Advanced cardiovascular medicine in Southeast Georgia
At Memorial Health's Heart & Vascular Institute, we have a proven history of delivering top-quality heart care. The first open-heart surgery in Savannah was performed at our hospital in 1967. Since then, we have continued to provide cutting-edge cardiovascular services.
Our specialists work together to deliver comprehensive heart care—from prevention and diagnosis to the latest advancements in cardiac surgery. We also provide cardiac rehabilitation to help you regain strength and return to what you love.
To learn more about the cardiology services we offer, please call 912-350-BEAT (2328)
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the U.S. If you are experiencing heart trouble, our specialists are dedicated to providing accurate cardiac diagnoses and effective treatment options.
Our comprehensive heart services include:
- Acute chest pain care
- Advanced cardiac imaging
- Cardiothoracic surgery
- Electrophysiology and heart arrhythmia services
- Heart failure treatment
- Heart valve disease treatment
- Preventive cardiology
- Vascular disease treatment
Heart screening and imaging
Receiving a correct diagnosis is the first step in comprehensive cardiovascular care. To accomplish this, our cardiologists at Memorial Health's Heart & Vascular Institute have access to a wide range of imaging services and cardiac diagnostic tests, including:
Echocardiogram (echo)—An echo is a specialized ultrasound that creates images of the heart and its movements. Doctors are able to see the heart in action and evaluate proper pumping function and structure. For more advanced imaging needs, a transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) can be performed by inserting a probe down the esophagus.
Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG)—An ECG records and graphs the electrical signals in the heart. It is a painless test used to monitor how well your heart is beating.
Electrophysiology (EP) study—This is a detailed assessment and mapping of the electrical system within the heart. Your doctor may recommend an EP study to diagnose and treat heart arrhythmias and other heart problems. The EP study is performed in the electrophysiology laboratory and involves placing a catheter inside the heart to evaluate the electrical currents.
Cardiac catheterization—During a cardiac catheterization, a long catheter is inserted into an artery or vein and threaded through the blood vessels in the heart. This allows the doctor to assess the amount of blood flowing to the heart and determine the best course of treatment. It can be used to diagnose and treat heart conditions, such as coronary artery disease and heart valve issues.
Transtelephonic monitoring—Transtelephonic monitoring, also known as an event recorder, uses a small device to record your heart rhythm when you are experiencing symptoms, such as heart fluttering or racing.
Stress test—This determines how well the heart works under stress, and if you are at risk of experiencing a heart attack. During a stress test, you may walk on a treadmill or receive a medication injection to temporarily increase the heart's workload. As the workload of your heart increases, we will monitor your physical symptoms, perform blood pressure checks and record your heart's activity with an ECG.
Holter monitoring—A Holter monitor is a small wearable device that continuously monitors the heart's rhythm over a period of time, typically 24 to 48 hours. The device is battery-operated and attached to your skin with electrodes.
Tilt table testing—This is used to discover the cause of unexplained fainting, dizziness or lightheadedness. During a tilt table test, your blood pressure and heart rhythm are monitored while changing positions from lying flat (horizontally) to straight (vertically).
Interventional catheterization lab
Our interventional catheterization (cath) lab is where physicians visualize the heart and body’s arteries. Using a small catheter inserted into the vascular system, physicians can diagnosis potential problems and treat life-threatening blockages in the heart and arteries.
We perform a range of advanced treatments in the cath lab, including:
- Balloon angioplasty and percutaneous stenting
- Cardiac ablations
- Chronic total occlusion intervention
- Diagnostic and interventional catheterization
- Implantation of pacemakers, internal defibrillators and cardiac monitoring devices
- Valve repair and replacement
Our cardiac rehab program in the Heart & Vascular Institute at Memorial Health helps people who have had a heart attack, heart failure, heart valve surgery or coronary bypass surgery. This medically supervised program empowers patients through education and a personalized exercise plan to get stronger and return to their daily lives.
Throughout the program, our cardiac rehab team will be there to meet patient needs and monitor their heart during every session. We also provide exercise plans and monitoring for patients with peripheral artery disease.
Treatment for heart attacks
A heart attack is a serious, often life-threatening, medical emergency that requires immediate attention. Our emergency room (ER) is ready 24/7 to provide life-saving care for patients with heart attack symptoms. Upon arrival at our ER, patients with heart attack symptoms are taken to our cardiac cath lab to check for blockages in the coronary arteries.
If a blockage is found, the cardiologist may perform a balloon angioplasty or place a cardiac stent to open the blockage and restore blood flow to the heart. For arteries that are totally blocked, one of our experienced cardiac interventionalists may perform a chronic total occlusion procedure.
Common heart attack symptoms
Recognizing the signs of a heart attack could save a life. When you identify the signs of a potential heart attack, call 911 immediately. Remember, heart attack signs may occur differently in men and women.
Common signs and symptoms may include:
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Cold sweat
- Discomfort in the upper portion of the body, such as the back, neck, stomach, arms or jaw
- Shortness of breath
Our team is here to provide heart services tailored to meet women's health needs. Heart attack symptoms more commonly experienced by women include:
- Breaking out in a cold sweat
- Jaw or back pain
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Uncomfortable pressure in the chest