Our heart program has been the leader in Bay County heart care for over 40 years. Our heart team is ready to take care of all your heart health needs 24/7, right here at home.
The tri-county’s leader in heart care
Ascension Sacred Heart Bay Heart Institute is the only comprehensive heart and vascular program in the tri-county area, providing a network of heart and vascular specialists and services. Our award-winning team is able to perform diagnostic and interventional procedures. As the area's only hospital performing both open and minimally invasive heart surgery, we have two specialized units for your inpatient cardiac care - a general cardiac floor and a cardiac intensive care unit - both featuring spacious, private rooms. From routine procedures to complex cases, have confidence knowing we can deliver the heart care that's right for you.
Diagnosing your heart health
We want to help diagnose your symptoms to put your mind at ease. We use electrocardiograms (EKG), treadmill stress exams, nuclear medicine stress imaging, intracoronary imaging, blood tests such as cholesterol and heart enzyme, and blood pressure monitoring to detect all types of heart disease — irregular heartbeat, leaky heart valve, clogged coronary artery, and more. This helps your doctor get a clearer picture of your heart health to create a treatment plan that is perfect for you.
Symptoms of heart disease may be different between men and women. Call your doctor to schedule an appointment if you are experiencing intermittent symptoms of heart disease, such as:
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Feeling weak, light-headed, or faint
- Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back
- Pain or discomfort in one or both arms or shoulders
- Shortness of breath
For a life-threatening emergency, call 911 or go directly to the ER.
Cardiac cath lab
The Heart Institute at Ascension Sacred Heart Bay offers 24-hour emergency care for treatment of heart attack. We have held the highest accreditation for acute myocardial infarction (heart attack) since 2009. We have five specialized cardiac catheterization labs, including a hybrid suite that allows us to perform all your cardiac and vascular procedures. We perform complex structural heart procedures like percutaneous transaortic valve replacement (TAVR), atrial septal defect (ASD) repair, patent foramen-ovale (PFO), and left atrial appendage (LAAO) closure. These minimally invasive procedures significantly reduce your recovery time with lifesaving results.
Angioplasty, atherectomy, and stenting
Our highly-trained staff can assist your physician in angioplasty, atherectomy, and/or stenting of coronary and peripheral arteries (legs, renal and carotid). During catheterization procedures of your arteries, a small catheter is inserted through your arm or leg to the area of concern. Using a low dose, live-action x-ray imaging system, contrast dye is injected, allowing the physician to see any blockages or other problems.
Angioplasty and/or stenting is a non-surgical procedure that widens narrowed or blocked arteries. During angioplasty, a balloon-tipped catheter is inserted into a blocked artery. The balloon is then inflated, opening the blockage and restoring blood flow. Often, angioplasty is combined with stenting, or the placement of a small wire mesh tube, which helps prop the artery open and decreases its chance of narrowing again. If the blockage is because of hard calcium deposits, atherectomy can be used to break up the hardened narrowing to allow for stents to be placed.
Specialty care for arrhythmias
Ascension Sacred Heart Bay is also the only area hospital offering advanced electrophysiology studies (EP), which are used in diagnosing and treating patients who suffer from a heart rhythm disorder (arrhythmia). Technology at the Heart Institute allows the cardiologist to develop a three-dimensional map of your heart to pinpoint the source of the arrhythmia. Our electrophysiology team has specialized technologies including cryoablation technology to treat atrial fibrillation (AFib) as well as the traditional radiofrequency ablation techniques to treat all types of arrhythmias.
If you have AFib, your doctor may evaluate you for the Watchman™ procedure (LAOO) which offers an alternative to the lifelong use of blood thinners not caused by heart valve problems (also known as non-valvular AFib).
Minimally invasive and open heart surgery
Ascension Sacred Heart Bay is the only area hospital performing open-heart surgery in our tri-county area. Our surgeons perform bypass surgeries, ventricular reconstruction, and valve repair. Our team is trained in a variety of specialized procedures, such as beating-heart surgery, in which surgeons use a special piece of equipment to stabilize the section of the heart being operated on, keeping that section motionless during the procedure. To help speed recovery following bypass surgery, our team uses less invasive endoscopic methods for obtaining blood vessels.
Minimally invasive robotic heart procedures, including mitral valve repair and bypass, are also offered in select cases for those who qualify. In select cases, some heart procedures can be performed through smaller incisions without opening the chest. Our cardiothoracic surgeons have all received specialized training in the use of daVinci robotic technology for both heart and lung procedures. Compared to traditional surgery, the benefits of robotic surgery include:
- No need for a sternotomy (an 8-10 inch incision through the breastbone)
- Reduced risk of surgical complications
- Shorter hospital stay and faster recovery
- Higher long-term survival
- Less pain and scarring
- Less blood loss and need for blood transfusions
To Contact the Cardiovascular Surgeons office call: 850-785-9559
Cardiac intensive care
Ascension Sacred Heart Bay is home to the area’s only cardiovascular intensive care unit (CVICU), a department dedicated to caring for the medical and surgical needs of critically ill heart patients. Our critical care nurses are specially trained in caring for patients with acute cardiac episodes, as well as patients undergoing cardiac, thoracic or vascular surgery.
To contact the Cardiac Intensive Care Nursing station call: 850-804-6053
Cardiovascular nursing floor
The cardiovascular nursing unit of the Heart Institute provides comprehensive nursing care to heart patients recovering from surgery, heart attack or other heart and vascular conditions. The unit offers continuous heart monitoring during patients’ recovery period. Specially trained heart nurses, along with dedicated support staff, are readily available to assist the patient and family with their physical and emotional needs.
To contact the Cardiac Nursing Floor call: 850-804-6086
Our care doesn’t stop with your discharge from the hospital. We are the only facility in Bay County to offer rehab for your heart and lungs. Our cardiac and pulmonary rehab staff is trained to care for all your unique needs of cardiopulmonary rehab. Cardiopulmonary rehabilitation is the process by which people with heart or lung conditions are restored to and able to maintain optimal health – physically, mentally and emotionally. Our program was designed for two different populations, each with very unique needs – cardiac (or heart) patients and pulmonary (or lung) patients. Our patients can begin to exercise in a safe environment under monitored medical supervision and guidance. Our outpatient program can be tailored to your schedule. Also, we are now pleased to provide rehab for our post COVID-19 patients that continue to struggle with shortness of breath. A doctor’s referral is required for all treatments.
For information or to schedule an appointment with cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, please call: 850-804-3404