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Cardiovascular Services

Your First Choice for Heart and Vascular Care

Ocala Health has a 26-year history of providing innovative cardiovascular care to the community with its highly sophisticated heart and vascular program. Ocala Health’s integrated team of patient-centered cardiovascular specialists has been recognized for their clinical advancements and quality outcomes, providing patients with the entire continuum of care from prevention and screenings, to diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation.

A Proven and Trusted Cardiovascular Care Program

We are nationally recognized as a United Health specialty surgery center for:

  • Premium Interventional Cardiac Care
  • Premium Cardiac Rhythm Management
  • Premium Cardiac Surgery Specialty Center

We are also an Accredited Chest Pain Center. Having earned this distinction from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC), we offer fast, specialized emergency heart care that makes a critical difference when minutes count. Our door-to-balloon (D2B) times exceed the national standards for treatment times. Put your trust in the cardiovascular care experts at Ocala Regional Medical Center and West Marion Community Hospital.

Our Team Approach Sets Us Apart!

The highly skilled cardiovascular specialists at Ocala Health work with each other to provide you with exceptional cardiovascular care. Our team approach to your care brings together specialists across multiple disciplines. Dedicated cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, vascular surgeons, general surgeons, and cardiovascular anesthesiologists working together closely with respiratory therapists, rehabilitation and occupational therapists, dietary, and social workers create an individual care plan for you.

Compassionate and Comprehensive Care

At Ocala Health, our cardiovascular experts offer a variety of diagnostic tests and treatment options to provide you with unsurpassed cardiovascular care that is both patient-centric and compassionate:

  • Echocardiogram (ECHO)
  • Vascular ultrasound (carotid, peripheral arterial and venous)
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG)
  • Stress testing (nuclear and treadmill)
  • Holter monitoring
  • Cardiac catheterization
  • Coronary intervention (stent and balloon)
  • FFR (fractional flow reserve)
  • IVUS (intravascular ultrasound)
  • Coronary atherectomy
  • Carotid stenting
  • Peripheral angiography and intervention
  • Chronic Total Occlusion (CTO)
  • Pacemaker and defibrillator implantation (including the innovative sub-q ICD)
  • Loop recorder implantation
  • Electrophysiology (EP) studies and ablations
  • AmplatzerPFO closure
  • Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG)
  • Valve repair
  • Valve replacement
  • Maze procedure for treatment of atrial fibrillation
  • Minimally invasive thoracic (lung) surgery
  • Endovascular aortic stenting
  • Aortic reconstruction/grafting
  • Carotid endarterectomy
  • Esophagectomy
  • Minimally invasive valve surgery

Need Help Finding a Heart Doctor?

Our healthcare hotline is available 24 hours per day to help you find a heart physician who is right for you. Please call (800) 530-1188.

More information about Ocala Health’s Cardiovascular Services

Our Team Approach

Ocala Health’s network of cardiovascular specialists have the training and experience to treat a broad-spectrum of conditions of the heart and vascular system. The cardiovascular program at Ocala Health offers you and your family:

  • A comprehensive cardiovascular program with cardiovascular services conveniently offered at both Ocala Health campuses (Ocala Regional Medical Center and West Marion Community Hospital), with a large network of physicians providing both inpatient and outpatient cardiovascular care
  • An entire continuum of cardiovascular care options including prevention and screenings, to diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation
  • An Accredited Chest Pain Center which demonstrates our commitment to quality and provides fast, expert response to those with signs or symptoms of a heart attack. From your initial onset of symptoms, our integrated team comprised of EMS dispatchers, emergency room physicians, invasive and interventional cardiologists, as well as our expertly trained cardiovascular technologists and nurses work together to provide the care that you need. When minutes count, trust your heart care to Ocala Health!
  • Multidisciplinary approach to the diagnosis and treatment of heart valve disease by our highly experienced Valve Clinic Team
  • Collaborative care provided by our team of board-certified heart and vascular physicians
  • A commitment to bringing innovative treatment and surgical options to our community such as esophagectomy, Amplatzer PFO closure, and minimally invasive thoracic (lung) surgery- VATS
  • Continued support and maintenance programs for you with our AACVPR certified Take Charge Cardiac Rehabilitation program

A Chest Pain Center earns its accreditation through The Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC). The SCPC evaluates a hospital's performance in its response to optimally treating patients with chest pain. As part of the accreditation process, the SCPC also requires participation in a variety of quality initiatives. At Ocala Health, we are diligent in our efforts for continually improving our emergency processes and procedures so that we can provide the best care for our patients with chest pain or other heart attack symptoms.

