Each year, millions of Americans experience a heart condition or illness. University Cardiovascular Center specializes in diagnosing and treating the entire spectrum of cardiovascular issues. Our specialists work collaboratively to develop an effective and comprehensive care plan for each patient. Their compassionate, patient-focused approach means every individual receives the attention and care he or she deserves as they work toward better health.
University Cardiovascular Center
We provide comprehensive, high-quality cardiovascular care to patients in the Central Valley.
Carotid ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to create a picture of the insides of your carotid arteries. There is a carotid artery on either side of your neck that divides into internal and external carotid arteries. The internal carotid artery supplies oxygen-rich blood to your brain while the external carotid artery supplies oxygen-rich blood to your face, scalp, and neck.
An echocardiogram, also known as an echo, is a sonogram of the heart. It uses sound waves to create a picture of the heart. An echocardiogram is more detailed than a standard X-ray image and does not expose the patient to radiation.
During your consultation, your cardiologist gathers all the information required for a diagnosis, evaluating your medical history, your family history, your lifestyle (eating habits, smoking, alcohol use, activity level, etc.), and discussing any cardiac issues you are experiencing. Next, your cardiologist will perform a comprehensive physical examination, which typically includes ancillary tests such as chest X-rays, EKGs, laboratory tests, stress tests, nuclear stress tests, echocardiograms, and/or CT scanning of the heart.
Heart failure occurs when the heart is not pumping blood the way it should. As blood moves through the heart and body at a slower rate and pressure in the heart increases, the chambers of the heart may respond by stretching to hold more blood or by becoming stiff and thickened. These changes may keep the blood moving temporarily, but they will eventually weaken the heart muscle walls. Reduced blood flow impacts the kidneys by causing the body to retain fluid (water) and salt. The body becomes congested with fluid build-up in the arms, feet, ankles, legs, lungs, or other organs, which is why the condition is often called congestive heart failure.
University Cardiovascular Center serves patients in all stages of heart failure, including those with advanced disease. We use modern medical therapies as well as implantable devices that provide short- or long-term support for the failing heart.
Holter monitoring is a 24-hour, continuous EKG. The battery-operated device is completely portable, so patients can go about their lives during the test. Having a 24-hour EKG allows the cardiologist to better detect abnormal heart rhythms and correlate symptoms of dizziness, palpitations, or blackouts.
Interventional cardiology is a nonsurgical procedure for treating cardiovascular disease. Interventional cardiologists use catheters (thin, flexible tubes), balloons, or stents to treat narrowed arteries in the heart or in peripheral vessels caused by atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
This complex-sounding term simply refers to non-surgical tests that help the doctor evaluate the condition and functioning of your arteries. For instance, a test called the lower extremity arterial evaluation screens for peripheral arterial disease, a common circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to your limbs. It is measured by comparing arterial blood pressures in the ankle and toes to the pressures in the arms. This ratio between the two, called the ankle brachial index, is used as an indicator for peripheral arterial disease.
A pacemaker is a small device surgically placed in the chest or abdomen to help control abnormal heart rhythms. The device uses electrical pulses to prompt the heart to beat at a normal rate. Pacemakers are used to treat arrhythmias (abnormal rate or rhythm of the heartbeat).
Stress echocardiography uses ultrasound imaging to view how well your heart muscle pumps blood throughout your body. It is mainly used to detect a decrease in blood flow to the heart due to a narrowing of the coronary arteries.
A stress test shows how your heart performs under increased activity. Typically, the patient walks on a treadmill at a gradually increased pace while the medical team monitors heart activity to check for abnormal rhythm or evidence of ischemia (insufficient blood flow to the heart muscle).
This minimally invasive procedure replaces the heart’s aortic valve with a prosthetic valve, working through tiny incisions in the chest and groin. TAVR is especially useful when a patient has been diagnosed with severe aortic stenosis and is too sick or high risk for open-heart surgery. For TAVR surgeries, University Cardiovascular Center partners with cardiac surgeons at Community Regional Medical Center.
Women often experience different symptoms during a heart attack than a man might experience. Instead of the crushing chest pain typically associated with a heart attack, women might notice:
- Pain in the neck, jaw, shoulder, upper back, stomach, or arms.
- Shortness of breath, even without chest discomfort.
- Indigestion, nausea, or vomiting.
- Sweating, including cold sweat.
- Lightheadedness or dizziness.
- Unusual fatigue.
Because women’s cardiovascular symptoms are unique and often go unrecognized, University Cardiovascular Center has made it a priority to employ female cardiologists accomplished in the field of women’s cardiovascular health.
Siri Kunchakarra, MD
Cardiovascular Disease, Non-Invasive/Advanced Imaging, Cardiac MR/CT
Faculty Practice Site Provider