We understand that cardiovascular disease may feel like a disruption to your life
and the things you want to do. And the symptoms, such as chest pain, heart palpitations
and shortness of breath, can feel downright worrisome.
At Augusta University Cardiovascular Center, we take a personalized approach to your
care. Our expert heart specialists and vascular surgeons work with you to understand
your unique situation so they can help you get back to living the life you love.
Why Choose Us
You have a lot of options for cardiovascular care, but you deserve only the best.
As Augusta’s River Region’s only academic cardiovascular care program, we make that
decision an easy one. We offer:
Expertise: Our interventional cardiologists and electrophysiologists have earned national recognition
in treating coronary artery disease and arrhythmias, respectively. Our advanced heart
failure specialists and cardiothoracic surgeons also take on the cases that other
centers consider too challenging to treat.
Advanced diagnostic testing: We are the only practice in Augusta’s River Region that offers cardiac MRI. This test
provides our heart specialists with the information they need to help you make important
Advanced treatments: We offer the latest vascular and heart disease treatments, such as brachytherapy,
cardio-oncology, laser lead extraction and transcatheter aortic valve replacement.
We also apply advanced techniques for certain procedures to allow you to go home the
same day. Those procedures include ablations, implantation of pacemakers and implantable
cardioverter defibrillators and stent placement, such as using the radial artery (wrist)
Teamwork: Our heart specialists and vascular surgeons work together to diagnose and treat complex
cardiovascular diseases. They gather through weekly board meetings and conferences
to plan treatment for conditions, such as heart valve disease and pulmonary embolisms.
Collaboration: Our experts partner with other Augusta University Health specialists across multiple
fields of medicine, as many other parts of the body affect how the heart functions.
They work with specialists from areas, such as emergency medicine, nephrology, neurology,
obstetrics and gynecology, oncology and radiology. We also have a pulmonary embolism response team (PERT).
Clinical trials: We’re working to identify new preventive approaches, medications and devices, such
as stents, heart valves and pacemakers to treat cardiovascular diseases. We’re also
exploring stem cell therapy to treat heart failure, a chronic condition in which the
heart doesn’t pump enough blood through the body.
Our catheterization and electrophysiology labs are the first in Georgia and the only
in the region to earn accreditation from the American College of Cardiology.
Cath Lab Accreditation
The American College of Cardiology Accreditation services has recognized AU Medical
Center for its demonstrated expertise and commitment to treating patients who come
to the cardiac cath lab for care, including diagnostic catheterizations and percutaneous
coronary intervention (PCI) procedures. AUMC was awarded Cardiac Cath Lab Accreditation
with PCI in March, 2018 based on rigorous onsite evaluation of staff's ability to
evaluate, diagnosis and treat patients who come to the cardiac cath lab.
After a systematic on-site review of policies and protocols, the American College
of Cardiology once again recognized AU Medical Center for demonstrating expertise
and commitment in treating patients in the Electrophysiology Lab in November, 2019.
Chest Pain Center with PCI and Resuscitation
AU Medical Center was the first hospital in the region to become nationally accredited
for their Chest Pain Center and in October, 2017, the American College of Cardiology
accredited AUMC as the first in the region as a Chest Pain Center with PCI and Resuscitation.
The ACC acknowledged the work that AUMC has done to meet all Chest Pain Center requirements
as well as requirements to meet all post-cardiac arrest treatment. The ACC also acknowledged
that AUMC has a “No Diversion Policy” for out of hospital cardiac arrest patients
– meaning that the hospital will accept all patients in cardiac arrest.
Intersocietal Accreditation Commission has once again accredited all three echocardiography
components: Adult transthoracic echocardiography, transesophageal echocardiography
and stress echocardiography. Accredited programs are dedicated to ensuring quality
In August, 2019, The American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation
(AACVPR) has again recognized AU Medical Center by re-certifying that the Cardiac
Rehab Department has successfully met all requirements and standards.
American Heart Association Awards
Diseases We Treat
We treat all types of cardiovascular diseases, such as . Our teams of subspecialists
are trained to diagnose and treat each condition within their specific area — getting
you the precise care you need when you need it.
Aortic disease can cause the aorta to bulge or split, causing it to rupture. We treat all types
of aortic disease, including aortic aneurysm and aortic dissection.
Aortic aneurysm includes thoracic aortic aneurysm and abdominal aortic aneurysm.
Coronary artery disease develops when the blood vessels that deliver blood, oxygen and nutrients to your
heart become hardened, narrowed or blocked. A build-up of cholesterol deposits called
plaque usually causes this disease. We treat all types of coronary artery disease:
Obstructive coronary artery disease occurs when the vessels are severely narrowed or blocked.
Non-obstructive coronary artery disease occurs when the vessels are narrowed.
Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) occurs when the blood vessels are torn
Heart arrhythmias, or heart rhythm problems, occur when the electrical system that controls your heart’s
rhythm doesn’t work properly. We treat all types of arrhythmia:
Tachycardia occurs when the heart beats too fast.
Bradycardia occurs when the heart beats too slowly.
Supraventricular arrhythmia occurs when the atria, or the heart’s upper chambers, beat too fast.
Ventricular arrhythmia occurs when the ventricles, or the heart’s lower chambers, beat too fast.