Quality Outcomes

Ocala Health's designation as an Accredited Chest Pain Center ensures that we meet or exceed established quality care measures for the care of the acute coronary syndrome (ACS) patients. Having achieved this designation sets us apart as a provider with established quality outcomes.

Learn the Early Signs of a Heart Attack

Heart attacks are one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Damage to the heart and many deaths could be prevented if more people were aware of the early symptoms of a heart attack.

Greater than 50 percent of people experience early heart attack symptoms hours, days, or even weeks before a heart attack. The most common symptoms include:

  • Chest discomfort (pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain)
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body — arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold sweat
  • Nausea
  • Lightheadedness

If you or someone you know experiences any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately.

The Valve Clinic at Ocala Health

The Valve Clinic at Ocala Health provides a collaborative and comprehensive approach to the care and management of heart valve disease. Utilizing a multidisciplinary approach to evaluation, diagnosis and treatment options, patients can be assured that they are receiving the most innovative and patient-centered care for a broad range of valvular disorders, such as aortic stenosis, mitral stenosis, as well as aortic and mitral regurgitation (insufficiency).

Our Multidisciplinary Team

It has been long-recognized that the multidisciplinary approach is the foundation for achieving optimal outcomes for patients. At Ocala Health, our Valve Clinic Team combines the clinical expertise of invasive and interventional cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, anesthesiologists and cardiovascular imaging specialists all working collaboratively together to provide patients with exceptional, individualized care and appropriate treatment options. Our multidisciplinary approach is specifically designed to address the needs of patients with advanced valvular heart disease, including those with complex, co-morbidities.

Our Team Approach

The Valve Clinic Team is truly a partner in each patient’s care. Our multidisciplinary team holds a Monthly Valve Case Conference, whereby cases referred to the Valve Clinic are reviewed and discussed in detail, including a thorough review of each patient’s prior imaging studies and results. The Valve Clinic Team will then recommend appropriate treatment solutions, which may include medical therapy or surgical solutions. To expedite the care of the patient and provide effective communication to those involved in the care of the patient, the referring primary care physician and cardiologist will receive timely post-conference communication from the Valve Clinic Team, as to the recommended plan of treatment.

Referral Process

For more information or to refer a case to the Valve Case Conference, please call Michelle Hodges, CV Service Line Administrator at 352-401-1427.

Trust your heart care to our team of highly accomplished cardiovascular physicians. With decades of experience, our team has a long-standing reputation for providing quality outcomes in cardiovascular care.

Ocala Health — Your First Choice for Heart and Vascular Care

When you choose Ocala Health, you can feel confident that you will receive:

  • A collaborative cardiovascular team approach with decades of experience
  • Board-certified cardiologists and surgeons who are committed to ongoing education and can provide you with the latest technologies, advanced procedures and surgical options
  • Cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons who perform advanced cardiac and vascular surgeries, including minimally invasive thoracic surgery (VATS) for the treatment of lung cancer. Additionally, we are the only center in Marion County offering surgical esophagectomy
  • As a Graduate Medical Education training institution, our cardiovascular team has the knowledge and technical expertise to provide training for future physicians who will practice throughout the country

Trust the Cardiovascular Specialists at Ocala Health

Our highly esteemed team of cardiovascular specialists includes:

Minimally invasive esophagectomy is a surgery most often used to treat cancer of the esophagus. It may also be used in the treatment of achalasia (a condition in which the ring of muscle of the esophagus does not work well), for severe damage of the lining of the esophagus that can lead to cancer (Barrett's esophagus) or in the case of severe trauma. The esophagus is the tube that moves food from your throat to your stomach. During an esophagectomy, part or all of the esophagus is removed and is then rebuilt from part of the stomach or large intestine.

