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Heart Conditions

Mountain Vista Medical Center in Mesa, Arizona has an advanced cardiology program staffed with compassionate and experienced providers who work together with one another and with you to identify and treat a myriad of heart conditions, using the latest technologies and methodologies. This allows the patient not the condition to be the central focus, and leads to the best possible outcomes. If you have recently been diagnosed with one of the following heart conditions, please contact Mountain Vista Medical Center at 480.358.6100.

Adult Congenital Heart Disease

Congenital Heart Disease is a condition you are born with, and was likely diagnosed and treated in infancy or childhood. If you were diagnosed with or treated for a congenital heart defect at birth, follow up and after-care will be necessary throughout your life to maintain good health. If you experience any of the following symptoms, contact your cardiologist:
  • Irregular heart rhythms
  • Swelling of tissue or organs
  • Tints of blue on your skins
  • Tiring quickly
  • Dizziness or shortness of breath.

If you are experiencing sensations like chest pain or tightening of the chest, or severe shortness of breath, call 911 or seek immediate emergency medical attention.

Aortic Aneurysms

The aorta is the largest artery in the body; it carries blood filled with oxygen and nutrients from the heart to various organs and systems throughout the body. An aneurysm is a condition in which the wall of a blood vessel – in this case, the aorta – weakens and subsequently expands or bulges like a balloon. The aorta can have an aneurysm either in the chest (called a thoracic aneurysm) or in the abdomen (known as an abdominal aneurysm.) If an aneurysm is detected, treatment can range from careful monitoring to medication to surgery. Ideally, surgery for an aneurysm is scheduled in advance instead of repairing a ruptured, or dissected, aneurysm. An aneurysm is said to have ruptured when the bulge splits or tears. This might cause life-threatening bleeding that requires emergency surgery.


Arrhythmia is sometimes called an irregular heartbeat, but is more accurately defined as an atypical rhythm due to the electrical signals within the heart. Most types of arrhythmia are painless and harmless. Sometimes, they feel like a minor and short-lasting flutter in your chest. However, some kinds can be quite serious and even life-threatening.

With the more dangerous kinds of arrhythmia, the heart is unable to pump effectively and move the blood throughout the body. This can be either from beating too slowly or too fast. If the heart is beating too slowly, not enough blood and oxygen can reach the brain. If the heart beats too fast or sporadically, a person can suffer from a blood clot, stroke or heart attack. Some arrhythmias require only monitoring to ensure they stay harmless. Some can be treated through lifestyle changes or medication. Occasionally, surgical intervention may be required.

Blocked Arteries

When an artery has a build-up of plaque along its walls, it reduces the flow of blood through that vessel. Plaque can build up so completely that it blocks blood from getting through at all. Blocked arteries are most common, and serious, in three locations: Neck, Heart, and Leg. They each have specific names, symptoms, treatments and consequences if left untreated.
  • Neck, aka Carotid Artery Disease. You have two major carotid arteries in your neck, one on each side. This is where your pulse is felt in your neck. Should you have a blockage in your carotid artery, the flow of blood to the brain is restricted. This can result in a stroke. Carotid artery disease may not have noticeable symptoms in the early stages, but there are some risks associated with developing carotid artery disease, including high blood pressure, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, diabetes and high cholesterol. If you have these, contact your cardiologist or speak to the staff at Mountain Vista Medical Center. There are tests that may help determine, treat, reduce or prevent carotid artery disease from affecting you. (Consider scheduling a TripleView Screening.) However, if you find yourself experiencing the most common symptoms of a stroke – sudden weakness (particularly on one side of the body), numbness in the face, trouble speaking, sudden vision problems, or sudden severe headache – seek emergency medical treatment immediately.
  • Heart, aka Coronary Artery Disease. Similar to carotid artery disease is coronary artery disease. The risks associated with developing coronary artery disease are also similar, including high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, and lack of exercise. With a blocked artery or arteries in and around the heart, the symptoms are different. You may experience unexplained dizziness, shortness of breath or tightening in your chest. You may have pain shooting up your left arm. Other symptoms include pain in the neck, back or jaw. These may all be indicators of a heart attack in progress potentially caused by coronary artery disease. Seek help immediately if you experience these symptoms. If you are concerned based on risk factors or family history that you may be on the path to developing coronary artery disease, don’t hesitate to contact Mountain Vista Medical Center or your cardiologist. Tests can be performed that may be able to detect and prevent this condition from worsening.
  • Leg, aka Peripheral Artery Disease. Having a major artery blocked in the leg is known as peripheral artery disease (PAD). With PAD can come pain and discomfort in your legs, most noticeable when walking or exercising. Other symptoms include a bluish tint, tingling or numbness, slowness of healing in wounds on the legs, and in extreme cases, gangrene. While most cases of PAD are not life-threatening, PAD should be managed to prevent blood clots or gangrene, which may require amputation to prevent death. Your cardiologist may be able to perform a test or tests to diagnose PAD and set up a treatment management plan, which could include lifestyle changes, medication, or even surgery.


Cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart muscles. When these muscles thicken, enlarge, become rigid, or even turn into scar tissue, it can cause problems with the heart’s ability to function at full capacity. Cardiomyopathy can be inherited through genetics or developed due to other chronic conditions. Cardiomyopathy can affect people of any age and fitness level; some cases are genetic.

