An echocardiogram helps your doctor determine whether all parts of the heart wall are contributing normally to your heart's pumping activity. Areas of heart wall that move weakly may have been damaged during a heart attack, or be receiving too little oxygen. Valve problems.
Echocardiography is a test that uses sound waves to produce live images of your heart. The image is called an echocardiogram. This test allows your doctor to monitor how your heart and its valves are functioning. An echo uses sound waves to create pictures of your heart's chambers, valves, walls and the blood vessels.
An echocardiogram (echo) is a graphic outline of the heart's movement. During an echo test, ultrasound (high-frequency sound waves) from a hand-held wand placed on your chest provides pictures of the heart's valves and chambers and helps the sonographer evaluate the pumping action of the heart.
NON INVASIVE CARDIOLOGY
Non-invasive cardiology identifies heart problems without using any needles, fluids, or other instruments which are inserted into the body.
Non-invasive cardiologists utilize techniques such as:
- Nuclear cardiology : A non-invasive study of cardiovascular disorders by means of various types of imaging which may use radioactive elements.
- Cardiac electrophysiology : Study and testing of the electrical currents which generate heartbeats.
- Heart monitors : Heart monitors may also be called a Holter monitor or cardiac event recorder. Heart monitors are essentially tape recorders for your heart’s electrical activity over a set amount of time.
- CT scans : CT scans produce images which your cardiologist can examine for heart disease and atherosclerosis.
Once your specialist has identified risk factors or existing conditions, they may recommend medication and lifestyle changes to improve your heart’s health.
STRESS ECHO / TMT
A stress echocardiography, also called an echocardiography stress test or stress echo, is a procedure that determines how well your heart and blood vessels are working.
During a stress echocardiography, you’ll exercise on a treadmill or stationary bike while your doctor monitors your blood pressure and heart rhythm. When your heart rate reaches peak levels, your doctor will take ultrasound images of your heart to determine whether your heart muscles are getting enough blood and oxygen while you exercise.
Your doctor may order a stress echocardiography test if you have chest pain that they think is due to coronary artery disease or a myocardial infarction, which is a heart attack. This test also determines how much exercise you can safely tolerate if you’re in cardiac rehabilitation.
A carotid Doppler is an imaging test that uses ultrasound to examine the carotid arteries located in the neck. This test can show narrowing or possible blockages due to plaque buildup in the arteries due to coronary artery disease.
An ultrasound probe is placed on the patient’s neck and high frequency sound waves are used to create images of the arteries. Doppler technology is used to analyze the speed and direction of blood flow. The images are displayed on a monitor and are digitally recorded.
1. A sonographer will explain the test to you and answer any questions you may have.
2. You will be asked to lie flat on an examination table, with your head on a pillow, slightly turned away from the side being examined.
3. You will hear sounds due to the Doppler.
CORONARY ANGIOGRAPHY (RADIAL)
Radial access has become the preferred route for performing coronary angiogram and interventions.
Coronary angiography is a procedure that uses contrast dye, usually containing iodine, and x ray pictures to detect blockages in the coronary arteries that are caused by plaque buildup.
After coronary angiography, your doctor will remove the catheter, possibly use a closure device to close the blood vessel, and close and bandage the opening on your arm, groin, or neck. You may develop a bruise and soreness where the catheter was inserted. You will stay in the hospital for a few hours or overnight. During this time, your heart rate and blood pressure will be monitored. Your movement will be limited to prevent bleeding from the hole where the catheter was inserted. You will need a ride home after the procedure because of the medicines or anesthesia you received.
Heart surgery can correct problems with the heart if other treatments haven't worked or can't be used. The most common type of heart surgery for adults is coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). During CABG, a healthy artery or vein from the body is connected, or grafted, to a blocked coronary (heart) artery.
Heart surgery has risks, even though its results often are excellent. Risks include bleeding, infection, irregular heartbeats, and stroke. The risk is higher if you are older or a woman. The risk is also higher if you have other diseases or conditions, such as diabetes, kidney disease, lung disease, or peripheral arterial disease.
Heart bypass surgeries are serious but relatively safe. Surgeons perform hundreds of thousands of heart bypass operations each year and many of those who have the surgery get relief from their symptoms without needing long-term medication.
Coronary angioplasty is a medical procedure in which a balloon is used to open a blockage in a coronary (heart) artery narrowed by atherosclerosis. This procedure improves blood flow to the heart.
Angioplasty is a common medical procedure. It may be used to :
- Improve symptoms of CAD, such as angina and shortness of breath.
- Reduce damage to the heart muscle from a heart attack. A heart attack occurs when blood flow through a coronary artery is completely blocked. Angioplasty is used during a heart attack to open the blockage and restore blood flow through the artery.
- Reduce the risk of death in some patients.
Angioplasty is done on more than a million people a year in the United States. Serious complications don't occur often, but can happen no matter how careful your doctor is, or how well he or she does the procedure.
The automatic implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (AICD) is a device designed to monitor the. heartbeat.This device can deliver an electrical impulse or shock to the heart when it senses a life-threatening change in the heart’s rhythm. Like a pacemaker, the AICD is small enough to be implanted under the skin in the upper chest.
The AICD system consists of:
- A pulse generator that can send an electrical impulse or shock to the heart.
- Electrodes that sense the rhythm of the heart and deliver a shock to the heart muscle.
- Batteries designed to last four to five years and deliver about 100 shocks.
- A small computer chip that tells the AICD when to deliver a shock.
Doctor can also program the AICD to deliver a variety of sophisticated electrical therapies depending on the type of abnormal rhythm problem is being treated.