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Cardiology

Welcome to the Soffer Heart.

Our mission is to provide you with the best cardiology care based on an individualized treatment plan designed just for you.

At the Soffer Heart Institute, we utilize the Soffer LIT methods and philosophy to treat all of our patients. LIT, which stands for Least Invasive Techniques seeks to use the least invasive or natural technique whenever possible. LIT is based on the principle that, first and foremost, the body should be permitted to heal itself wherever possible.

Utilizing high-tech in-office diagnostics applying the most up to date research and cutting-edge technology, combined with old fashioned medical care and respect our patients, the Soffer Heart Institute is fast becoming a model for optimal medical care.

We are dedicated to making you feel at home throughout your medical evaluation and treatment procedures. We will thoroughly evaluate your condition with the latest research and techniques available, answer any and all questions that you may have, and present you with a carefully tailored treatment plan that best suits your individual needs. We strive to treat you like family every step of the way. Now patients can have it all; an academically affiliated, experienced Board Certified Cardiologist dedicated to the personalized attention to his patients.

“We encourage you to take your time and review our website.  Please feel free to ask us any questions that you might have in our “Contact Us” section.”

What is Heart Disease?

Heart Disease, also known as Cardiovascular Disease, refers to conditions that involve blocked or narrowed blood vessels that may lead to a heart attack, chest pain (angina) or stroke, as well as infections and conditions that affect your heart's muscle, valves or beating rhythm.

The various diseases that fall under the umbrella of heart disease include diseases of your blood vessels, such as coronary artery disease; arrhythmias (heart rhythm problems commonly known as an irregular heart beat); heart infections; and congenital heart defects (those defects one is born with).

With healthy lifestyle choices, certain types of heart disease can be prevented, treated and improved.



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Diagnosis

Dr. Soffer is trained in the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease. The Soffer Heart Institute employs the most advanced technologies and research available to diagnose heart disease, rule out other possible causes of your symptoms and determine the most appropriate treatment. In addition to a physical examination, discussion of heart disease risk factors, and review of your family medical history, your diagnostic testing may include one or a combination of the following:

  • Stress Test - A stress tests consists of exercising on a treadmill or stationary bicycle in our office, or taking a drug to simulate heart activity during exercise, while an electrocardiogram monitors your heart. You also may be monitored by using an echocardiogram, nuclear scan or PET scan during your stress test.
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) - In this noninvasive test, electrodes (sensor patches with wires attached) are placed on your skin to measure your heart's electrical impulses. An ECG can indicate the existence of a heart attack, lack of blood supply to your heart or other heart rhythm disturbances.
  • Blood Tests - A blood test will reveal certain heart enzymes that leak into the blood if coronary artery disease has damaged your heart, and is also used to check your cholesterol level and other risk factors for coronary artery disease.
  • X-Ray - A chest X-ray shows the size and shape of your heart and can identify damage, such as heart failure caused by coronary artery disease or a heart attack.
  • Echocardiogram (Doppler echocardiogram) - The echocardiogram shows heart valve function and some blood flow problems by utilizing a hand-held device (transducer) on your chest, which bounces sound waves off your heart to show detailed images of your heart's size, structure and function.
  • Nuclear scan – Single-photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT). During this test, a small amount of radioactive material is injected into your bloodstream and special cameras are used to identify the flow of blood (or lack thereof) to your heart.
  • Positron emission tomographic scan (PET) - By revealing areas of your heart with altered blood supply, a PET scan can help to identify areas of your heart that have been damaged previously.
  • Angiogram (coronary catheterization) - This is the most precise test to determine the location and severity of coronary artery disease. A long, thin, flexible tube (catheter) is inserted into the artery in your leg or wrist and guides the catheter to your heart using X-ray imaging. By injecting a special dye into the catheter, the blockages in your heart arteries become visible under X-ray. Often, blockages can be treated immediately using catheter-assisted procedures such as angioplasty or stent placement.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) - Highly detailed images of your heart are gathered using magnetic energy, and will reveal damaged tissue from previous heart attacks.
  • CT Scan - Using a CT scanner, your larger coronary arteries can be viewed.



