Fast Facts About Heart Disease

  1. Only 27% of people are aware of all major heart attack symptoms. 
  2. 1 in 3 people who die from heart disease in Chicago are younger than 65 years old.
  3. 80% of Chicagoans get fewer than the recommended five servings of fruit and vegetables, increasing their risk for heart disease.
  4. Being overweight increases your risk of heart disease by 32%.
  5. More than 18% of women use tobacco, putting extra stress on the heart.

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Why Choose Us: Swedish Covenant Hospital Cardiovascular Services
We offer you compassionate care, coupled with advanced technology, to treat a range of heart and vascular conditions. Incorporating close coordination with your primary care physician, communication among a team of heart experts and our groundbreaking rehabilitation program, our Cardiovascular Services program is a complete continuum of care. We are fully devoted to offering you the latest, safest treatments in a convenient setting. 

Learn about our Heart and Lung Center>>

With two dedicated procedure rooms and advanced imaging equipment, we quickly and accurately deliver a broad range of heart disease treatments. Using a team approach, surgeons, interventional cardiologists, cardiologists and other specialists work with you and your primary care physician to determine the best treatment for your condition.     

Why Choose Us: Heart Care at Swedish Covenant Hospital
At Swedish Covenant Hospital, you receive care from a core group of experts who have been practicing together for years. These experts consult one another to determine the best course of treatment and in most cases, the same team who recommends your treatment also performs your procedure and provides follow up care. Many patients tell us this takes some of the anxiety out of undergoing treatment and helps them have a very positive experience.

Highlights of our program include:

  • Minimally invasive treatments: With the help of catheters (thin, spaghetti-like tubes) we use minimally invasive techniques whenever possible. In fact, our interventional radiologists are skilled in delivering heart treatments through a tiny incision in your wrist (radial approach), no other incisions necessary.
  • Advanced technology: Advanced imaging technology, such as optical coherence tomography, helps us perform precision treatments. Optical coherence tomography captures tiny details of your arteries and creates three-dimensional images, which we use to guide treatments.
  • Heart disease specialists: Caring for a broad range of conditions, our team includes specialists with expertise in heart valve disorders, structural heart disease and cardiac anesthesiology. 

Heart Disease Treatments on Chicago’s North Side
You don’t always need surgery to treat your heart condition. Our experts will treat you using minimally invasive techniques whenever possible. 

Heart disease treatments available at Swedish Covenant Hospital include:

  • Angioplasty and stenting: Inflating a small balloon inside a narrowed blood vessel to improve blood flow (angioplasty), and inserting a tiny metal mesh tube to help keep your artery walls open (stenting). 
  • Balloon aortic valvuloplasty: Accessing your heart with the help of a catheter, we inflate a special balloon to widen narrowed heart vessels. 
  • Balloon pericardiotomy: With the help of X-ray guidance, this non-surgical procedure uses a balloon catheter to widen the sac around your heart (pericardium) and remove excess fluid.
  • Cardiac ablation: Swedish Covenant Hospital offers three leading-edge approaches to traditional cardiac ablation.

    1. Radiofrequency ablation--using high frequency radio waves, a surgeon removes targeted areas of heart tissue, blocking irregular electrical patterns.

    2. 3-D mapping technology
    --we are one of only two Chicago hospitals to do ablations without any x-ray whatsoever. Using 3-D mapping technology, we can operate on mere millimeters while bypassing the risks associated with radiation.

    3. Cryoablation to treat Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) and cure arrhythmia--using a balloon and extreme cold instead of heat bypasses the risk of leaving small leaks. Cryoablation is becoming more common as our community continues to live longer.

