Leesburg Regional Medical Center’s Heart Institute offers the entire spectrum of heart care—including open heart surgery and minimally invasive valve repair—in one location, making it safer and more convenient for our patients and their family members.
Since 1992, the surgeons and cardiologists at the Leesburg Regional Heart Institute have helped restore heart health to tens of thousands of people throughout Lake, Sumter and Marion Counties. The Heart institute specializes in preventive, diagnostic, and surgical services for all heart conditions. And the program joins other cardiovascular services, including diagnostic testing, cardiac catheterization labs, and a three-phase cardiac rehab program.
Although our open heart surgery program performs one of the top 5 largest volumes of surgeries in the state of Florida each year, our heart care team is focused on quality over quantity. Which is why we are known for achieving excellent clinical outcomes and high patient satisfaction.
Our pursuit of the latest techniques and therapies is part of our commitment to eliminate heart disease from our patients’ lives. Some of our services include:
Coronary bypass surgery
When arteries have blockages, surgeons can take veins from elsewhere in a patient’s body and build bypasses around the damaged arteries so the heart can get the proper blood flow. Coronary blockages are often caused by heart disease. Recovery periods for this type of open heart surgery are usually 6 to 8 weeks depending on the patient.
Minimally invasive valve surgery
Surgeons are able to replace or repair heart valves through a small incision between the patient’s ribs. Minimally invasive surgery has a much faster recovery time and is less traumatic to the patient than standard open heart surgery.
Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) or transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI)
TAVR and TAVI procedures are used on high-risk patients who have severe aortic stenosis, a common problem among the elderly. A collaborative team of cardiothoracic surgeons, interventional cardiologists and a cardiac anesthesiologist perform this minimally invasive heart valve replacement surgery. Leesburg Regional Heart Institute was the first Central Florida hospital to successfully perform the TAVI procedure.
If a patient is having chest pains or a stress test is positive, our cardiologists can insert a small catheter through the femoral artery (groin), radial artery (wrist), or pedal artery (ankle) and inject a small amount of contrast to see if and where the patient has a blockage. Blockage can be repaired without moving the patient from the catheterization lab.
Electrophysiology is a branch of cardiology that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of all heart rhythms. At Leesburg Regional Medical Center, we have an electrophysiology suite to study and ablate (terminate) rhythms. Often when in an arrhythmia, patients don’t feel well and their lifestyle is affected. When the heartbeat is regulated through the use of pacemakers, defibrillators, medication or ablation, quality of life is restored.
A three-dimensional ultrasound allows doctors to evaluate heart valve functions, the size of the heart's four chambers, and the effectiveness of heart muscle contraction. They can also see congenital defects or abnormalities within the heart. The 30-minute procedure is non-invasive.
Performed in the catheterization lab, the carotid angiography is a procedure to see if blockages exist in the carotid arteries, which supply oxygenated blood to the head and neck. A contrast solution is injected into the arteries and if a blockage exists, surgeons can open the arteries immediately with stents.
Pacemaker and defibrillator insertions
These lifesaving devices can be inserted into patients at the Leesburg Regional Heart Institute’s cath lab. Pacemakers keep the heart beating at normal rate. If the heart beat drops below 60 beats per minute, the pacemaker helps restore the heart’s normal rate. Defibrillators are pacemakers also, but they have the ability to correct a dangerous rhythm, often caused by scar tissue and arrhythmia. Defibrillators are often used as a preventive measure for patients with weakened hearts.
The catheterization lab at the Leesburg Regional Heart Institute is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. From the time a patient with chest pains arrives at the hospital to the time a stent procedure is underway takes less than 90 minutes, which is the national standard.
At Leesburg Regional Medical Center, our Cardiac Rehab team will help you learn about your heart and the important signs, symptoms and risk factors of heart disease. Our highly skilled team will identify specific exercises, including the appropriate intensity, duration and pace that are best for your health. Whatever your level, we will tailor the most effective program for you. Our Cardiac Rehabilitation program puts patients on the path to a healthier lifestyle by promoting disease prevention, recovery and independence.