Who Performs this Type of Surgery?

At Ocala Health, minimally invasive esophagectomy is performed through the collaborative efforts of our cardiothoracic and general surgery teams.

How is the Procedure Performed?

  • The surgeon will make three to four small cuts in your upper belly, chest, or lower neck. These cuts will be less than ½-inch long.
  • The laparoscope, with a camera on the end, will be inserted through one of the cuts into your upper belly. Video from the camera will appear on a monitor in the operating room. Other medical instruments will be inserted through the other cuts.
  • The surgeon will close off one part of your stomach with staples and cut this section off. This part of your stomach will be used to form a new tube to replace the part of your esophagus that is removed.
  • The surgeon will remove the part of your esophagus where your cancer is located, and any other related lymph nodes in the area.
  • The surgeon will join together your rebuilt esophagus and stomach in your neck or chest. Where they are joined will depend on how much of your esophagus was removed.
  • Lymph nodes in your chest may also be removed if your cancer has spread to them. The surgeon will remove them through a cut in the lower part of your neck.
  • The surgeon will place a feeding tube in your small intestine so that you can be fed while you are recovering from the surgery.

A PFO is the most common structural heart defect and is simply a hole in the tissue that normally separates the upper chambers of the heart (right and left atrium). This defect allows blood to pass between the chambers and may be a pathway for stroke events.

What is the Amplatzer Closure Device?

The closure device is a small, double disc device made of Nitinol mesh and polyester fabric that is deployed through the use of a catheter to close the defect permanently.

Who Performs this Type of Surgery?

At Ocala Health, Amplatzer closure procedures are performed in our cardiac catheterization laboratory by an interventional cardiologist who has received additional training and experience in this specialized procedure.

VATS is a minimally invasive surgical technique used to diagnose and treat a variety of conditions in your chest. At Ocala Health it is commonly used to diagnosis and/or treat lung cancers or other chest cancers, or for lung volume reduction surgery.

How is VATS Performed?

During a VATS procedure, a tiny camera called a thoracoscope and specialized surgical instruments are inserted into your chest through several small incisions. The thoracoscope then transmits images from inside of your chest to a video monitor which guides the cardiothoracic surgeon performing the procedure.

What are the Advantages of VATS over Traditional Thoracotomy?

Compared to the traditional thoracotomy (open), VATS procedures have substantially less post-operative pain and shorter recovery time.

Your physician will likely recommend cardiac rehabilitation after you have had a heart attack, coronary interventional procedure or cardiac surgery. Under the guidance of our dedicated team of nurses and exercise physiologists, Ocala Health's Take Charge cardiac rehabilitation program will help you recover and resume your daily activities in an environment that is both safe and encouraging.

The Take Charge Cardiac Rehabilitation program is AACVPR certified and recognized as a leader in the field of cardiovascular rehabilitation.

Your road to maximum heart health begins with Take Charge.

Rehabilitation Program

  • Inpatient and outpatient programs
  • You will receive an initial thorough evaluation by our professional staff, who are experienced in both cardiac rehabilitation and exercise physiology
  • The team will create a structured exercise plan that includes monitoring of your heart, customized to your personal needs and goals
  • Education will be provided on topics that directly impact your heart health so you can make informed lifestyle choices that reduce your risk factor for heart and vascular disease

Maintenance Program

  • Our outpatient maintenance program is designed for those who have not had a cardiac event, but would like to reduce their risk factors for heart disease, improve their fitness, and maintain their overall health.
  • We offer a medically supervised, structured education and exercise regimen for a nominal monthly fee.
  • As in our cardiac rehabilitation program, our goal is to assist you in achieving your optimal level of heart health in an environment that is both safe and encouraging.

