Open Accessibility Menu

WTMF Cardiology Physicians Work with UCSF Cardiac Surgeons to Deliver Superior Care

WTMF Cardiology Physicians Work with UCSF Cardiac Surgeons to Deliver Superior Care

Heart disease is the country’s number one health condition, and a comprehensive cardiology program lies at the center of our Healthcare System. People see a cardiologist for heart palpitations, chest pain, cardiac arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat), and heart murmurs among other conditions. When primary care physicians refer patients for a cardiology consult, they’re in good hands with Washington Township Medical Foundation (WTMF) cardiologists.

Some patients require surgical intervention and that’s when Washington Hospital’s affiliation with UCSF Health delivers the extra level of care needed. This partnership brings doctors to patients, rather than the other way around. At Washington Hospital/UCSF Health Cardiac Services clinics, renowned academic-level surgeons, work alongside community cardiologists on optimal diagnoses and cutting-edge treatment plans.

Fremont resident Sister Carol Crater, Sisters of the Holy Family, was referred to WTMF cardiologist Rohit Sehgal, MD, for her worsening heart murmur. She did not have obvious symptoms, but her heartbeat made a whooshing sound under the stethoscope. This classic heart murmur sound usually signals turbulent blood flow through one or more heart valves. Dr. Sehgal tracked Sister Carol’s condition for several years with echocardiogram and other advanced imaging used to diagnose and monitor heart conditions. In fall 2022, he determined her damaged heart valve had grown concerning enough to be replaced.

“When surgical intervention is required for our cardiology patients, WTMF cardiologists collaborate closely with Washington Hospital/UCSF Cardiac Services physicians to determine the least invasive approach with the best possible outcome,” says Dr. Sehgal. He recommended Sister Carol undergo a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedure performed by Dr. Ramin Beygui, as part of Washington Hospital’s TAVR program. In this minimally invasive procedure, a new valve is inserted via the femoral artery through a small incision, replacing the need for openheart surgery. Recovery is quicker and there is less pain, less blood loss and a lower risk of infection.

“I was quite calm about it because it felt like a minimal procedure, in fact they don’t even call it a surgery,” says Sister Carol. “I felt fine afterward and everyone was very kind and caring. My physicians ordered an overnight stay in the Hospital to be sure I was safe.” Sister Carol’s case was unusual since she was asymptomatic before the procedure, though she reports she can now walk farther for exercise without getting as tired.

“We are pleased to provide our patients with world-class cardiac care right in their own community, from minimally invasive procedures that result in quicker recovery to complex surgeries typically performed at major academic medical centers,” says Medical Director of Cardiothoracic Surgery Ramin Beygui, MD.

Physicians specializing in cardiothoracic surgery, structural heart cardiology, and electrophysiology performed more than 150 traditional open surgeries, and endovascular and transcatheter procedures at Washington Hospital in 2022. Patients in need of a heart transplant are transferred for surgery at UCSF and return to Fremont for follow-up care and rehab through our comprehensive Cardiac Rehabilitation Program.