Diseases & Conditions

Wilmington Cardiac Disease Care

Cardiac disease does not come with many warning signs. If there are any side effects at all, they are usually very subtle and may seem unrelated. Learning more about heart and vascular diseases will help you take steps to prevent them and react quickly when dealing with a cardiac event. Below we provide a brief overview of different cardiac diseases and conditions.

At Saint Francis Healthcare, we strive to stay informed on the newest medical research and advancements. Our team utilizes cutting-edge, minimally invasive procedures so that we can provide patients with safe treatment of the highest quality.

Heart Diseases & Conditions

  • Acute Coronary Syndrome – Acute Coronary Syndrome occurs when blood supply to the heart is suddenly blocked. It is a medical emergency and chest pain is its main symptom.
  • Angina – Angina is chest pain that is caused by reduced blood flow to the heart.
  • Arrhythmia – An arrhythmia is an abnormal heart rhythm.
  • Atherosclerosis – Atherosclerosis is the hardening of the arteries due to plaque buildup inside of the arteries.
  • Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) – Atrial fibrillation is a quivering, irregular heartbeat that may cause stroke and other heart-related complications.
  • Cardiac Arrest – Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart suddenly stops working. It is a medical emergency.
  • Cardiomyopathy – Cardiomyopathy is an enlarged heart muscle. As the heart gets larger, it becomes weaker.
  • Congenital Heart Defects – Congenital heart defects are heart conditions that occur due to heart abnormalities present at birth. These defects can affect any part of the heart and can often be treated with surgery.
  • Coronary Artery Disease – Coronary Artery Disease refers to a buildup of plaque in the arteries of the heart. It can lead to a heart attack.
  • Heart Attack – A heart attack occurs when blood flow to the heart is dramatically reduced. This loss of blood flow can cause portions of the heart muscle to die.
  • Heart Block – A heart block occurs when the electrical signal that causes the heart to pump is interrupted or stopped.
  • Heart Failure – Heart failure occurs when the heart is significantly weakened so that it can no longer adequately supply the body's cells with oxygen. Fatigue and shortness of breath make everyday activities difficult.
  • Infective (bacterial) Endocarditis – Infective endocarditis is an infection of the lining of the heart. It may be caused by bacteria and can lead to complications such as heart valve destruction and congestive heart failure.
  • Inherited Rhythm Disorders (IRDs) – Inherited Rhythm Disorders (IRDs) cause irregular heartbeats. IRDs can be managed with medication and other treatments.
  • Long QT Syndrome (LQTS) – Long QT Syndrome (LQTS) is a heart rhythm disorder that may cause rapid, chaotic heartbeats. These rapid heartbeats may lead to sudden fainting, seizure or death.
  • Pericarditis – Pericarditis is the inflammation of the sac that surrounds the heart.
  • Valve Disorders – Valve disorders involve problems with the valves that regulate blood flow throughout the heart. In general, valves either harden or leak.

Vascular Diseases & Conditions

  • Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm – An abdominal aortic aneurysm describes an aorta that has enlarged and morphs into a balloon-like shape. This weakens the artery and could tear or burst, resulting in serious health complications, including death.
  • Carotid Artery Disease/Stroke – When plaque builds up in the carotid arteries, it becomes harder for blood to reach the head, neck, and brain, putting you at increased risk for a stroke.
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) – This is arterial plaque buildup in the legs and other parts of the body. PAD can cause cramping and fatigue in the affected area, and is one of the few vascular diseases with noticeable side effects before a cardiac event.
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOC) – Thoracic Outlet Syndrome describes a group of disorders that cause the blood vessels and/or nerves in the lower armpit to compress and result in pain and reduced blood flow.
  • Venous Disease – Venous disease affects the blood flow in the leg. The legs must be able to push blood back up the leg and back to the heart. Gravity is strongest near the legs, and overtime the pressure can cause the valves to fail and blood will be unable to move back to the heart. Venous disease is not curable, but it can and should be treated to prevent further complications.
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) – Blood clots that can form in the deep veins can break free, travel through the blood stream, and potentially get lodged in a vital organ like the lungs. If your leg begins to swell for no reason, you may have a blood clot and should see a doctor.
  • Varicose Veins/Venous Insufficiency – Varicose veins are the result of increased blood pressure on the legs that reduce blood flow and cause blood to pool in the legs.