UTMB > Programs > Cardiology

Heart Health and Cardiac Services

Cardiovascular care at UTMB. It’s about getting your life back.

Cardiovascular care at UTMB is state of the art and comprehensive, from heart rhythm studies to bypass to transplants to cardiac rehab. With more than 30 locations throughout Galveston and the Bay Area, we’re also close by, which makes visiting easy and appointments convenient.

Don’t let your heart hold you back. Take charge of your health and call us at 800-917-8906.

John always enjoyed fishing with the guys and dancing with his wife. Coronary bypass surgery at age 42 did not stop either activity. Then 17 years later, he knew something was not right. Tests confirmed John’s suspicions. The only option appeared to be getting on a heart pump and waiting for a transplant, but the cardiovascular team at UTMB Health saw another way. They recommended an aggressive bypass graft procedure.

John benefited from the work of skilled specialists, subspecialists, surgeons, nurses, and technicians. These are gifted clinicians who teach others their art, using the very latest technology and techniques. Today John has his full life back.

Make it your personal mission to learn more about what you can do to take care of your heart. Cardiovascular diseases (CVD), as defined by the American Heart Association, include coronary heart disease (coronary artery disease, ischemic heart disease); stroke (brain attack); high blood pressure (hypertension); and rheumatic heart disease.

About 80 million US adults have one or more forms of CVD. Each year in the US, cardiovascular diseases top the list of most serious health problems. Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death and stroke is the third leading cause of death. Stroke is also the number one cause of serious, long-term disability. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women: currently some 8 million women in the U.S. are living with heart disease, yet only one in five American women believes that heart disease is her greatest health threat.

Related UTMB Web Sites


Texas Transplant Center

Heart Transplant Program

Cardiothoracic Surgery 

See list of our University Cardiologists

Visit our heart library

Visit our health library topics 

Cardiac Tests & Procedures 

Heart Conditions and Diseases

Women and Heart Disease 

Diabetes and Heart Disease 

Congenital Heart Disease 

Cardiac Rehabilitation 

Managing Heart Disease 

Preventing Heart Disease 

More Resources - Glossary 

More Resources - Interactive Tools

More Resources - Multimedia 


Chest Discomfort

Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain. 

Discomfort in other Areas of the Upper Body

Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.

Shortness of breath, with or without chest discomfort

Other Signs

May include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.


If one or more of these signs is present, don't delay:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause.


Sudden loss of responsiveness. No response to tapping on shoulders

No normal breathing. The victim does not take a normal breath when you tilt the head up and check for at least five seconds.

If these signs are present, CALL 911.

Read more about Warning Signs from the American Heart Association. 

Five steps to a healthy heart

Did you realize that in the past 60 or so years, the death rates from cardiovascular disease and stroke have been reduced by 60 to 70 percent? This has been because of medical advances such as medications, heart stents, pacemakers and increased attention to lifestyle factors like exercise.

Keeping salt and saturated fat content low in your diet will help reduce risks of high blood pressure and dangerous cholesterol. Knowing your numbers on blood pressure and cholesterol will help you and your doctor work to improve your risk.

As a nation, we have cut our smoking rates in half, further reducing our heart disease rates. In cities that banned smoking in public places, heart attack rates were reduced by almost half in six months, mostly among nonsmokers. This shows the risk of even passive smoking on the heart.

But you know all these basics by now, don’t you? Let me share some things from the cardiology literature that might not be quite as familiar to you.

1. Heart disease can be reversed. Work done by Dean Ornish as described in his books like “Love and Survival” show how a low animal fat, essentially vegetarian diet, relaxation exercises like meditation and yoga, and forgiveness exercises opened coronary arteries and improved blood flow. This was accomplished without drugs or invasive cardiac procedures.

2. The Mediterranean diet might be the world’s most heart-healthy diet. Despite having twice the fat content of the standard American Heart Association diet, it provided risk reduction of over 40 percent in patients who had recent heart attacks. With its improved flavor, healthy fats like olive oil and fish, whole grains, lots of vegetables, garlic and even a bit of red wine, people were more likely to stick with this diet and better protect their hearts.

3. Depression is related to heart disease. Depressed people had poorer outcomes if they had heart disease and increased attacks after a first heart attack. Depression also increased the risk of developing heart disease to four times normal.

4. An aspirin a day is even better than an apple a day. Two are better than one. A review article in 2010 by cardiologist James Dalen concluded that 162 mg is more effective than the usually prescribed single 81 mg baby aspirin in reducing heart attack and stroke risk. Higher doses might lead to increased risk of bleeding.

5. Eat fish at least once a week, especially cold- water fish like wild-caught salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, and halibut. Doing so substantially reduces the risk of heart attack and sudden death. For those with known heart disease or risk factors like high cholesterol, diabetes or high blood pressure, supplementing with 2,000 mg of fish oil daily will provide added benefit.

Dr. Victor S. Sierpina is the W.D. and Laura Nell Nicholson Family Professor of Integrative Medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch.

Call for assistance day or night 409-772-2222

UTMB Health Cardiology Outpatient Clinics

Cardiology, Texas City
1125 N. Hwy 3, Suite 160
Mainland Medical Pavilion
Texas City, Texas 77591
(behind Mainland Hospital)
(409) 933-0017

Multispecialty Center &
Stark Diabetes Center
Located in Victory Lakes Town Center
(between Sports Authority and Hobby Lobby)
2660 Gulf Freeway South
League City, Texas 77573
(832) 505-2000

Specialty Care Center at Victory Lakes
Surgical Center
2240 Gulf Freeway South
Suite 2.100
League City, Texas 77523
(832) 505-1800

University Hospital Clinics
1005 Harborside Drive
5th Floor
Galveston, Texas
(409) 933-0017


Cardiac Catheterization and Electrophysiology Laboratory
301 University Boulevard
4.130 John Sealy Hospital
Galveston, Texas 77555-0270
(409) 772-0402

Heart Station
301 University Boulevard
4.100 McCullough Bldg.
Galveston, Texas 77555-0763
(409) 772-1262

Cardiac Echo Laboratory
301 University Boulevard
4.100 McCullough Bldg.
Galveston, Texas 77555-0763
(409) 772-5353


See all our UTMB Clinics

American Heart Month

Cardiology Physicians

Faculty members of the Division of Cardiology at UTMB Health are strongly motivated to provide our patients with state-of-the-art and compassionate care, made possible by their years of experience, teaching, and research. Our strength is specialization and teamwork–while each faculty member focuses on a very specialized area of cardiology, he/she collaborates with other experts to provide patients with the best overall care. [read more]

Related UTMB Web Sites


Texas Transplant Center

Cardiothoracic Surgery 

External Sites

American Heart Association

American Stroke Association

HeartHub for Patients


Support UTMB | For UTMB Employees | Site Index | Privacy Policy | Required Links | Contact Us

Copyright © 2014 The University of Texas Medical Branch • Member, Texas Medical Center ®
Managed by UTMB Health Marketing and Communications. Contact us.
301 University Blvd., Galveston, TX 77555-0144