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Dignity Health: Heart Disease Treatments


If you’re in need of heart care, a number of cardiovascular treatments can help your heart function better and relieve symptoms. 

Cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons at Dignity Health offer personalized heart care — from atrial fibrillation treatment to open heart surgery. Take our online heart risk assessment, or Find a Doctor in the Bay Area.

Types of Heart Disease Treatments

Cardiovascular treatments can help reduce heart disease symptoms and improve your quality of life. Common treatments include:

  • Cardiac catheterization looks inside your heart. If an artery is blocked, doctors can perform angioplasty or place a heart stent.
  • Ablation selectively destroys cells in your heart causing an arrhythmia. 
  • Pacemaker is a medical device implanted in your chest that helps your heart maintain a normal rhythm.
  • Open heart surgery is any heart surgery that requires accessing the heart through the chest by making an incision in the breastbone.
  • Angioplasty increases blood flow to your heart by inflating a tiny balloon inside blocked arteries. 
  • Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) is a type of heart surgery that replaces a blocked part of a coronary artery using part of a healthy artery from your leg or arm. 
  • Heart transplant replaces a diseased heart with a donor organ. 
  • Left ventricular assist device (LVAD) is a mechanical pump that assists a weakened heart. 
  • Heart stent is a small tube placed inside a blocked coronary artery to hold it open and increase blood flow to your heart.
  • Thrombolysis refers to “clot-busting” medications to dissolve blood clots.
  • 3-D mapping pinpoints the source of an abnormal heartbeat.

What to Expect from Heart Surgery & Other Treatments

Most heart disease treatments are performed in a hospital or surgical center. You may receive either light sedation or general anesthesia. Major heart surgery requires staying several nights in a special cardiac intensive care unit.
Make sure to discuss the risks and benefits of all heart care with your cardiologist. Ask how you can reduce your risk of complications.

Recovery After Heart Disease Treatments

Minimally invasive heart disease treatments, such as catheter ablation, require less recovery time than major procedures, such as open heart surgery. Your doctor will give you specific instructions about your recovery. Discuss heart surgery well in advance of your procedure so you can plan ahead to take time off of work, if necessary.

At Dignity Health, we offer life-saving heart surgery and treatments. Once your heart is working better, you’ll feel more energetic than you have in a long time. 

Dignity Health offers pacemakers, open heart surgery, and other heart disease treatments in the Bay Area, including in San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Redwood City.