How Dangerous is Atrial Fibrillation?

How Dangerous is Atrial Fibrillation?

Atrial fibrillation is a condition in which an individual experiences an irregular and sometimes rapid heartbeat. While atrial fibrillation is a relatively common and treatable condition, it can lead to life-threatening consequences if left unchecked. Symptoms include palpitations, weakness, lethargy, dizziness, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, and chest pain. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or are concerned with your overall heart health, consult a cardiologist in Tampa from Ascent Cardiology Group. 

Life-Threatening Complications

The main concern with atrial fibrillation is that it increases the risk of stroke and heart failure. An irregular heartbeat can cause blood clots to form in the heart’s upper chambers. Subsequently, a stroke can occur when one of these blood clots travels from the heart to the brain. This is concerning because of the distinct correlation between atrial fibrillation and strokes; atrial fibrillation is present in one out of every five strokes.  

Even if a stroke is avoided, atrial fibrillation can weaken the heart to the point that it is unable to pump enough blood throughout the body. This is known as heart failure, a lifelong condition that can cause severe health problems and lead to death. Due to the potentially lifelong implications of atrial fibrillation, it’s imperative that anyone who is experiencing an irregular heartbeat seek diagnosis and treatment from a qualified cardiologist in Tampa, FL

Risk Factors

Palpitations, chest pain, and fatigue are common symptoms of atrial fibrillation. However, many sufferers experience no symptoms until they are examined by a medical professional. If the following risk factors apply to you, you should schedule an appointment to not only prevent atrial fibrillation but also promote your general heart health: 

  • Advanced Age
  • Heart Disease
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Kidney or Lung Disease
  • Thyroid Issues 
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Alcoholism
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes 
  • Family History

Treating Atrial Fibrillation

Medication and lifestyle changes are often all that is needed to treat atrial fibrillation and restore proper heart functions. Those who live with atrial fibrillation can go on to enjoy a happy, healthy life without being severely impacted by their condition. In more severe cases, catheter ablation, a minimally invasive procedure, can be employed to create scar tissue that disrupts the abnormal electrical signals that are causing the patient’s heart to beat irregularly.

The Plan That’s Right for You

Your current symptoms may not be dangerous, but they can lead to a lifelong and life-threatening condition. Don’t allow this treatable condition to take control of your life; book an appointment with an experienced cardiologist in Tampa and take the first steps towards reclaiming your heart health. 

At Ascent Cardiology Group, we specialize in interventional cardiology, an innovative branch of cardiology that is focused on non-surgical methods to diagnose and treat heart conditions. Accordingly, our treatment plans are personalized and depend entirely on patient needs. When looking for the treatment plan that’s right for you, place your trust in Dr. Sachin Diwadkar and the team of professionals at Ascent Cardiology Group. 

To consult a cardiologist in Tampa, FL, from Ascent Cardiology Group, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The contents of this website are for general educational purposes only. All content and media on the Ascent Cardiology Group website does not constitute professional medical advice nor is the information intended to replace the services of Ascent Cardiology Group or other qualified medical professionals. If you believe you are having a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.

The content, views, and opinions communicated on this website do not represent the views of Ascent Cardiology Group. Reliance on any information provided by this website is solely at your own risk. Although this website contains links to other medical websites, this is strictly for informational purposes. Ascent Cardiology Group is not responsible nor do they approve of the content featured on any third party linked websites referenced on this website.

Diseases of the Mitral Valve

The mitral valve is one of the four valves found in the human heart. It is located between the left atrium and the left ventricle. Like all heart valves, the mitral valve helps regulate the flow of blood through the heart; specifically, from the left atrium to the left ventricle. Whenever the heart contracts, the mitral valve seals itself off to stop blood from flowing into the lungs. A diseased or damaged mitral valve cannot function and should be surgically repaired or replaced by a cardiologist in Tampa

Those suffering from a condition involving the mitral valve can get progressively worse over time if left untreated. Mitral valve diseases, such as mitral valve regurgitation and mitral valve stenosis, can be debilitating on their own, but they also open the door for other conditions, such as heart dilation and atrial fibrillation. If you are experiencing symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, fatigue, swollen ankles or legs, persistent coughing, or heart palpitations, consult a cardiologist in Tampa, FL, from Ascent Cardiology Group to see if you are suffering from one of the diseases of the mitral valve.

