Cardiovascular care in West Hills, California

West Hills Regional Heart & Vascular Institute offers the latest treatments for heart failure, heart surgery, and heart attack interruption. We offer 24/7 emergency cardiac care.

If you think someone is having a cardiac episode, such as a heart attack, call 911 right away.

If you have a potentially life-threatening cardiovascular condition, such as coronary artery disease (CAD), which can result in a heart attack, it is critical to seek the expertise and advice of specialists. Heart attack is linked to severe health problems, like heart failure and life-threatening arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats).

Cardiac care services

West Hills Hospital connects you with medical services essential to your care, healing and well-being. Our cardiovascular care program offers:

  • Non-invasive and invasive procedures, including open heart surgery
  • Physical and occupational therapy
  • Electrophysiology
  • Diagnostics and laboratory services
  • Imaging services
  • Specialized critical care and emergency treatment

Chest Pain Receiving Center

The West Hills Regional Heart & Vascular Institute is a Joint Commission Certified Pain Center. This official designation means we are prepared 24/7 to provide specialized, emergency cardiac care.

STEMI Receiving Center

Los Angeles County also recognizes West Hills Hospital for treatment of a critical type of heart attack called ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI).

Expert electrophysiology

Our heart and vascular center makes it possible to have electronic physiology performed for irregular heartbeat problems without the use of fluoroscopy. That's because our specially-trained electrophysiologists use advanced technology that allows them to precisely see the problem location on a 3D computer model of the heart. This can be extremely helpful in correcting irregular heart rhythms.

Our electrophysiology team members are experts in device placement procedures, and some devices have remote monitoring capabilities.

Left Atrial Appendage Closure Implant (LAAC)

Non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AFib) increases your risk for stroke. Traditionally, blood-thinning medications, such as warfarin, reduced stroke risk, but some patients do not like the medicine or have a medical or lifestyle reason to avoid it.

The Left Atrial Appendage Closure (LAAC) Implant is a non-pharmaceutical option for reducing stroke risk in patients with non-valvular AFib.

How does LAAC Work?

The minimally invasive, catheter-based procedure to place the LAAC Implant takes place in the Electrophysiology Laboratory. A specialist inserts a small catheter into the femoral vein in your leg and directs the catheter through the vein to the heart. Once the catheter is in the left atrium, the physician releases the implant, which spreads out like a balloon and seals the opening of the LAA. Heart tissue grows over the implant, sealing the opening of the LAA and preventing blood from pooling in the outcropping, thereby reducing stroke risk.

Why Choose LAAC?

AFib causes your heart to beat irregularly, which may make you feel like your heart is fluttering. Irregular heartbeats disrupt the flow of blood through your heart, causing blood to pool and coagulate in your left atrial appendage (LAA), a finger-shaped sac attached to the left atrium. If coagulated blood in the LAA breaks off and passes through your blood stream, it may cause a stroke. Studies show that approximately 90 percent of clots leading to stroke form in the LAA.

What Should I Expect?

Because the procedure to place the LAAC Implant is minimally invasive, you will experience less blood loss and postoperative pain, compared with an open procedure. Placing the LAAC Implant typically takes one hour, and patients typically return home the day after the procedure.

Patients seeking an alternative to long-term blood-thinning medication regimens can call (818) 676-4321 to schedule an evaluation with a cardiac specialist.

Heart attack treatment

West Hills Regional Heart & Vascular Institute was ranked in the top 10 percent of hospitals in the nation for heart attack response time. Seeking immediate treatment at the first sign of a heart attack can save your life and limit damage to your heart. Quick heart attack treatment—within an hour—is essential because the heart muscle starts to die if the blocked artery is not treated.

Heart attack warning signs

  • Chest discomfort, such as pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of the chest that is mild or strong. It may last more than a few minutes or go away and come back.
  • Upper body discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Lightheadedness, fainting or breaking out in a cold sweat.
  • Shortness of breath may occur with or before chest discomfort.

Heart attack symptoms in women

The warning signs for men and women are different. Women are more likely than men to experience shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting and back or jaw pain. In fact, about a third of women experience no chest pain at all when having a heart attack and 71 percent of women report flu-like symptoms for two weeks to a month prior to having more acute chest discomfort or severe shortness of breath.