How Will Cardiac Rehabilitation Benefit You?

  • Learn how to decrease risk factors for coronary heart disease
  • Improve blood cholesterol levels
  • Learn safe exercise habits
  • Manage blood pressure
  • Improve stamina
  • Keep your weight down
  • Keep your body flexible
  • Improve the way you handle stress and anxiety
  • Meet people overcoming similar cardiac conditions
  • Echocardiogram (ECHO) — painless and non-invasive, this specialized ultrasound creates a “motion picture” of your heart; allows for assessment of the pumping capacity of your heart muscle, valvular function, and detection of enlargement of your heart or its chambers
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG) — measures the electrical activity of your heart
  • Stress testing (nuclear and treadmill) — monitors your heart's response to exercise; if a nuclear stress test is performed, the adequacy of blood flow to your heart muscle can be determined
  • Holter monitoring — monitors the electrical activity of your heart for a 24- or 48-hour period, often used in patients with symptoms of fainting or palpitations
  • Cardiac catheterization — a small tube, or catheter, is introduced into the groin or wrist to access for blockages in the coronary arteries which supply blood to the heart muscle; it also determines the pumping capacity of the heart
  • Coronary intervention (stent and balloon) — a non-surgical method used to open narrowed coronary arteries that supply heart muscle with blood
  • FFR (fractional flow reserve) — an assessment tool used during a coronary interventional procedure to determine whether or not to perform angioplasty or stenting on “intermediate” blockages
  • IVUS (intravascular ultrasound) — a catheter-based diagnostic test to take images of the interior structure of the coronary arteries to further evaluate blockage
  • Coronary atherectomy — a procedure in which a catheter is equipped with a specialized tool at the tip and can remove plaque from the coronary artery wall
  • Carotid stenting — procedure in which a stent is inserted into the carotid artery to improve blood flow in the carotid arteries, which provide blood supply to the brain
  • Peripheral angiography and intervention — a small tube, or catheter, is introduced into the groin to access and treat blockages or blood clots in the peripheral (leg) arteries or veins
  • CTO (Chronic Total Occlusion) — non-surgical treatment for a complete blockage of a coronary artery which is more than 30 days old and involves rerouting the blood flow around the existing blockage
  • Pacemaker and defibrillator implantation (including the innovative sub-q ICD) — devices which are surgically implanted under the skin and serve to regulate the rhythm of the heart by electrical stimulation to the heart muscle
  • Electrophysiology (EP) studies and ablations — a procedure performed to measure the electrical activity of the heart; it is often used to diagnosis and treat the cause of abnormal heart rhythms (i.e. a-fib, SVT, etc.)
  • Amplatzer PFO closure
  • Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) — surgical treatment for blockages of the heart. During this surgery, a blood vessel is removed or redirected from one area of the body and placed around the area that is blocked, thus “bypassing” the blockage. This restores appropriate blood flow to the heart muscle
  • Valve repair — surgical treatment for heart valve problems (most typically the mitral or aortic valve) in which the affected valve leaflets or supporting structures are repaired and left in place
  • Valve replacement — surgical treatment for heart valve problems (most typically the mitral or aortic valve) in which the affected valve is replaced with either a tissue or mechanical valve
  • Maze procedure — a surgical option for the treatment of a-fib in which a number of small incisions are made in the left and right atrium so that scar tissue forms. This scar tissue does not conduct electrical activity and therefore disrupts the pathway for the abnormal electrical impulses
  • Minimally invasive thoracic (lung) surgery (VATS)
  • Endovascular aortic stenting — a stent placed inside an enlarged aorta to repair and prevent rupture of the vessel
  • Aortic reconstruction/grafting — surgical replacement of an enlarged or damaged section of the aorta and replacement with a graft typically made of Dacron
  • Carotid endarterectomy — surgical removal of the plaque (fatty deposits) that has accumulated in the carotid arteries. Removal of this plaque can decrease the probability of stroke
  • Esophagectomy
  • Impella
  • Radial Access