Cardiovascular Diagnosis and Treatments

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Cardiovascular Diagnosis and Treatments at VeinGuard Heart & Vascular Center

Our medical team of board-certified specialists, led by Dr. Fareeha Khan, have extensive experience in conducting the following diagnostic tests and providing these cardiac treatments:

Echocardiogram

Echocardiogram or Echo test is performed to check the health, size, and shape of your heart. It tells the doctor whether there are any abnormalities in the heart that affect its ability to pump blood.

A gel is applied to your chest. A transducer is pressed against your chest to record your heart’s sounds. These sounds are converted to visual graphs that the doctor can then evaluate.

Cardiac Stress Testing

The cardiac stress test is used to understand how well the heart functions during physical activity. You will be asked to walk on a treadmill or ride a stationary bike and the doctor will check your heart performance during exercise. If you are unable to exercise, medication will be given to mimic the same heart functioning that can be seen during physical exertion.

Alternatively, you may be asked to go under a Thallium stress test, where thallium is injected into the vein of your hand and then gamma rays are used to check your heart’s functioning during activity.

ECG

An electrocardiogram (ECG) measures the electrical activity in your heart. The ECG evaluates your heart’s rhythm to check for irregular rhythm. This rhythm also indicates if there are any clots or enlargement in the heart.

The doctor will attach the wires from the electrocardiograph machine onto your chest, arms and legs. The machine assesses your heart performance and sends information to the device, which the doctor can then read.

Cardiac CT & Cardiac MRI

Cardiac CT uses X-rays to get visuals of your cardiac region. These are used to recreate a 3D image of your heart, blood vessels and the entire chest region.

Cardiac MRI uses MRI imaging to get a more detailed picture of your heart and vascular system. The MRI can detect heart defects and conditions.

Angiography

The angiography is performed to check your heart and blood vessels for malformations and damage. After anesthesia is administered, a small incision is made on the areas being checked before a catheter is inserted deep into the artery. A special dye goes into the artery, which shows any damages and blockages inside. Then, the practitioner takes an X-ray of your chest.

Cardiovascular Surgical Treatments

General anesthesia is provided to patients. A blood-thinning medication is given to prevent clotting during surgery, and this medication is reversed after surgery. Furthermore, a breathing tube assists you with breathing during surgery.

Heart Valve Repair/Replacement

The heart has four valves that assist with the pumping of blood. If these get damaged/diseased, they can be repaired or replaced.

An incision is made from below the Adam’s Apple to the navel region, the rib cage is opened and your heart is put on bypass. If your valves need repairs, the doctor may either reshape the valve or separate fused valves, as needed. In the case of replacement, the doctor will resect the damaged valve and replace it with a body-safe artificial valve.

The doctor will send small shock waves through your heart to restart it and check the functioning of your new/repaired valves. Any corrections, if necessary, are made. Also, any fluid around your heart is drained, the heart is pulled off bypass, the chest closed-up, and the incision closed.

Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG)

CABG is performed to treat coronary heart disease. An incision is made in the center of the chest, the rib cage and chest bone are pulled open to access the heart. The heart is put on bypass.

Next, healthy vessels are taken from the hands or legs. One end of the vessel is connected onto the coronary artery right below the blockage, while the other end is connected onto a small opening in the aorta. This process is repeated as many times as required. Once the grafting is complete, your heart is restarted, chest closed-up and the incision stitched.

CABG may be carried out off-bypass. Minimally-invasive surgery can also be performed through incisions on the side of the chest.

Heart Transplant

In the event your heart is too diseased, damaged or weak and poses a threat to your life, the doctor may recommend a heart transplant.

Here, you are sedated, a long incision is made on your chest, the breast bone and rib cage are opened, your heart is stopped and you’re put on bypass. The doctor will cut out the damaged heart and replace it with the donor’s heart. All the arteries and veins are re-attached.

The doctor shocks the heart to start pumping and checks for leaks. Any devices that need to be implanted will be. Then, he/she will take you off bypass, pull the rib cage and chest bone back in place, and close you up.

Balloon Angioplasty

Balloon angioplasty is used to unblock blocked arteries and stimulate blood flow. An X-ray of your arteries guides a balloon catheter, a guidewire, and a stent into the blocked artery. The balloon is inflated and the stent is surgically set in place. After the balloon catheter is removed, your incision is closed.

Non-Surgical Cardiovascular Treatments

Cardiac Ablation

If you have arrhythmia i.e. heartbeat problem, then radiofrequency ablation can be used to non-invasively treat it.

The doctor will attach electrodes on your chest to identify where the heart problem lies. She will make a small incision on your neck, groin or arm. A catheter is inserted into this incision and guided deep into your chest with the help of a chest X-ray. Minor electrical waves are sent through the catheter to shock and scar or destroy the damaged heart tissue that’s causing the arrhythmia.

The same procedure can be done using cryoablation, where extremely cold fluids are used to treat the condition.

Cardiac Rehabilitation

This technique is usually provided after major surgery to strengthen the heart. It is a 4-step process. Our cardiologist will conduct a variety of cardiac monitoring assessments, like the stress test, ECG, Echo, and more, to check your health function. Then, they will prescribe exercises and physical therapy to help you heal. Medications may also be given.

Drug Therapy

There are numerous drugs that have been developed to improve heart health. From ACE inhibitors and diuretics to antiarrhythmics and cholesterol-lowering prescriptions, our team can suggest the right drugs to help you regain cardiac health.

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