Dr Saad Alsaab works together with each patient and referring physicians to diagnose and treat disorders of the heart. His patients describe symptoms and he discusses his findings with the primary care physician, he also uses a variety of diagnostic techniques and tools to help determine an accurate diagnosis. Then, with the help of the patient, a treatment plan is developed. His goal is to treat each patient as an individual, working as a team to help improve the patient’s quality of life.
The following are some of the more common treatments that are routinely performed by Dr Alsaab either at his office or in the hospital.
An invasive imaging procedure that involves inserting a catheter into a blood vessel in the arm or leg, and guiding it to your heart with the aid of a special x-ray machine. Contrast dye is injected through the catheter so that x-ray movies of your valves, coronary arteries and heart chambers are taken.
Your doctor uses cardiac catheterization to:
• evaluate or confirm the presence of heart disease (such as coronary artery disease, valve disease or disease of the aorta)
• evaluate heart muscle function
• determine the need for further treatment (angioplasty or bypass surgery)
The x-ray camera is used to take photographs of the arteries and heart chambers. When all the photos have been taken, the catheter is removed.
The cardiac catheterization procedure only takes about 30 minutes but requires several hours from the preparation through the recovery time.
A peripheral angiogram is a test that uses X-rays and dye to help your doctor find narrowed or blocked areas in one or more of the arteries that supply blood to your legs (View an animation of an angiogram). The test is also called a peripheral arteriogram.
During echo, a device called a transducer is used to send sound waves (called ultrasound) to the heart. As the ultrasound waves bounce off the structures of the heart, a computer in the echo machine converts them into pictures on a screen.
TEE involves a flexible tube (probe) with a transducer at its tip. Your doctor will guide the probe down your throat and into your esophagus (the passage leading from your mouth to your stomach). This approach allows your doctor to get more detailed pictures of your heart because the esophagus is directly behind the heart.
Cardioversion is most often done by sending electric shocks to your heart through electrodes placed on your chest. Occasionally, your doctor may perform cardioversion using only medications to restore your heart’s rhythm.
Cardioversion is usually a scheduled procedure that’s performed in a hospital, and you should be able to go home the same day as your procedure. For most people, cardioversion quickly restores a normal heart rhythm.
A pacemaker is a small device that’s placed in the chest or abdomen to help control abnormal heart rhythms. This device uses electrical pulses to prompt the heart to beat at a normal rate.
Pacemakers are used to treat arrhythmias (ah-RITH-me-ahs). Arrhythmias are problems with the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat. During an arrhythmia, the heart can beat too fast, too slow, or with an irregular rhythm.
A heartbeat that’s too fast is called tachycardia (TAK-ih-KAR-de-ah). A heartbeat that’s too slow is called bradycardia (bray-de-KAR-de-ah).
During an arrhythmia, the heart may not be able to pump enough blood to the body. This can cause symptoms such as fatigue (tiredness), shortness of breath, or fainting. Severe arrhythmias can damage the body’s vital organs and may even cause loss of consciousness or death.
A pacemaker can relieve some arrhythmia symptoms, such as fatigue and fainting. A pacemaker also can help a person who has abnormal heart rhythms resume a more active lifestyle.
An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is a small device that’s placed in the chest or abdomen. Doctors use the device to help treat irregular heartbeats called arrhythmias (ah-RITH-me-ahs).
An ICD uses electrical pulses or shocks to help control life-threatening arrhythmias, especially those that can cause sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).
SCA is a condition in which the heart suddenly stops beating. If the heart stops beating, blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs. SCA usually causes death if it’s not treated within minutes.