Heart doctors in Anchorage, Alaska
The cardiology specialists at Alaska Regional Hospital provide comprehensive cardiac care for Anchorage patients experiencing heart and blood vessel conditions. We have led the way in providing a full range of diagnostic and interventional treatment options for all areas of cardiovascular care, including life-changing surgeries, noninvasive procedures, innovative, cutting-edge technological advancements and rehabilitation.
Our hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm. For more information about our cardiology services, please call (907) 264-2332.
Advanced cardiology care
Alaska Regional Hospital provides excellent, compassionate cardiac care to patients of all ages in not just Anchorage, but the entire southern Alaska region. Our services include both simple and complex cardiovascular procedures, and we have been consistently recognized for our heart attack and heart failure services.
Alaska Regional consistently meets or exceeds stringent national standards, and demonstrates a substantial commitment to excellence in cardiology care. As such, the American College of Cardiology has designated us with accreditations for atrial fibrillation, chest pain and heart failure, making us the only hospital in Alaska to have earned all three accreditations.
Cardiovascular conditions we treat
Whether you are committed to a healthy lifestyle, at risk for cardiovascular disease or already struggling with a condition that affects your heart or blood vessels, we can help. Our nationally recognized cardiac doctors and nurses offer proven and innovative therapies for the following conditions:
- Chest pain management
- Congestive heart failure
- Coronary heart disease
- Heart attack
- Heart valve diseases and disorders
- Structural or congenital heart abnormalities
- Vascular disease
Heart care services
Heart and vascular care at Alaska Regional is coordinated by our inpatient, outpatient, cardiac rehabilitation and diagnostics and laboratory teams. This team-based care approach allows us to offer patients in the Anchorage and surrounding areas the following services:
A cardiac catheterization inserts a catheter into a blood vessel in the groin, arm or neck, then guided to the aorta before finally, the heart. Once in place, the catheter allows for numerous tests to be performed to detect issues with the heart and its blood supply.
A catheterization is generally performed on an emergency basis after an individual experiences symptoms that could indicate heart problems, such as chest pain. Cardiac catheterizations allow doctors to:
- Check for congenital heart abnormalities
- Evaluate an enlarged heart
- Evaluate how well the heart valves and chambers function
- Identify narrowed or clogged arteries
- Measure blood pressure within the heart
If you have been hospitalized because of heart disease, had an angioplasty or had heart valve surgery, your healthcare provider has likely recommended any or all of the following:
- Eating a heart-healthy diet
- Exercising regularly
- Losing weight
- Quitting smoking
- Taking your medications
However, getting started with a new lifestyle regimen can be difficult, which is why our cardiac rehabilitation program can be so beneficial. We offer a comprehensive, motivational program of evaluation, exercise, education, and support that teaches you how to make recommended lifestyle changes to help manage heart disease. Our program includes three phases: inpatient, outpatient and health coaching for patients that graduate.
Cardiovascular unit (CVSU)
Cardiology patients are provided highly specialized care via our CVSU, a 24/7 nursing unit designed to meet the needs of heart and vascular patients. Utilizing state-of-the-art technologies, we provide around-the-clock heart monitoring for quick responses to patient needs, as well as care for patients recovering from open heart surgery, angioplasty, pacemaker insertion, vascular surgery, aneurysm repair, heart attack or arrhythmia.
Visiting hours on our unit are flexible and based on individual patient needs. Whenever possible, hide-away beds are made available for family members and loved ones to remain with the patient at all times. As an alternative, onsite rooms in the Alaska House may be available for family members who live out of state or outside of the Anchorage area. For more information, call (907) 264-2090.
Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)
An ECG diagnoses potential conditions and evaluates the heart's rhythm and electrical activity by recording its electrical impulses.
These impulses are registered by electrodes placed on the chest, arms and legs, with each controlling an ink needle that writes on grid paper. The higher the intensity of the electric wave, the higher up the needle will move on the paper. As the paper moves, an ink curve is formed where any abnormalities will make themselves known. The procedure typically takes about 15 minutes.
ECG stress test
An ECG stress test is an ECG that is recorded during exercise, typically on a treadmill. The speed and slope of the treadmill will slowly increase as you walk, continuing until you have reached a certain heart rate, are short of breath, have chest pain or are too tired to continue. This type of ECG typically lasts less than 30 minutes and only requires you to have not eaten for at least two hours before the test.
Heart arrhythmia treatments
A heart arrhythmia describes a misfire in the sequence of electrical impulses that controls how the heart pumps blood. When a misfire occurs, the heart may beat irregularly, too quickly, or too slowly. There are many heart arrhythmia causes, including arterial blockages, diabetes, heart attack, high blood pressure, stress and thyroid problems.
Our team of cardiac specialists utilize numerous techniques for treating arrhythmias, including pacemakers, implantable cardioverter defibrillator therapy, cardiac resynchronization defibrillator therapy and electrophysiology studies.
Left atrial appendage closure
This procedure is performed when a patient has experienced atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation occurs when the heart's two upper chambers beat irregularly and out of sync with the lower two chambers, causing a rapid heartbeat that can bring on weakness, shortness of breath and palpitations.
This procedure reduces the risk of blood clots that cause strokes, and is performed by implanting a device in the heart that permanently closes off a small pouch (the left atrial appendage), keeping blood clots from entering the bloodstream and traveling to the brain.
Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)
TAVR is a minimally invasive catheter procedure for patients with severe aortic stenosis, a calcium buildup that narrows the heart valve and restricts blood flow. This may cause shortness of breath, low energy, and can ultimately be life-threatening. While initially conceived as an alternative for patients that carry too many risks for invasive heart surgery, Alaska Regional is pleased to expand access to TAVR for all patients.
In a TAVR procedure, a replacement valve is inserted through a small incision in the patient's leg and guided via a catheter to the site of the damaged valve. Once in position, the new valve opens and closes more efficiently, significantly improving blood flow. The procedure typically takes less than an hour and patients are hospitalized for just one night. Often, they feel immediate improvements, resulting in better breathing and a healthier lifestyle with significantly reduced risks of heart failure. Conversely, traditional open-heart surgery carries numerous risks and involves a lengthy hospitalization and recovery.
If a teen or adult suddenly collapses and is not breathing, you could save them by knowing this heart-smart version of a popular tune.
- Call 911.
- Push hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of "Stayin' Alive" — the perfect rhythm for hands-only CPR.
Continue compressions until help arrives. To avoid tiring quickly, lock your elbows and keep your arms straight and your shoulders down in a relaxed position (not up by your ears). Use your body weight, not your arms, to push. If another person is there, you can take turns if you need a rest.
Here are some great videos from the American Heart Association to help you learn hands-only CPR: