If you're having chest pain and suspect a blocked artery, you want to be treated as quickly as possible. That's where the experts in interventional cardiology at Maui Health come in. Their expertise in this specialty is unsurpassed in the state.
Interventional cardiologists specialize in the treatment of coronary artery blockages and certain types of heart valve problems. They use specialized devices (catheters) that are advanced through blood vessels under x-ray guidance, which helps some patients avoid open-heart surgery.
In addition to providing planned procedures, we also treat emergency situations like heart attacks.
Monitoring heart failure
Monitoring heart failure
Subtle changes in health may mean problems.
Learn what to monitor.
If you have heart failure, it's important to track even small changes in symptoms. They could mean your condition is getting worse—or your medications aren't working properly. Select to learn what health factors should be on your checklist—and ask your doctor if there are others you should be aware of.
Ask your loved ones to keep an eye out for any confusion, lapses in memory, depression or other changes in mental health.
Check in with your quality of sleep. Are you having trouble staying asleep? Are you using extra pillows to prop your head up? Do you feel tired throughout the day?
Monitor any difficulty with breathing—such as shortness of breath or a dry, hacking cough. Is it worse than usual?
Know what your normal heart rate is, and check it regularly. Be aware of heart palpitations, which may feel like your heart is racing or throbbing.
Monitor your blood pressure to see if it is higher or lower than normal.
Take note if you lose your appetite or feel nauseated.
Weigh yourself at the same time every morning: before breakfast and after using the bathroom. Stay aware of any sudden changes in weight, especially if you've gained 2 or 3 pounds within 24 hours.
Check your feet, ankles and legs for swelling. Be aware of any discomfort in your abdomen too.
When to seek help
Work with your doctor. In addition to self-monitoring, it's important to see your doctor regularly—at least every 3 to 6 months—for follow-up and testing. During these visits, ask what symptoms are important for you to track. Also ask when a change in health may constitute an emergency.
How to help heart failure
Sources: American Heart Association; National Institutes of Health
Using catheters to clear arteries
Cardiac catheterization includes procedures that evaluate blockages of the coronary arteries. Our specially equipped rooms contain state-of-the-art digital x-ray equipment and are staffed by highly trained and experienced nurses and technicians who assist the interventional cardiologist.
To open a blocked artery, for example, after local anesthesia is administered, a thin tube (catheter) is threaded painlessly through an artery in the wrist or groin and into the coronary arteries. On the tip of the catheter is a deflated balloon. When the catheter reaches the blockage, the balloon is inflated, pushing the blockage against the arterial wall. This reopens the artery, allowing blood to once again flow to the heart.
Sometimes an expandable metal mesh tube called a stent is placed at the site of the blockage to prevent the artery from closing again. This entire procedure is called an angioplasty, or an angioplasty with stenting.
Heart care close to home
We offer most of the same services you'd find on Oahu, so there's no reason to travel off Maui for treatment. All of our surgeons and cardiologists work together as one heart team to help patients through their surgery/procedures and healing. Our specialists work together to diagnose and treat conditions in a compassionate, patient-centered, evidence-based manner.
To make an appointment with a heart specialist, call the Maui Memorial Medical Center Outpatient Clinic at 808.442.5700.