Cardiac Health Center
The Heart of Atlanta
No one in Atlanta offers better, more comprehensive cardiac care than Grady’s team of doctors, nurses, and technicians. Whether you have had a heart attack, irregular heart rhythm, a heart valve problem, or some other heart disease, we know the situation can be frightening and confusing. At Grady, you never face it alone. We will be your steady partner, helping you choose just the right treatment, providing the information you want about your disease, and offering the support you need to get through the experience.
Every patient’s journey is unique. We help you make the right decisions for you and arrange appointments that work with your schedule. And, where possible, we help you juggle personal and professional responsibilities. After all, life doesn’t stop when heart disease strikes.
Why Choose Us
Grady’s nationally-recognized cardiac team will help you live a long, rewarding life by providing you with the right medical care and guiding you toward a healthy routine. We help patients manage their heart disease. And, when necessary, we can perform surgical procedures to improve heart function, increase blood flow, or provide other relief. Grady’s experienced staff includes cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, electrophysiologists, and other highly trained clinicians, including nurses and diagnostic specialists.
We are one of only a handful of U.S. hospitals staffed by multidisciplinary heart specialists from two medical schools, Emory and Morehouse schools of medicine. We use Atlanta’s newest medical technology to diagnose and care for patients. And, because Grady has one of the region’s most active heart disease research programs, we offer access to some of medicine’s most promising emerging therapies.
Because heart disease is often accompanied by other health concerns, Grady offers one more advantage: We’ve spent more than 125 years building the most comprehensive medical services in Atlanta, to deliver the best care possible.
What We Treat
Heart disease can come in many forms. In general, it is a disorder of the blood vessels of the heart that can lead to a heart attack. People think heart disease can be “cured,” but in fact, heart disease is something that once diagnosed, will need to be continuously managed throughout the life of the patient.
Thankfully, Grady is expert at helping heart patients live full, satisfying lives by treating acute heart conditions and helping you make lifestyle changes that enable you to live a long life.
Learn more about Heart Disease.
Some other conditions that Grady has expertise in treating include:
Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heartbeat that can increase the risk of stroke and heart disease. Signs of atrial fibrillation include dizziness, weakness, and fatigue. Treatment involves medication and lifestyle changes, and sometimes procedures such as cardioversion, ablation, pacemakers, or surgery.
Learn More about Atrial Fibrillation.
A myocardial infarction – or heart attack – occurs when an arterial blockage causes a condition called a cardiac ischemia. If the ischemia lasts too long, the oxygen-starved heart tissue dies. Heart attacks can occur over several hours, but typically produce some chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, faintness, or nausea. Treatments may include medications to improve blood flow and dissolve the clot and surgery to treat partially blocked arteries.
Learn more about Heart Attack here.
The heart is a muscle that pumps oxygen-rich blood to all parts of the body. When you have heart failure, the heart can’t pump as well as it should. Or the heart muscle can’t relax and fill the pumping chamber with blood. Blood and fluid may back up into the lungs. This causes congestive heart failure and pulmonary edema. Some parts of the body also don’t get enough oxygen-rich blood to work correctly. These problems lead to the symptoms of heart failure.
Learn more about Heart Failure.
Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. Hypertension risk factors include obesity, drinking too much alcohol, smoking, and family history. Beta-blockers are a common treatment for hypertension.
Learn more about Hypertension.
With high cholesterol, fatty deposits in the blood vessels can make it difficult for blood to flow through the arteries and can sometimes form a clot that causes a heart attack or stroke. High cholesterol can be inherited, but often results from preventable, unhealthy lifestyle choices. A healthy diet, regular exercise, and sometimes medication can help reduce high cholesterol.
Learn more about Cholesterol.
Valvular heart disease involves damage to or a defect in one of the four heart valves: the mitral, aortic, tricuspid, or pulmonary. Normally functioning valves ensure that blood flows with proper force. With valvular heart disease, the valves become too narrow and hardened (stenotic) to open fully, or are unable to close completely (incompetent). To compensate, the heart muscle enlarges and thickens, losing elasticity and efficiency. In some cases, blood pools in the chambers of the heart can clot, increasing the risk of stroke or pulmonary embolism. In advanced cases, valvular heart disease may lead to congestive heart failure. Treatment varies, depending on the disease’s progression.
