Advanced heart and vascular care in Northeast Florida
Memorial Hospital Jacksonville's Heart Center uses state-of-the-art technology to provide a wide range of cardiology services. As a Blue Distinction Center for cardiac care, you can trust our team of cardiology experts to be there for you. From heart attack treatment to minimally invasive surgery, we are committed to providing quality care.
To learn more about the cardiology services we offer, call our Consult-A-Nurse® line at (800) 530-3244.
Memorial Hospital Jacksonville is proud to be recognized as a Blue Distinction Center for cardiac care by Blue Cross Blue Shield and an accredited Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI by the American College of Cardiology.
Features of our cardiology services
Our Heart Center is one of the largest dedicated cardiac centers in Northeast Florida, with over 10,000 patients treated annually. It is located on the north end of the hospital and has its own entrance, valet parking and waiting room.
Cardiology services offered at our hospital include:
- Advanced heart imaging
- Cardiac catheterization (cath) lab services
- Cardiac rehabilitation
- Clinical research trials
- Electrophysiology (EP) studies
- Heart attack treatment
- Minimally invasive heart and vascular surgery
Our hospital also has a dedicated cardiac intensive care unit (ICU) with a staff focused on treating patients with critical heart conditions.
Leaders in cardiovascular research
We are proud to partner with Sarah Cannon Research Institute (SCRI) Cardiovascular to bring you the latest clinical trials in heart care. As a leader in cardiovascular research, SCRI Cardiovascular works with physicians across the country who specialize in fields such as electrophysiology, heart failure and cardiovascular surgery.
Heart attack treatment
If you are experiencing a heart attack, it's important to act quickly and seek emergency care right away. Our emergency room (ER) is equipped to provide comprehensive and fast treatment for heart attacks.
Signs of a heart attack include:
- Chest discomfort (including pressure, pain, tightness or aching sensation in your chest or arms)
- Cold sweat
- Nausea, indigestion or abdominal pain
- Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the neck, jaw, back or stomach
- Shortness of breath
If you or someone you know is experiencing the signs of a heart attack, call 911 immediately.
Heart imaging services
As part of our commitment to providing comprehensive imaging services, we provide advanced tests to detect the cause of heart problems you may be experiencing.
Positron emission tomography (PET)/computerized tomography (CT) scans
A PET scan is an imaging test that uses a special dye with radioactive tracers to allow your doctor to identify diseases in your body. A CT scan uses a computer and X-ray to produce detailed images of the body. PET/CT scans provide images of blood flow to the heart, allowing cardiologists to detect blockages within the arteries.
These scans are non-invasive and painless. The procedure is performed to identify early signs of heart disease and help your physician manage and plan treatment options.
An echocardiogram, or echo, is an ultrasound used to produce images of the heart. It can be performed to assess:
- Abnormal communication between the left and right sides of the heart
- Cardiac measurements
- Cardiac valve areas and their function
- How much blood the left ventricle pumps out with each contraction
- Valve regurgitation (blood leaking through the valves)
Cardiac cath lab
To further examine your heart's function, your doctor may recommend cardiac catheterization. During this procedure, a long, thin tube (catheter) is inserted into a vein in your arm, groin or neck. The catheter is then threaded to your heart. It can be used to:
- Determine the amount of oxygen in the heart
- Diagnose heart defects
- Identify problems related to the heart valves
- Locate blockages in the blood vessels
- Perform a tissue biopsy in the heart
- Test pressure
Cardiac catheterization is also used in the following procedures performed to treat heart disease:
- Ablation for heart arrhythmia
- Angioplasty, with or without a stent placement
- Closure of holes in the heart, including patent foramen ovale (PFO)
- Heart valve repair or replacement
- Thrombectomy for blood clots
What to expect during cardiac catheterization
Cardiac catheterization is generally performed under local anesthesia. A dye is injected into a small tube so the cardiologist can get a clear view of the affected area. Recovery time from a cardiac catheterization procedure is quick, and there is a relatively low risk for complications.
Electrophysiology (EP) lab
If you are experiencing heart rhythm problems, our electrophysiology lab can help diagnose arrhythmias and determine the best care plan for you. We offer a range of diagnostic services and treatment options to meet your needs.
Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)
An EKG or ECG is a test that checks for problems with the heart’s electrical activity. This test is performed to:
- Check the health of the heart when other diseases or conditions are present, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cigarette smoking, diabetes or a family history of early heart disease
- Check the heart’s electrical activity
- Check the thickness of the heart chamber wall
- Determine if medicines are working and if they are causing certain side effects
- Determine the cause of certain heart disease symptoms, such as unexplained chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, fainting or rapid/irregular heartbeats
- Determine the cause of unexplained chest pain, such as a heart attack, inflammation of the sac surrounding the heart (pericarditis) or reduced blood flow to the heart muscle (ischemia)
- Determine the effectiveness of pacemakers or implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs)
An exercise electrocardiogram tests for changes in your heart while you exercise. Your physician may order this test to check any abnormalities that can be seen in the EKG only during exercise or while symptoms are present. This test is sometimes called a “stress test” or “treadmill test.”
A resting EKG is always done before an exercise EKG test, and the results of both tests are compared. A resting EKG may also show a heart problem that would make an exercise EKG unsafe.
Atrial fibrillation treatment
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), atrial fibrillation, or Afib, is the most common type of irregular heart rhythm. Afib occurs when the upper chambers of the heart beat irregularly and cause the lower chambers of the heart to pump blood abnormally and ineffectively. Over time, Afib may become more frequent and longer lasting, sometimes leading to chronic or permanent Afib. Afib can also increase your risk of stroke.
We use a multidisciplinary approach to determine the best Afib treatment options for each patient. This may include:
- Catheter ablation
- Hybrid Maze procedure (includes surgical and catheter ablation)
- Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD)
- Left atrial appendage closure (LAAC) implant
- Radio frequency ablation
To learn more about the services offered by our Afib clinic, please call (904) 702-2342.
Cardiac ablation is used to fix heart rhythm problems. Electrodes are placed in the heart to measure the electrical activity in specific areas of the heart. If a problem area is found, an electrical wave will be sent to the area to fix the issue.
A pacemaker is a device implanted into the body, generally in the chest or abdomen. A pacemaker uses electrical impulses to help the heart beat at a normal rhythm. They are typically used to treat arrhythmias.
An ICD is a tiny electrical generator implanted in patients diagnosed with conditions such as ventricular fibrillation and tachycardia. The device corrects cardiac arrhythmia by delivering an electric jolt.
Memorial Valve Clinic
At the Memorial Valve Clinic, we have an experienced medical staff trained in the detection and treatment of valve conditions. Our affiliated cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons work as a team to provide the care you need.
Signs of heart valve disease
The heart depends on four tiny valves to help blood flow properly and deliver oxygen throughout the body. However, heart valve disease can occur if one or more of the heart valves isn't working properly.
Signs of heart valve disease include:
- Chest pain and pressure or a feeling of squeezing or heaviness
- Fainting or dizziness
- Heart murmur detected by your physician
- Shortness of breath or breathing too hard
- Swelling of the legs
When you come to the Memorial Valve Clinic, we will work with you to get a comprehensive understanding of your health history and any symptoms you may be experiencing. Your initial evaluation will include:
- A comprehensive review of your medical history
- A physical examination
- An echocardiogram
- A discussion of test results and treatment plan options
Heart valve disease treatment
Treatment for heart valve disease depends on the severity of symptoms and how well the heart is functioning. For many patients, we treat heart valve disease with medications and close observation. For other patients, we may recommend valve surgery. Types of valve surgery we offer include:
- Valve replacement (aortic and mitral)
- Valve repair (mitral)
- Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)
TAVR can help patients with severe aortic stenosis feel better and live longer. It is the only valve replacement option for patients with severe aortic stenosis who do not qualify for traditional surgery.
TAVR is a minimally invasive procedure that uses a catheter to replace the aortic valve without requiring open heart surgery. During the procedure, the malfunctioning valve is ballooned open and the new valve is anchored in place. This allows blood to freely flow from the heart to the rest of the body.
The benefits of TAVR can include:
- Earlier return to normal activities
- Fewer days in the ICU
- Less blood loss compared to conventional open-heart surgery
- Shorter hospital stay
Mitral valve repair
Mitral valve replacement can be used to treat individuals with aortic stenosis or a leaky mitral valve. Compared to valve replacement, mitral valve repair provides better preservation of heart function and lower risk of complications. It also eliminates the need for long-term use of blood thinners.