Heart Care Institute in Riverside, California
The Heart Care Institute at Riverside Community Hospital is committed to providing top-quality cardiac care to patients throughout the Inland Empire for over 25 years. Our care is provided by a variety of heart specialists, including heart surgeons and interventional cardiologists specializing in minimally invasive treatment options as well as a caring team of nurses and technicians.
If you have questions about our cardiology services, you can call the Heart Care Institute at (951) 788-3345.
Riverside Community Hospital is recognized by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) as an Accredited Chest Pain Center—Primary PCI with Resuscitation. The Riverside County EMS Agency has designated our hospital as an ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) Receiving Center, which means we treat patients with the most severe type of heart attack.
Heart care services
At the Heart Care Institute, we are committed to keeping your heart as healthy as possible. We provide a wide range of services so all your heart care can happen in one place, from diagnostic testing to surgery and cardiac rehab. Our comprehensive cardiac care includes:
- Cardiac rehabilitation at Heart Care Rehabilitation
- Electrophysiology services for heart arrhythmias, including diagnostic testing and treatment
- Emergency heart attack care at a Riverside County ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) Receiving Center
- Five cardiac catheterization laboratories
- Heart screening and imaging services, including:
- Echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart)
- Electrocardiogram (records heart's electrical signal)
- Stress testing (measures heart function during exercise)
- Heart surgery, including minimally invasive approaches
- Interventional cardiology procedures, including percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI)—previously called angioplasty with stent
- Thoracic surgery for combined cardiothoracic care
- Peripheral vascular cases
- Structural heart procedures including noninvasive methods such as transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) and left atrial appendage closure (LAAC.)
Find a heart specialist
The Heart Care Institute staff includes doctors specializing in numerous areas of cardiac care. Our specialty physicians include:
Emergency heart attack treatment
Our hospital is known for being a STEMI Receiving Center within Riverside County. This means the team in our emergency room (ER) is trained and prepared to provide fast diagnosis and treatment for patients arriving at the ER with heart attack symptoms.
A heart attack occurs when there is a blockage in one of the blood vessels supplying blood to the heart. Blockages are normally due to a buildup of plaque in the arteries. When a blockage occurs, blood is no longer able to flow as effectively through the heart and to the rest of the body. Immediate treatment is needed to restore blood flow and prevent excessive damage to the heart.
Recognizing early heart attack symptoms
For most patients, there are noticeable warning signs prior to a heart attack. A person may experience symptoms that they don't realize could lead to a serious heart event. If these symptoms are noticed early, before a heart attack occurs, treatment can be provided before the heart is damaged.
The American College of Cardiology has an Early Heart Attack Care initiative dedicated to making people aware of symptoms that may be precursors to a heart attack. Early heart attack signs and symptoms to watch for include:
- Back pain
- Chest pressure, aching, squeezing or burning
- Extreme fatigue or weakness
- Feeling of fullness in the chest
- Jaw pain
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Pain radiating down one or both arms
- Shortness of breath
Heart surgery & procedures
Our heart surgeons work in partnership with thoracic (chest) and vascular surgeons to provide a full range of advanced cardiac procedures. The team is experienced in on-pump and off-pump procedures, which dictates if the heart must be stopped to perform surgery. If a surgery requires the heart to be stopped, a patient will be placed on a heart-lung machine that temporarily takes over heart function.
At the Heart Care Institute, we perform surgeries and procedures including:
- Aortic aneurysm repair
- Cardiac ablation for heart arrhythmias
- Cardiac rhythm management device implants
- Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD)
- Combined bypass and valve procedures
- Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG)
- Heart valve procedures
- Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)
- Valve repair
- Valve replacement
- TEER (mitral clip)
- Left atrial appendage closure
- Stent procedures
- Peripheral vascular intervention
CABG open-heart procedure
A CABG is an invasive, open-heart procedure performed when a severe blockage occurs in one of the coronary arteries. The procedure will take a graft of a blood vessel from a different area of the body and place it in the heart. The graft is used to create a new pathway for blood to flow through that bypasses the blocked coronary artery.
The vessel chosen as a graft will differ from patient to patient. However, it typically is taken from the leg, arm or chest wall.
Non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AFib)
AFib is one of the most common heart arrhythmias, also called irregular heartbeats, diagnosed in the U.S. It causes an irregular heartbeat, typically too fast, that can lead to negative health effects, such as poor blood flow. AFib can also lead to conditions such as blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications. Patients with non-valvular AFib are at a much higher risk for stroke. In fact, according to the American Heart Association, patients with AFib have a more than five times greater risk of stroke.
Minimally invasive device implantation for atrial fibrillation
As a regional leader in cardiovascular care and designated Comprehensive Stroke Center, our hospital is proud to offer a new procedure to lower stroke risk that can be an alternative to long-term blood thinner usage. This procedure inserts a medical device that closes off the left atrial appendage from the rest of the heart. The left atrial appendage is a thin, small sac residing in the left side of the heart. It has been linked as a source of stroke-causing blood clots in patients with AFib.
The left atrial appendage closure (LAAC) device is inserted via catheter, which is then moved through a patient's blood vessels until the heart is reached and the device is implanted.
Severe aortic stenosis
Severe aortic stenosis is the narrowing of the aortic valve opening. When this occurs, the valve no longer allows normal blood flow to continue. Aortic stenosis may result from a buildup of calcium deposits that cause the valve to narrow or stiffen, but it can also be caused by certain congenital abnormalities. Over time, severe aortic stenosis weakens the heart because it is working harder to pump blood to the body, increasing a person's risk for heart failure.
Patients with severe aortic stenosis may experience symptoms such as:
- Chest pain
- Heart failure
- Passing out
- Shortness of breath
Minimally invasive treatment for aortic stenosis
At the Heart Care Institute, we are excited to offer a non-surgical treatment for qualifying patients with severe aortic stenosis—transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). TAVR is a leading-edge treatment that allows patients to undergo a valve replacement through a small incision in the skin. For patients who are candidates, TAVR offers a minimally invasive treatment option that requires a shorter recovery period and a history of positive patient outcomes.
TAVR offers several patient benefits, including:
- A shorter hospital stay and faster recovery time when compared to traditional surgical intervention
- No need to stop the heart to perform the procedure
- Potential for better patient outcomes, including patients who are no able to undergo open-heart surgery