Mitral Valve Prolapse and Regurgitation

If the leaflets of the mitral valve bulge, or prolapse, it can cause issues during heart contractions, such as mitral valve regurgitation. Mitral valve regurgitation occurs when a prolapsed mitral valve allows blood to leak into the atrium from the ventricle. Although mitral valve prolapse isn’t especially harmful, and most people don’t realize that they have it, in some cases, treatment is required. This condition is most commonly caused by myxomatous valve disease, which is when the valve leaflets are too stretchy. 

Approximately two percent of the population suffers from mitral valve prolapse. Generally, this disease is passed down through genetics, but it can also be caused by health problems, like connective tissue diseases. Detecting mitral valve prolapse without the assistance of a cardiologist in Tampa can be difficult. Your cardiologist can listen to your heartbeat with a stethoscope to detect a murmur that may be indicative of mitral valve prolapse. Other symptoms include heart palpitations, chest pain, and fatigue.

Mitral Valve Stenosis

Unlike mitral valve prolapse, which occurs when the valve leaflets of the mitral valve are too stretchy, mitral valve stenosis occurs when these leaflets become too thick or stiff. When this happens, the leaflets can fuse together, resulting in a narrowed valve opening that constricts blood flow from the left atrium to the left ventricle, causing fatigue, shortness of breath, swelling, and more. Individuals suffering from this condition must consult a cardiologist in Tampa, FL, to determine whether the condition has progressed to the point where surgery will be required. If your condition becomes worse, your cardiologist can repair or replace the mitral valve utilizing a minimally invasive surgical option.

To consult a cardiologist in Tampa, FL, from Ascent Cardiology Group, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The contents of this website are for general educational purposes only. All content and media on the Ascent Cardiology Group website does not constitute professional medical advice nor is the information intended to replace the services of Ascent Cardiology Group or other qualified medical professionals. If you believe you are having a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.

The content, views, and opinions communicated on this website do not represent the views of Ascent Cardiology Group. Reliance on any information provided by this website is solely at your own risk. Although this website contains links to other medical websites, this is strictly for informational purposes. Ascent Cardiology Group is not responsible nor do they approve of the content featured on any third party linked websites referenced on this website.

The Differences Between Invasive and Interventional Cardiology

For those suffering from coronary artery disease, heart valve disease, or peripheral vascular disease, your best chance for survival is to arm yourself with information on the treatment options available to you. Treatment for these diseases usually consists of tobacco cessation, exercise, dieting, and medications. However, these measures may not be enough to counteract symptoms, leaving surgery as the only remaining option. 

In this brief article, we will be discussing the key differences between invasive cardiology and interventional cardiology — two approaches that can have drastically different outcomes for patients. Consult with the best interventional cardiologist in Tampa, Dr. Sachin V. Diwadkar, FACC, FASE, of Ascent Cardiology Group, for any questions regarding your heart health. 

Invasive Cardiology 

Just as the name implies, invasive cardiology consists of using invasive measures to gain access to and diagnose problems in the heart. Angioplasty and stenting are common invasive procedures performed by way of a femoral arterial catheterization. Angioplasty consists of attaching a small balloon to a catheter and guiding it through the femoral artery. This balloon then inflates, pushing plaque against the walls of a clogged vein. Once the vein is open, a stent is placed to deliver medicine to the site and permanently hold the vein open. 

The problem with invasive cardiology is that femoral access is gained through the groin area. Complications associated with femoral access through the groin include increased discomfort and long recovery times. While rare, pseudoaneurysm, acute limb ischemia, and retroperitoneal bleeding can also occur. 

Interventional Cardiology 

Like invasive cardiology, interventional cardiology uses a catheter to treat heart disease. However, interventional cardiology is performed by way of a transradial catheterization. Due to a decrease in bleeding complications, discomfort, and recovery time, the radial artery is a superior location to gain access to the heart. Patients that undergo transradial catheterization can be up and walking around immediately following the procedure. The same thing cannot be said for those that undergo an invasive cardiology procedure. 

A Difference in Experience

At Ascent Cardiology Group, our goal to provide our patients with a quality of life that may have been unattainable prior to them coming through our doors. We accomplish this goal by combining the latest in minimally invasive techniques with unparalleled training. 

