Cardiologists in Panama City, Florida

Our heart care specialists at the Cardiovascular Center of Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center provide a wide array of inpatient and outpatient cardiovascular services. We offer diagnostics, treatments and education to help patients understand their procedure and prepare them for timely cardiovascular testing.

We understand patients have a choice where they receive their cardiovascular care. We are proud that you chose Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center as your heart and vascular partner. Our goal is to meet your needs and work with you and your physician to improve your quality of life.

To learn more about our cardiology services, please call Consult-A-Nurse® at (850) 747-3600.

Cardiovascular disease risk assessments

Few people fully understand their individual risk of cardiovascular disease.

Cardiovascular disease is progressive. It becomes worse unless you make lifestyle changes or get treatment. Complete the survey questions below to determine your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Cardiac Disease Risk Factors:
Do you smoke? Yes No
Is your cholesterol abnormal? Yes No
Are you overweight? Yes No
Do any of your family members have cardiac disease? Yes No
Are your exercise and eating habits poor? Yes No
Are you under frequent stress? Yes No
Is your blood pressure elevated without medication? Yes No
Vascular Disease Risk Factors:
Do you have pain in your legs when you walk? Yes No
Does it go away when you rest? Yes No
Do you have sores on your feet that won't go away? Yes No
Do you have pain, numbness or tingling in your feet or toes? Yes No
Do you have discoloration in your feet or lower legs? Yes No

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, speak with your physician.

If you have questions about cardiovascular disease, call our chest pain coordinator at (850) 747-7184.

Heart screening and imaging

To determine the presence of cardiovascular disease, your physician may order diagnostic testing. We provide a wide array of inpatient and outpatient cardiac diagnostics at our cardiovascular institute. We also provide education to help you understand your procedure and prepare you for timely cardiovascular tests.

Some of our heart and vascular testing services include:

  • Abdominal aortic ultrasound
  • Cardiac arrhythmia monitoring (21- and 30-day event monitors, 24- and 48-hour Holter monitors)
  • Carotid artery ultrasound
  • Echocardiogram (ECHO)
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG)
  • Electrophysiology
  • Nuclear stress test
  • Peak blood flow velocity
  • Tilt table test
  • Transesophageal ECHO (TEE)
  • Treadmill stress test

Cardiovascular treatments

Our cardiologists, vascular specialists, nurses and other heart care specialists work together to provide efficient care to our patients. We offer the following heart and vascular treatments performed by a staff trained in advanced cardiac life support (ACLS):

  • Arterial atherectomy: This procedure is a minimally invasive technique to remove plaque from arteries.
  • Cardiac catheterization: This involves inserting a catheter into an artery and threading it through the blood vessels to the heart. Doctors can then visualize the chambers of the heart for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes.
  • Coronary stenting/balloon angioplasty: In this procedure, a catheter with a small balloon at the tip is inserted near the blocked or narrowed area of the coronary artery. When the balloon is inflated, the plaque is pressed against the artery walls and blood flow increases to the heart. In most cases, balloon angioplasty is performed in combination with stenting. A stent is a small, metal mesh tube that helps keep the artery open.
  • Coronary thrombectomy: This procedure involves the removal of a thrombus (blood clot) from the coronary arteries.
  • Drug-eluting stents (DES): Drug-eluting stents contain a medication that is actively released at the stent implantation site. They have a thin surface of medication to reduce the risk of restenosis (reoccurring of a narrowed blood vessel).
  • Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) implantation: An ICD is a battery-operated device implanted under the skin to treat a heart arrhythmia. If an irregular rhythm is detected, the ICD sends an electric shock to regulate the rhythm.
  • Lead replacement: ICDs and pacemakers have leads that attach to the heart. Through the lead, the devices can send electric impulses to the heart to regulate the heart rhythm. A lead may need to be replaced for a variety of reasons.
  • Pacemaker implantation: A pacemaker is a device implanted under the skin in the chest area. If it detects a slow or abnormal heartbeat, it delivers an electric impulse to the heart to induce a normal heartbeat.

Interventional cardiology

Interventional cardiology is a branch of cardiology that deals specifically with the catheter-based treatment of structural heart diseases. A large number of procedures can be performed on the heart by catheterization.

Catheterization most commonly involves the insertion of a thin tube into the femoral artery (near the groin) and guiding the tube to the heart with X-ray visualization. The radial artery (in the wrist area) may also be used for catheterization. This approach offers several benefits, such as:

  • Easy accessibility of the artery in most patients
  • Easy control of bleeding, even in patients who take blood thinners
  • Increased comfort because patients are capable of sitting up and walking immediately following the procedure

Heart attack treatment

As an Accredited Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI and Resuscitation, we are uniquely qualified to treat patients experiencing heart attacks. Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center has been an Accredited Chest Pain Center since 2010.

We have demonstrated our expertise and commitment to quality patient care by meeting or exceeding a wide set of stringent criteria by the American College of Cardiology. Key areas in which an Accredited Chest Pain Center must demonstrate expertise include:

  • Assessing, diagnosing and treating patients quickly
  • Continually seeking to improve processes and procedures
  • Effectively treating patients with low risk for acute coronary syndrome and no assignable cause for their symptoms
  • Ensuring the competence and training of Accredited Chest Pain Center personnel
  • Having a functional design that promotes optimal patient care
  • Integrating the ER with the local emergency medical system
  • Maintaining organizational structure and commitment
  • Supporting community outreach programs that educate the public on promptly seeking medical care if heart attack symptoms occur

Signs of a heart attack

The average patient arrives to the ER more than two hours after the onset of symptoms. However, the sooner a heart attack is treated, the less damage to the heart and the better the outcome.

Our ER physicians provide urgent care for chest pain and other heart attack symptoms. By recognizing the symptoms early and getting early heart attack care, we can significantly improve the outcomes and, ultimately, the lives of our patients.

Initial heart attack symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Anxiety
  • Chest pain, burning, pressure or squeezing
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling of fullness
  • Nausea
  • Pain that travels down one or both arms
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating

People may not experience all of these symptoms, and the symptoms that women tend to experience can be less noticeable. These symptoms may come and go for days or weeks until finally becoming constant and severe.

If you or a loved one experiences symptoms of a heart attack, please don’t drive. Call 911.

Heart care assure nurse navigation

At Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center, we offer a dedicated nurse navigator who helps our patients navigate their journey with heart and vascular disease, so they don’t have to do it alone.

The nurse navigator guides, assists and supports our patients through their care, from screening and education to diagnosis and treatment.

Our nurse navigator services include:

  • Assisting physicians with scheduling tests quickly
  • Assisting physicians in receiving testing reports the same day
  • Maintaining timely communication with the primary care physician as their patient moves through testing modalities
  • Providing education and support regarding cardiovascular risk factors, tests and treatments, preparations and expectations, medication actions and necessary lifestyle changes
  • Providing personalized and seamless coordination of services for cardiovascular patients
If you have questions about your cardiovascular care before or after treatment, please call our care assure nurse navigator at (850) 767-2231.