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Cardiovascular Care

The Heart, Lung & Vascular Institute

Proven Quality – Award Winning Care

Of all the relationships we develop in life, one of the most important is that between the patient and the physician. Here at Excela Health the cardiovascular care we provide to our patients has been recognized by national, regional and local groups which include:

  • Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Blue Distinction Center Plus for Cardiac Care
  • American Heart Association “Get With The Guidelines" Heart Failure Quality Achievement Award
  • Bronze Recognition through American Heart Association “Mission Lifeline” Award
  • U.S. News & World Report designation for High Performing Hospitals in the Treatment of Heart Failure.
gold plus award Silver plus award Primary Heart Attack Center
Blue Distinction Center Gold Plus 2019 Mission Lifeline 2019 U.S. News

The Heart, Lung & Vascular Center at Excela Health is the recipient of awards from The Society of Thoracic Surgeons, U.S. News & World Report, Highmark, The American Heart Association, among others. To learn more about Excela Health's awards and accolades, click here.

Cardiovascular Care Services

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Cardiovascular Care FAQs and Resources

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Treatment

A'bdominal aortic aneurysms are enlarged sections in the lower part of the aorta, which is a major vessel that supplies blood to the body. More often than not, abdominal aortic aneurysms are symptomless and found during another medical evaluation. The course of treatment depends on the size of the aneurysm. Small aneurysms, which are less than 5 cm in diameter, are treated with daily exercise, lifestyle changes, and possible medications to help lower blood pressure. For larger aneurysms open surgery is advised. With the placement of a prosthetic graft, our cardiovascular specialists are able to prevent the rupturing and worsening of an abdominal aortic aneurysm.

Anti-Arrhythmia Surgery

Depending on the severity of a heart arrhythmia, a pacemaker or implantable dardioverter-defibrillator may not be enough to treat and maintain a healthy heart. When this is the case, there are two common surgeries our cardiologists at the heart and lung institue utilize to treat our patients. The first being the Maze Procedure. This procedure involves a surgeon making a series of small surgical incisions in the upper half of your heart tissure, referred to as the atria. Because scar tissue doesn't conduct electricity, it prevents any stray electrical impluses from causing arrythmias. The second type of surgery to treat arrythmias is Coronary bypass surgery. The purpose of this procedure is to improve the blood flow to the heart, aiding in the steady beating of the heart and strengthening of the heart muscles.

Atrial Fibrillation Surgical Ablation

If a patient has an irregular heartbeat, or atrial fibrillation, treatment ablation is a recommended procedure used to treat an irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia). Symptoms caused by an irregular heartbeat, such as shortness of breath and fatigue, usually improve after undergoing one of the following surgical procedures: Catheter Ablation, Maze Procedure, and AV Node Ablation. The Catheter Ablation is a procedure where a cardiovascular surgeon threads a catheter (a thin, long tube) to apply extreme cold or heat to cause tiny scars to specific areas of the heart. The Maze Procedure is an ablation technique where a pattern of scare tissure is created in the upper chambers of the heart. These two procedures disrupt the erratic electrical signals to the heart causing the arrythmia. The third procedure, AV Node Ablation or Atrioventricular Node Ablation, is the scarring of heart tissure in an area called the AV node. This node connects the upper and lower chambers of the heart. This scar tissue prevents the sending of erratic electrical signals throughout the heart. Without treatment, atrial fibrillation tends to get worse over time.

Cardiac Ablation

When a patient is suffering from an arrythmia, a form of treatment, cardiac ablation, is recommended procedure that can help resolve heart rhythm problems. The way that cardiac ablation works is by scarring heart tissue that causes the abnormal heart rhythms. A cardiovascular surgeon uses a small catheter to apply extreme heat or cold to the tissues in your heart that are the cause of the arrythmia. By doing so, this disrupts the irregular electrical impulses within the heart. By performing the procedure with a catheter, it is less invasive and shortens the post-surgery recovery period.

Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation

After a cardiac event or for those with lung and vascular disease, our goal is to improve your health and quality of life. With the help of our cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation programs center around the strengthening of your heart, lungs, and most importantly, your quality of life. A doctor’s referral is needed for our rehabilitation programs, but we can assist you in obtaining a referral. For more information, visit our Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation page.

