit smoking; maintain a healthy diet) and medications. Sometimes, surgery may be necessary to repair or correct a defect within the heart.

Here at Cardiology Associates, we want to make sure that everyone gets the proper and comprehensive cardiology diagnosis, treatment, and care they deserve in Morristown. If you are experiencing symptoms of heart disease or you want to discuss the best ways to manage your condition, call our office today at (973) 889-9001.

By Cardiology Associates of Morristown
February 22, 2018
Category: Heart Problems
Tags: Hypertension  

Treating hypertension can help you avoid several serious health problems, such as stroke, heart failure, and kidney disease. Our hypertensionMorristown, NJ, cardiologists, Dr. Mark Blum, Dr. John Cosmi and Dr. Ira Freilich, discuss the condition and share information on treatment options.

How can I tell if I have hypertension?

Hypertension, also called high blood pressure, may not produce any symptoms initially. Unfortunately, damage to your blood vessels and arteries can occur even if you don't notice any changes in your health. If you don't receive treatment for your hypertension and your condition worsens, you may notice a few of these symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Vision problems
  • Headaches
  • Pounding in your head, chest or ears
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Confusion

Because it's impossible to predict who will develop hypertension, regular blood pressure screenings are very important, particularly if other family members have the condition.

What can I do to lower my high blood pressure?

When you visit our Morristown office, we may recommend one or more lifestyle changes that can help lower your blood pressure, including losing weight, exercising regularly, reducing stress, eating a healthy, low-salt diet or quitting smoking. In addition to these positive changes, you may also benefit from medication to lower your blood pressure, such as one or more of these types of prescription drugs:

  • Diuretics: Diuretics cause your body to release more water and salt in your urine, which lowers the amount of fluid in your blood vessels. When the fluid level is reduced, your blood pressure drops.
  • ACE Inhibitors: These drugs widen and relax your blood vessels, lowering your blood pressure and reducing the strain on your heart.
  • Calcium Channel Blockers: Calcium channel blockers not only dilate your blood vessels but also lower both your heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Beta Blockers: Beta blockers block adrenaline, a hormone that speeds up your heart rate and increases your blood pressure.
  • Alpha Blockers: Alpha blockers help relax the walls of your blood vessels.
  • Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers: These medications prevent angiotensin, a natural body chemical that triggers the narrowing of the blood vessels, from affecting your vessels.

Keeping your blood pressure under control can help you avoid serious health complications. Call our Morristown, NJ, cardiologists, Dr. Blum, Dr. Cosmi, and Dr. Freilich, at (973) 889-9001 to schedule an appointment.

By Cardiology Associates of Morristown
September 25, 2017
Category: Heart Problems

Learn more about what goes into getting a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).tavr

Has one of our Morristown, NJ, cardiologists - Dr. Mark Blum, Dr. John Cosmi or Dr. Ira Freilich - recently told you that you need to get a percutaneous valve replacement? If so, then you may feel a bit nervous to know that you have to undergo heart surgery. While open heart surgery has traditionally been the way to replace and repair valves, now we offer a less invasive procedure to replace this valve.

What is TAVR?

This FDA-approved surgery is a minimally invasive way to repair a narrowing aortic valve without needing invasive open heart surgery. As a result, this can be performed under IV sedation and local anesthesia. In many cases, a catheter is placed into the femoral artery of the groin, where one of our Morristown heart doctors will direct the replacement heart valve through the catheter until it reaches the aortic valve. Once inside the heart, a new valve is positioned into the proper place before the catheter is removed.

Of course, there are so instances in which the catheter is placed into the apex or aorta of the heart and the valve is delivered this way. In this case, small incisions will need to be made in the chest so that we can place the catheter. Of course, these incisions are significantly smaller than in traditional open heart surgery. Plus, the recovery process is much faster after getting TAVR than with traditional heart surgery, which means a shorter stay in the hospital after your procedure.

Who is a good candidate for TAVR?

Patients who have severe aortic stenosis who may not be ideal candidates for open heart surgery can get the valve repair and replacement they require through a TAVR procedure. Older adults (often 70 years old or older) and those with other health conditions may be ideal candidates for this heart surgery.

