General, Preventive, and Rehabilitative Cardiology Services at UPMC Presbyterian
General, preventive, and rehabilitative cardiology refers to the initial assessment or diagnosis of cardiovascular disease, the prevention of disease, and the recuperative process following treatment.
Our cardiologists work closely with family medicine and internal medicine physicians to ensure that patients receive the right treatment at the right time. We have offices throughout western Pennsylvania, and each office contains the latest echocardiography and nuclear cardiology equipment for the diagnosis of heart disease. General cardiologists refer patients to our more specialized programs when more advanced and focused treatment is required for the patient’s condition.
UPMC Presbyterian care meets patients' individual needs by supporting cardiologists with a team of nurses, nutritionists, social workers, and other health care professionals. All necessary resources are centralized in this location.
UPMC specialists conduct more than 20,000 outpatient cardiology visits per year at the Institute's spacious outpatient cardiology facility in UPMC Presbyterian or at University Center in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh, which houses one of only a few electron beam CT (EBCT) scanners in the country. EBCT technology (pictured at right) is a non-invasive imaging tool that can be useful in determining a patient's risk for heart disease and in helping to guide cardiologists in developing an appropriate plan for managing these risks.
People who may benefit from outpatient evaluation include those experiencing one or more of the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty swallowing
- Chest discomfort or pain
- Heart palpitations or irregular heartbeats
Outpatient evaluation also is recommended for anyone over age 40 who wishes to begin an exercise program and may be at high risk for heart disease.
Long-term patients whose progress may be tracked in an outpatient setting include those with congestive heart failure and people with stable angina, high blood pressure, or lipid abnormalities.
Skilled cardiovascular nurses and technicians also provide tailored therapy at home. This approach allows patients to receive a level of care at home that in the past could only be obtained in the hospital setting.
Cardiac rehabilitation patients learn to maintain their fitness through lifestyle changes and a regular exercise program.
Heart Disease in Athletes
UPMC Presbyterian cardiology has a focused interest in the evaluation and treatment of athletes with suspected cardiac diseases. Issues include indicating precautions for athletes during specific events, determining when sports should be discontinued, and evaluating athletes before they begin strenuous exercise protocols.