Patient Education

Connecticut Heart Group would like to be your partner in health care. Feel free to ask your questions and share your concerns with us. We will work with you to develop a wellness program for the care and treatment you need.

We welcome you to our practice and look forward to caring for you.

Connecticut Heart Group provides a full range of medical services including the following:


Angina

Angina is chest pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart, as a result of coronary heart disease. When plaque forms on the inner walls of the coronary arteries, blood flow is slowed. As this plaque builds, the heart must work harder to ensure blood flow. This buildup of plaque, known as atherosclerosis, causes the heart to gradually become oxygen-starved, producing pain in the surrounding tissue. Angina may feel like pressure or a squeezing pain in the chest and is often associated with a range of other symptoms, including shortness of breath, dizziness sweating, nausea, and fatigue. ...


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Heart Attack

A heart attack occurs when the coronary arteries, the blood vessels that deliver blood to the heart, are suddenly blocked and cannot supply the heart with blood and oxygen. This blockage causes damage and gradual death of the heart muscle and often requires immediate treatment in order to save the person's life. Also known as a myocardial infarction, heart attacks most often occur as a result of coronary artery disease, a condition in which plaque builds up inside the arteries. Heart attacks are the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. ...


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Peripheral Artery Disease

Peripheral artery disease, also known as PAD, is a common vascular condition involving a buildup of plaque within the peripheral arteries of the limbs, usually the legs and feet. Plaque is an accumulation of fat, cholesterol, calcium and other substances in the blood. The buildup of plaque can severely narrow or block the arteries and limit the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the body. PAD may be a symptom of atherosclerosis, a specific form of arteriosclerosis, which leads to a more widespread occurrence of plaque buildup in arteries. ...


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Shortness of Breath

Shortness of breath (dyspnea) is a symptom with a great many possible causes. When patients experience shortness of breath, they feel as if they cannot take in enough air. This difficulty in breathing can be the result of myriad conditions, some relatively benign and some life-threatening. While occasional, explicable bouts of shortness of breath are normal, when they are intense, prolonged or recurrent, their root causes can only be determined through comprehensive medical examination. ...


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Syncope

Syncope, commonly known as fainting, is a brief loss of consciousness as a result of a sudden drop in blood pressure and decrease in heart rate which results in an insufficient flow of blood to the brain. Most people regain consciousness after a few moments, but may experience a state of confusion for a short period. ...


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Women and Heart Disease

Heart (cardiovascular) disease is the leading cause of death in women older than 40. The death rate from heart disease increases as women age, especially after they reach menopause. It has claimed the lives of more women than men since 1984, and is responsible for the deaths of more women than breast and lung cancers combined. Each year, one of every four women in the United States will die from heart disease, with African-American women having a higher death rate than Caucasian women. ...


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Chest Pain

There are many types of, and reasons for, chest pain. Chest pain may manifest as sharp and stabbing, dull and aching, or even burning or crushing. At times, chest pain radiates up into the neck, shoulder, back or jaw, or down the arms. While chest pain may be the result of many injuries or disease conditions, the most life-threatening conditions causing chest pain involve the lungs or the heart. ...


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Cardiomyopathy

Cardiomyopathy is a disease that causes the heart muscle to become enlarged, thick or rigid. This condition makes it difficult for the heart to pump blood to the rest of the body. Cardiomyopathy can be caused by a number of different factors, which may produce different symptoms and require different treatments. Although it can be a serious condition that may lead to life-threatening complications, many cases of cardiomyopathy can be effectively treated to reduce symptoms and damage. ...


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Congestive Heart Failure

Congestive heart failure (CHF) occurs when the heart muscle, whether from weakness or stiffening, does not pump with sufficient force to circulate the blood properly. As a result, blood backs up in other parts of the body, such as the liver, abdomen, lower legs and lungs, because the heart is unable to keep pace with the body's circulatory needs. Although CHF can occur on either side of the body, it usually begins on the left, where the left ventricle, the primary pumping chamber of the heart, is located. ...


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Cardiac Pacemaker Implantation

A cardiac pacemaker is a device that is implanted under the skin to help control an individual's heart beat. This device is often used in people who have an arrhythmia, or abnormal heart beat, or in people whose heart beats too fast or too slow. A cardiac pacemaker sends signals to the heart that help it to beat at the correct and healthy pace. A cardiac pacemaker helps to track the heartbeat and maintain an adequate heart beat frequency to allow oxygen and nutrients to flow through the body. ...


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Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator

An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is an electronic device that is implanted under the skin, and is used to detect an abnormal heartbeat. An ICD is often implanted in individuals with arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats). This device uses electrical impulses to control dangerous arrhythmias that may lead to heart attack or sudden cardiac arrest. If an abnormal heartbeat is detected, the ICD will deliver an internal electric shock to the heart, restoring a normal heart beat as needed. ...


