Comprehensive heart care in Bradenton

The cardiac specialists at Blake Medical Center are dedicated to the study, diagnosis and treatment of heart disease. In 1989, Blake Medical Center performed its first heart catheterization. Today we perform more than 3,000 diagnostic and interventional procedures and more than 30,000 noninvasive procedures each year.

To learn more about cardiac treatment options at Blake Medical Center, please call our Consult-A-Nurse® team at (888) 359-3552.

Cardiovascular services

Blake Medical Center's superior cardiac program combines the talents of cardiologists, cardiac surgeons and other highly skilled staff who are dedicated to the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of heart disease. Our heart specialists employ sophisticated technology and expert intervention in the treatment of cardiovascular disease.

Our heart services include:

Heart screening and imaging

Making sure you receive a correct diagnosis is the first step in providing complete cardiovascular care. To accomplish this, we ensure our cardiologists have access to a wide range of imaging technology and cardiac diagnostic tests, including:

  • Echocardiogram (echo)—An echo is a specialized ultrasound that creates images of the heart and its movements. Doctors are able to see the heart in action, to evaluate proper pumping function and structure.
  • Transesophageal echocardiogram—This is a specialized type of echo that uses a probe, containing an integrated ultrasound device, which is inserted down the esophagus. The ultrasound creates more detailed images of the heart, as the ribs and lungs are not obstructing the view.
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG)—This imaging procedure produces a graph charting the electrical activity of the heart. The electrical activity is recorded by specialized electrodes that are placed on the chest.
  • Electrophysiology (EP) studies—An EP study is an assessment of the heart's electrical system. If the electrical system is operating incorrectly, it may be diagnosed as a heart arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat.
  • Diagnostic catheterization—Catheterization is both a diagnostic and treatment method performed by inserting a catheter into a blood vessel that supplies blood to the heart muscles. This allows the doctor to assess overall heart function and diagnose any problems that are present.
  • Transtelephonic arrhythmia monitoring—This is a special type of monitoring that allows patients to identify when they are experiencing symptoms of an arrhythmia and have them recorded for physician assessment.
  • Stress testing—This form of testing involves putting patients under the pressure of physical exertion, such as exercise, to evaluate how the heart muscle functions in times of stress. While this occurs, the heart will be monitored through an EKG, blood pressure checks and reports of any physical symptoms, such as chest pain.
  • Holter monitoring—A Holter monitor is a device that allows continuous monitoring of the heart over a period of time, typically 24 to 48 hours. The device is battery-operated and is attached to your skin with electrodes.
  • Tilt table testing—This test evaluates a person's pulse and blood pressure while rapidly changing positions. It is often used to diagnose syncope (loss of consciousness due to insufficient blood flow).

Vascular disease treatment

We provide diagnostic, medical, interventional and surgical services for patients with vascular diseases, such as peripheral artery disease and peripheral vascular disease.

Our vascular program focuses on providing patient education to help reduce the risks associated with vascular disease through lifestyle changes. The vascular team is made up of vascular surgeons, general surgeons, neurosurgeons, interventional radiologists, internists, family practitioners, dedicated technologist and nurses.

Vascular services we provide include:

  • Vascular interventional radiology
  • Non-invasive vascular laboratory
  • Vascular ultrasound imaging
  • Vascular surgical services
  • Vascular medicine

Cardiac rehabilitation

Our cardiac rehabilitation program is supervised by a board-certified cardiologist. It provides rehabilitative care for patients who have heart disease or are recovering from a heart event, such as a heart attack.

To learn more about our cardiac rehabilitation program, please call our department at (941) 798-6126.

There are three primary phases of cardiac rehabilitation:

  • Phase one (in hospital)—This phase occurs while the patient is still in the hospital, either following an open heart surgery or during monitored recovery from a cardiac event. Rehabilitation at this phase includes educational counseling, range of motion activities and intermittent sitting and standing.
  • Phase two (outpatient exercise therapy)—This phase begins rehabilitation on a supervised outpatient basis and is generally completed over 36 total visits. The program consists of multi-function aerobic exercise, telemetry monitoring, blood pressure monitoring and risk factor education and modification.
  • Phase three (continued outpatient exercise therapy)—This phase is a self-pay maintenance program designed to promote long-term health through supervised exercise therapy.

Cardiac rehabilitation offers numerous benefits to patients with heart disease, including:

  • Learning about cardiovascular disease treatment, medications and a long-term healthy lifestyle
  • Reducing the potential for additional cardiovascular problems through risk factor modification
  • Learning how to recognize symptoms and when to seek treatment
  • Regaining and maintaining an independent, self-sufficient lifestyle through improvement in strength and endurance

Conditions treated through cardiac rehab

Cardiac rehabilitation may be an option for patients following surgery or after a cardiac diagnosis, such as:

  • Congestive heart failure (CHF)
  • Heart valve repair
  • Stable angina
  • Heart attack
  • Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery
  • Heart/Lung transplant
  • Angioplasty or stenting

Cardiovascular clinical trials

Research in cardiovascular disease has expanded our understanding of the basic elements of development, anatomy and pharmacology. With this knowledge, it has been possible to establish new, better approaches to the treatment of these diseases.

We have partnered with Sarah Cannon Research Institute (SCRI) Cardiovascular to provide clinical trials to patients.

SCRI is a leader in cardiovascular research that provides a foundation for evidence-based treatment strategies and facilitates optimal, cost-effective patient care. Cardiovascular clinical trials are currently available at Blake Medical Center, including the ReChord Trial for patients experiencing mitral valve regurgitation.

Patient and family support

At Blake Medical Center, we recognize that family and friends play a vital role in supporting our patients on the road to recovery. In addition to advanced medical care, we offer the following services for you and your family:

  • Discounted hotel rooms rates in the nearby area
  • Complimentary hospital cafeteria meals