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Cardiology Department

General Information

Descripción larga: 

The Cardiology Area has become a great benchmark at Vithas Xanit International Hospital. We offer personalised care, fast diagnosis for any cardiovascular disease with the most advanced technology.

Our cardiology service stands out from the rest because it includes all the diagnostic and therapeutic procedures currently available internationally.

Services

Servicios: 

Ambulatory cardiology in One-Stop Consultation format, including Echocardiogram, Ergometry, Holter monitoring and ABPM Arrhythmia Consultation.

  • Marfan Syndrome Consultation.
  • Paediatric Cardiology.

Echocardiography (Transthoracic, stress, transoesophagal, intra-operative, contrast), Ergometry. Nuclear Medicine. 

  • 24 hour Holter monitoring and implantable Holter monitoring. 
  • Tilt table test.
  • 64 slice Coronary CAT.
  • Cardiac MNR.
  • Coronary angioplasty.
  • Implanting coronary stents.
  • Mitral, aortic, pulmonary and tricuspid valvuloplasty.
  • Implanting aortic percutaneous prosthesis.

Percutaneous closure of inter-atrial communications and paravalvular leaks.

  • Removal of accessory pathway.
  • Removal of the AV node.
  • Removal of the double intranodal pathway.
  • Removal of short-circuit in ventricular tachycardia.
  • Removal of atrial flutter and atrial fibrillation.
  • Cardioversion.
  • Pacemaker implantation.
  • Implantation of resynchronizers.
  • Implantation of defibrillators.
  • Valve replacement surgery.
  • Surgery to repair the mitral and aortic valves.
  • Coronary surgery with bypass.
  • Coronary surgery without bypass.
  • Thoracic Aorta surgery.
  • Cryoablation.
  • Surgical ablation in Atrial Fibrillation.

Professionals

  • Dr. Gómez, Juan José
  • Dr. Such, Miguel
  • Dr. Arqué, José María
  • Dr. Barrera, Alberto
  • Dr. Cabrera, Fernando
  • Dra. Fernández, Julia
  • Dr. Hernández , José María
  • Dr. López, Raúl J
  • Dra. Molina, María José
  • Dr. Muñoz, Antonio J
  • Dr. Porras, Carlos
  • Dr. Schäfers, Hans-Joachim
  • Dr. Urbano, Cristóbal

F.A.Q.

Preguntas frecuentes: 

What are murmurs?

A murmur is a “noise” that doctors perceive when we auscultate the heart with a stethoscope and originates from turbulence in the blood when it passes through the cavities and valves of the heart. The murmurs do not always mean heart disease. We have to start from the premise that the heart murmur is a sound and not an illness. Its detection does not necessarily imply the presence of heart disease, which is why we shouldn’t raise false alarms.

What is a functional heart murmur?

Also called innocent or non-pathological murmurs, they are those which do not have any significance in normal hearts. These murmurs are frequently found in children (the majority of them tend to disappear when they are adults) and also in pregnant women (pregnancy places an overload on blood volume), they generally disappear after labour. The anaemia associated with pregnancy sometimes favours our auscultation of functional murmurs. Other situations which can provoke functional murmurs are hyperthyroidism or maintained tachycardia.

What is the relationship between smoking and cardiovascular disease?

Each year approximately 40,000 people die because of heart diseases originating from cigarette smoke. Smoking is the main cause of atherosclerosis, an illness caused when the lining of the arteries deteriorates because of fatty deposits obstructing blood flow. This causes a reduction in the supply of oxygen rich blood to the heart; this can cause chest pains (angina pectoris) or a myocardial infarction (heart attack).

What is heart failure?

This is a problem of increasing proportions and has a high economic impact, with a survival rate lower than most types of cancer when in advanced degrees. It is a chronic and progressive disease caused by the heart’s incapacity to pump sufficient blood to satisfy the body’s need for oxygen. The therapeutic measures include everything from heart transplant to new and powerful pharmaceuticals which have demonstrated better quality of life and increase the survival rate of patients with heart failure.

Is the moderate consumption of alcohol good for the heart?

For some individuals its consumption brings important risks (in patients with heart failure, high blood pressure, diabetes, arrhythmias, etc.), for others, moderate consumption can offer a level of protection (increase of “good” cholesterol; reduction of blood pressure, inhibition of the formation of blood clots). This moderate consumption is defined as no more than a light drink a day for women or people of lesser weight and no more than two drinks a day for men. Nevertheless, until we know more about the pros and cons of its consumption, doctors recommend avoiding it to improve heart health.

What is aortic stenosis?

Aortic stenosis is the partial obstruction of blood flow through the aortic valve. This condition can be congenital in origin but the most frequent cause today is stenosis degenerative calcification, which appears in people of an advanced age. In fact, today it is the primary cause of heart valve surgery in Spain. Degenerative senile aortic stenosis, the most frequent cause of this condition today is a consequence of prolonged normal stress of the valve, accompanied by its calcification and it is more frequent in diabetics and hypercholesterolemics.

