If you’ve been diagnosed with any type of heart disease, you’ll be exposed to a wide variety of tests that are used to monitor how well your heart functions and where potential problems may be. A few of the most common tests used in cardiology include:
Each test offers different information that provides your provider with an accurate view of how your heart is functioning. Most tests can be performed in less than an hour, while others may take several hours to complete, especially if the doctor wants to see your heart under stress as well as at rest.
An echocardiogram shows many different things. It provides the doctor information about various parts of your heart (walls, valves, chambers, etc.), as well as its overall structure and movement. It also gives the doctor an indication of the size of your heart. If your heart is enlarged or surrounded by fatty tissue, you may be at a higher risk for a heart attack than if it’s normal size.
Your provider can use an echocardiogram in conjunction with Doppler ultrasound to show how blood moves through your heart, veins, and arteries. This can indicate any areas where blockages may be present.
A Holter monitor is a small, portable device that allows the doctor to see how your heart functions throughout a normal day. The device is worn for 24 hours and collects information which is stored in a small monitor. When the doctor removes the monitor, he can transfer the information to a computer and evaluate how your heart functioned during the time the monitor was in place.
In order for the monitor to collect the information, several small electrodes are placed on the chest in strategic locations. The small, metal electrodes are glued to your skin with a gel that will hold them in place for the duration of the test. The electrodes are connected to the Holter monitor so the information can be stored for the doctor.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!