Fatigue, chest pain, and labored breathing are all potential signs of heart disease that may lead to a heart attack, yet not everyone follows through with diagnosis and treatment when symptoms occur. Seeking help as soon as possible could be a life-or-death decision, considering that approximately one million Americans succumb to heart disease each year.
Our team at Cardiovascular and Medical Associates of the Hudson Valley (CVMA) is committed to helping patients identify the early signs of heart disease and supporting their healthcare needs throughout the treatment process.
Philip Totonelly, MD/JD, FACC, FSCAI, a board-certified invasive and interventional cardiologist, is an expert at diagnosing a heart attack based on factors such as:
- the patient’s complete medical history
- a physical examination
- an electrocardiogram (EKG) to discover any abnormalities caused by damage to the heart
- blood testing to detect abnormal levels of certain enzymes in the bloodstream
Utilizing the latest equipment at CVMA’s new Fishkill office, Dr. Totonelly is able to monitor heart rate and perform an EKG test. Patients also have access to infrared videonystagmography (VNG). This state-of-the-art, noninvasive testing technology — exclusive to CVMA in the area — is used for testing inner ear and central motor functions in a more accurate and comfortable manner than other testing methods. CVMA can then offer patients the treatments necessary for medical conditions, whether or not they are related to cardiac or non-cardiac causes.
Of course, it’s not all about the equipment. CVMA also believes in a warm, family-oriented approach, so that the caregivers are more in tune with their patients’ needs. And patients can relax knowing that they’re getting the best treatment possible from professionals with whom they’re familiar.
“You’re not just a heart walking through the door,” explains Dr. Totonelly, “you’re a whole person.”
Along with Dr. Totonelly, the CVMA team also includes internist and nutritionist M R A Nejad, MD, PhD, FACP; and nurse practitioner Carolyn Schulhoff, MSN, FNP-BC. Schulhoff specializes in women’s health and family practice medical care.
“We have a broad range of specialty physician expertise,” Dr. Totonelly says, “meaning we can tend to all of your healthcare needs in one convenient spot.” The practice is also affiliated with Vassar Brothers Medical Center and the MidHudson Regional Hospital of Westchester Medical Center, both in Poughkeepsie.
Heart issues can often be controlled with medications ranging from anticoagulants (aspirin) for reducing the formation of blood clots to dopamine for increasing blood flow to the heart and strengthen the heartbeat. Lifestyle changes — such as following a healthy diet, being physically active, and not smoking — can also be important for preventing future heart issues.
But when these aren’t enough, CVMA is ready to develop a personalized treatment plan.
Dr. Totonelly notes that treatment options for heart disease might include:
- Angioplasty: A thin tube is threaded through a blood vessel in the arm or groin up to the involved site in the artery. On the tip of the tube is a tiny balloon that is inflated to widen the artery and restore blood flow. Many people can return home the day after angioplasty and return to work within a week or so.
- Coronary bypass grafting: A healthy artery or vein is taken from the body and connected to the blocked artery in the heart, creating a new path for blood to flow to the heart muscle. Surgeons can bypass multiple coronary arteries during one surgery.
Trust Dr. Totonelly and CVMA’s state-of-the-art technology to assess your risk of heart disease and provide you with the best treatment available.