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Treatment

After meeting with you and performing a thorough diagnostic evaluation, we tailor a treatment specifically for you depending on the cause and severity of your coronary artery disease. Recommended treatment may include one or a combination of the following:

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External Counter Pulsation (ECP)

Offered uniquely by the Soffer Heart Institute, ECP therapy is a safe, non-invasive, outpatient treatment option for patients suffering from ischemic heart diseases such as angina and heart failure. Clinical studies show, over 75% of patients benefit from ECP therapy and sustain improvement up to three years post- treatment.

Read Dr. Soffer's article on how ECP can save countless lives.

Medications

The following are examples of several medications we commonly use to improve blood flow to your heart and to prevent the progression of heart disease:

  • Aspirin - Aspirin acts as a blood thinner and reduces the tendency for blood to clot within a narrowed coronary artery.
  • Nitroglycerin - Nitroglycerin provides relief from chest pain (angina) by slightly relaxing or dilating narrowed blood vessels, and improving the blood flow to your heart.
  • Beta-blockers - Beta-blockers slow your heart rate and reduce your blood pressure.
  • Cholesterol-lowering medications - Cholesterol-lowering medications can reduce the formation of blockages in your heart arteries.
  • ACE inhibitors (angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors). ACE inhibitors lower your blood pressure and may improve heart function after heart attacks.
  • Calcium channel blockers - These medications dilate your coronary arteries and reduce high blood pressure. Similar to nitroglycerin, they also may relieve angina.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins - These supplements may reduce heart disease risk factors, such as high cholesterol.

Healthy lifestyle programs

Living a healthy lifestyle can prevent or slow development of coronary artery disease. Soffer Heart Institute, along with Mina Soffer MS, LMHC, our in-house psychotherapist, offers many services and programs to encourage a healthy lifestyle, including:

  • Heart disease risk management - We analyze your risk of future heart disease and develops an individualized plan to reduce your risk of heart disease for the rest of your life.
  • Heart-healthy diet and nutrition - We advise you and your family about healthy diets and nutrition to reduce the risk of future heart attacks.
  • Regular exercise and physical activity - We help you develop regular exercise habits.
  • Smoking cessation assistance - We help you quit using tobacco, which is a leading cause of coronary artery disease and has several other negative effects on your body.
  • Stress Reduction - We realize the magnitude of the heart/mind connection and help you use stress reduction techniques to augment traditional cardiovascular treatment.  More and more studies have concluded that stress is one of the most significant factors in getting and, ultimately, worsening heart disease.  By reducing stress, our staff psychotherapist specializes in reducing one of the biggest risk factors in heart disease and its progression in our society and makes the Soffer Heart Institute one of the only practices in the country to have a true “cardiac psychology” treatment philosophy.

Cardiac rehabilitation programs

These types of programs focus on lifestyle changes, exercise and eating habits that help you become and stay healthy, and to live a longer, happier and more fulfilled life.

Catheter-assisted and surgical procedures

While it is our philosophy to employ the Soffer LIT methods prior to recommending more invasive treatments, inevitably, some patients will require some form of invasive surgery to improve their conditions.  In so doing, one or more of the following may be recommended to open blocked artieries:

  • Coronary angioplasty and stents - During angioplasty, a long, thin tube (catheter) is inserted through the arteries to your heart. A small balloon is inflated at the end of the catheter inside your blocked coronary artery. The balloon is used to reduce the narrowing in the artery and therefore, allows blood to flow more freely. In a large portion of cases, a small metal wire tube (stent) is inserted in the coronary artery to permanently open it. To reduce the risk of the blockage returning, sometimes stents may be medically coated. While open heart surgery may be too risky for some patients, stent placement might provide a less risky and life saving alternative.
  • Magnetic-assisted intervention - Magnetically assisted procedures, a cutting edge technology, now allow for the treatment of blockages that previously required open-heart surgery. Benefitting from the precision afforded by computer-controlled magnets during surgery, complex angioplasty and stent procedures can now be performed, where open heart surgery was once the only option.
  • Coronary artery bypass surgery - During this invasive surgery, a detour around a blocked coronary artery is created using a new blood vessel (graft).
  • Minimally invasive heart surgery - Minimally invasive heart surgeries result in shorter hospital stays and faster recovery by using smaller incisions and robot-assisted surgery.

