Cardiology focuses on the treatment of illness and injury of the heart. Southwestern Medical Center’s cardiology services include emergency intervention and extended heart healthcare.
Often illness or injury occurs suddenly and without warning. Our 24-hour emergency department is fully equipped to treat heart abnormalities in a timely fashion. Physicians use specially designed diagnostic techniques, like electrodiagnostic, to identify heart illness or injury upon arrival.
Electrodiagnostics is the process of using electrical technology to track biological function and identify any abnormalities. Cardio electrodiagnostic exams include stress tests, electrocardiograms (EKG), echocardiograms and electromyelograms. Electrodiagnotic testing is non-invasive and patients should experience little to no discomfort.
Echocardiogram involves using sound waves to create real time imaging of the heart muscle. Depending on the echocardiography ordered by the physician, dyes and saline may be inserted intravenously to provide contrast during the imaging. Echocardiograms are non-invasive and painless. Patients should expect the procedure to be no different than a routine ultrasound.
Myocardial Perfusion Imaging
Also called a nuclear stress test, the myocardial perfusion imaging screening involves capturing recordings of the heart’s blood flow during strenuous activity. The beginning of the test involves attaching patients to an IV line. Patients will then participate in monitored exercise until peak activity level has been reached. Once the heart rate is in the desired range, the radioactive medicine will be inserted through the IV into the patient’s bloodstream. Then our specialized camera will take photos of the heart, made visible by the nuclear medicine. The process usually takes no more than an hour and is non-invasive. Other than some exercise discomfort or fatigue, patients should expect a pain-free experience.
The Holter Monitor tracks electronic signals of the heart during a one to two day period. Patients will be properly fitted to the monitor and instructed on information to record during the testing period. The cardiologist will be able to access the history of recordings to identify any abnormalities that require further testing.
Southwestern Medical Center’s Cardiopulmonary Services focus on facilitating recovery and greater quality of life for individuals suffering from heart and lung illness. We are able to assist patients requiring pulmonary function tests, breathing treatments and continuous positive airway pressure.