Nationally Recognized Heart Care
From the most complex lifesaving cardiac procedures to routine heart care, the Albany Med Health System provides excellent care for all patients with conditions affecting the heart. We work to make sure patients receive the latest and most advanced treatments.
Patients can receive heart care from our physicians and surgeons at Albany Medical Center, Columbia Memorial Health, Glens Falls Hospital, and Saratoga Hospital, with the option to transfer patients in need of more advanced or critical care to Albany Medical Center.
This page features cardiology at Albany Medical Center. To schedule a cardiology appointment at Albany Medical Center, call 518-262-5555.
All locations in the System can be found in the Get Care section of this page.
Structural Heart Program
Our Structural Heart Program provides innovative care for patients with advanced and complex valvular and structural heart disease. We offer minimally invasive treatments for patients who do not qualify for open-heart procedures.
Our team collaborates closely to develop a specialized treatment plan tailored to each patient, and continuously work together to provide patients with informed and effective cardiovascular care.
Some of the most common structural heart treatments we offer include:
- Atrial septal defect transcatheter repair
- Balloon valvuloplasty
- Left atrial appendage closure (LAAC) with the Watchman Device
- Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)
- Minimally invasive and traditional heart valve repair and replacement
Our team of cardiac electrophysiologists treat conditions that cause the heart to beat too fast, too slow, or in an irregular pattern. We use the latest innovative technology and testing to measure the electrical activity of the heart, thus finding the location and cause of heart problems for patients.
An arrhythmia is an irregular heartbeat caused by conditions like coronary artery disease or an injury from heart attack. Common types of arrhythmias include atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, and ventricular fibrillation. We use electrophysiology tests to find the cause and severity of arrhythmia. Patients with cardiac arrhythmias often do not need treatment at all. For cases that do require intervention, treatments range from medication regimens, ablation at the source of the arrhythmia, pacemaker implantation, or an implantable cardioverter defibrillator. There are a variety of treatment options depending on the type of arrhythmia.
- Atrial fibrillation ablation
Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of arrhythmia. Although non-life-threatening, it can cause uncomfortable symptoms and can contribute to heart failure and stroke. Treatments range from medication to minimally invasive surgical procedures. Cardioversion can also be used to treat atrial fibrillation if the patient is diagnosed within 24-48 hours of the onset of symptoms. Ablation gets rid of abnormal, arrhythmia-causing areas of the heart, correcting the transmission of electrical impulses in the heart.
- Atrial flutter
Atrial flutter is an abnormally fast heartbeat. Atrial flutter is not generally life threatening but may increase the risk of developing blood clots and stroke. There are a variety of treatment options, including medication therapy, blood thinners, and ablation
Bradycardia is an unusually slow heart rate. Bradycardia can become a medical emergency when there is a complete heart blockage, which can result in sudden cardiac arrest. It is important to diagnose symptoms to prevent this kind of medical emergency. If treatment is required, options include altering medications that may slow your heart rate or using medications that temporarily increase your heart rate or implanting a pacemaker.
- Catheter ablation
Another treatment option for atrial fibrillation is catheter ablation. This minimally invasive procedure is used to get rid of the tiny areas of the heart that create the abnormal electrical impulses that cause the atrial fibrillation.
- Pacemakers and defibrillators
Pacemakers and defibrillators are used to correct severe arrhythmias and to prevent sudden cardiac death. Pacemakers can be used to treat patients with abnormally slow heart rates. They take over the role of the heart’s natural pacemaker when correction is needed. Implantable cardioventricular defibrillators are used to treat life-threatening arrhythmias.
- Supraventricular arrhythmia
Supraventricular arrhythmias are abnormal heartbeats that originate in the atria (the heart’s upper two chambers).
- Ventricular fibrillation
Ventricular fibrillation occurs when the lower two chambers of the heart shutter due to disorganized electrical impulses in the ventricles. This condition is considered a medical emergency and can be fatal without treatment. Ventricular fibrillation should be treated as soon as possible by way of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation to restore the normal rhythm of the heart.
Our cath labs give physicians the ultimate view of the heart, both for diagnosing heart function and for clearing arterial blockages. The labs located at Albany Medical Center also provide the region’s only pediatric catheterization program.
Cath lab teams can be mobilized within 30 minutes to treat patients in emergency situations.
Getting You Back on Your Feet
A patient may undergo a catheterization to diagnose, and even treat, a condition and be discharged that same day.
Preventing heart disease starts with healthy lifestyle choices. Our dedicated team is here to help you navigate your heart health to make the best decisions for you and your family to reduce the risk of heart disease—the number one cause of death in the US.
Know Your Numbers. High cholesterol is one of the major controllable risk factors for coronary heart disease, heart attack and stroke. It’s important to get tested to understand where your cholesterol numbers are.
Choose A Healthy Eating Plan. The food you eat can decrease your risk of heart disease and stroke. Choose foods low in saturated fat, trans fat, and sodium. As part of a healthy diet, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, fiber-rich whole grains, fish (preferably oily fish - at least twice per week), nuts, legumes and seeds and try eating some meals without meat.
Be Physically Active. You can slowly work up to at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity (e.g., brisk walking) every week or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity or a combination of both every week.
Don’t Smoke. Smoking lowers good cholesterol.Worse still, when a person with unhealthy cholesterol levels also smokes, the risk of coronary heart disease increases. Smoking also compounds the risk presented by other risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
Don’t Wait To Get Screened. Risk factors and heart disease prevention measures vary as you age. While it’s always important to stay physically active, eat healthy and avoid smoking, the different stages of life present other areas of concern that should be considered. If you have a history of heart disease in your family, be proactive and contact an Albany Med Health System heart specialist who can help determine the best course of care for you.
Awareness, Education, and Research
The Albany Med Health System is proud to offer ongoing education to help patients lower their risk factors and make healthy lifestyle choices. We collaborate with the American Heart Association (AHA) to improve the heart health of our community.
Training the Next Generation of Physicians
Learn more about our Cardiology fellowship program.
Learn more about our Cardiothoracic Surgery fellowship program.
Learn more about women's heart health and vascular surgery.