Preventive Management and Cardiac Testing
Advanced imaging and tools for detecting and treating your heart conditions
A healthy lifestyle, along with appropriate testing, can help lower the risk of heart disease.
Living a healthy lifestyle – including maintaining a balanced diet, healthy weight, regular exercise, and limited alcohol and tobacco use – can lower your risk of heart disease and heart attack. In addition, monitoring your cholesterol, controlling blood pressure, being vigilant for and addressing diabetes and taking prescribed medications as directed can also reduce the chances of developing heart problems. Talk with your physician and healthcare team regarding any concerns or risk factors you may have, or if you are experiencing any symptoms of cardiac conditions.
The best treatments begin with prompt, precise diagnostics. If a heart problem should arise, determining the issue is critical. With the latest diagnostics, Lourdes Cardiology takes the most important step in addressing your heart problems: defining them. We offer an array of noninvasive and invasive cardiovascular testing to help understand your risk factors and/or symptoms.
Expert Clinical Assessment
Our physicians meet you, review your prior medical history and treatments, perform a thorough physical exam, and form a detailed assessment of your health. You may require further lab work or testing, as below, on the way to creating a personalized treatment plan, with a goal to have you feeling your best.
There are different types of stress tests that can help your doctor better understand your heart health. Some stress testing involves treadmill exercise that determines exercise tolerance, blood pressure and heart rhythm issues. Other stress tests are performed at rest using special medications to increase coronary flow and simulate stress. Additional heart imaging with a nuclear scan or ultrasound further defines the health of heart muscle, coronary arteries and valves.
Using sophisticated ultrasound equipment, we assess your heart’s function and structures, including the walls, chambers and valves. Doppler color flow techniques allow us to evaluate blood flow within the heart and blood vessels.
An electrocardiogram records your heart’s electrical activity. When analyzed, it gives our physicians an electrical picture of your heart’s rate and rhythm – and clues to the physical condition of your heart.
Heart Rhythm Monitoring
Heart rhythm irregularities aren’t always captured during a regular EKG exam, so you may be asked to wear a heart rhythm monitor. This portable device is essentially a continuous EKG that records your heart rhythm for a single day or up to several weeks. Your doctor may also recommend a longer-term, surgically implanted, small heart monitor that tracks heart rhythms over several months before being removed.
Cardiac MRI is a safe and noninvasive test useful in evaluating the anatomy and function of your heart. MRI is particularly useful in determining how much your heart may have been affected by a heart attack. MRI does not use x-rays and, therefore, does not pose a radiation risk to the patient.
Coronary Artery Calcium Scoring
Taking only seconds to perform, calcium scoring is a painless, noninvasive test that provides critical information about the health of the major arteries of your heart. This special type of CT scan images the amount of calcium-containing plaque in your heart, as a predictor of the amount of your risk from coronary artery atherosclerosis (narrowing or hardening of the arteries) or other deposits in the heart. The test gives your doctors an arterial disease “score” that helps them to plan your treatments or preventive and life-style recommendations.
Coronary CT angiography (CCTA) is a safe and accurate test to measure the degree to which your major heart arteries, stents or bypass grafts may be narrowed by disease. The test is also useful to evaluate the structure of your heart and heart valves, and how this may affect your overall health.