Do you have questions about your upcoming TAVR procedure? Do you need to schedule an appointment with a cardiologist in Morristown, NJ? If so, then it’s time you called Cardiology Associates of Morristown.

By Cardiology Associates of Morristown
September 25, 2017
Category: Heart Problems
Tags: Cardiac Procedures  

Not all cardiac treatments are invasive. Find out the many non-invasive options you do have for treating your heart conditions.

Have you recently suffered from a heart attack? Having a heart attack can be a frightening situation that you may never have thought would happen to you. Of course, you probably have already undergone treatments to help you after your heart attack but you may require more treatments in the near future. Of course, a heart attack does not necessarily mean that you need to have surgery in order to get the care you need. Our Morristown, NJ cardiologists--Dr. Mark Blum, Dr. John Edward Cosmi and Dr. Ira Freilich--provide information on non-invasive cardiac treatments available.

One of the most common non-invasive heart procedures our Morristown heart doctors perform is an angioplasty. An angioplasty uses a special tube that contains a balloon on the end of it. The tube is carefully guided through the coronary arteries where the balloon is then inflated to help clear the blocked areas to improve blood flow to these regions of the heart.

Sometimes a stent is also placed in the heart at the same time the angioplasty is performed. A stent is designed to keep the artery open and decrease the likelihood that a blockage will occur. What makes this procedure non-invasive is that a large incision doesn’t have to be made to the chest. The procedure lasts anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours, depending on everyone’s individual case.

A laser angioplasty is also another way to perform this procedure. Instead of having a balloon at the end, this catheter that we guide through the artery has a laser at the end. Through these beams of light we are able to remove the buildup of plaque and open up the blocked arteries of the heart.

Why might I need an angioplasty?

There are certain reasons why we might recommend this course of action:

  • It can reduce your risk of another heart attack
  • It can reduce chest pain
  • It can improve blood flow to the artery
  • It can improve your ability to exercise

An atherectomy is another non-invasive procedure that uses the same catheter system that an angioplasty does. The only difference is that it has a shaver at the end of it that is able to rotate to cut away plaque from the arteries and improve blood flow. This is also an option for those who have a blockage in the carotid arteries. Getting an atherectomy to repair blockages in the carotid can reduce your chances of a stroke.

Nothing is more important than your heart and here at Cardiology Associates of Morristown we think so too. We are happy to provide the latest in cardiac technologies for the Morristown, NJ area.

By Cardiology Associates of Morristow
September 25, 2017
Category: Heart Problems
Tags: heart disease  

Even with incredible improvements in medical treatments, or the steady increase and prevalence of potentially life-threatening illnesses like cancer and diabetes, heart disease still remains the number one cause of death in the United States for both men and women. In addition to claiming over 600,000 lives each year, heart disease treatment and care are estimated to amount to over $100 billion dollars per year.

What is Heart Disease?

The term covers a range of conditions that affect the heart and cardiovascular system. The heart specialists at Cardiology Associates of Morristown diagnose and treat patients for several conditions including:

  • Myocardial infarction (heart attack)
  • Arrhythmias
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Hypertension
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Cardiomyopathies
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Angina pectoris
  • Lipid disorders
  • Valvular heart disease
  • Pericardial heart disease

Signs and Symptoms of Heart Disease

Because there are several types, the symptoms will vary from patient to patient depending on the type of heart condition. Anyone experiencing significant and prolonged chest pain, shortness of breath, trouble breathing, and fainting or black outs should seek immediate medical care. Some of the most common symptoms include:

Atherosclerosis (blood vessels) - angina (chest pain), shortness of breath, pain, and numbing in upper and lower extremities, pain in back, upper abdomen, neck, and jaw

Arrhythmias (irregular heart beat) - tachycardia (accelerated heart rate), bradycardia (slower heart rate), dizziness, and fainting

Heart defects - gray or blue pallor, edema (swelling) in extremities and abdomen, shortness of breath and low weight in infants, fatigue, and exhaustion with even light physical exertion

Heart Disease Diagnosis and Treatment in Morristown

Awareness and preventive care should be a priority for every adult. To learn more about your individual risk for developing coronary disease, or if you are experiencing symptoms, contact a cardiologist at Cardiology Associates of Morristown by calling (973) 889-9001 to schedule a consultation today.