Many types of heart disease involve blockages in the vessels that carry blood to and from the heart, but blockages can affect arteries throughout the body. These conditions are called peripheral arterial disease, or PAD, which is common in the leg, aorta, or carotid. PAD occurs when these blood vessels become narrowed or blocked with plaque – a condition known as atherosclerosis. Treatment typically requires surgery.
Learn more about Vascular and Endovascular Heart Disease here.
Make an Appointment
Call (404) 616-1000, Monday-Friday, from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. to schedule your appointment.
If you are an existing Grady patient and have a MyChart account, visit MyChart to request your appointment online.
Locations and Directions
Grady Memorial Hospital
80 Jesse Hill Jr Drive SE
Atlanta, GA 303032nd FloorMonday - Friday: 8 AM - 4:30 PM
Asa G. Yancey Health Center
1247 Donald Lee Hollowell Pkwy NW
Atlanta, GA 30318Monday - Friday: 8 AM - 5 PM
Camp Creek Comprehensive Care Center
3896 Princeton Lakes Way
Atlanta, GA 30331Monday - Friday: 7 AM - 5 PM
Saturday: 8 AM - Noon
Kirkwood Health Center
1863 Memorial Drive SE
Atlanta, GA 30317Monday - Friday: 7 AM - 5 PM
Wednesday: 10 AM - 7 PM
No matter what your heart or vascular system needs, Grady offers the right treatment option for you. We offer:
General cardiology services at Grady provide patients with the tools to prevent or treat heart disease. Our cardiologists are experts at diagnosing and treating all types of heart and vascular problems – from the common to the complex – including coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, and aortic aneurysms. They will work with you and your family to coordinate every detail of your care, including other specialists, and outpatient services.
No known cure exists, but the team at Grady’s Heart Failure Clinic is dedicated to helping patients live with heart failure. Our goal is to help patients to better care for themselves by improving their understanding. We work to alleviate complicating factors, control symptoms, and stop the disease’s progression.
Interventional cardiology is a non-surgical option using a catheter – a small, flexible tube – to repair damaged or weakened vessels, narrowed arteries, or other parts of the heart structure. Interventional cardiologists routinely insert stents to open blocked passageways, perform ablations to correct atrial fibrillation, angioplasty to open blocked arteries, valvuloplasty to repair a heart valve that has a narrowed opening, and catheterizations.
Grady electrophysiologists use the most modern medical technology to diagnose your condition and tailor treatments. Our experts in irregular heart rhythms, catheter ablation, and implantable pacemakers can help you manage your symptoms, reduce your risk of heart failure, and resume a more active lifestyle.
Grady cardiothoracic surgeons operate on diseases involving the organs in the chest and the structures and tissues that form the chest cavity. Common procedures would treat blockages, leaking heart valves, arterial defects, hiatal hernias, and many other conditions.
Vascular surgeons treat diseases of the vascular system, arteries carrying oxygen-rich blood and veins returning blood to the heart. Conditions like hardening of the arteries can obstruct the flow of blood to different parts of the body. Vascular surgeons treat circulatory system conditions with a combination of surgery, medicine, and lifestyle changes. Common vascular surgical procedures include coronary artery bypass, coronary artery bypass grafting, aneurysm repair, and the implantation of a ventricular assist device (VAD), a mechanical pump used to support heart function and blood flow in people who have weakened hearts.
To deliver innovative, patient-centered medicine, Grady has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in new facilities, technologies, and state-of-the-art surgical suites. This means Grady has Atlanta’s most advanced diagnostic, surgical, and therapeutic technology and facilities, which enable us to diagnose your heart disease earlier and treat it more effectively
Our catheterization lab enables Grady cardiologists to use diagnostic imaging equipment to visualize the arteries and heart chambers and treat abnormalities using minimally invasive procedures.
Grady has a state-of-the-art electrophysiology lab that enables us to effectively test the heart’s electrical activity to check for irregular heartbeats.
Our new stress lab allows Grady cardiologists to monitor patients while they participate in physical activity, such as exercise on a treadmill. The test enables us to determine the likelihood that you have a coronary artery disease, identify abnormal heart rhythms, and develop a safe exercise program.
