Skip to main content
Explore URMC


URMC / Department of Surgery / Cardiac Surgery / Conditions We Treat

Conditions We Treat

As Western New York's leading provider of cardiac care, the University of Rochester Medical Center treats every kind of heart condition. Below are brief descriptions of the most common, in alphabetical order. Each includes a link to more information.

Arrhythmia (Dysrhythmia)

An abnormal (too fast, too slow, or irregular) heartbeat rhythm may be a very minor problem—or may indicate a serious condition. There are many types of arrhythmias with a variety of causes, detection methods and treatments.

Learn more about Arrhythmia

Atrial Fibrillation (AF)

AF is a type of arrhythmia in which the two small upper chambers of the heart, the atria, quiver instead of beating effectively. Symptoms vary from minor to disturbing, but AF can lead to a stroke.

Learn more about Atrial Fibrillation


With this condition the heart rate is too slow. A slow heart rate may cause fatigue, dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting spells. Bradycardia can be easily corrected by implanting an electronic pacemaker to regulate the heart rhythm.

Learn more about Bradycardia

Cardiomyopathy (Heart Failure)

This disease damages the heart muscle, weakening its ability to pump blood and sometimes causing arrhythmias. There are various types of cardiomyopathies with various causes, including viral infections.

Learn more about Cardiomyopathy

Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)

CHF means the heart doesn't pump as well as it should, causing the patient to retain fluids, often leading to swollen legs and ankles and congestion in the lungs. It's usually caused by a gradual weakening of the heart brought on by various conditions, such as clogged arteries or high blood pressure.

Learn more about Congestive Heart Failure

Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)

CAD refers to the narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries. When narrowing or blockage occurs in one of the coronary arteries, the portion of the heart that the coronary artery leads to fails to receive enough oxygenated blood. The lack of oxygenated blood may cause the individual to experience chest pain (angina pectoris). This pain may occur when the heart must work harder, causing the heart's oxygen demand to be greater than the oxygen supply as in times of physical or emotional stress.

As an artery continues to narrow and become more rigid, blood supply to that area of the heart becomes less and less adequate and the chest pain may become more frequent. The blood supply to the heart may become inadequate to sustain life, especially if a blockage (thrombus or clot) occurs in the vessel. Therefore, an area of the heart may not receive enough oxygenated blood and the tissue may die. This is known as a heart attack or myocardial infarction.

Learn more about Coronary Artery Disease

Congenital Heart Disease

These include a wide range of malformations that affect the structure of the heart and major vessels. Congenital heart defects are present at birth because of the way the heart forms during the fetal stage. Genetic and environmental influences can affect the heart as it develops and cause a defect. Some medications, diabetes, and alcohol or illicit drug use during pregnancy can increase the risk of a congenital heart defect.

The diagnosis and treatment of congenital heart disease is available only at URMC.

Learn more about Congenital Heart Disease

Valvular Heart Disease

Valvular Heart Disease is a process that changes the function of one or more of the heart's four valves. In a normally functioning heart, the valves act as gates that open and close to keep blood flowing in one direction, at the right time. The valves can become narrowed or progressively leak., these may be known as: valvular stenosis, valvular regurgitation, and mitral valve prolapse, These conditions influence the normal function of the heart and the patients ability to live a normal life. Early diagnosis and possible surgical intervention are important to maintain normal heart function and a normal lifespan.

Our surgical specialists utilize many techniques in valvular repair or replacement to individualize approaches to patients of all ages to ensure the best long-term outcomes. Please refer to our valvular heart surgery section for more information including minimally invasive repair techniques.

Learn more about Valvular Heart Disease

For more information, or to schedule a consultation, please contact us at (585) 275-5384. For pediatric patients, call (585) 275-2735.