  • Cardiac resynchronization therapy: Implanting a special pacemaker to detect irregular heartbeats and correct them by sending tiny electrical impulses to both the left and right chambers (ventricles) of your heart
  • Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery: Creating new pathways around blocked arteries (bypass) using a healthy vein from another part of your body, such as your leg. The bypass allows better blood flow to your heart.
  • Heart valve surgery: Replacing or repairing damaged or leaky heart valves to restore proper blood flow through the heart
  • MitraClip transcatheter valve repair: This special device clips on to the tips (leaflets) of your heart valves, helping them to form a tight seal with each heartbeat. This prevents blood from flowing backward instead of forward. 
  • Pacemakers and implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs): Devices that correct abnormal heartbeat rhythms by sending electrical impulses to one or more chambers of your heart. This helps restore a normal rhythm. In some cases, subcutaneous defibrillators may be surgically inserted under the skin on top of the sternum as a minimally-invasive solution to correcting an irregular heartbeat. 

You may need cardiac and pulmonary rehab to help you regain strength and stay healthy after your procedure. Our rehab specialists work closely with your care team to learn about your condition and treatment so we can customize a rehab program to meet your unique needs.

Advanced Cardiac Care from Experts at Swedish Covenant Hospital
Our interventional cardiologists deliver advanced treatments for complex conditions through our partnership with Rush University Medical Center. As part of our commitment to delivering a seamless patient experience, you receive care from experts at Swedish Covenant Hospital every step of the way. The only difference is that we perform your procedure in Rush’s newly renovated operating suite. 

Procedures available through our partnership with Rush include: 

  • Transcathether aortic valve replacement (TAVR): Repairing worn out replacement valves by wedging a new replacement valve into the old one and expanding it. This pushes the old one out of the way and allows your valve to form a tight seal with each heartbeat. 
  • Left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implant surgery: Designed to take over the pumping action of heart, LVADs, like the Impella® cardiac assist device, allow your heart to rest and heal or support your heart until you can receive a transplant. 

Contact Us
Call 773-878-6888 to schedule an appointment or use our physician directory to find a doctor near you. 

At Swedish Covenant Hospital, we conduct diagnostic testing in our Heart and Lung Center, a dedicated outpatient testing facility offering the best available equipment and a modern, light-filled environment. Our goal is to perform testing quickly and accurately, which helps us determine the best treatments for your condition. 

For advanced testing, you may need to visit our cardiac catheterization lab. There, we use catheters (thin, spaghetti-like tubes) and advanced imaging techniques to examine your heart functioning in greater detail.

Expert Diagnosis of Heart and Vascular Disease
From stress tests to event monitoring, experts at Swedish Covenant Hospital conduct a variety of tests to measure your heart and lung functioning so we can quickly and accurate diagnose your condition.

Diagnostic tests available at Swedish Covenant Hospital include: 

  • Cardiopulmonary stress test (Vo2 max): Evaluating your heart and lung functioning while you perform light exercise, such as walking on a treadmill or riding a stationary bicycle
  • Coronary computed tomography angiogram (CTA): Using advanced imaging technology this test produces three-dimensional, high resolution images of your heart, offering greater details than traditional X-rays, particularly of soft tissues and blood vessels.
  • Echocardiogram (echo): Creating images of your heart chambers, valves and surrounding structures using ultrasound waves, this test shows your heart in motion and also allows us to measure heart output and detect inflammation. Our echo program is accredited by the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories (ICAEL).
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG): A common test for diagnosing heart rhythm problems, an EKG machine translates the electrical activity in your heart into a paper reading, which our experts examine for abnormalities.
  • Event monitoring: This test helps diagnose arrhythmias and tests whether treatments are working using a small device to record heart activity for up to one month. 
  • Holter monitoring: Similar to event monitoring, Holter monitoring uses a device to record electrical activity in your heart. We use Holter monitoring to examine your heart for a short period of time, such as during an office visit. 
  • Nuclear stress test: This advanced imaging study examines whether your heart is getting enough blood and oxygen.  Using a safe amount of radioactive substance through medications, such as Lexiscan® or Myoview, we produce images of your heart before and after you perform light exercise on a treadmill.
  • Pediatric echo: Using ultrasound waves, this imaging test examines heart chambers, valves and surrounding structures in children. 
  • Pediatric EKG: Using an EKG machine, we translate the electrical activity in your child’s heart onto a paper reading, which a pediatric cardiologist examines for abnormalities.
  • Pulmonary function testing: Measuring your lung function in different ways using tests, such as spirometery and pulse oximetery, to determine whether there is a disruption or significant decrease in airflow to your lungs
  • Stress testing: Tests to determine the amount of stress your heart can manage before you start experiencing symptoms of heart disease. Exercise stress tests are most common type of stress test, however if you cannot exercise, we may use medication to simulate the effects of exercise on your heart. 
  • Tilt table testing: Exploring possible causes for light-headedness and fainting by monitoring your blood pressure and heart rate while you lie on a table that slowly tilts upward 
  • Transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE): Accessing your heart using a thin flexible tube we pass down your throat to your esophagus (transducer), this test uses ultrasound waves to capture fine details of your heart and blood vessels. This level of detail is not available through traditional echocardiogram studies.

