For adults with Congenital Heart Disease, guidance is necessary for planning key life issues, such as college, career, employment, insurance, activity, lifestyle, inheritance, family planning, pregnancy, chronic care, disability, and end of life. Knowledge about specific congenital heart conditions, and expectations for long-term outcomes and potential complications and risks, must be reviewed as part of the successful transition from pediatric care to adult care.

A thoracic aortic aneurysm, also called TAA, is a bulging, weakened area in the wall of the aorta (the largest artery in the body), resulting in an abnormal widening or ballooning greater than 50 percent of the vessel's normal diameter (width). An aneurysm can be characterized by its location, shape, and cause. Our team specializes in the treatment and diagnosis of aortic aneurysms using state-of-the-art technology.

An arrhythmia is an abnormal heart rhythm. Some arrhythmias can cause problems with contractions of the heart chambers preventing the body's vital organs from receiving enough blood to meet their needs. When the arrhythmia causes symptoms, the doctor will choose an arrhythmia treatment based on the type of arrhythmia, the severity of symptoms being experienced, and the presence of other conditions which can affect the course of the treatment.

In atrial fibrillation (AF) the electrical signals fire rapidly and chaotically. This causes the atria and ventricles to quiver instead of contracting normally, resulting in a fast and irregular heart rhythm. This can weaken the heart leading to heart failure. Plus, when the atria do not contract effectively, the blood may pool in the heart, increasing the risk of a blood clot forming and traveling to the brain causing a stroke.

The Cardiovascular Center offers patients a wide array of cutting-edge and diagnostic treatment options for treating bypass, valve replacement, and other common heart conditions, including: MAZE Procedure (Atrial Fibrillation), Atrial or Ventricular Septal Defect (ASD or VSD), Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG), Surgical Ventricular Restoration (SVR), Transmyocardial Laser Revascularization (TMR).

The University Health Care Cardiac Rehabilitation program specializes in heart disease prevention and treatment of heart problems, with a focus on prevention and rehabilitation. Patients receive a comprehensive cardiovascular risk assessment, and, based on the results, a team of physicians, nurses, exercise physiologists, and nutrition experts work to create an individual plan and edu- cate patients on how to improve their heart health.

Keeping in tradition with the U’s commitment to advance the fields of medicine and surgery, our physicians are focusing on regenerative medicine as the next frontier in treating cardiovascular disease. Researchers within the Cardiovascular Center estimate cell therapy will be FDA-approved within three years. The goal of this therapy is to give cells back to the heart in order for it to grow stronger, work harder, and function more like a younger heart.

Carotid artery disease occurs when the carotid arteries, the main blood vessels that carry oxygen- ated blood to the brain, become narrowed. The narrowing of the carotid arteries is most com- monly related to atherosclerosis (a buildup of plaque, which is a deposit of fatty substances, cho- lesterol, cellular waste products, calcium, and fibrin in the inner lining of an artery). Atherosclero- sis, or "hardening of the arteries," is a vascular disease (disease of the arteries and veins).

Coronary artery disease (CAD), the number one killer of both men and women in the U.S., is the accumulation of fatty deposits along the innermost layer of the coronary arteries. These deposits may develop in childhood and continue to thicken and enlarge throughout the life span. This thickening narrows the arteries and can decrease or block the flow of blood to the heart.

Fainting is a brief loss of consciousness, usually leading to a fall. Sometimes referred to as a dizzy spell, blacking out, or passing out, fainting is a common problem that may need medical treat- ment. Fainting is the sixth leading cause of hospitalization for people older than 65 years. Falls are common, too, especially among older adults. Sometimes a fall is actually a faint in disguise because you don’t even remember losing consciousness, particularly in the absence of witnesses.

Our general cardiology services at the Cardiovascular Center include preventive cardiology, sophisticated diagnostic and treatment services, and referral, as needed, to specialized cardiolo- gy programs. Our team specializes in collaboration, bringing together physicians from all areas of cardiology to provide the most comprehensive care available.

A heart attack, or myocardial infarction, occurs when one or more regions of the heart muscle experience a severe or prolonged lack of oxygen caused by blocked blood flow to the heart muscle. The blockage is often a result of a buildup of plaque composed of fat deposits, cholester- ol, and other substances. Plaque ruptures and eventually a blood clot forms. The actual cause of a heart attack is a blood clot that forms within the plaque-obstructed area.

Heart failure, also called congestive heart failure, is a condition in which the heart cannot pump enough oxygenated blood to meet the needs of the body's other organs. The heart keeps pump- ing, but not as efficiently as a healthy heart. Usually, the heart's diminished capacity to pump reflects a progressive, underlying condition. The goal of treatment is to improve a person's quality of life by making the appropriate lifestyle changes and implementing drug therapy.

The U of U Health Care Valve Clinic offers the most advanced diagnostic and treatment services available for patients with heart valve disease. Cardiovascular surgeons, imaging specialists, and cardiologists team up to provide better treatment options for patients with heart valve condi- tions. Patients have access to several specialists at one time, which will expedite their care and help determine the optimal treatment plan for each individual.

High blood pressure, or hypertension, directly increases the risk of coronary heart disease (heart attack) and stroke (brain attack). With high blood pressure, the arteries may have an increased resistance against the flow of blood, causing the heart to pump harder to circulate the blood. Usually, high blood pressure has no signs or symptoms. However, you can know if your blood pressure is high by having it checked regularly by your health care provider.

The Cardiovascular Center’s interventional cardiologists each bring areas of specialized expertise to their team of physicians so that even the most challenging diagnoses and treatments can be handled. Our team of physicians uses cardiac interventions to diagnosis and treat coronary artery disease, valvular heart disease, and congenital heart disease. We offer advanced approaches to diagnosis and treatment, often avoiding the need for surgery.

The Cardiovascular Center's surgeons offer the most experienced team in the Intermountain West in minimally invasive cardiac surgery (MICS). As the only medical center in Utah to offer MICS, our cardiothoracic program has built a successful and growing track record by employing innovative and less invasive surgical techniques. The experienced precision of our surgeons is backed up by the most advanced imaging technologies available.

A percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is a procedure used to treat coronary artery disease where the arteries to the heart are blocked. As a patient at the Cardiovascular Center, when you receive this procedure you are treated by cardiothoracic surgeons who are experienced in both cutting edge surgical techniques and research into the newest treatment possibilities.

Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) is a slow and progressive circulation disorder. It may involve disease in any of the blood vessels outside of the heart and diseases of the lymph vessels—the arteries, veins, or lymphatic vessels. Organs supplied by these vessels such as the brain, heart, and legs, may not receive adequate blood flow for ordinary function. However, the legs and feet are most commonly affected, thus the name peripheral vascular disease.

Patients not eligible for open-chest surgery may be candidates for a therapy called transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR or TAVI), which allows the U of U Heart Valve Clinic team to replace a diseased aortic heart valve without open-chest surgery. TAVR enables the placement of a bal- loon-expandable heart valve into the body with a catheter. This allows the valve to be inserted through an incision in the leg or through an incision between the ribs.

Our comprehensive team of physicians, nurses and staff work together to diagnose and treat vari- ous vascular malformations and venous diseases, including varicose veins, venous insufficien- cy/ulcers, venous thrombosis, and spider varicosities. We work individually with patients to find the treatment that best fits their needs, from surgical and minimally invasive treatments to spe- cialty wound care and compressive stockings.