Elizabeth Piccione, MD, is a cardiologist with UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute at UPMC Jameson. She is board-certified in cardiovascular disease and provides general cardiology services with focuses on heart failure, congestive heart failure, nuclear cardiology, women’s cardiology, and echocardiography
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Dr. Elizabeth Piccione of UPMC Jameson on Heart Disease
What Is Heart Disease?
Heart disease refers to any disease that affects the cardiovascular system. This includes:
- The heart muscle
- The arteries that supply blood to the heart
- The electrical system that controls the rhythm of the heart
- The valves that control the direction of blood flow within the chambers of the heart
What Are the Risk Factors for Developing Heart Disease?
Risk factors for developing heart disease include:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- A family history of premature coronary disease (for men, younger than 55 and for women, younger than 65)
Is There Anything I Can Do to Prevent Developing Heart Disease?
Steps that you can take to help decrease your chance of developing heart disease include:
- Eating a healthy diet
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Exercising regularly
- Not smoking
Controlling diabetes and high blood pressure with appropriate medications can also help decrease your risk.
If I Already Have Heart Disease, or if I Am at Risk for Developing Heart Disease, What Treatment Options Are Available?
There are a variety of medications available to help to treat heart disease. These medications help to:
- Alter blood pressure
- Control blood sugar
- Thin the blood
- Decrease cholesterol levels
If needed, minimally invasive procedures and surgeries are also available, including stents to increase blood flow in clogged arteries, pacemakers to control the heart’s electrical system, and valve replacement or repair.
Will I Need to Travel to Pittsburgh for Heart and Vascular Care?
No. Access to UPMC Heart and Vascular services is available locally through UPMC Jameson. Most procedures can be done locally as well. More advanced cardiovascular procedures that require travel into Pittsburgh are coordinated by our local office. This allows for pre- and post-operative follow-up close to home.
What Services Are Available at the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute at UPMC Jameson?
There are a variety of services available at UPMC Jameson. You can undergo evaluation by one of our cardiac care team members, including:
- General cardiologists
- Vascular surgeons
- Interventional cardiologists
- Cardiothoracic surgeons
- Thoracic surgeons
Patients can also visit the transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) clinic. This clinic provides evaluation before and after procedures for minimally invasive aortic valve replacement.
You can also undergo diagnostic tests including:
- Stress testing
- Holter and event monitors
- Ultrasound studies of the arteries
There are many procedures available at the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute at UPMC Jameson. These include:
- Acute percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI)
- Left heart catheterization
- Right heart catheterization
- Elective percutaneous intervention
- Pacemaker insertion
- Peripheral intervention
- Endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm repair (EVAR)
- Carotid endarterectomy
- Peripheral artery bypass surgery
- Full range of vascular surgical procedures
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The UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute has long been a leader in cardiovascular care, with a rich history in clinical research and innovation. As one of the first heart transplant centers in the country and as the developer of one of the first heart-assist devices, UPMC has contributed to advancing the field of cardiovascular medicine.