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Patient Guides

There are a number of medical procedures and health issues associated with heart disease. Browse through our patient guides to learn what you can expect from each procedure or condition.

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  • Stroke, Part One: A Patient Guide
    According to the American Heart Association (AHA), stroke is the third-leading cause of death and one of the primary causes of long-term disability in the United States.
  • Stroke, Part Two: A Patient Guide
    Any type of stroke is considered a medical emergency and requires urgent medical assistance, because immediate treatment can make the difference between life and death.
  • Hypertension, Part One: A Patient Guide
    People with hypertension may not exhibit any symptoms, and their high blood pressure is often undiagnosed until complications occur.
  • Hypertension, Part Two: A Patient Guide
    Your physician will decide the course of treatment based on the severity of your hypertension, its causes, and your other coexisting medical conditions.
  • Bypass Surgery: Common Questions
    More than 500,000 bypass procedures are performed each year in the United States, making it the most frequently performed major surgery in the country.
  • Angioplasty: Common Questions
    Learn all about what angioplasty is and the latest advancements in angioplasty technology.
  • Congestive Heart Failure: A Patient Guide
    The diagnosis of congestive heart failure (CHF) can be misleading. Learn the facts and what they mean to your health.
  • Arrhythmia: A Patient Guide
    Each year, millions of people are affected by arrhythmias, most of which can be treated and are not life-threatening.
  • Mitral Valve Prolapse: A Patient Guide
    The most common heart valve abnormality is called Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP), which affects between 5 percent and 20 percent of the population. It is more commonly found in women than men and can go undetected for years.
  • Questions for Your Heart Doctor: A Patient's Guide
    Check out this list of important questions to discuss with your doctor. It is essential to know and understand your individual test results.
  • Tips for a Successful Doctor's Visit: A Patient Guide
    Providing your physician with facts concerning lifestyle, overall health and medications can help ensure that your checkups and consultations will be thorough, informative and beneficial.
  • When You Need to Have a Stress Test: A Patient Guide
    If you have already been diagnosed with coronary heart disease (CAD), a stress test may enable the doctor to estimate the severity of the blockages.
  • Health Clubs Should Screen for Heart Disease
    Next time you enroll in a health club, you might have to fill out a brief questionnaire to determine whether your heart can handle the rigors of the pool, squash court, or aerobics class.
  • Pacemakers and ICDs: A Patient Guide
    These electronic medical devices monitor heart rhythm and deliver appropriate electrical therapy when certain arrhythmias occur. Pacemakers and ICDs can be effective in extending and improving the lives of heart patients. Millions of people are affected by arrhythmias, which contribute to about 500,000 deaths each year in the US.
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease: A Patient Guide
    A form of atherosclerosis, PAD can occur in arteries outside of the heart.
  • Angina: A Patient Guide
    Angina is pain originating from the heart when it doesn't get enough blood flow. Learn how angina is diagnosed and evaluated, as well as its causes, symptoms, and treatments.
  • Cardiac Enlargement: A Patient Guide
    Learn about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and health problems associated with cardiac hypertrophy and cardiac dilation, the two types of cardiac enlargement.
  • Enhanced External Counterpulsation: A Patient Guide
    Studies have found that this "natural bypass" is a safe and effective method of enhancing blood flow to the heart and coronary arteries.
  • Cholesterol, Part One: A Patient Guide
    Your body needs cholesterol to live, but too much of this fatty substance can lead to heart disease. In the first part of this two-part Patient Guide, learn the good and the bad about cholesterol, and whether your levels are too high, or just right.
  • Cholesterol, Part Two: A Patient Guide
    In the second part of this two-part Patient Guide, learn how dietary changes and medication can help you take control of your cholesterol.
  • Cardiac Catheterization: A Patient Guide
    Learn what cardiac catheterization can reveal about your heart and blood supply, as well as how the test is administered, what the recovery period is like, when results can be expected, and alternatives to this type of test.