Cardiac Care

Matagorda Regional Medical Center provides a wide variety of services to assist you with your cardiac care needs. From diagnostic services to rehabilitation following a cardiac incident, you will find that MRMC’s experienced and concerned staff is right here, close to home, to provide state-of-the-art care for you and your family.

To help you avoid heart disease, you should get regular exercise, eat a diet low in fat and cholesterol and stop smoking.

For questions or more information on our Cardiac Care services, please check out some of the additional categories below or call the Cardiopulmonary Department at MRMC at 979-241-5950.

Cardiac (heart) and exercise programs are offered by Matagorda Regional Medical Center. If you have an existing heart condition, there are opportunities for you to take control of your life and significantly improve how you feel every day. A special exercise program will be designed to fit your individual needs and capabilities. You will rotate among various exercise stations that include treadmill, bike, and arm and leg resistance exercises. Your physician will determine the proper exercise level for you at each of these stations.

Your heart and blood pressure will be monitored and your exercise supervised by licensed personnel. Since your personal program will be prescribed according to your ability, levels will be increased as tolerated. Remember your heart is a muscle, and like any muscle it responds to exercise and becomes stronger.

Included with the exercise program is a dietary consultation given by a registered dietitian. Our goal is to supply you with the proper tools for a heart-healthy program that can effectively help you control cholesterol levels in the blood supply.

To get started, ask your doctor about whether you might benefit from this or a similar program. You must have your physician’s permission and a written order to enter and participate in the exercise program. It will also be necessary to have an exercise electrocardiogram to ensure your ability to participate. If you are interested or have questions, call the Cardio-Pulmonary Department at 979-241-5950.

MRMC offers a variety of ways to diagnose and treat issues of the heart. In addition to the common and more traditional diagnostics, such as electrocardiograms (EKG’s), stress tests, and blood tests, our cardiopulmonary department offers state-of-the-art echocardiograms and dopplers to evaluate the blood circulation in arteries and veins throughout the body. Sometimes nuclear stress tests are utilized so that a more specific reading can be made.

Any issue with the heart can be a frightening experience. When one has chest pain, an EKG is usually the first test ordered. This is a relatively basic screening exam that can tell the physician if you are currently having a cardiac event, or if you’ve had one in the past. Next, the physician may order a treadmill stress test, which has a higher accuracy since it is performed with the heart under stress.

The clinical term for “clogged arteries,” or blockage, is coronary artery disease, which slows the blood flow to the heart, and consequently chest pain occurs. Once the artery is completely blocked, the heart attack (otherwise known as a myocardial infarction, or MI) occurs. If a blockage is noted on the diagnostic exam, your physician may order a nuclear stress test. However, if the result is negative or borderline, a heart catheter may be ordered to check for coronary artery disease.

Angioplasty (use of a balloon to open clogged arteries), cardiac bypass surgery, and other major procedures are still referred to the tertiary care facilities, often at the Texas Medical Center. You and your physician will discuss the options if this level of care is indicated.

Cardiac Diagnosis Testing

Heart attack patients may be asked to undergo a number of diagnostic tests and procedures. By learning what these tests are and why they’re being done, you’ll feel more confident. These tests are important and help the doctor determine if a heart attack occurred, how much your heart was damaged and what degree of coronary artery disease (CAD) you may have. Your heart attack may have been the first symptom indicating CAD. The tests screen your heart and help the doctor determine what treatment and lifestyle changes will keep your heart healthy and prevent serious future medical events.

There are “non-invasive” and “invasive” diagnostic tests. Non-invasive tests don’t involve inserting needles, instruments or fluids into the body. Invasive procedures can include a simple needle prick for a blood test or shot, insertion of a tube, device or scope and major surgeries such as open-heart surgery.

This is a procedure to examine blood flow to the heart and test how well the heart is pumping. A doctor inserts a thin plastic tube (catheter) (KATH’eh-ter) into an artery or vein in the arm or leg. From there it can be advanced into the chambers of the heart or into the coronary arteries.

This test can measure blood pressure within the heart and how much oxygen is in the blood. It’s also used to get information about the pumping ability of the heart muscle. Catheters are used to inject dye into the coronary arteries. This is called coronary angiography (an’je-OG’rah-fe), or coronary arteriography (ar-te’re-OG’rah-fe). Catheters with a balloon on the tip are used in the procedure called coronary angioplasty, commonly referred to as percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).