Providing Exceptional Cardiovascular Services

Patient undergoing heart surgerySkagit Regional Health is proud to provide a skilled team of cardiologists and electrophysiologists with expert subspecialty training. Our team serves patients across the region at the Skagit Regional Health Heart and Vascular Institute. We provide the full range of capabilities and offer the latest in evidence-based care. This means we integrate individual clinical expertise with the best available clinical care. Our physicians spend time with each patient, listening and responding to questions or concerns. We provide a positive and proactive approach to the diagnosis and treatment of any type of heart or vascular disease, providing immediate advanced care, if needed.

Multidisciplinary Team Provides Continuity of Care

The multidisciplinary cardiovascular team at our Heart and Vascular Institute is highly trained in all areas of cardiology and vascular disease. Using the most advanced technology available for evaluation and monitoring, they provide excellent continuity of care for patients living with cardiovascular disease. Our team includes:

  • Board-certified and fellowship-trained cardiologists
  • Board-certified and fellowship-trained interventional cardiologists
  • Board-certified and fellowship-trained electrophysiologists
  • Cardiac-trained nurse practitioners
  • Cardiac trained registered nurses
  • Critical care specialists
  • Dietitians
  • Physician assistants (PAs)
  • Psychologists

Multidisciplinary collaboration allows patients with even the most serious chronic heart conditions to receive exceptional cardiac monitoring and care and have a healthier quality of life.

Full Spectrum of Services for Acute and Chronic Conditions

Working in partnership, our multidisciplinary team provides the following services:

    Surgical heart device
  • Angioplasty: A procedure that opens a coronary artery without surgery and usually involves insertion of a stent to keep the artery open.
  • Arrhythmia and atrial fibrillation management: Arrhythmia is any disorder of the heart rate or rhythm. It means that the heart beats too quickly, too slowly or with an irregular pattern. Most arrhythmias result from problems in the electrical system of the heart. Atrial fibrillation (AFib), an arrhythmia that originates in the heart’s upper chambers and impairs normal blood flow, is the most common type of heart arrhythmia. Arrhythmias are managed by heart specialists called electrophysiologists, using medications, procedures and implantable devices.
  • Cardiac catheterization: Also called a cardiac angiogram or a cardiac cath, cardiac catheterization is used to evaluate the coronary arteries and the pumping chambers of the heart. A catheter is inserted, generally through a blood vessel in your arm or leg, and contrast dye is inserted to produce images of your heart function.
  • Congestive heart failure clinic and management: We provide a congestive heart failure (CHF) clinic that serves people across Skagit, Island and north Snohomish counties. Our team manages patients with CHF right in their communities to help them feel better and improve their quality of life.
  • Echocardiography: Also called an echo, this is a diagnostic test that uses an ultrasound probe with sound waves to produce images of the heart. The images show the shape, texture and movement of the valves and measure the size of the heart and its chambers. The echo also assesses heart function, a very important determinant of survival after a heart attack.
  • Electrophysiology: This test records the electrical activity and pathways of the heart. It is used to determine the cause of an irregular heartbeat or heart palpitations.
  • Interventional cardiology: A branch of cardiology that provides expertise in catheter-based treatments of structural heart disease, our team offers treatments such as angioplasty and stenting.
  • Nuclear cardiology: This test uses radioactive dye and an imaging machine to create pictures showing the blood flow to the heart. The test measures blood flow while you are at rest and are exerting yourself, showing areas with poor blood flow or damage in your heart.
  • Pacemaker: An implantable device called a pacemaker helps control abnormal heart rhythms. It can speed up a slow heart rhythm, control a fast heart rhythm and coordinate heart function within chambers of the heart. Pacemakers can be implanted in one of the Skagit Regional Health cardiac catheterization labs.
  • Peripheral artery disease (PAD) or peripheral vascular disease (PVD): Peripheral artery or vascular disease is a narrowing of the peripheral arteries serving the legs, stomach, arms and head caused by atherosclerosis. Hardening or narrowing of the arteries, atherosclerosis can affect the arteries in the heart, legs, brain, kidneys and other organs as well as the arms and legs.
  • Stent placement: A tiny wire mesh that is inserted into an artery after it has been opened by angioplasty, a stent will help keep the artery open.
  • Stress testing (Transesophageal echocardiogram): This procedure is used to detect cardiac arrhythmias. A nasal tube is placed into the nostril and fed into the esophagus. Electrocardiogram (EKG) readings from this area are much more accurate due to the proximity to the heart.

Dr. discusses heart with patientCath Labs Offer Quick Access

Skagit Regional Health Heart and Vascular Institute provides three cardiac catheterization labs where we offer quick access to patients for enhanced images of their heart. We offer the only catheterization labs in Skagit County and can perform catheter-directed thrombolysis for deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Our catheterization labs are special examination rooms at the Heart and Vascular Institute with diagnostic imaging equipment used to visualize the arteries and the chambers of the heart and treat any stenosis or other abnormalities.

Understanding the Care of Women and Heart Disease

Heart disease is the number one killer of women in America. Awareness of heart attacks and warning signs are vital for women to know. According to the American Heart Association, some women experience many of the common symptoms of heart attack, while other women show no symptoms before or during a heart attack. Women may experience chest pain, but many say it feels more like indigestion and don’t typically seek medical assistance. Our cardiologists are up-to-date on the latest research on women with heart disease and tailor cardiovascular care, including education, to fit the specific needs of women at any stage of life.

Offering Clinical Resources for a Lifetime of Heart Health

Getting regular checkups for heart health is vital for both men and women. Our physicians specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of heart disease including coronary artery disease, heart attack and high blood pressure. Taking a comprehensive approach to treatment, our physicians provide the necessary clinical resources you need for a lifetime of good heart health. Working closely with our expert heart team, we ensure that you will receive fast, effective and comprehensive care no matter what your age, gender or condition.