• Knowing When to Seek Medical Care for Chest Pain

    Pain or discomfort that arises anywhere from the top of the abdomen to the base of the neck is considered to be chest pain. There are many possible causes of chest pain, including minor medical issues such as muscle strain. However, since it’s impossible for a patient to differentiate between minor and life-threatening causes of chest pain, it’s advisable to err on the side of caution and seek medical help at the emergency room of a heart hospital . At Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center in Thousand Oaks, possible heart attack patients are rapidly evaluated and treated.

    Recognizing a Possible Heart Attack

    When heart attack patients receive medical care as quickly as possible at a heart hospital, they have a better chance of a favorable outcome. Learning to recognize the possible signs of a heart attack is essential to facilitate prompt medical care. In addition to the severe pain and pressure in the chest, a heart attack may cause nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath, sweating, and a racing heartbeat. Some people report experiencing a feeling of impending doom. Additionally, the pain in the chest may spread to the arms, upper back, or jaw.

    Reviewing Your Medical History

    If you have certain risk factors that may increase the likelihood of suffering a heart attack, it may be even more important to get medical help as soon as possible. These risk factors can include having a family or personal history of heart disease, being overweight, smoking, or having diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure.

    Understanding Unstable Angina

    Unstable angina is a medical emergency that occurs when there is an insufficient blood flow to the heart. It may increase the risk of a heart attack. The symptoms of unstable angina can mimic the symptoms of a heart attack, such as shortness of breath and sweating. Unstable angina may also cause chest pain that spreads to nearby areas. The pain may feel like pressure, squeezing, burning, or crushing sensations.

    Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center is an accredited Chest Pain Center and a STEMI-designated heart hospital. The emergency room team at our heart hospital swiftly applies strict protocols to every patient who shows signs of a possible heart attack to save lives and improve outcomes. If you believe you’re experiencing a medical emergency in the Thousand Oaks area, please call 911 immediately. Otherwise, you can contact our heart hospital at (877) 888-5746.

  • How to Prepare for Joint Replacement Surgery

    Joint replacement surgery is among the most commonly performed types of orthopedic surgery. It has helped many people return to the activities they enjoy by improving mobility and relieving joint pain. If you’ve decided to have surgery and your doctor agrees that you’re a good candidate, there are a few steps you need to take before being admitted to the hospital for the procedure. Patients at Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center will receive extensive pre-operative education. Watching this instructional video presented by Los Robles Hospital will help you understand what it takes to prepare for surgery.

    Consulting Your Surgeon

    Ask your physician about the pre-admission tests you may need, such as blood tests and imaging scans. Disclose all of your medications, including over-the-counter drugs, and supplements. You may be asked to stop taking certain medications for two weeks prior to the surgery to reduce the risk of excessive bleeding. Remember to inform your surgeon of any medical conditions you may have, such as allergies or diabetes.

    Improving Overall Wellness

    Another way to prepare for joint replacement surgery is to improve your overall wellness. Taking steps such as losing weight, exercising, and quitting smoking, if applicable, can help reduce your risk of surgical complications and facilitate your recovery. For example, if you expect to use a walker or crutches after your surgery, strengthening your upper body will help you move around.

    Preparing for Recovery at Home

    Arrange to have a family member or friend drive you home from the hospital. In this featured video, you’ll learn why it’s a good idea to assign a family member the role of a coach to support your recovery. This video also covers home modifications you may need to make to improve your safety. For example, you should remove all tripping hazards and you should only sit in chairs that have armrests and do not feature wheels.

    The Total Joint Program at Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center provides the latest advances in medical technology combined with a personalized approach to wellness. Residents throughout the Thousand Oaks area can visit our hospital on the Web for more information about preparing for surgery. Or, call the Consult-A-Nurse line for our community hospital at (877) 888-5746.

  • Understanding Women’s Unique Cardiovascular Care Needs

    Heart disease is commonly thought of as being a “man’s disease,” but in fact, heart disease is the leading cause of death among women in the U.S. and more women than men die of heart attacks each year. Becoming informed of the heart health issues that are unique to women can help them work toward prevention and identify when cardiology care is necessary. Women in Thousand Oaks can find the cardiology resources they need to lead a heart-healthy lifestyle at Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center .

    Risk Factors

    Some of the common risk factors of heart disease affect both men and women, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity. However, other risk factors may lead to a higher risk of heart disease in women than in men. These include diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Women are also more likely to be significantly affected by mental health issues such as depression and chronic stress, both of which can make it difficult for women to lead a heart-healthy lifestyle. Women who smoke are at a higher risk of developing heart disease than men who smoke. Additionally, the low levels of estrogen that are characteristic of women in menopause are a risk factor of microvascular disease, which is cardiovascular disease in small blood vessels.


    When a heart attack strikes, women may be less likely than men to seek medical help right away. This may be due in part to the symptoms of a heart attack, which can differ between sexes. While women may experience the classic symptoms of a heart attack such as chest pain, they are more likely to suffer from subtle, easily overlooked symptoms. These include unusual fatigue, weakness, dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea, and indigestion.

    Here at Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center, our cardiology team is dedicated to promoting greater awareness of women’s unique heart health issues. In addition to providing exceptional cardiology care at our heart hospital, we offer a free Women’s Heart Health Seminar Series designed to support preventive healthcare. Women throughout the Thousand Oaks area can call (877) 888-5746 to speak with a registered nurse at our heart hospital.

  • Are You a Candidate for TAVR Surgery?

    Aortic valve stenosis is a serious and often fatal heart condition. It occurs when the aortic valve becomes narrower and less able to allow blood to flow from the heart. This results in the accumulation of blood and the buildup of pressure in the heart, causing symptoms such as rapid heartbeat and shortness of breath. Until recently, the only way to replace the damaged heart valve was to undergo open heart surgery, which can be very risky for certain patients. Now, patients who are unable to undergo open heart surgery may have the option of undergoing transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) surgery. This is a minimally invasive type of heart surgery that is offered by the cardiology team at Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center.

    TAVR Evaluation Process

    When you meet with the cardiology team to determine if you’re a good candidate for TAVR surgery, you’ll undergo a thorough TAVR evaluation process. This typically involves an examination by an interventional cardiologist and two cardiac surgeons. In addition to the physical evaluation, you can expect the cardiology team to review the results of medical tests and imaging studies, review your medical history, and perform cardiac testing.

    Candidacy Determination

    The cardiology team may determine that you’re a good candidate for TAVR surgery if you have severe, symptomatic aortic stenosis, your blood vessels and aortic valve are the right size for the surgery, and if it is possible to perform the technical aspects of the procedure. Additionally, you must not be a good candidate for open heart surgery because you are considered to be a high-risk patient. For example, high-risk patients include those who are of advanced age.

    The cardiology team at Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center is the first heart hospital in Ventura County to offer the transcatheter aortic valve replacement surgery to our heart care patients. If you’ve been diagnosed with aortic valve stenosis, you could meet with our cardiology team to find out if you’re a good candidate for TAVR surgery. For general information about our cardiology services, call us at our Thousand Oaks location at (877) 888-5746.