Steven Schiff, M.D., medical director of invasive cardiology
Rachel Hargrove, M.D., cardiothoracic surgeon
Tuan Lam, M.D., cardiothoracic surgeon

All Things
Heart

The comprehensive Heart & Vascular Institute at Orange Coast Medical Center continues to expand in depth and breadth – from proven surgical interventions to the most advanced minimally invasive procedures.

A designated Cardiac Receiving Center, Orange Coast Medical Center is staffed with a multidisciplinary team of doctors, nurse practitioners and nurses, therapists and other specialists to give patients the full benefit of clinical expertise and collaboration. The facilities are state-of-the-art, and programs offer various treatment options, including minimally invasive approaches.

 

“All of our cardiovascular services are under one umbrella,” says Lynn Rodriguez, executive director of cardiovascular services. “This integrated approach is not only convenient for the patient, but also medically beneficial.”

TAVR is similar to an angioplasty in that a balloon catheter is threaded through a major artery and into the heart – while the heart is still beating. Instead of a metal mesh stent, the deflated balloon is covered by a collapsible aortic valve. The balloon is positioned across the diseased valve and inflated, pushing the replacement valve open and lodging it in place. The new valve begins working immediately.
Image credit: Edwards Lifesciences

Structural Heart Program

Orange Coast Medical Center was one of the first hospitals in the region to introduce a hybrid interventional operating suite – a fully equipped cardiac operating room and cardiovascular catheterization lab combined. Here, the Structural Heart Program thrives, providing groundbreaking treatment options to patients. 

Sanjiv Patel, M.D.

TAVR procedure

Narrowing of the aortic valve, known as aortic stenosis, is one of the most common problems associated with heart disease. “Approximately 1.5 million people in the U.S. have aortic stenosis,” says Sanjiv Patel, M.D., interventional cardiologist at Orange Coast Medical Center. “One-third of those have it to a severe degree, and for those who are symptomatic, aortic valve replacement is critical.”

 

In the past, an aortic valve could only be replaced through open-heart surgery, but in July of 2019, Dr. Patel; Rex Winters, M.D., interventional cardiologist; Tuan Lam, M.D., cardiothoracic surgeon; and Rachel Hargrove, M.D., cardiothoracic surgeon, began offering Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) at Orange Coast Medical Center. It’s the first minimally invasive technique that replaces a diseased aortic valve without actually removing it. The new valve begins working immediately, and the patient usually spends one night in the hospital for observation.

To learn more about TAVR, listen to Dr. Patel's Podcast here.

Rex Winters, M.D.

Sarah Elsayed, M.D.

Hoang Nguyen, M.D.

PFO closures

A Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) is a hole in the wall between the right and left atria – the upper chambers of the heart. During fetal development, the hole allows blood to bypass the lungs, and in most people, it closes soon after birth. However, in 15 to 20 percent of the population, the hole remains open. Most people don’t know they have the condition and will never need treatment, but in rare cases, it can cause a stroke or transient ischemic attack (mini-stroke).

 

“PFO closure is a simple procedure that can help prevent a potentially life-threatening or debilitating stroke,” says Sarah Elsayed, M.D., interventional cardiologist at Orange Coast Medical Center.

 

During the procedure, a catheter is inserted through a small incision in a vein near the groin and threaded carefully into the heart. The PFO closure device is then guided through the catheter and positioned across the hole so that it straddles the heart wall, with a disc on either side. Once the device is released, the discs hug opposite sides of the wall, and the hole is plugged. This procedure is also used to treat patients with an Atrial Septal Defect (ASD).

 

“The difference between a PFO and an ASD is that, in a PFO, there’s incomplete closure of atrial tissue leaving a hole, whereas an ASD is when there is absolutely no tissue between the right and left atrial heart chambers,” says Hoang Nguyen, M.D., interventional cardiologist. “The closure procedure is very effective in both cases.”

Surgical Heart Program

Tuan Lam, M.D.

Orange Coast Medical Center has a long-standing reputation in the region for its commitment to excellence in numerous areas of cardiac surgical treatments.

 

“We have the capability to perform all open-heart surgeries. From single coronary bypass to multi-valvular surgery, surgery on the aortic root and aortic arch, or surgery on a patient with a severely weakened heart, we have the training and experience to give our patients the best possible chance of recovering successfully,” says Dr. Lam. “We regularly see patients from other hospitals who have been referred to Orange Coast Medical Center for treatment.”

 

While Orange Coast Medical Center provides the best possible treatment for patients, offering the best possible patient experience is also top-of-mind. According to Dr. Hargrove, what really distinguishes Orange Coast Medical Center from other hospitals in the region is the personalized care given to each and every patient.

 

“While we have excellent outcomes, we also have very satisfied patients once they experience how well we treat them,” says Dr. Hargrove. “We take their care very personally, staying involved every step of the way – from their first appointment through post-surgical care.”

Rachel Hargrove, M.D.

To learn more about heart care at Orange Coast Medical Center, please click here.

 

Trust Your Heart

Nikhil Warrier, M.D.

Your heart beats at a steady pace – 60 to 100 times per minute – and rarely do you think about it until you feel a flutter, a skipped beat, or a sensation that it’s beating too slow or racing ahead. If it happens once, it may not be of concern. But if it happens more often, or you feel fatigued, light-headed or short of breath, it might be time to talk to your doctor. These could be symptoms of a heart rhythm disorder.

"The most common rhythm disorder is atrial fibrillation, which occurs when chaotic electrical signals cause the upper chambers of the heart to contract so fast that they quiver."

“Other forms of arrhythmia may affect the lower heart chambers, causing ventricular tachycardia – a racing heartbeat – or ventricular fibrillation, both of which can be fatal,” says Nikhil Warrier, M.D., F.A.C.C., medical director of electrophysiology at Orange Coast Medical Center. Your doctor may test for heart disease or thyroid disorders and conduct arrhythmia-specific tests, such as an electrocardiogram (EKG) to determine the type of arrhythmia and how it can best be treated. Treatment may include anticoagulant or antiarrhythmic medications, implantable electrical devices that help the heart maintain a steady rhythm, catheter ablation to create tiny scars in the heart to block errant electrical signals, or in some cases, surgery.

To listen to Dr. Warrier's podcast, "More Than Just a Heartbeat: The Truth About Atrial Fibrilation," click here.

Be a Heart Walk Hero With Orange Coast

On March 14, the Orange Coast Heart & Vascular team will join the American Heart Association in their Heart & Stroke Walk™ at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Visit ocheartwalk.org to sign up.

  • Walk in honor of your loved ones

  • Dri-triathlon (5k run, stationary cycling, obstacle course)

  • Fun games and obstacle course in our Kids Zone

  • Friendly dogs welcome (leashes required)

  • Stroller and wheelchair access

  • Health screenings, heart healthy talks and trainings

  • Free giveaways

  • Live music and entertainment

  • Zumbathon

  • Health and wellness expo

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MemorialCare is a nonprofit integrated healthcare delivery system that includes leading hospitals – Long Beach Medical Center, Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach, Orange Coast Medical Center and Saddleback Medical Center; award-winning medical groups – MemorialCare Medical Group and Greater Newport Physicians; MemorialCare Select Health Plan; and convenient outpatient health centers, imaging centers, surgical centers and dialysis centers throughout Orange and Los Angeles Counties.

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