Non-invasive services provide maximum information with minimum risk
Identifying your problem is the first step toward correcting it. Here are
some of the non-invasive tests we use to study the condition of your heart:
Transesophageal echocardiography. Our advanced echocardiography unit provides exacting images necessary
for a highly accurate diagnosis of cardiac problems. For this test, the
doctor places a probe in the esophagus that bounces sound waves into the
chest. The way the sounds rebound provides a real-time picture of the
heart's structure — the chambers, valves and large vessels.
It also shows the size of heart chambers and how they are working.
Stress echocardiography. This helps doctors detect coronary artery disease by comparing the heart
at rest and during exercise or stress. It uses sound waves before, during
or immediately after physical exercise, such as treadmill exercise, to
take pictures of the heart.
Stress tests. Also called a treadmill test, this helps your doctor to determine how
well your heart handles work by raising your heart rate. During exercise,
the heart needs to pump more blood to generate more oxygen. The stress
test reveals whether the arteries are pumping enough blood to the heart.
It's also a good way to determine how much exercise is appropriate for you.
EKGs. An electrocardiogram measures the heart's electrical impulses through
sensors taped to the chest. It is used to find out whether the heart rate
and rhythm are normal or if heart damage has occurred.
Holter monitors. These show heart impulses over time. Patients usually wear sensors attached
to a small recording device for 24 hours.
Cardiac Catherization for Further Precision
Providence Medical Center was the first hospital in the Midwest to acquire
an advanced cardiac catheterization laboratory. Our two, full-service
laboratories provide medical imaging to diagnose and treat coronary artery
disease and blockages.
Sometimes, the non-invasive tests don't provide enough information.
That's why your doctor might order a cardiac catherization.
This procedure involves inserting a tube or catheter into an artery and
guiding it to your heart. Then, your doctor injects contrast to highlight
the area. This reveals the structure of cardiac system.
The test allows your cardiologist to measure precisely how well the heart
valves and heart muscle function and whether veins or arteries are blocked
or too narrow for blood to flow properly.
Cardiac catherization also allows your doctor to treat problems by inserting
a balloon in the catheter to open blocked passages and stents to keep
For more information, call the
Cardiac Care Center at