Ask an Expert


Learn how heart conditions are treated and the benefits and possible risks that come along with each type of treatment.

  • Will I have exercise and weight lifting restrictions after a pacemaker placement?
  • Can treating Lyme disease cure my type of heart block?
  • How often should I see a doctor for this heart murmur?
  • Do I need to take antibiotics prior to dental procedures because of my heart murmur?
  • Will I need surgery or another treatment for my heart valve(s)?
  • What are the side-effects of medications used to treat angina (particularly beta-blockers and calcium channel blockers)?
  • What is the appropriate timing for cardiac surgery to treat aortic valve stenosis?
  • Am I a good candidate for less invasive treatment approaches for aortic valve stenosis, such as a Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)?
  • As an atherosclerosis patient, would I benefit from a cardiac rehab program?
  • Will I need a pacemaker for my cardiomyopathy?
  • Am I a candidate for advanced therapies if medications are insufficient for my dilated cardiomyopathy?
  • Will I need a pacemaker or cardiac resynchronization therapy for my dilated cardiomyopathy?
  • What factors are considered in determining the role and timing of cardiac surgery for endocarditis?
  • What is a ventricular assist device?
  • ventricular assist device is a mechanical pump that helps the heart pump blood. For patients with weakened hearts, like heart failure patients, a ventricular assist device can help improve outcomes and quality of life. There are two basic types of ventricular assist devices, including a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) and a right ventricular assist device (RVAD).  Which type of device a patient needs depends on the characteristics of their underlying condition.
  • What are the risks and benefits associated with a ventricular assist device?
  • Like most treatments, ventricular assist devices (VADs) carry both risks and benefits. VADs help promote normal blood flow in patients with weakened hearts, which can improve outcomes and alleviate symptoms. However, VADs can increase risk of blood clots, bleeding, infection, and certain types of heart failure. VADs can also malfunction in different ways. Although risks associated with VADs have decreased in recent years, it’s important to understand all of the risks and benefits of this therapy when considering a VAD.

Ask an Expert

Please note that every question submitted will not receive a direct response from a Cardiologist. However, we will follow-up with suggested ways to find appropriate information related to your question. Please do not use your last name or any other confidential information in your question.

Meet our Expert

Your questions are answered by more than two dozen members of the American College of Cardiology who volunteer their time with CardioSmart.

Learn more about our volunteers