Learn more about our new Heart and Lung Center, where we provide the diagnostic tests you need in all in one, convenient location.

Advanced Cardiac Disease Testing at Swedish Covenant Hospital
In order to deliver the most accurate diagnosis, sometimes we need to examine your heart and its internal structures from the inside. We do this using catheters and advanced imaging technology. As experts in minimally invasive techniques, you can expect to leave the hospital the same day with just a bandage on your incision.  

Tests available in our cardiac catheterization lab include: 

  • Cardiac catheterization: This advanced X-ray examination of your heart uses catheters to examine your heart chambers, valves and coronary arteries. Cardiac catheterization is also a technique we use to access your heart during certain heart disease treatments, such as valvuloplasty. 
  • Coronary angiogram: Using a special dye to make your coronary arteries visible on X-ray, this test helps us examine blockages in your arteries. We usually perform this test during a catheterization procedure, such as ablation, to make sure we are delivering treatments exactly where they are needed. 
  • Electrophysiology (EP) study: This advanced test uses special equipment to help our experts test electrical activity in your heart and locate the source an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia). You may also need an EP study to see how well treatments are working. 
  • Intravascular ultrasound: Using sound waves to produce images of your arteries from the inside out, we usually perform this test during a procedure, such as stenting, to make sure the stent is sized correctly and in the right place. 
  • Fractional flow reserve: This test measures blood flow through the main artery supplying your heart (coronary artery), allowing our experts to examine blockages very closely. We use this information to determine the best treatment for your condition.  

Contact Us
Call 773-878-6888 to schedule an appointment or use our physician directory to find a doctor near you. 

You don’t have to live with discomfort and swelling in your legs. At Swedish Covenant Hospital, we offer treatments for peripheral artery disease (PAD) that are not widely available in the Chicago area, including ClariVein®. Our vascular disease specialists deliver comprehensive care for a broad range of conditions including pulmonary hypertension and deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

Expert Vascular Disease Care at Swedish Covenant Hospital 
From advanced diagnostic testing to the best available treatments, our physicians relieve painful symptoms and help you avoid dangerous complications. Working closely with our team of interventional radiologists, our vascular disease experts deliver a range of innovative treatments, including the newly approved EKOS catheter for pulmonary embolism care. 

Our goal is to get you back to your lifestyle as quickly as possible. Your care starts with a complete physical exam and diagnostic testing in our new Heart and Lung Center. We use this information to develop a personalized treatment plan for you. 

Innovative Vascular Disease Treatments on Chicago’s North Side
If lifestyle changes, such as reducing stress and avoiding tobacco, don’t relieve your symptoms, you may need a procedure. The good news is you may not need surgery. At Swedish Covenant Hospital, we specialize in delivering minimally invasive treatments whenever possible.  

