heart health

Many people still think of heart disease as a "man's" condition. Yet, it’s the top killer of American women.  At Bon Secours Virginia, we appreciate that women often experience cardiovascular disease differently than men. That's why we listen to you and pay attention to your medical history, symptoms, and concerns. If you need us, we’ll work together to develop a treatment plan that works for you.

We offer broad heart disease services focused on prevention, diagnosis, treatment and wellness.  We diagnose and treat the full range of cardiovascular conditions.

These include:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Coronary artery and peripheral vascular disease
  • Heart rhythm disorders
  • Congestive heart failure

Working in state-of-the-art facilities, our cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, and electrophysiologists make fast, accurate diagnoses and offer the latest proven surgical and minimally invasive treatments. These encompass coronary artery bypass graft surgery, angioplasty and stenting, and catheter ablation for heart rhythm disorders.

Atherosclerosis -- or hardening of the arteries – causes most cardiovascular disease. Coronary artery disease occurs when atherosclerosis narrows or blocks heart arteries. Healthy lifestyles -- exercising, maintaining a healthy weight, eating a diet low in fat, not smoking, and drinking moderately -- can prevent hardening of the arteries. You also should know your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar numbers. Remember, too, that a woman's risk for heart disease rises after menopause.

We offer a cardiac wellness program for women who’ve either had a cardiac procedure or a cardiovascular event, like a heart attack. Procedures range from a coronary artery bypass graft surgery to angioplasty and stenting, and heart valve repair or replacement. Our two-phase program relies on a team of cardiologists, nurses, exercise specialists, and dietitians to create individualized wellness plans. These plans depend on supervised exercise and intensive education about lifestyle changes that aid healing. Our team will help you make the most of your recovery and decrease your risk of future heart problems. 

Supporting our individual practitioners is the Bon Secours Heart Institute. This is the mid-Atlantic’s first comprehensive outpatient heart institute. It emphasizes education, prevention, and early diagnosis. In addition, the institute is a conduit for the treatment of patients who either are diagnosed with heart disease or may be at risk.

At Bon Secours Virginia, we stress education and prevention for women.  An important part of prevention is knowing your risk for heart disease. The Heart Institute offers an online screening tool called Heart Aware. This interactive survey that can help you determine your heart disease risk. To take this online assessment, click here.

For a list of Bon Secours cardiologists and cardiac surgeons click here.

know heart attack symptoms

Unlike men who experience "classic" chest pain, women more often experience nausea, indigestion, back pain, or pain in one or both shoulders, arm, neck or jaw (like a toothache), dizziness, or fatigue or numbness in the left shoulder and arm.  Many women dismiss their symptoms, attributing them to stress or ignoring them completely, often delaying treatment. Listen to what your instincts tell you and call 9-1-1 immediately, if you experience symptoms.

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Women experience cardiovascular disease differently than men. That's why we take time to listen -- really listen -- to you, your medical history, your symptoms, and your concerns.

Christine M. Browning, M.D.

Bon Secours International| Sisters of Bon Secours USA| Bon Secours Health System