Tests and Diagnosis
There are several tests available to help determine the next steps in treatment. Some of our most popular tests are:
Cardiac calcium scoring, also known as a heart scan or calcium score, is a non-invasive computerize tomography (CT) scan of the heart, used to calculate your risk of developing coronary artery disease by measuring the amount of calcified plaque in the coronary arteries.
A computerized tomography (CT) coronary angiogram is an imaging test that looks at the arteries that supply blood to your heart. It uses a powerful X-ray machine to produce images of your heart and blood vessels. The test can be used to diagnose the cause of chest pain or other symptoms.
Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses a powerful magnetic field, radio waves, and a computer to produce detailed pictures of the structures within and around the heart.
Coronary angiography uses contrast dye, usually containing iodine, and x-ray images to detect blockages in the coronary arteries that are caused by plaque buildup.
Echocardiography (ECHO) uses ultrasound waves to investigate the action of the heart.
Electrocardiography (EKG) measures the heart’s electrical activity using electrodes placed on the skin of the limbs and chest.
An electrophysiology study (EPS) is a test to measure the electrical activity of the heart and to diagnose arrhythmia or abnormal heart rhythms.
A Holter monitor is a portable, battery-operated device that measures and records your heart’s activity continuously for 24 to 48 hours or longer. The camera-size device has wires with silver dollar-sized electrodes that attach to your skin.
Nuclear cardiology uses noninvasive techniques to assess myocardial blood flow, evaluate the pumping function of the heart, and visualize the size and location of a heart attack.
A peripheral angiogram uses X-rays and dye to help your doctor find narrowed or blocked areas in one or more arteries that supply blood to your legs. The test is also called a peripheral arteriogram.
A cardiac stress test measures the heart’s ability to respond to external stress in a controlled clinical environment. The stress response is induced by exercise or by intravenous pharmacological stimulation.
A vascular ultrasound is a noninvasive ultrasound used to examine the circulation in the blood vessels. Vascular ultrasound can be used to evaluate arteries or veins in nearly any part of the body, including blood vessels in the neck, abdomen, arms, and legs.
To help support you and your family about your cardiovascular diagnosis, Grady will look after you and your family through every phase of care, from education and prevention, to treatment and recovery. We go beyond medicine. Compassion, support, and encouragement make us your partner in heart health.
Grady offers access to counseling services to help heart patients cope with depression and other emotional issues that often accompany the disease.
Heart patients have access to Grady nutritionists who can guide them to healthier eating habits that improve their heart conditions.
Grady has a pharmacist dedicated to the heart failure clinic to see patients and educate them on their medications.
A dedicated social worker works with heart patients and their families to overcome obstacles that get in the way of effective heart treatment.
Grady offers support groups for cardiac patients and women who have heart disease.
Sometimes, the standard of care is not enough. That’s when Grady research offers hope.
As one of the nation’s elite teaching hospitals, our clinicians have been involved in research that has literally helped to redefine how heart disease is treated around the world. At any given moment, our team members are involved in research to find better, more effective treatments.
The benefit to patients is clear: They have access to tomorrow’s medicine today, providing options unavailable at many other institutions.
Every hospital treats patients. At Grady, we strive to treat them better, more efficiently, and more effectively. Our mission to care for all who need us attracts heart specialists from across the nation. They are drawn here by the knowledge that we test the limits of medicine by innovating existing standards of care, researching cutting-edge drugs and therapies, and exploring novel treatments.
Our zeal for innovation has given Grady a national reputation for medical advancement in areas like heart disease, cancer, burn, stroke, diabetes, infectious diseases, women’s health, sickle cell, and other conditions cared for by specialists in our centers of excellence. Access to all of these accredited practices is available to every Grady patient and our collegial environment means that specialists routinely help to care for their colleagues’ patients.
Though clinicians are drawn by Grady’s reputation, most are employed by the Emory and Morehouse schools of medicine, which staff our medical services. Grady is one of a handful of U.S. health systems whose patients are cared for by faculty members of two medical schools. This reinforces our commitment to ongoing innovation.