Upon completing his residency and fellowship in Cardiovascular Diseases, Dr. Diwadkar completed an additional fellowship in Interventional Cardiology at Tampa General Hospital and University of South Florida-affiliated institutes. When looking for interventional cardiology in Tampa, turn to Dr. Diwadkar and the team of cardiologists at Ascent Cardiology Group. 

To consult with Dr. Diwadkar, the best interventional cardiologist in Tampa, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The contents of this website are for general educational purposes only. All content and media on the Ascent Cardiology Group website does not constitute professional medical advice nor is the information intended to replace the services of Ascent Cardiology Group or other qualified medical professionals. If you believe you are having a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.

The content, views, and opinions communicated on this website do not represent the views of Ascent Cardiology Group. Reliance on any information provided by this website is solely at your own risk. Although this website contains links to other medical websites, this is strictly for informational purposes. Ascent Cardiology Group is not responsible nor do they approve of the content featured on any third party linked websites referenced on this website.

What is Athlete’s Heart?

When you think about the heart of an athlete, you probably envision a person who has achieved peak physical health after years and years of exhaustive training, someone like Lebron James, Tom Brady, or Roger Federer, athletes who have spent years perfecting their cardiovascular endurance to perform at the highest level. On the contrary, athlete’s heart, otherwise known as athletic heart syndrome, is a condition stemming from changes in the heart that occur as the result of intense athletic training. In this article, a cardiologist in Tampa, FL, from Ascent Cardiology Group will explore everything athletes past, present, and future should know about athlete’s heart. 

Excessive Exercise Leads to Athlete’s Heart

The heart of an athlete must contend with up to twenty times the doctor-recommended weekly minimum of moderate intensity exercise (~150 minutes). Whether you’re a professional athlete or a hobbyist, excessive exercise can lead to unique electrical, structural, and functional changes in the heart. While many of these physiological adaptations aren’t life-threatening, it’s important to understand how they can affect your overall well-being. Fortunately, a cardiologist in Tampa can help you diagnose this subtle condition and provide you with any information necessary to help you deal with athlete’s heart.

Changes in Your Heart

Athletes may experience cardiovascular and peripheral adaptation when engaging in intense exercise. Some of these changes include:

  • Structural Changes: 10-25 percent increase in left ventricular wall thickness; 15 percent increase in bi-atrial dilatation in the left and right ventricle.
  • Electrical Changes: sinus bradycardia, sinus arrhythmia, first degree atrioventricular block, voltage left ventricular hypertrophy and right ventricular hypertrophy, incomplete right bundle branch block, and T-wave inversion in all four ventricles.
  • Functional Changes: increases in diastolic filling time; increase in stroke volume.
  • Peripheral Changes: increase in skeletal muscle fibres, increase in capillary conductance, increase in oxidative capacity, increase in mitochondrial enzymes, and increase in oxygen consumption.

Is This Condition Dangerous?

Although the structural changes associated with athlete’s heart resemble those present in other cardiac disorders, no adverse or debilitating effects are apparent. That said, athlete’s heart is a condition relegated mainly to athletes, so if you do not exercise regularly and experience symptoms of athlete’s heart, you could be dealing with a much more severe issue. That said, doctors are still studying athlete’s heart to determine once and for all if the condition is benign. No major treatments are required if you are diagnosed with athlete’s heart; however, your cardiologist should observe you for a deconditioning period of three months so that they can distinguish between athlete’s heart and a more severe condition like cardiomyopathy.

Athlete’s heart is not technically considered a medical condition, but it should be monitored closely to ensure that medical conditions with similar symptoms and signs aren’t present. If you experience chest pain or your heart measurements fall in a certain range between normal and abnormal, consult a cardiologist in Tampa from Ascent Cardiology  Group for a stress-free consultation to ensure that your heart health is in peak shape.

To consult a cardiologist in Tampa, FL, from Ascent Cardiology Group, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The contents of this website are for general educational purposes only. All content and media on the Ascent Cardiology Group website does not constitute professional medical advice nor is the information intended to replace the services of Ascent Cardiology Group or other qualified medical professionals. If you believe you are having a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.

The content, views, and opinions communicated on this website do not represent the views of Ascent Cardiology Group. Reliance on any information provided by this website is solely at your own risk. Although this website contains links to other medical websites, this is strictly for informational purposes. Ascent Cardiology Group is not responsible nor do they approve of the content featured on any third party linked websites referenced on this website.