Advocate Christ Medical Center
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Why Choose Us?

Why Choose Advocate Christ for Heart Care?

When it comes to heart care, you want to make the best decisions possible. At Advocate Christ Medical Center we want to help you and your physician make those decisions with confidence.

Ask the Right Questions About Your Cardiac Care

It's important to ask the right questions when choosing heart care. The answers will help you make an informed decision. Here are the questions you should ask any cardiovascular program--and the answers as they pertain to Christ Medical Center's exceptional cardiac care program.

What sets your program apart from other cardiac centers in the area?
Because Christ Medical Center performs more heart surgeries than any other hospital in northern Illinois, you can count on a high level of expertise and excellence. This experience, coupled with our state-of-the-art technology, exceptional facilities and the expertise of a talented, committed staff, make Advocate Christ's cardiac care program stand out. No other program can match our combination of clinical expertise, comprehensiveness and research, characterized by:

  • The No. 1 cardiac surgery program in northern Illinois
  • Nationally renowned expertise in the treatment of congestive heart failure
  • Comprehensive interventional techniques and therapies, including angioplasty, atherectomy and stenting
  • Recognized expertise in the identification and treatment of cardiac arrhythmias
  • Participation in national and international research and clinical trials of new medications and techniques.

How many open heart surgeries and other cardiac procedures do you perform each year?
In heart care, higher volumes generally mean a higher quality program. That's because expertise comes with experience--and that extends not just to physicians but to everyone involved in a patient's care. So choose a team and a facility that has higher volumes for coronary artery bypass, open heart surgery, cardiac catheterizations and other interventional procedures, such as balloon angioplasties and atherectomies. This is really the most important question you can ask a hospital and its heart care team.

Christ Medical Center cares for more patients with cardiovascular problems than any other hospital or clinic in northern Illinois.

Who are the people who will be caring for me?
Our nationally renowned team of cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons, advanced practice nurses, interventionalists, psychologists, dietitians, pharmacists, and physical and occupational therapists bring an interdisciplinary approach to treating all facets of cardiac care. Among our experts are physicians with Diplomat status from the American Board of Internal Medicine for Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology. Only 225 physicians nationwide have achieved this status.

Meet our exceptional cardiovascular team.

What technology do you use to detect heart problems?
Christ Medical Center offers patients and physicians a wide range of options for diagnosing heart disease seven days a week. Our highly trained staff use some of the latest and most advanced diagnostic technology available. Some of the most commonly used options are:

  • Electrocardiography (EKG) - electrodes are attached to your chest, wrists and legs to record the electrical activity of your heart.
  • Echocardiography (echo) - an ultrasound machine takes pictures of your heart to see how well it pumps blood and how well your heart valves function. During a stress echo, a technician takes ultrasound pictures of your heart while at rest and after exercise on a treadmill.
  • Holter monitoring - a kind of portable EKG records the heart's contractions and any unusual symptoms as you go about your daily activities.
  • Cardiolite stress testing - similar to a stress echo test, only you receive an injection of Cardiolite that allows physicians to "see" your blood flow via a camera.
  • Cardiac catheterization and coronary angiography - one of the most accurate ways physicians have to pinpoint blockages of the coronary arteries. Through a catheter (a small, thin, flexible tube), the physician can inject a dye-like substance into the coronary arteries so that he or she can map out blockages and any areas that are abnormally narrow.

What type of facilities and technology do you offer patients?
Christ Medical Center is committed to ensuring that patients and their physicians have exceptional medical, surgical and emergency facilities as well as state-of-the-art equipment and technologies on hand.

  • Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories - The medical center has four cardiac catheterization laboratories, where, in addition to diagnostic catheterizations and angiographies, physicians also perform several types of interventions including:

    • Balloon angioplasty-where a balloon-tipped catheter is used to clear a blockage by inflating the balloon at the site of the obstruction
    • Atherectomy - where a tiny rotating blade, inserted through the catheter, actually removes the plaque from the artery wall; and coronary stent placement where tiny metal tubes are inserted into the narrowed section of artery through the catheter to improve blood flow
    • Bracytherapy
    • Cartoid stents
    • Closure patent for a menovale
    • Drug-eluding stents
    • ASD closure with amplatz occluder
    • Peripheral laser angioplasty
    • Percutaneous aortic aneurysm stent closure
  • Arrhythmia Center- For patients suffering from irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias) or fast heartbeats (tachyarrhythmias), Christ Medical Center has an arrhythmia center, featuring a dedicated electrophysiology laboratory with state-of-the-art imaging equipment. At the center, cardiologists can pinpoint strands of heart muscle causing electrical "short circuits" and, using special catheter technology known as radiofrequency ablation, they can then actually eradicate the problem. Arrhythmia center cardiologists can stimulate abnormally slow heartbeats through the implantation of a pacemaker. The center also employs the latest excimer laser technology for maintaining pacemakers after implantation.

  • Adult Surgical Heart Unit - Located adjacent to the cardiovascular surgical suite, the adult surgical heart unit is a state-of-the-art intensive care unit designed for patients who have just undergone open heart surgery. All surgical heart unit nurses are trained in acute and emergency cardiac care and have additional training in both critical care and EKG technology.

  • Medical Intensive/Cardiac Care Unit - Patients in the 22-bed medical intensive/cardiac care unit (MICCU) are also cared for by highly skilled, critical care nursing staff. The MICCU cares for patients with acute and chronic heart conditions. Both the surgical heart unit and MICCU are supported by 24-hour physician coverage.

  • Emergency Department - Because minutes count when you're experiencing a heart attack, the Advocate Christ Medical Center emergency department is home to the Emergency Cardiac Center. Emergency department physicians and nursing staff have cardiac critical care treatment protocols in place to ensure quick diagnosis and immediate treatment for every patient experiencing a heart attack or other cardiac event. Advocate Christ Medical Center also participates in the National Registry for Acute MI to establish benchmarks for the treatment of acute myocardial infarction.

What does this mean for you?
You can be confident that in choosing Christ Medical Center, you are selecting a seasoned team of physicians, nurses and clinicians who have access to nearly every diagnostic and therapeutic tool available in the fight against heart disease. That's why so many other physicians and hospitals refer their patients to Christ Medical Center for cardiac care.

What type of rehabilitation and education services do you have?
Rehabilitation plays a key role in recovering from heart attack or heart surgery. The goal of our comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation program is to help our patients regain strength and improve their health and quality of life as quickly as possible. Our program is nationally certified by the American Association of Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation.

One of the best ways to preserve heart health is to become educated about early signs of heart disease and heart attack. Christ Medical Center offers a series of classes to explain how your heart works and to help you make necessary lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise, that could reduce your risk of heart damage. A variety of support groups also are offered.

Use these questions to evaluate your options in heart care. After you do, we're confident you'll find the cardiac program at Advocate Christ Medical Center is the right choice for you.

Use our Find a Doctor feature to find a primary care physician or a cardiac specialist.

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