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Mitral Valve Prolapse

The Mitral Valve Prolapse Program at the Soffer Heart Institute is a comprehensive program dedicated to diagnosing and treating MVP and its associated syndrome. Dr.Soffer has been acutely interested in this common but often misunderstood abnormality since the early 1990's. In fact, he and his team have authored a book on the subject which is available on www.amazon.com.

Our MVP program is one of only a few in the world that have the experience, knowledge and professional staff capable of comfortably treating patients with MVP and MVP Syndrome from all over the world. Our site serves as a blogosphere of patients that have either been treated here or have found our information useful through the years.

Our site serves as a blogosphere of patients that have either been treated here or have found our information useful through the years.

What is Mitral Valve Prolapse?

Mitral Valve Prolapse is a common heart irregularity; it has been estimated to occur in as many as 5% of the American population. The condition is generally not life threatening and the majority of patients have no symptoms. The heart has two valves on each side. The valves purpose is to make sure that blood flows through the heart the right way. They act like a door. Mitral valve prolapse is when the mitral valve flaps do not close properly. As pressure builds inside the left ventricle (chamber) it pushes the mitral valve back ("billow") into the left atrium (upper chamber) which may cause a small leak Mitral valve prolapse is a common heart irregularity, and is also called the click murmur syndrome due to the click murmur heart sound that can be heard by your doctor.

Symptoms of Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome

  • Fatigue: May be chronic. It is the number one complaints of people with Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome.
  • Cardiac: Palpitations, irregular heartbeats, chest pain, shortness of breath.
  • Gastrointestinal: Irritable bowel, spastic colon, esophageal reflux.
  • Psychological: Mood swings, anxiety, panic attacks, feeling of impending doom avoiding certain places or situations, depression and sadness.
  • Vascular: Cold hands and feet, increases sensitivity to heartbeat and other body functions, such as sounds, smells, and temperature changes.
  • Headaches: Migraines and other headaches.
  • Sleep disorders: Inability to fall asleep, problems staying asleep and night time anxiety attacks.
Call our office today to find out about treatment options.

What is the Mitral Valve Prolapse Program?

Our Comprehensive Mitral Valve Prolapse Program Services Include:

  • Careful review of your medical history
  • Complete physical
  • Electrocardiogram
  • Stress Test
  • Prescribing the proper Mitral Valve Prolapse medication by the cardiologis
  • Providing information on the nature of Mitral Valve Prolapse and its symptoms
  • Education on lifestyle modifications for people with Mitral Valve Prolapse
  • Our own patient's guide and manual
  • Stress management
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Nutrition and diet support helpful for Mitral Valve Prolapse

Mitral Valve Prolapse Program Cost Structure

Physician fees, diagnostic fees and testing fees are covered by most insurance policies.

Your educational session with a licensed counselor on the nature of Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome may also be covered by insurance.

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Insurances

Soffer Heart Institute accepts the following insurance providers:

Aetna, Avmed, Beechstreet BCBS, Coventry, UHC, AARP Medicare, NHP, Jackson Memorial Healthcare,  Preferred Medical Plan, Cigna, Corvel Corp, Dimension, Florida Health ADMS, GHI, Humana, Healthnetwork One, Medicare, PHCS, Simply, One source, Medica, Positive Healthcare, Medicaid.

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Soffer LIT Methods

At Soffer Heart, we utilize the Soffer LIT methods and philosophy to treat all of our patients. LIT, which stands for Least Invasive Techniques, seeks to use the least invasive or unnatural technique whenever possible. LIT is based on the principle that, first and foremost, the body should be permitted to heal itself wherever possible.

Day in, day out, at Soffer Health Institute, this philosophy permeates all that we do. It is why we stand apart from other cardiology offices. After practicing for almost 20 years, intimately training cardiologists from around the world in the most up to date technologies and research, speaking in front of nearly all of the major pharmaceutical companies and medical associations, and becoming a leader in the field of cardiology, Dr. Soffer has come to the realization that the Soffer LIT methods provide the best improvement, overall quality of life and satisfaction for his patients. Espousing the Soffer LIT methods is engrained in each member of our staff and is the mantra of the Soffer Health Institute.

We feel that we owe it to our patients to exhaust all Soffer LIT methods before recommending more invasive techniques that cause a greater burden and stress on the body.

Ask us about the latest Soffer LIT methods and why we are different.

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