Vascular disease treatments available at Swedish Covenant Hospital include:

  • ClariVein®: This innovative treatment uses a special catheter and new technique to close up the vein responsible for feeding varicose veins. ClariVein® treatments are fast, with minimal post-procedure pain. This allows you to get back to your daily activities faster. 
  • Angioplasty and stenting: Inflating a small balloon inside a narrowed blood vessel to improve blood flow (angioplasty), and inserting a tiny metal mesh tube to help keep your artery walls open (stenting). 
  • Bypass grafting: Creating new pathways around blocked arteries (bypass) in your arms or legs using a healthy vein from another part of your body 
  • Endarterectomy: Surgical procedure for removing plaque from narrowed or blocked arteries by removing the innermost layer of your blood vessel wall
  • Inferior vena cava (IVC) filter implant and removal: An IVC filter is a device we place in your blood vessel to prevent blood clots in your leg or pelvis from traveling to your lungs (pulmonary embolism). IVC filters can be left in place permanently, or we can remove them once you are no longer at risk for pulmonary embolism. 
  • EKOS Endowave™ Infusion Catheter System: This catheter-based drug delivery system uses ultrasound technology to deliver medication (tPA) directly to the center of a blood clot. The EKOS system dissolves clots rapidly with less bleeding and lower levels of medication than other treatments. 
  • Radiofrequency ablation: This catheter-based procedures closes off problem veins using thermal energy and leaves them in place to minimize bleeding and bruising. Once this happens, your body automatically diverts blood flow to healthier veins.
  • Therapeutic laser treatment for varicose veins: This treatment uses a highly focused beam of light (laser) to create scar tissue that closes the vein. When this happens, blood stops flowing to the vein, and it eventually disappears. 

You may need cardiac and pulmonary rehab to help you regain strength and stay healthy after your procedure. Our rehab specialists work closely with your care team to learn about your condition and treatment so we can customize a rehab program to meet your unique needs.

Contact Us
Call 773-878-6888 to schedule your test or use our physician directory to find a doctor near you. 

Certified by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR), our Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation programs include medically supervised exercise, lifestyle changes and group support. Our Rehab programs take place at Galter LifeCenter, Chicago's premier medical fitness center.

Why Choose Us: Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation at Swedish Covenant Hospital 
In addition to our team of specialized nurses and exercise physiologists, part of what makes rehabilitation at Swedish Covenant Hospital special is the supportive environment. Working alongside fellow patients in small groups, your rehabilitation is a fun and relaxing experience. 

Highlights of our program include: 

  • Cardiac rehabilitation: As one of the largest cardiac rehabilitation programs in Chicago, our experts help you recover faster, regain confidence and prevent future problems. Serving over 300 patients at any given time, even patients who have heart surgery at other hospitals choose Swedish Covenant Hospital for their rehabilitation. 
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation: Our experts help people suffering from lung conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), improve their quality of life in just a few short months. 
  • Medical fitness center: From elliptical trainers to special stationary bicycles you ride in a laid-back seated position (recumbent bicycles), Galter LifeCenter offers convenience, comfort and easy access to over 150 cardio and strength training machines. 

Expert Cardiac Rehabilitation in Lincoln Square
The goal of cardiac rehabilitation is to restore your well-being after certain heart disease treatments, including angioplasty and open-heart surgery. The goal of pulmonary rehabilitation is to maximize your level of functioning and help you avoid complications. 

Using a team approach, nurses, exercise physiologists, nutritionists and cardiologists develop personalized plans for each patient. Programs last approximately three months and include supervised exercise, education, lifestyle counseling and group support.

Here’s what to expect: 

  • Supervised exercise for 30 minutes, three times a week on the equipment of your choice, followed by strength training, stretching or an education session
  • Scheduling options to fit your busy schedule, making it easy for you to stay on track
  • Breathing re-training to help maximize the amount of oxygen your lungs receive with each breath (pulmonary rehab only)
  • Extra support from nutritionists, diabetes educators and exercise psychologists based on your unique needs

After completing your program, you may continue exercising at Galter LifeCenter for a small fee. Under our maintenance program, participants benefit from supervised exercise in small groups. In fact, some patients have participated in this program for nearly 30 years. 

Contact Us
For more information, please contact our Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehab programs by calling 773-878-8200, ext. 7321.

Call 773-878-6888 or use our physician directory to schedule an appointment with a Cardiologist. 

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