However, there are ways to possibly mitigate your risks of developing cardiomyopathy. Long-term alcoholism and long-term high blood pressure as well as diabetes increase your risks. If you experience these conditions, be sure to work with your doctor to manage your conditions or seek help. Some people with cardiomyopathy experience no symptoms and require no treatment. Those who do experience symptoms may have trouble breathing, extreme fatigue, and swelling in the feet, ankles and legs. While in some cases cardiomyopathy becomes life-threatening, it can often be diagnosed through testing and treated, resulting in a long and healthy life.

Heart Attack

Often, those with heart disease fear a heart attack, or myocardial infarction. But many do not know what a heart attack actually is. In simplest terms, a heart attack occurs when tissue in the heart muscle is permanently damaged and dies. When the heart, like any other muscle or tissue in the body, becomes starved or deprived of oxygen, it dies. If an artery is severely blocked, this deprivation can occur. Fast action in the event of a heart attack is critical. Time matters. The longer the heart’s region or regions are starved for oxygen, the more tissue is damaged. The sooner blood flow and oxygen can be restored, the better the heart will recover and continue to function.

Like all wounds, the heart can heal. However, scar tissue develops around that wound and does not contract like the muscle itself does. So, the heart is still weaker after a heart attack, but may be able to survive and even thrive if appropriate measures are taken in a timely manner. The most common symptoms of a heart attack are pain in the chest and/or pain radiating up the left arm. Some patients, particularly women, experience the symptoms differently. These could include shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, back or jaw, or sweating and nausea. If you suspect you are having a heart attack, do not wait to seek treatment. Do not try to drive yourself or have someone else drive you to an emergency room. First responders can make a difference. Call 9-1-1.

Heart Failure

The term “heart failure” is scary. And while it is a serious condition, the name is a bit misleading. Being diagnosed with heart failure does not mean your heart is about to quit working or completely fail to beat. Rather, heart failure means the heart is failing to function at its fullest capacity. Heart failure –also called congestive heart failure – is a common condition found in more than 5 million people in the United States alone. Heart failure can occur on the right side of the heart, in which case it will not fill with enough blood; the left side, in which it does not pump hard enough to get oxygenated blood to the rest of the body; or in both sides of the heart, which can cause difficulties with the heart filling with and redistributing blood. The most common symptoms are difficulty breathing, fatigue, and swelling in the ankles, legs, feet, abdomen or veins of the neck.

There are numerous tests that can be used to diagnose heart failure. Contact Mountain Vista Medical Center at 480.358.6100 to schedule an appointment. While there is currently no cure, there are numerous treatment options available for heart failure that can improve quality of life and aid in longevity. Depending on the severity of the condition at the time of diagnosis, options range from lifestyle changes to medications to surgery. Call your cardiologist to discuss options.

Heart Valve Disease

The heart has four chambers, each with its own valve that opens and closes once per heartbeat to keep blood flowing properly to and from the various parts of the body. Heart valve disease is the condition in which one or more of these valves either does not open properly or does not close properly. Either one can disrupt the flow of blood throughout the body. Heart valve disease can occur in children or adults and can either be a condition you are born with or may develop later. It may cause symptoms and problems, or it may never cause issues that require treatment. The symptoms most often associated with heart valve disease are heart murmurs, extreme and unexplained fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness, and swelling of the legs or feet. Heart valve disease can be diagnosed through several different tests, which can be performed at Mountain Vista Medical Center. Treatments may include monitoring, medication, lifestyle changes, or surgery, depending on the type and severity of heart valve disease.


Hypertension, more commonly known as High Blood Pressure (HBP) affects 1 in 3 adults in the United States, according to the CDC ( Blood moves away from the heart and through the body via arteries, delivering nutrients and removing waste from the organs. Blood pressure is how much force the blood is pushing against the walls of the arteries. If you have been diagnosed with hypertension, it means the blood is putting a high level of force on the arterial walls on a consistent basis. This makes the heart work harder. Fortunately, it is relatively easy to diagnose high blood pressure. While HBP may present symptoms for some people, the condition can be symptom-free. But with or without symptoms, high blood pressure should be treated, whether through lifestyle changes or medication. This is one reason it is important to have a physical on a regular basis. Hypertension can be managed. Left untreated, though, it can cause damage or issues for other parts of the body.

Pulmonary Hypertension

Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a very specific type of high blood pressure that affects only the arteries between the heart and lungs. The increase in pressure here makes the heart work harder to pump blood through the lungs. It is much less common and a more serious condition than hypertension. Symptoms include shortness of breath, fatigue, swelling, chest pain or pressure and dizziness. While there is currently no cure for PH, there are treatments that can improve the quality of life and increase life expectancy. There are tests that can help your doctor determine if you have PH. With PH, early intervention is key. The earlier it is caught, the better the symptoms and condition can be managed. Medications can be used to help treat it. However, in some circumstances, surgery and even transplantation may be required.

Schedule Your Appointment for Advanced Heart Care in Mesa, AZ

At Mountain Vista Medical Center, we understand the fear and uncertainty that comes with the diagnosis or suspicion of a heart condition. We strive to provide answers and guidance for ongoing heart health in Mesa, AZ through our compassionate providers and advanced technology. Contact us at 480.358.6100.

With many heart conditions, prevention is possible. Schedule a TripleView Screening to better understand your risk factors and get the care you need. This screening can be scheduled without a physician referral.

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Mesa, AZ 85209

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