Cardiology in Korea

Cardiovascular disorders in Korea

Cardiology is a medical specialty that focuses on the human heart, which is susceptible to a range of diseases and disorders including congenital heart defects, coronary artery disease and heart failure. While most disorders involve complications with the heart itself, varicose veins for instance is a vascular disease. Early diagnosis and treatment is important in treating the various cardiovascular diseases, and DocfinderKorea is here to help you receive the treatment you deserve.
Service

– Safeguards for Your Heart!
The cardiovascular hospitals of Korea have continued its endeavors to develop and progress. Now they are leading the world society of medicine in terms of both scale and quality.

– Around-the-Clock Emergency Care
The timing of treatment can lead to a life and death difference in treating heart diseases. The cardiovascular teams of top-class surgeons and physicians provide around-the-clock, life-saving treatments for emergency patients.

– World Best in Heart Surgeries and Coronary Interventions
One of the Korean cardiovascular hospitals performs over 1,800 heart surgeries and 2,800 coronary interventions each year. Not only does the number show that Korean hospitals are at the top in that field, but also that they are leading the field in terms of the success rate. They also provide treatment for heart valve diseases and congenital heart diseases as well as cardiovascular diseases.

– Specialized Centers Dedicated to Treatment of Each Disease
Each instance of a disease requires a different treatment approach depending on the patient’s condition and the symptoms. Korean hospitals operate specialized centers of Angina-Myocardial Infarction, Vascular Disease, Heart Valve Disease, AF (Atrial Fibrillation), Heart Failure-Heart Transplantation and Heart disease Prevention-Rehabilitation. These centers provide differentiated and specialized treatments for optimum results.

– Teamwork Approach to Medical Practice
Working as a team, top-class specialists in cardiac surgery (surgeons and anesthesiologists), cardiology, cardiac radiology, cardiac nuclear medicine, all work closely with each other to establish a timely and comprehensive treatment plan for each patient.

– Comprehensive Patient Care from Beginning to Completion
The Korean hospitals provide a comprehensive care package from diagnosis through treatment to rehabilitation. Post-treatment management and prevention of secondary complications are as important as the timely and effective treatment of a disease. They provide continuous management of diet, exercise, and lifestyle.

– Focus on Research for New Cures
In conjunction with major research labs and clinics around the world, the cardiovascular hospitals of Korea are actively involved in numerous researches regarding the development of new, effective cures for obstinate diseases. They are continuously conducting clinical studies and publishing researches with major journals. Their effort will continue until they have complete cures for all heart diseases in the world.

– Education and Knowledge Exchange
The cardiovascular hospitals of Korea host an annual Angioplasty Summit. It is Asia’s leading symposium on angioplasty, where the latest developments in the field are shared by participants from around the world. They will continue efforts in research and knowledge exchange with experts around the world, and also develop educational programs for patients and the general public.

 

Treatments

1. Cardiac & Vascular Imaging Center
Korean hospital has Asia’s first cardiac and vascular imaging center in partnership with Mayo Clinic

1) One-day treatment system
• the one-day treatment system to examine patients with cardiac diseases promptly and accurately.
• use the advanced CT, MRI, and echocardiography among various highly precise images to diagnose heart conditions.
• seek to provide convenience for patients by ensuring they receive both diagnosis and treatment service on the same day.
• Fast same-day echocardiography : give the result of the echocardiography on the same day.
• In 2010, One of the hospitals performed 2-dimensional transthoracic echo (3-d Echo included) 37,000 times, stress echocardiography 3,100 times, transesophageal echocardiography (3-d TEE included) 560 times.
• Advanced echocardiographical and analytic methods incorporated in the clinical practice : In recent years, they adopted the 3-dimensional transthoracic echocardiography and 3-dimensional transesophageal echocardiography to make a diagnosis far more accurate than that done by echocardiography only.

2) Integrated treatment infrastructure
• The infrastructure of Korean hospitals enables them to efficiently establish the diagnosis and treatment plans for complex cardiovascular diseases.
• Korean doctors have the collaboration of the faculty and staff in cardiology, pediatric cardiology, radiology, thoracic and cardiovascular surgery and vascular surgery.
• Korean hospitals continue to pursue innovation in the paradigm of diagnosis and treatment of cardiac diseases by establishing an integrated treatment plan based on their analysis of the images on a daily basis.

2. Coronary Artery Disease Center

1) Newly built intravascular procedure and hybrid vessel operating room
In the past, patients with vascular diseases, especially with the thoracic and abdominal aorta disease had to take a high risk when they underwent the stent graft insertion. Now Korean hospitals can make use of the hybrid procedure that combines a surgical therapy and stent insertion. Korean hospitals are equipped with the operating rooms and advanced angiography equipments that enable them to simultaneously perform hybrid procedure and surgery of an extremely difficult level. In this facility, patients with complex vascular conditions and valvular heart diseases can have advanced operations.(endovascular abdominal and thoracic aortic repair, transcatheter aortic valve implantation). A state-of-the art, innovative hybrid operating room provides highly flexible environments to perform minimally invasive catheter-based cardiovascular and vascular repairs and open surgical procedures in the same room, with fully equipped high quality imaging techniques and latest surgical equipments.
2) Same-day percutaneous coronary artery intervention
Patients can visit the Korean hospitals for a percutaneous coronary artery intervention and return home on the same day, which help them reduce inconvenience and cost. Since the percutaneous coronary artery intervention is a relatively difficult procedure that may involve dangerous complexities, it used to require a three-day hospitalization period. Thanks to equipment improvement and accumulation of experience, they have been able to reduce such a risk and enhance the likelihood of success. Presently, patients undergoing percutaneous coronary artery intervention can return home on the same day. They offer nurse call or house visit services 7 days after the patient’s discharge from the hospital to minimize any discomfort.

