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Diagnosis Methods & Treatments

Sacred Heart HealthCare System provides a variety of diagnosis methods and treatments for a range of heart conditions. Some of these diagnosis methods and treatments include:

Abdominal aortic aneurysm open repair: During open aneurysm repair, an incision is made in your abdomen to repair the weakened portion of your aorta to allow blood to pass through it without causing a bulge.

Angiogram: See Cardiac catheterization.

Balloon pump insertion: A balloon pump is placed inside your heart to reduce your heart’s workload by improving oxygen and blood flow into your arteries.

Cardiac catheterization: Also referred to as an angiogram, cardiac catheterization is an imaging procedure that evaluates how well your heart functions. A long, narrow catheter is inserted into a blood vessel in your arm or leg. The catheter is guided to your heart by the use of a special X-ray machine. Contrast material is injected into the catheter and pictures of your valves, coronary arteries, and heart chambers are taken.

Cardioversion: Cardioversion is used to help treat arrhythmias. Electrical energy is sent to your heart or certain medications are used to restore your heart’s rhythm.

Chest X-ray: A chest X-ray is used to produce an image of your heart, lungs, and chest bones to determine appropriate placement of pacemakers, defibrillators, and catheters and to help diagnose lung and cardiac conditions.

CT scan: A CT scan is used to produce images of your heart, your circulation, and your blood vessels. Contrast dye may be used during the CT scan to help your doctor see your internal structures more clearly.

Echocardiogram (Echo): An echocardiogram uses ultrasound to create a moving picture of your heart’s valves and chambers using a hand-held wand placed on your chest or down your throat.

Ejection fraction (EF): The EF is a measurement of your heart’s efficiency in relation to the amount of blood pumped out of your heart’s left ventricle, which pumps blood to the rest of your body. An echocardiogram (echo) or a diagnostic cardiac catheterization can produce an EF reading.

Electrocardiogram (EKG): An EKG records the electrical activity of your heart through small electrodes attached to your chest, arms, and legs.

Endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR): EVAR is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to treat aortic aneurysms. A stent is inserted to relieve the pressure of the aneurysm in the aorta.

Exercise stress test: An exercise stress test can help determine how well your heart functions and if your blood supply is reduced in your arteries. Your heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure will be monitored as you exercise at increasing intensity on a treadmill or stationary bicycle.

Head-up tilt table test: This test is used to determine the cause of fainting spells. While lying on a bed and being titled at different angles (30 – 60 degrees), your blood pressure, electrical impulses in your heart, and oxygen level will be monitored.

Holter monitor: This portable electrocardiography (EKG) device monitors the electrical activity of your heart as you go about your normal activities.

Implantable defibrillator: Also called an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD), an implantable defibrillator is used to monitor and repair life-threatening abnormal heart rhythms. The defibrillator is implanted under your skin and is connected to your heart.

Insertable loop recorder (ILR)/portable event monitor: An insertable loop recorder is an implanted electrocardiogram (EKG) recorder that allows for long-term monitoring of your heart’s electrical activity.

Nuclear exercise stress test: This exercise test evaluates blood flow to your heart. A small amount of radioactive tracer is injected into a vein and a special camera detects the radiation released by the tracer to produce images of your heart.

Pacemaker implantation: A pacemaker is implanted under your skin and sends electrical impulses to your heart to regulate your heart rate.

Percutaneous patent foramen ovale (PFO)/atrial septal defect (ASD) repair: This non-surgical procedure repairs PFO, a hole in the upper two chambers of your heart, as well as ASD, a defect in a hole in the wall between the two top chambers of your heart that causes blood to leak from the left side of your heart to the right.

Stress echocardiogram (Echo): While you exercise, this stress test creates a moving picture of your heart’s valves and chambers using a hand-held wand placed on your chest or passed down your throat.

Transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE): This invasive imaging procedure creates a moving picture of your heart using a small transducer passed down your throat.

NEXT PAGE: Cardiac Library