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Heart Arrhythmia

An arrhythmia is an irregular or abnormal heartbeat. A heart arrhythmia may occur when the electrical impulses that control the beating of the heart do not work properly, causing the heart to beat too slowly, too rapidly, or irregularly. While most arrhythmias are harmless, they may be an indication of a serious underlying condition, such as heart disease or a lack of blood flow to the heart. Heart arrhythmias are not uncommon and may be congenital or caused by various factors. ...


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Stress Echocardiogram

A stress echocardiogram is a diagnostic test used to evaluate the strength of the heart muscle as it pumps blood throughout the body. Using ultrasound imaging, the stress echocardiogram detects and records any decrease in blood flow to the heart caused by narrowing of the coronary arteries. The test, which takes place in a medical center or in the doctor's office, is administered in two parts: resting and with exercise. In both cases, the patient's blood pressure and heart rate are measured so that heart functioning at rest and during exercise can be compared. The ultrasound images enable the doctor to see whether any sections of the heart muscle are malfunctioning due to a poor supply of blood or oxygen. ...


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Palpitations

Patients who experience heart palpitations feel that their hearts are beating rapidly (tachycardia), fluttering, beating irregularly, or pounding. Normally, heart palpitations are not serious and are often triggered by stress, anxiety, exercise or certain medications. Heart palpitations may occur while the patient is sitting, standing, or lying down, during or immediately after strenuous activity, or during periods of rest. They are occasionally felt in the throat or neck, as well as in the chest. ...


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Nuclear Cardiology

Nuclear cardiology uses nuclear-imaging tests and studies to diagnose and assess conditions related to the heart. Nuclear-imaging tests may be used to assess blood flow, evaluate the pumping function of the heart, view the arteries of the heart, or determine the cause of a heart attack. ...


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Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty

Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) is a minimally invasive procedure used to open blocked coronary arteries, to improve blood flow and allow blood to circulate to the heart muscle. This procedure is often performed to treat blockages that have developed as a result of atherosclerosis or coronary artery disease. Atherosclerosis occurs when plaque builds up on the inner walls of the arteries and causes them to harden and narrow, often leading to coronary artery disease. A percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty involves the insertion of a tiny balloon that is inflated to open and widen the artery. It is often combined with the insertion of a small wire tube, called a stent, that helps keep the artery open. This less invasive procedure is often considered as an option to more invasive open heart surgery. ...


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Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation is an irregular or too-rapid beating (contraction) of the heart's upper chambers (atria) that affects the movement of blood into the heart's lower chambers (ventricles). It can lead to stroke or heart failure. When the movement of blood is irregular, blood may pool and form a clot; if a clot breaks off and travels to an artery leading to the brain, stroke can result. When the heart is incapable of pumping the amount of blood required to meet the body's needs, heart failure can result. Atrial fibrillation affects more than 2.7 million people in the United States, and often requires medical intervention. ...


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High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, occurs when the pressure of the blood flowing against the artery walls is above the normal range. Blood pressure is determined by the amount of blood the heart pumps and the blood flow resistance in the arteries. If the heart pumps more blood than normal, and the arteries are narrower than normal, the result is high blood pressure. Untreated high blood pressure can cause serious health problems, including heart attack, kidney failure and stroke. There are two types of high blood pressure: primary and secondary. Primary hypertension is high blood pressure that develops gradually over the course of time, and secondary hypertension is high blood pressure that results from an underlying medical condition. ...


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High Cholesterol

Cholesterol is produced by the liver, the intestines and nearly all tissues in the body. Cholesterol is needed for the production of hormones, vitamin D, and the bile necessary to digest fats in food. Cholesterol also protects cell membranes from changes in temperature. Although a certain amount of cholesterol is needed, too much is unhealthy. An excessive amount of cholesterol can block blood flow in the arteries, which can lead to a stroke. High cholesterol does not have symptoms, but a simple blood test can determine its presence. Cholesterol levels can be controlled or reduced with an active and healthy lifestyle, although, in some cases, medication will be necessary. ...


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Atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis is a condition that involves a gradual buildup of fats and cholesterol in the arteries. This is caused by fatty materials that collect along the artery walls and harden into a substance called plaque. This syndrome may affect any arterial blood vessel in the body, but is most commonly associated with the coronary arteries. As the plaque builds upon itself, it slowly narrows the diameter of the artery, increasing blood pressure and contributing to other cardiovascular disorders. Atherosclerosis is a type of arteriosclerosis although the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably. ...


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