3. Heart Failure Team
Korean hospitals respond positively to late-stage heart failure patients by applying the cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) that uses biventricular pacing, intra-cardiac defibrillator (ICD), left ventricular assist device (LVAD) and cardiac transplantation.

4. Valvular Heart Disease Team
When treating patients who complain of breathing difficulties, fatigue and palpitation, Korean hospitals use the 2-dimensional & 3-dimensional transthoracic echocardiography and 3-dimensional transechopageal echocardiography, which are advanced equipment of CIVIC (Cardiac & Vascular Imaging Center) to diagnose valvular heart conditions. Cardiac & Vascular Imaging Center) to diagnose their valvular heart conditions. We perform a closer examination through exercise echocardiography to decide the direction of treatment and usage/dosage of medication needed. If needed, we use medications, percutaneous procedures, heart valve surgery or replacement in order to manage the patients’ condition in a structured and timely manner.

5. Arrhythmia Team
1) Diagnosis and Treatment of Tachyarrhythmia
Korean hospitals have a dedicated EP procedure suite designed to perform electrophysiology based procedure for accurate diagnosis and effective therapy for various types of heart rhythm disorders (arrhythmia) including atrial fibrillation/flutter, supraventricular tachycardias, ventricular arrhythmias, complex arrhythmias and for those who have previously failed ablations. With the help of highly advanced equipment such as Bi-Plane fluoroscopy and 3-dimensional imaging devices, we can perform catheter ablation in a safer manner to minimize complications as well as the hospitalization period.
2) Device-based therapy
To improve the survival rate as well as the quality of life of the patients with bradyarrhythmia and tachyarrhythmia, many kinds of cutting-edge device therapies are being performed every day such as permanent pacemaker therapy for bradyarrhythmia, implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) therapy for cardiac arrest, cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) for heart failures, and implantable cardiac monitor (ICM) for syncope. Advanced technology along with the expertise of electrophysiology physicians and specialists allows performing these complex procedures relatively easy.
3) Diagnosis and treatment of syncope caused by unknown causes
To make an exact diagnosis and offer a fundamental treatment for an unexplained syncope-which might be related to fatal/fetal heart rhythm disorder-Korean doctors have in place diverse diagnostic and treatment modalities such as the tilt table tast, tilt table training, electrophysiology testing and insertion of an implantable loop recorder.

6. Women’s Heart Clinic
The comprehensive and structured professional clinics with women’s heart specialists help women suffering from heart pains, breathing difficulties and palpitation by giving a prompt and accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. They have a tight network consisting of the cardiac & vascular imaging center and departments of endocrinology and obstetrics and gynecology.

7. Aorta and Peripheral Vessel Team
1) Aorta Team
Major aortic diseases include aortic aneurysm and aortic dissection. The former occurs when part of the aorta swells like a balloon due to arteriosclerosis and the latter happens when the aorta wall abruptly tears. Aortic aneurism is often discovered by chance and aortic dissection is found when the patient experiences acute pain in the chest or back and can be confirmed by CT or MRI.
2) Peripheral Vessel Team
When hypostasis of the lower limb blood vessels is suspected, an accurate diagnosis can be made by a blood flow test, blood vessel ultrasound test or blood vessel CT. Simply by topically anesthetizing the affected part of the peripheral vessel and using a liquid filled balloon and stent, Korean surgeons can expand the vessels and improve blood flow.

 

Programs
-Echocardiography Lab
Transthoracic Echocardiography(TTE), Transesophageal Echocardiography(TEE), Stress Echocardiography
-Arrhythmia Test Lab
ECG, 24-hour Holter ECG, Tilt table test, Electrophysiology test, Treadmill Test, 24hour ambulatory BP monitor
-Cardiac catheterization Lab
Coronary angiography, Coronary balloon angioplasty, Coronary stent angioplasty, Coronary atherectomy, IVUS (intravascular ultrasound), , Carotid artery stenting, ASD closure, PFO (patent foramen ovale) closure, PDA closure, Percutaneous mitral balloon valvuloplasty, alcohol ablation of HCMP
– Research and Development Lab
Research on gene mutation types related to arteriosclerosis and arrhythmia, research on pathophysiology of cardiomyopathy
– Cardio Vascular Surgery Team
Valve replacement, Valvuloplasty, Coronary artery bypass surgery, Maze procedure, Heart transplantation, Minimally-invasive cardiac surgery using roboty
– Cardiac Radiology Team
Cardiac CT, MRI
– Cardiac Nuclear Medicine Team
Single Pass(radionuclide angiocardiography), MUGA scan(Multi Gated Blood Pool), 123I-MIBG Myocardium scan, 99mTc-MIBI Myocardium scan, Tl-201 Myocardium scan, Cardiac positron emission tomography(PET)