Why do I have to get the operation?

Each case is discussed by the cardiologists and surgeons. The surgery is recommended when other treatments are not possible or are a worse solution. Although each case is different, surgery is conducted so that patients may live more years and, above all, so that they may live better. On occasions patients without symptoms are operated on to avoid irreversible damages to the heart.

What risk does my operation have? Can I die?

All operations have a risk. Fortunately, in the majority of occasions it is minimal. Each illness, each patient and each operation is different, which is why the surgeon will give you an estimation of your individual risk for each case. In any case, when surgery is advised the risk of not operating is always greater.

What happens after the operation?

When you wake up, you will be in the Intensive Care Unit. At first you will be there for a few days after which you will return to a room in the hospital ward. At first, you will probably note tension or even pain in the incision area; you will be provided the necessary analgesic treatment. Although you are very tired you will be persuaded to get up and move around as soon as possible. The majority of patients are discharged before a week after the operation. But you will not leave until you are in a condition to do so.

How long will I take to recover from the operation?

Each patient responds to the surgery differently but, as a general rule, it takes 6 or 8 weeks to fully recover. During this time it is normal to:

  • Not have an appetite for one or two weeks. Eat only if you feel like it; but drink a lot of liquid.
  • Have swollen legs, especially if you have an injury on your leg. It would be useful to raise them.
  • Have difficulty sleeping. Sometimes it helps to take a painkiller or a sleeping pill before going to bed.
  • Have mood swings and feel depressed.
  • Have the upper part of your injury a little elevated or notice a click or a weird sensation in the chest. It will decrease with time.
  • Feel pain or stiffness in the shoulders and back. Time and painkillers will help you alleviate the pain.

What can I do after the surgery?

Once recovered, in principle you will be able to live a completely normal life. Meanwhile, it is important for you to do physical exercise progressively, like walking and climbing stairs and hills.

You will be able to shower in the hospital as soon as the tubes and catheter are removed although you must refrain from bathing until the injuries completely scar. Also -except in the case where your doctor says otherwise- you can begin having sexual intercourse again when you feel comfortable. For many people this occurs around 2 to 4 weeks after being discharged.

You can travel by car from the first moment and drive after 4 weeks. Avoid riding a motorcycle or bicycle for 6 weeks after the surgery. When you travel take into account that it is good to periodically stop to stretch your legs.

Avoid lifting weights and pushing or pulling much more than 4 or 5 kg for the first 6 weeks after the operation.

Consult with your surgeon but the majority of patients can return to work between 6 and 12 weeks after surgery.

What is atrial fibrillation?

Atrial fibrillation is an irregular, abnormal heartbeat that causes very rapid heart rhythms, although the rhythm can also be almost normal. This is a very common type of arrhythmia, but there are risks if it persists over time or results in chest pain, shortness of breath, palpitations or dizziness. The most serious danger is the risk of blood clots forming in the atria. These can leave the heart and travel to the brain, causing a stroke.

There are different types of treatments for controlling this condition, ranging from the use of medication to control the heart rate or onset of arrhythmia to the use of anticoagulants to prevent stroke.There are also invasive procedures such as catheter ablation, which can cure this type of arrhythmia in certain cases.

What are extrasystoles?

Ventricular extrasystoles, or premature ventricular contractions, are alterations of the heart rate that often occur in healthy young people not suffering from heart disease, which are caused by a premature beat (extrasystole). They are often related to emotional stress and aggravated by the abuse of substances such as coffee, tea, tobacco and alcohol. Patients are therefore advised not to consume such products, and to avoid a stressful lifestyle.

The condition is usually identified by an ECG or 24-hour Holter monitor. If detected in a person with a healthy heart, the prognosis is excellent and there is no risk to the patient beyond the discomfort perceived. Regarding medication, always consult a cardiologist so they can study your particular case and determine what treatment should be followed.

What is Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome?

Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome is characterised by an anomaly in the cardiac conduction system (an accessory or extra pathway) and episodes of arrhythmia. This anomaly is present from birth. Although structural anomalies of the heart are not common, an echocardiogram is recommended to rule them out (particularly hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, anomalies of the coronary sinus and Ebstein’s anomaly). WPW syndrome is diagnosed by very characteristic electrocardiographic alterations on the electrocardiogram (short PR interval, delta wave). These electrocardiographic alterations are sometimes permanent and sometimes transitory. Many patients with this syndrome never experience tachycardia. In such cases, no specific treatment is necessary. Only patients experiencing symptomatic tachycardia can be treated with antiarrhythmic drugs to prevent tachycardia. However, the curative treatment consists of an electrophysiological study and catheter ablation.

The choice of treatment depends on the severity of the symptoms and the patient’s preferences. Ablation provides a definitive cure for the disease and saves the patient from having to take medication for life. However, because it is an invasive procedure, the risk of complications must always be considered, no matter how low. If the patient is highly symptomatic or suffers from high-risk arrhythmia, catheter ablation is always the first option.

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