Although heart disease threatens the health of millions of Americans, the death rate due to heart disease is declining. That’s happening, thanks in part, to new and better diagnostic tools and treatments like those found at St. Joseph Medical Center. Early detection of heart disease, proper treatment and adopting heart healthy habits can lead to a longer, healthier, more active life.
Leaders in Heart Care
Our experienced cardiac team is committed to delivering expert care for your heart. Physicians, nurses and our many other healthcare professionals work together, and with you, to coordinate your medical treatment and achieve the best possible outcomes. Most importantly, our staff believes in treating the whole person, not just the disease, so you can expect a personalized approach and the caring, compassionate attention you deserve. At St. Joseph Medical Center, you can expect a personalized, coordinated approach and the caring attention you deserve — all aimed toward achieving great results.
St. Joseph Medical Center was the first hospital in downtown Houston to care for the hearts of the community. We are proud to say we have provided this city with the first center for cardiovascular diseases and the first cardiac intensive care unit.
We offer a broad spectrum of cardiac services, from non-invasive tests for early diagnosis and treatment to open heart surgery, all delivered with compassion and exceptional expertise:
We know that every second counts when you suspect you are having a heart attack. Our convenient downtown location has saved many lives of the thousands of men and women living, working or visiting in downtown, uptown, midtown and neartown. Our interventional procedures include:
- Automatic implantable cardioverter defibrillators
- Bypass surgery
- Coronary balloon angioplasty
- Coronary stent placement
- Defibrillator implantation
- Diagnostic cardiac catheterization
- Electrophysiologic investigation
- Radiofrequency Ablation
- Open heart surgery
- Peripheral angioplasty
- Permanent pacemakers
- Chest Pain Response
Is it heartburn — or a heart attack? A fast answer to that question could save your life. If you feel chest pain, our Emergency Department provides prompt care. Special processes for people with chest pain help our team quickly diagnose whether a patient is experiencing a heart attack.
Cardiac catheterization helps doctors evaluate how well the heart is functioning and whether there are blocked arteries. During the procedure, a cardiologist inserts a very thin flexible tube into a major artery and navigates it to the arteries around the heart. Using advanced imaging technology, the doctors can see whether there is plaque build-up in heart vessels. If a blockage exists, interventional treatments such as angioplasty or stent placement can be used to restore better blood flow. Since cardiac catheterization is a minimally invasive procedure, most patients feel better within hours and some can go home the same day.
Treatment for Arrhythmia
We provide a variety of services for patients with irregular heartbeats, including implantation and management of pacemakers.
Diagnostic Imaging & Outpatient Services
Our Imaging Department is equipped with state-of-the-art technology that can produce clear, detailed views of the human heart. This advanced technology helps doctors detect heart disease with pinpoint accuracy. Our advanced diagnostic testing capabilities include:
- 64-slice CT scanner
- MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
- Nuclear medicine cameras
- Echocardiogram (EKG and ECG)
- Stress testing
- Holter and event monitoring
- Echocardiography – both transthoracic (non-invasive) and transesophageal (invasive)
- Nuclear cardiology
- Pacemaker and defibrillator checkup
Interventional Radiology Treatment for Peripheral Vascular Disease /Peripheral Artery Disease
Peripheral vascular disease (PVD), also commonly referred to as peripheral artery disease (PAD), is the narrowing or blockage of the vessels that carry blood from the heart to the legs and feet, usually resulting from a buildup of cholesterol deposits within the arterial wall. Common causes include high cholesterol levels, smoking, diabetes and congenital factors. Symptoms may include pain in the calves or legs when walking, hip and thigh pain, and erectile dysfunction. Individuals with peripheral artery disease are at risk for developing coronary artery disease and cerebrovascular disease — which could lead to a heart attack or stroke.
For some patients with PAD/PVD, interventional radiologists on the medical staff at St. Joseph Medical Center can perform non-surgical procedures to open blocked arteries and restore blood circulation to the legs. Treatments may include balloon angioplasty, stent placement and thrombolysis (breaking up and dissolving blood clots).
A wide range of surgical options, including open heart surgery, are available to treat and correct heart disease. For minimally invasive procedures, surgeons have access to sophisticated surgical suites that use digital systems. These procedures are designed to improve the safety of surgery and can also lead to less scarring and faster recovery for patients. Some of the most common procedures include:
Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery – This procedure reroutes blood around clogged or narrow arteries to improve blood flow and oxygen levels to the heart.
Heart Valve Surgery – This procedure repairs or replaces heart valves that are defective from birth or that have been damaged. This procedure repairs or replaces heart valves that are defective from birth or that have been damaged.
ECMO Life Support (Extra-corporeal Membrane Oxygenation) -Extracorporeal Life Support takes over the work of the heart and/or lungs when the patient is too sick to properly support the body. ECMO allows the heart and/or lungs to rest and heal. This service is offered here by our perfusion team and lead by our cardiovascular medical director.
Cardiovascular Intensive Care
After heart surgery, patients receive the specialized care they need in our intensive care unit. This unit is equipped with high-tech monitoring systems to help assure the heart is functioning properly as patients recover from surgery and heart disease.
To make an appointment with one of our physicians, or to find a new physician for your care, visit our Find A Physician tab, click here or call 713-757-7575 for more information.
Be proactive with your health! Learn about the signs for Early Heart Attack. You can also take an online course about Early Heart Attack Care.