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South Nassau in the Community


Prevention and Rehabilitation are Cornerstones of Cardiac Care

The results of a study conducted by Sherry L. Grace, Ph.D., of York University, Toronto, and colleagues in the Cardiac Rehabilitation Care Continuity Through Automatic Referral Evaluation (CRCARE) Investigators reported that one year after being treated for coronary artery disease, 1,809 patients referred to cardiac rehabilitation had attended 82.8 percent of sessions during the year following hospitalization.

That’s good news as the study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, pointed out that cardiac rehabilitation offers a comprehensive approach to chronic disease management by addressing risk factors such as hypertension, obesity, smoking, unhealthy diet and a sedentary lifestyle. It backed that statement by emphasizing that it has been proven that, compared with usual care, cardiac rehabilitation reduces illness and death by about one-fourth over one to two years.

Cardiovascular rehabilitation is an essential component of the interventional cardiology services provided by South Nassau Communities Hospital’s Center for Cardiovascular Health. After diagnosing, treating and confirming that treatments are working, the center’s cardiologists refer patients to our Cardiovascular Rehabilitation Center (located at 440 Merrick Rd. in Oceanside). The center provides the compassionate care, rehabilitation and counseling that patients need to achieve the best possible recovery.

The Center provides a comprehensive, individualized program of cardiac rehabilitation for people who have had a recent heart attack, heart surgery or have been diagnosed with stable angina. This 12-week program includes therapeutic exercise, cardiac risk assessment, nutritional assessment and counseling, stress reduction and education on the heart-healthy lifestyle. The center and its multidisciplinary program have been certified by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation.

Whether you have or have not been treated for coronary artery disease, it’s never too late follow the advice of the late great Benjamin Franklin, who said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Gina Day, MD, FACC, and Donna Denier, MD, FACC, certified clinical and non-invasive cardiologists at South Nassau, strongly recommend taking the following steps to improve your heart health:

  • Quit smoking.
  • Control cholesterol; total cholesterol should be less than 200 mg/dL.
  • Monitor your blood pressure, which should be below 120/80 mm/Hg.
  • Eat foods that are low in saturated fat, cholesterol and trans-fat (partially hydrogenated fats).
  • Exercise; 30 minutes of brisk walking on most days of the week is all it takes.
  • Watch your weight; normal body mass index (BMI) ranges from 18.5 to 24.9 kg/m2.

  • Symptoms of a heart attack or heart disease include: pain or discomfort in the center of the chest or other areas of the upper body, including the arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach; shortness of breath; breaking out in a cold sweat; nausea and light-headedness.

    In the event you, a loved one or a friend need expert, advanced, potentially life-saving cardiac care, look no further than South Nassau’s Center for Cardiovascular Health. South Nassau is accredited by the Intersocietal Commission for Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories (ICAEL) and is a recipient of the American College of Cardiology (ACC) Foundation’s National Cardiology Data Registry (NCDR) ACTION Registry–Get With the Guidelines (GWTG) Gold Performance Achievement Award.

    The Center for Cardiovascular Health treats patients with the combination of advanced technologies and best clinical practices and is equipped with the latest advancements in cardiac digital imaging systems. The Center performs a wide range of coronary and peripheral interventional procedures, including balloon angioplasty, stenting, and thrombolytic therapy. When providing coronary artery balloon angioplasty in an emergency, the Center completes the procedure in an average of 62.5 minutes; which is almost 28 minutes faster than the medically recommended benchmark of 90 minutes.

    Lawrence Kanner, MD, FACC, director of electrophysiology and arrhythmia services, and the center’s staff of electrophysiologists use advanced technologies to provide timely, accurate diagnoses and therapies to treat the range of cardiac arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms) and defibrillator complications. Services include diagnostic studies, implantation and testing of pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators, and radio-frequency catheter ablation for the treatment of potentially fatal irregular heartbeats.

    The center’s clinical and non-invasive cardiologists specialize in trans-thoracic echocardiogram (a non-invasive, highly accurate and quick assessment of the overall health of the heart, in which a probe is placed on the chest wall of the patient to produce images of the heart); transesophageal echocardiogram (which uses a specialized probe containing an ultrasound transducer at its tip that is passed into the esophagus and is used to provide clear views of areas of the heart that would be difficult to view transthoracically); and stress echocardiogram (which involves exercising on a treadmill or stationary bicycle while the patient is monitored by technology using high-frequency sound waves that produces a graphic outline of the heart's movement, valves, and chambers).

    Additional cardiac imaging services offered by the center include nuclear cardiology (which generates images of the heart at work, during exercise, and at rest) and diagnostic peripheral vascular ultrasound (noninvasive diagnostic technique used to evaluate the health of blood vessels) for patients with peripheral arterial disease.

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