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The Heart Institute

The Heart Institute at Leesburg Regional Medical Center provides comprehensive, individualized care for patients with a variety of cardiac (heart) and vascular (artery and vein) conditions.

We offer the latest minimally invasive diagnostic services and treatments, as well as comprehensive rehabilitation services in a single, convenient location. Our open heart surgery program performs one of the largest volumes of surgeries in the state of Florida each year. 

Patients who visit our Heart Institute are able to consult with some of the most experienced physicians in the fields of cardiology and vascular care. Our team includes board-certified cardiac surgeons, cardiologists, diagnostic radiologists, interventional radiologists, and specialized cardiac care nurses. As such, we are well-equipped to diagnose and treat a variety of cardiovascular conditions, ranging from coronary artery disease and arrhythmias to heart failure and heart attacks.

20 Years of Superior Heart Care

Our board-certified heart and vascular surgeons, supported by an advanced team of cardiac care professionals, perform open heart surgeries daily—totaling more than 740 per year. With 15,000 open heart surgeries performed in the past 20 years alone, no other heart program in our area has more experience in cardiac care. What does that mean for you and your family? That you can trust your heart to us.

Signs and Symptoms of a Heart Attack

Early Heart Attack Care (EHAC)*

Know the Signs and Symptoms



Like other diseases, heart attacks have early sign and symptoms. These “beginnings” occur in over 50 percent of patients. However, if recognized in time, these “beginnings” can be treated before the heart is damaged. 85 percent of heart damage occurs within the first two hours of a heart attack. EHAC is knowing the subtle danger signs of a heart attack and acting upon them immediately—BEFORE HEART DAMAGE OCCURS.


  • Chest pressure, squeezing, aching or burning
  • Shortness of breath
  • Back pain
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Jaw pain
  • Pain that travels down one or both arms
  • Feeling of fullness


  • Heart attack symptoms can be different between men and women. Why does it matter? Women are less likely to seek immediate medical care and are more likely to die.
  • Men normally feel pain and numbness in the left arm or side of chest, but in women, these symptoms may appear on the right side
  • Women may feel completely exhausted, drained, dizzy or nauseous
  • Women may feel upper back pain that travels up into their jaw
  • Women may think their stomach pain is the flu, heartburn or an ulcer


In an atypical presentation, the signs and symptoms are different. How? The patient may not complain about pain or pressure in the chest.

Be alert for the following:

  • A sharp or “knife-like” pain that occurs with coughing or breathing
  • Pain that spreads above the jawbone or into the lower body
  • Difficult or labored breathing


  • These are the general risk factors. Discuss your risk for a heart attack with your doctor.
  • Chest pain, pressure, burning, aching or tightness - it may come and go
  • A family history of cardiovascular disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Overweight or obese
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Using tobacco products
  • Metabolic disease, diabetes or other illnesses
  • For women it can also include birth control pills, a history of pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes or having a low birth weight baby


  • Understand the risk factors and see a doctor for early diagnosis.
  • Learn the signs and symptoms. There is a difference in the way heart attacks occur in men and women.
  • Be alert for a heart attack in yourself or someone in your vicinity. Becoming an active bystander could save a life!
  • When in doubt, call 9-1-1. First responders have the medical technology to quickly save a life.

* Information provided by the American College of Cardiology (ACC). Early Heart Attack Care™, and EHAC® are trademarks of the ACC.


At Leesburg Regional Medical Center, our facility consists of:

  • Cardiovascular surgical suites.
  • Cardiac catheterization laboratories with state-of-the-art digital equipment for percutaneous coronary intervention.
  • A comprehensive electrophysiology lab for diagnosing and treating heart arrhythmias.
  • Cardiovascular intensive care unit (CVICU).
  • Cardiovascular unit (CVU).
  • Cardiac rehabilitation gym.
  • Waiting rooms providing comfortable accommodations for patients and their families.


The Heart Institute at Leesburg Regional Medical Center is an industry leader with its use of these procedures and technologies:

  • Extensive surgical procedures including: coronary bypass, minimally invasive valve surgery, aortic and thoracic surgery and more.
  • Electrophysiology—ventricular and atrial mapping, ablations.
  • TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve replacement).
  • Cardiac catheterization.
  • Coronary angioplasty and cutting balloon angioplasty.
  • Intracoronary and intraarterial stent placement.
  • Carotid angiography.
  • Diagnostic renal angiography and renal stent placement.
  • Peripheral angiography, angioplasty, atherectomy and stent placement.
  • Inferior vena cava filter insertion and placement.
  • Pacemaker implants.
  • AICD insertion.
  • Nuclear stress tests.
  • Cardioversion.
  • Echocardiography—3D echo.
  • Tilt table testing.
  • Trigger monitor application.
  • Cardiac rehabilitation.

Medical Breakthroughs

First in Central Florida to Offer World's Smallest Pacemaker
Leesburg Regional Medical Center is the first hospital in Central Florida to offer the world’s smallest pacemaker. The Micra® Transcatheter Pacing System (TPS) is a new type of heart device that provides patients with the most advanced pacing technology at one-tenth the size of a traditional pacemaker. The first procedure was performed in April 2017 by Hector L. Garcia, MD, a board-certified Interventional Cardiologist with Florida Cardiovascular Specialists.

Comparable in size to a large vitamin, Medtronic’s Micra TPS does not require cardiac wires (leads). Instead, the device is small enough to be delivered through a catheter and implanted directly into the heart with small tines, providing a safe alternative to conventional pacemakers without the complications associated with leads – all while being cosmetically invisible. For patients who need more than one heart device, the miniaturized Micra TPS was designed with a unique feature that enables it to be permanently turned off so it can remain in the body and a new device can be implanted without risk of electrical interaction.