Cardiac Catheterization

In order to accuractely diagnose and treat certain cardiovascular conditions, our cardiovascular surgeons will perform a cardiac catheterization procedure. When using a catheter doctors can conduct diagnostic tests such as a biopsy or reading blood pressure and flow levels, coronary angioplasties to push plaque and widen arteries, coronary stenting to help keep an artery open, as well as repairing heart defects.

Cardiothoracic Surgery

Cardiothoracic surgery, often refered to as thoracic surgery, is the surgical treatment of organs inside the chest. These are cardiovascular disease treatments for conditions of the heart and lungs. If you need surgery, it’s good to know your heart’s in the right place at the Heart and Vascular Center. Our cardiothoracic surgeons have the reputation for excellence in patient care and quality outcomes ― right here in Westmoreland County. For more information, visit our Cardiothoracic Surgery page.

Diagnostic Cardiology

Cardiac diagnostic tests provide the data points and information needed for cardiologists to create a detailed picture of how a patient's heart is functioning. Our cardiovascular specialists are able to reach a diagnosis faster and more accurately with the advanced cardiac testing we provide. For more information, visit our Diagostic Cardiology page.


An electrophysiology (EP) procedure or study is a series of tests used to assess a patient's heart electrical system. When determining proper cardiovascular disease treatment it is important to accurately diagnose abnormal heartbeats or arrhythmia through the help of EP tests. An arrhythmia, or abnormal heartbeat, can often make patients feel as though they have heart fluttering, chest pain, shortness of breath or dizziness. At our dedicated electrophysiology lab, those with arrhythmia can get top quality care from highly trained cardiovascular specialists while remaining close to home. For more information, visit our Electrophysiology page.

Heart Failure Clinic

If you've been diagnosed with heart failure, even the term may sound shocking. It doesn't mean, however, that your heart "failed" or stopped. It means that the heart can't pump properly to meet your body's needs. At our heart and vascular institute our cardiology specialists provide the absolute best care through a comprehensive approach and expertise in treating heart failure. For more information, visit our Heart Failure Clinic page.

Interventional Cardiology

Intervantional cardiologists specialize in the imaging and diagnostic techniques that are used to evaluate the pressure and blood flow within the coronary arteries and heart. This field also encompasses the treatment and diagnosis of acquired structural heart disease, vascular disease, and coronary artery disease. To restore and renew your heart’s health, our team of caring experts perform a range of treatments and procedures close to home at the Heart and Vascular Center’s interventional suites located on the Excela Westmoreland Hospital campus. For more information, visit our Interventional Cardiology page.

Meet the Team

Of all the relationships we develop in life, one of the most important is that between the patient and the physician. Our heart and vascular institute includes a full array of providers to take care of you. With proven quality and award winning care, the heart services at Excela Health have been recognized by national, regional and local groups. Are you in need of a physician? Find a Cardiologist Near Me.

Open Heart Surgery

An open heart surgery procedure is an operation done to repair a fault or damage in the heart. The most common procedure is a coronary artery bypass, where the arteries are blocked or narrowed, putting them at risk of a heart attack. If you need surgery, it’s good to know your heart’s in the right place at the Heart and Vascular Center. Our cardiothoracic surgeons have the reputation for excellence in patient care and quality outcomes ― right here in Westmoreland County. For more information, visit our Open Heart Surgery page.

Thoracic Surgery

Thoracic surgery refers the procedures and operations on organs within the chest. This includes the lungs, esophagus, and heart. Our thoracic surgeons, those who perform surgery or procedures on the heart, lungs, esophagus and other organs in the chest, are skilled in all aspects of thoracic surgery, using minimally invasive techniques when possible. For more information, visit our Thoracic Surgery page.

Vascular Surgery

Vascular surgery is a medical procedure done to treat the arteries, veins and lymphatic circulation of a patient. A vascular specialist help manages the therapy, minimally-invasive catheter procedures, and surgical reconstruction. If a problem arises from the veins and arteries rather than the heart, vascular surgeons from the Excela Health Heart and Vascular Center work to get you back in circulation. For more information, visit our Vascular Surgery page.

Watchman Procedure

The left atrial appendage is a small sac-like extension of the upper part of the heart. Blood can pool in this appendage, leading to an increased chance of having a stroke in patients with artirial fibrillation. Our clinicians are performing minimally invasive procedure called the WATCHMAN™ in selected patients. Using small incisions they seal off the appendage and close it from circulation so clots no longer can be formed in the structure. For more information, visit our Watchman Procedure page.

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