Update on Local Cardiac Care
Amit Singh, MD
Cardiac care in Tompkins County has changed dramatically in the
last few years. Area cardiologists and Cayuga
have collaborated to expand local services by opening a state-of-the-art
cardiac catheterization laboratory and by formalizing an affiliation with the University of Rochester
and Strong Memorial Hospital, one of the region’s most highly regarded cardiac care
These enhancements, coupled
with other advanced local capabilities, enable area residents with cardiac
disease to remain in their community under the care of their
own cardiologists. In those cases where surgery is indicated, our close working
relationships with cardiac surgeons in Rochester
(and other regional cardiac centers, as well) provide our patients with a
seamless transition of care to well established tertiary cardiac programs at
major medical centers.
When is cardiac catheterization
Cardiac catheterization is an
invasive procedure used to gain additional information about the anatomy of the
heart’s valves and arteries, and to identify the presence of shunts (holes).
This information helps us diagnose the extent of cardiac disease and make
decisions about whether surgery is indicated for valve replacement or to repair
blockages in the arteries or holes in the heart.
It’s important for prospective
patients to know that the cardiac catheterization lab at Cayuga
is one of the newest facilities in New
with equipment and techn0logy identical to that of major cardiac centers in the
region. The lab is entirely digitized and our computer network allows us to
review cardiac images with our colleagues in Rochester for consultation during the
What happens after the
We believe that patient care is
enhanced and the best decisions about treatment are made when patients review
their cardiac studies with physicians who know them well and with whom they
have established trusting patient-doctor relationships. For this reason, we
encourage our patients to have their cardiac catheterizations performed
locally. Only 30 percent of the people who undergo cardiac catheterization need
immediate surgery. This means that 70 percent of cardiac cath
patients do not need to travel out of town at all, either for catheterization
What if you suspect blockages
in the arteries?
During the cardiac
catheterization of a patient with arterial disease, we may learn one of three
things: the heart has already compensated
for the blockage by creating its own bypasses; the heart has two or three
blockages that are best treated with balloon angioplasty and the placement of
stents to open up the arteries; or the heart requires bypass surgery. If stent
or bypass surgery is indicated, we work closely with the patient and one of our
colleagues from a nearby cardiac surgery center to pursue surgical treatment.
What does cardiac
catheterization reveal about heart failure?
We use catheterization to aid
in the diagnosis of heart failure by measuring pressures inside the heart on
the right and left sides. Nearly 40 percent of people suffering from heart
failure have normal pumping function; however, conditions such as high blood
pressure or diabetes have caused the walls of the heart to grow thicker. This
thickening increases internal pressure and compromises the heart’s ability to
hold and circulate sufficient blood to meet the body’s needs.
Are there other cardiac
diagnostic and treatment services area residents should know about?
Local cardiologists implant
cardiac pacemakers and implantable cardioverter
defibrillators (ICDs) in the cardiac catheterization lab. We
also provide the entire range of cardiac stress testing, including nuclear
stress testing. Transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE),
a diagnostic modality that provides us with in-depth images of the heart at
work, is available here, as well. These and other capabilities enhance local
cardiac care and reduce the need and associated stress of out-of-town travel.
Singh is board certified in the following specialties: cardiovascular disease,
nuclear cardiology, and internal medicine. He is a Fellow of the American College
of Cardiology and is a member of the medical staff of Cayuga Medical
Center. Dr. Singh is in practice
Cardiology Associates and can be reached there at (607) 272-0460. Dr. Singh
earned his medical degree from the State University of New
York Upstate Medical University in Syracuse,
and completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at Bassett
Health Care in Cooperstown (a major affiliate of Columbia University).
He was chief resident in his final year of training and served as a staff intensivist for one year prior to entering a three-year
fellowship in cardiovascular disease at Strong
University of Rochester. Dr. Singh is a member of the American College of Cardiology.