Cardiac testing and treatments are crucial in diagnosing and managing various cardiovascular conditions. Each test provides essential diagnostic information to determine your heart health. They gain valuable insights into your heart function and help us provide effective treatment options for your care, improving your immediate and long-term well-being.
Testing & Treatments:
- Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT)
- Enhanced External Counterpulsation (EECP)
- Heart Calcium Scoring
- Heart Rhythm Management
- Heart Rhythm Monitoring
- Internal Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) Implantation
- Stress Tests
Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT)
A weakened heart can cause congestive heart failure (CHF) after a heart attack or illness. This condition makes it difficult for individuals to live a normal life.
Some patients with CHF have electrical abnormalities that disrupt heart rhythm coordination. Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT) helps correct electrical delays in the heart, synchronizing the contraction of the heart's walls. The results can be dramatic, with most patients reporting significant improvement in their quality of life.
The procedure is similar to a pacemaker implant, allowing some extra time to implant a special heart failure wire. The hospital usually discharges patients the following morning.
Enhanced External Counterpulsation (EECP)
Enhanced External Counterpulsation, or EECP, is a non-surgical treatment for angina and coronary artery disease. This treatment is an alternative to heart bypass surgery and angioplasty.
It helps blood flow by creating new paths around blocked arteries, allowing blood to reach the affected area. Nuclear stress tests have demonstrated this effect, illustrating the improved blood flow to the heart muscle. Studies have shown that these new collateral vessels remain functioning long after the EECP treatments.
As a result, EECP can often reduce or even eliminate:
- Chest pains
- Shortness of breath
Heart Calcium Scoring
Calcium in the coronary arteries is a sign of the extent of hardening of the arteries. CT scanning can now measure it in minutes with a low radiation dose.
This test requires no dye, and there is no preparation. It is a compelling method to assess cardiac risk. It's essential for patients with risk factors like family history, high cholesterol, smoking, high blood pressure or diabetes.
Heart Rhythm Management
With the help of improved technology, electrophysiology or heart rhythm management has dramatically advanced diagnosing and treating fast heart rhythm disorders. A minimally invasive catheter procedure can identify where the abnormal heart rhythm originates. Once you identify the area of concern, you can eliminate the problem without a surgical incision using a special catheter.
Some patients may need to stay overnight, while doctors can discharge others on the same day. The length of their stay depends on their heart rhythm problem. Patients are typically back to work after a few days of rest.
Heart Rhythm Monitoring
Patients with lightheadedness, dizziness, rapid heart-beating sensations or fainting spells may have a heart rhythm abnormality. Depending on the symptoms, some patients will benefit from a test that monitors and records the heart's rhythm. The goal is to match the patient’s heart rhythm with their symptoms to better direct treatment.
Technology allows us to continually monitor the heart painlessly and non-intrusively. You will access the information stored on the monitor and give a full report to your doctor.
Internal Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) Implantation
Dying suddenly from a lethal heart rhythm is a common cause of death. Internal Cardioverter Defibrillators or ICDs, save lives by delivering rescue therapy to people who suffer from these otherwise fatal rhythms. Our surgeons typically implant the device, smaller than a deck of cards, in fewer than 90 minutes. Patients stay overnight and the hospital discharges them by noon the next day.
Stress testing stresses the heart to bring out symptoms or signs of heart disease under controlled circumstances and careful monitoring. This test provides information to diagnose and manage heart conditions like chest pain, blocked arteries, irregular heartbeats and difficulty breathing. It usually involves exercise like walking on a treadmill while recording your electrocardiogram (EKG) and blood oxygen content.
- Echocardiogram Stress Test
- Exercise Treadmill Testing (ETT)
- Nuclear Stress Test
The treadmill increases speed and inclines after each 3-minute stage until it reaches a target heart rate. This test is very safe. We use heart imaging with echo or nuclear cameras with exercise to improve diagnostic test accuracy. When patients cannot walk on a treadmill, we use intravenous medication to stress the heart.