Bradyarrhythmia occurs when the heart beats too slowly usually as a result of an electrical problem
in the heart.
Heart valve disease involves one or more of your heart’s four valves not working properly, disrupting
blood flow through your heart to your body. We treat all types of heart valve disease:
Aortic valve disease involves the aortic valve, which regulates blood flow from the left ventricle, or
main pumping chamber of your heart, to the aorta, the main artery to your body. Two
types of aortic valve disease include aortic valve stenosis and aortic valve regurgitation.
Mitral valve disease involves the mitral valve, which regulates blood flow from your lungs into the left
ventricle. Three types of mitral valve disease include mitral valve stenosis, mitral
valve regurgitation and mitral valve prolapse.
Bicuspid aortic valve disease occurs when the aortic valve has two flaps, which open and close to regulate blood
flow, instead of three. Bicuspid aortic valve disease includes bicuspid aortic valve
Tricuspid valve disease involves the tricuspid valve, whose role is to keep blood flowing from the right
atrium to the right ventricle. Four types of tricuspid valve disease include tricuspid
valve regurgitation, tricuspid valve stenosis, tricuspid atresia and Ebstein’s anomaly.
When it comes to your heart, time is valuable, so timely, accurate testing is important.
We combine a full range of the latest diagnostic testing technology with our team’s
expertise and dedication to getting to the bottom of your symptoms and concerns.
Imaging tests allow us to visualize the organs in the chest, such as the heart and lungs, and surrounding
blood vessels to look for signs of cardiovascular disease. We offer all types of imaging
Chest X-ray uses a small amount of radiation to produce images of the organs and structures in
your chest, including the heart, lungs, blood vessels and chest bones.
Echocardiogram, or echo, uses soundwaves (ultrasound) to produce images of your heart.
Cardiac CT uses a small amount of radiation, and sometimes injected contrast dye, to produce
multiple X-ray images of the heart and large blood vessels. These large vessels include
the aorta, arteries and pulmonary veins. A computer then combines the images to give
your doctor a cross-sectional view of the body so they can see inside organs and structures.
Cardiac MRI uses a magnetic field and radiofrequency waves to produce detailed images of your
heart and blood vessels.
Stress tests allow doctors to understand how your heart responds to a higher-than-normal physical
demand on the body, which makes it pump harder and faster. You’ll undergo this test
in the safety of a cardiologist’s office and under their supervision. We offer all
types of stress tests:
Exercise stress testing uses physical activity, usually treadmill walking or stationary bike riding, while
your doctor monitors your heart rhythm using electrocardiogram.
Echocardiography stress testing is an exercise stress test during which your doctor uses soundwaves (ultrasound) to
produce images of your heart. These images show how your heart responds both while
you are resting and exercising.
Nuclear stress testing is an exercise stress test during which your doctor uses radioactive isotope to produce
images of your heart. These images show how your heart responds both while you are
resting and exercising.
Pharmacological stress testing can be used with echocardiography stress testing and nuclear stress testing for those
who are unable to get their heart rate to a target level using exercise. It uses medications
that make your heart beat harder and faster.
Other diagnostic tests and procedures
We also offer additional types of diagnostic tests and procedures:
Blood testing gives your doctor a glimpse into your heart health and helps them determine your risk
of cardiovascular disease and if you have heart failure.
Cardiac catheterization uses a thin, flexible tube called a catheter, which your doctor inserts into a blood
vessel in your arm, groin or neck. They guide the catheter to your heart and can perform
a number of diagnostic tests to look for heart problems.
Electrocardiogram records the electrical activity in your heart to look for heart rhythm problems and
determine if parts of the heart are enlarged or working too hard.
Cardiac event recording is a battery-powered device that allows you to record your heart rhythm when you
feel symptoms. Two types of cardiac event recording include Holter monitoring and
implantable loop recording.
Tilt-table test helps your doctor understand the cause of dizziness, fainting or lightheadedness —
for example, blood pressure or heart rate.
Electrophysiology study helps your doctor understand heart rhythm problems, such as the location in the heart
where they originate.
Vascular and Heart Disease Treatment
We offer a wide range of heart disease treatment options using the latest technology.
Our heart specialists and vascular surgeons will work with you to determine the right
treatments for you. And whenever possible, we explore using noninvasive or minimally
invasive treatment options first. We offer:
Advanced heart failure treatments, such as medications and diuretics, which help the kidneys remove excess water and
salt from the body to help the heart pump blood
Arrhythmia treatments, such as medications, radiofrequency, cryoablation and cardioversion
Coronary artery disease treatments, such as medications, coronary artery stenting, brachytherapy and chronic total occlusion
Structural heart disease treatments, such as transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) to treat aortic valve stenosis
and MitraClip to treat mitral valve stenosis
When you’re managing a cardiovascular disease or recovering from a procedure, you
deserve care that addresses your whole body, including your mind and spirit. We offer:
Cardiac rehabilitation to help you recover from vascular or heart disease treatment and safely get back to
your daily routine
Nutrition counseling through our certified dietitians to complement your doctor’s care plan and prevent
Support groups and patient education to help you and your loved ones navigate and manage advanced heart failure
Augusta University Medical Center specialists provide care and support throughout your entire healthcare journey.