Cardiology at the Heart Group of Lancaster General Health

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The Heart Group at Lancaster General Health offers specialty cardiology healthcare in a hospital setting, featuring world-class patient care delivered by physicians who contribute to cardiovascular science advancement.

Lancaster General Hospital provides office-based services and inpatient procedures at Lancaster General Hospital, working closely with each patient’s primary physician and other specialists to ensure coordinated approaches to care.

Cardiology

Cardiology is a field of medicine dedicated to disorders affecting the heart and blood vessels. This specialty covers everything from routine preventive care to heart surgery for severe heart conditions, from congenital heart defects, coronary artery disease, heart failure, valvular heart disease, and electrophysiology treatment and diagnosis – it encompasses it all! Cardiology is considered a subspecialty of internal medicine.

Cardiologists provide more than medical diagnosis and treatment, in addition to counseling on lifestyle changes that can prevent heart disease or accelerate recovery after cardiovascular events, including eating the appropriate diet, limiting certain activities, and maintaining a healthy weight. Such advice can help avoid complications while improving the quality of life overall.

Physicians join hospital systems to cut costs and save money as cardiology evolves. This trend can be explained by decreased insurance payments, rising liability and labor expenses, and the need to work more efficiently within an increasingly constrained healthcare market.

One way to decrease costs is through bundling payments for hospital and doctor services, typically paid by Medicare, that encourage collaboration among hospitals and physicians. By consolidating gains, offering lower prices without sacrificing service quality is possible.

Pennsylvania cardiology practices have seen many private practices acquired by larger health systems as part of a national trend to collaborate in an ever more regulated and cost-competitive industry. Lancaster General Health’s Heart Group of Lancaster General Health is the most extensive practice in its region. It recently joined forces with its health system, which operates both Lancaster General Hospital and Women & Babies Hospital.

Cardiology is an exciting and fast-changing field that constantly evolves, and cardiologists must possess intricate technical knowledge while being able to recall it quickly under pressure. They must also have strong leadership abilities and the ability to motivate staff members, as cardiology often deals with life-or-death situations for patients they serve.

Heart Failure

Heart failure occurs when your heart doesn’t pump enough blood for your body’s needs, leading to breathing problems, fatigue, and fluid retention. While there’s no known cure for heart failure, treatment can help improve symptoms while lengthening life expectancy with reduced symptoms.

If you have heart failure, you must keep track of your symptoms and report any changes to your doctor. Your healthcare team may prescribe medications and recommend a heart-healthy diet and exercise plan; extreme cases may require hospitalization. At Penn, our expert team treats individuals at all stages of heart failure using proven medication and lifestyle changes to manage symptoms more effectively.

At LifeWorks Urgent Care, we collaborate closely with your primary physician and other specialists to offer an integrative approach to care. Our physicians also have access to state-of-the-art technology, including our hybrid catheterization laboratory that serves as both an operating room and catheterization lab, enabling them to complete procedures requiring special tools or expertise.

Private cardiology practices increasingly join hospitals and health systems as they adapt to an ever-evolving healthcare environment. Lancaster General Health’s Heart Group has joined this trend, giving our physicians even greater access to state-of-the-art technologies at Lancaster General Hospital.

Our center offers various tests to diagnose heart failure and assess its severity. These may include electrocardiography (ECG), echocardiography, and chest X-ray. In addition, blood tests may be taken to check kidney and thyroid functions and cholesterol and anemia levels.

Echocardiography

Echocardiography is a noninvasive diagnostic test that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce moving pictures of the heart. This non-invasive procedure provides your provider invaluable information about your heart muscle, chambers, and valves. He or she will review your results with you so you understand their significance for your health.

Lancaster General Health’s Heart Group features board-certified physicians with advanced training in cardiovascular disease diagnosis and treatment, as well as cutting-edge technology to do so. Their internationally and nationally acclaimed specialists work closely with your primary care physician and other specialists for optimal results.

Your healthcare provider will move a probe around your chest and upper abdomen during an echo, with sound waves being reflected and analyzed by a computer to produce images of your heart in moving form. The most popular form of echocardiogram (TTE).

Two-D or “real-time” echo can give your doctor a real-time view of the structures inside your heart as they move with every beat, appearing cone-shaped on the monitor and giving him or her an invaluable perspective into many conditions.

Your healthcare provider may perform a TEE (transesophageal echocardiogram). This specialized examination allows your healthcare provider to observe the aorta and its valves inside your body, typically used to assess valvular apparatus or evaluate patients with dissection or chronic regurgitation.

Echo imaging can detect many problems related to your heart and valves, including:

Lipid Apheresis

Lipid apheresis may help patients with uncontrollable high cholesterol levels despite maximal drug therapy to decrease elevated levels of lipoprotein(a) and LDL cholesterol in circulation. This procedure is generally well tolerated and markedly reduces LDL levels, leading to a rapid return of normal triglyceride and HDL levels after treatment with lipid apheresis.

Studies have documented the reduction of atherosclerosis progression after long-term lipid apheresis treatments. For instance, Tatami and colleagues reported biweekly apheresis reduced cholesterol levels to more desirable ranges for 14 HeFH and 4 HoFH patients while simultaneously showing regression of atherosclerotic lesions on coronary angiography (28).

Lipid apheresis should be considered in patients with homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (FH), progressive atherosclerotic vascular disease, and failure to meet LDL cholesterol targets on maximum drug therapy. It may also be used in those with heterozygous FH who have experienced premature cardiovascular events due to early FH or those who suffer significant coronary artery disease without benefit from other strategies such as stenting or bypass surgery.

Lancaster General Health offers nationally recognized, top-of-the-line cardiovascular and vascular care at locations across Lancaster City, West Hempfield Township, Elizabethtown, Lititz Parkesburg, Lebanon. Our team collaborates closely with each patient’s primary physician and other specialists as an expanding practice to provide comprehensive and coordinated care. This approach allows patients in three counties within an 80-mile radius of home to receive world-class treatment without traveling further afield to larger centers of excellence. Attracting residents through excellent local healthcare and an abundance of great schools, safe neighborhoods, and affordable housing; culture, recreational, and sporting opportunities galore; easy train access to New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington D.C., making Lancaster County an ideal location to Live, Work, and Play!