Non-invasive procedures in Dublin, Georgia
Several techniques are used in diagnosing heart damage or disease. Non-invasive procedures are those that use the least invasive technique to determine a diagnosis. If these non-invasive procedures indicate heart problems, you may then be scheduled for more invasive procedures.
To schedule an appointment with one of our cardiologists, call us at (478) 275-2000.
We are also proud to be accredited by the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories (ICAEL). The ICAEL was established with the support of the American Society of Echocardiography, the American College of Cardiology and the Society of Pediatric Echocardiography to provide a peer review mechanism to encourage and recognize the provision of quality echocardiographic diagnostic evaluations by a process of voluntary accreditation. Participation is voluntary and accreditation status signifies that the facility has been reviewed by an independent agency, which recognizes the lab's commitment to quality testing for the diagnosis of heart disease.
This is a test in which ultrasound is used to examine the heart. Also known as an EKG test or ECG test, this procedure provides sophisticated and advanced imaging of the chambers, valves and the major blood vessels that exit from the left and right ventricle. An EKG or ECG helps in the timing of various cardiac events.
A resting echocardiogram does not need any special preparation. You lie on the hospital bed for the procedure. Sticky patches, called electrodes, are attached to the chest and shoulders and connected to wires. These patches record your heart during the test.
A colorless gel is then applied to the chest and the echo transducer is placed on top of it. The technologist then creates recordings from different parts of the chest to obtain several views of the heart. Instructions may be given for you to breathe slowly, hold your breath or to move from your back and to the side. This helps in obtaining higher quality pictures.
The images are constantly viewed on the monitor. It is also recorded on photographic paper and on videotape. The tape offers a permanent record of the examination and is reviewed by a physician prior to completion of the final report.
Treadmill stress test
A treadmill stress test, sometimes called a cardiac stress test, exercise test or simply a stress test, helps a doctor find out how well your heart handles strain or exercise. As your body works harder during the test, it requires more oxygen, so the heart must pump more blood. The test can show if the blood supply is reduced in the arteries that supply the heart during physical activity.
This test monitors your heart rate, breathing, blood pressure and how tired you feel. This helps doctors know the kind and level of exercise appropriate for you.
When taking the test, you are hooked up to equipment that monitors your heart. The test begins at a slow pace on the treadmill then the speed is increased for a faster pace and the treadmill is tilted to produce the effect of going up a small hill.
You may be asked to breathe into a tube for a couple minutes and the test can be stopped at any time if needed. After the test is complete, you will be asked to sit or lie down and you will have your heart and blood pressure checked.
Treadmill thallium stress test
This procedure shows how well blood flows to the heart muscle. It is usually done along with an exercise stress test on a treadmill or bicycle. Pictures of the heart are taken during exercise, and after the patient has rested for two to three hours after their stress test. It can determine the extent of damage from a coronary artery blockage, a prognosis of patients who have suffered from a heart attack, the effectiveness of cardiac procedures done to improve circulation in coronary arteries, the cause or causes of chest pain and the level of exercise that a patient can safely perform.
When the patient reaches their maximum level of exercise, a small amount of radioactive substance called thallium is injected into the bloodstream. The thallium mixes with blood in the bloodstream and the heart’s arteries and enters heart muscle cells. Then, the patient lies down on a special table under a camera that can see the thallium and take pictures. If a part of the heart muscle does not receive a normal blood supply, less than a normal amount of thallium will be in those heart muscle cells.
This new technology is a collaborative process that allows medical professionals at other facilities to diagnose your condition because they are able to view your medical information. Telecardiology allows your information to be delivered to these medical professionals using a secure method of telecommunications.