Beginner's Guide: Non-Invasive Cardiology
By Cardiology Associates
October 15, 2014
Category: Non-Invasive Cardiologist
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. in both men and women, and every year about 720,000 Americans have a heart attack. While these statistics aren’t meant to scare, there is something a little unnerving about such high numbers. While it’s obvious that everyone wants to protect their heart, for many, it can be hard to tell when it’s time to see a cardiologist; however, if you’re seeing your general practitioner regularly for screenings and exams, he/she will most likely let you know if it’s time to see a cardiologist.
If you’ve never been to a cardiologist before you may think that all procedures have to be rather intensive, but here at our office we pride ourselves on offering non-invasive cardiology. This simply means that we can diagnose and monitor heart conditions and symptoms in a safe, comfortable and pain-free manner. Here are some of the non-invasive services we offer to protect the health of your heart:
Non-Invasive Heart Procedures:
Exercise stress test
During your stress test, you will be hooked up to equipment that monitors your heart as you walk and run at different speeds on a treadmill. This test tells your cardiologist how well your heart handles physical stress. As your body has to work harder it will need more oxygen. Your heart, in turn, will pump more blood. The test will be able to identify if there is a reduction in blood supply in the arteries that go to the heart.
Stress tests are used for diagnosing coronary artery disease, predicting the risk of heart-related problems like heart attacks, diagnosing chest pain and other symptoms, and determining a safe exercise routine.
Metabolic stress test
Just like the exercise stress test, the metabolic stress test also measures your lungs’ performance while exercising. Again, you will walk and run on a treadmill while your cardiologist monitors your performance. During parts of the test, we will also have you breath into a mouthpiece. This test is often recommended if you are feeling fatigued or short of breath.
Also known as TTE, a transthoracic echocardiogram uses sound waves to take pictures of your heart. This diagnostic procedure uses a small instrument called a transducer that is placed directly on your chest. By moving the instrument to various parts of the chest wall, your cardiologist can capture different images of your heart to see how well everything is functioning. This test is often done to see if the heart valves are functioning properly, to measure the thickness of the heart walls, and to watch the motion of your heart.
If you’ve been experiencing shortness of breath or chronic fatigue, it might be time to visit your cardiologist. Even if you aren’t experiencing heart problems, if you are at an increased risk, it’s always best to make an appointment. Our non-invasive procedures will make visiting your cardiologist an easy and painless experience.