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Non-Invasive Cardiology at Deaconess Hospital

Non-invasive Cardiology at Deaconess Hospital
 

Non-invasive cardiology refers to a group of diagnostic services to assist in the diagnosis of heart-related conditions that does not require invasive procedures and surgery. These examinations are performed by health care professionals in the non-invasive cardiology department. Our team includes cardiologists, cardiac sonographers, registered nurses, and EKG treadmill technicians. 
  • Please contact Deaconess Hospital Outpatient Scheduling at 812-450-5250 to schedule any Non-Invasive Cardiology Procedure.

The Non-Invasive Cardiology Department at Deaconess Hospital offers a wide range of inpatient and outpatient services including:
  • Echocardiography
  • Transesophageal Echocardiography
  • Electrical Cardioversions
  • Electrocardiograms (EKGs)
  • Treadmill Stress Tests
  • Chemical Stress Tests
  • Tilt Table Tests
 

What is Echocardiography?

Echocardiography is a specialty of diagnostic ultrasound that images the heart that allows the cardiac sonographers performing your test to evaluate cardiac structure and function for interpretation by a cardiologist. The following are types of echocardiograms:
  • Transthoracic Echocardiogram
This test lasts approximately 15-20 minutes. The goal of this test is to visualize cardiac structure and function through various modes of sonography including two-dimensional/m-mode imaging, color flow Doppler, and continuous/pulsed wave Doppler. The cardiac sonographer will begin by placing electrodes on your body to monitor your heart’s electrical activity throughout the test. After positioning you on your left side, the cardiac sonographer will use a small amount of gel and an imaging transducer to view your heart from various locations on the chest and abdomen.
 
  • Treadmill Stress Echocardiogram
This test lasts approximately 30 minutes. The goal of this test is to evaluate the heart for signs of ischemia, (lack of blood flow) to the heart muscle. The cardiac sonographer will begin by placing electrodes on your body to monitor your heart’s electrical activity throughout the test. The cardiac sonographer will obtain a baseline echocardiogram. Once the cardiologist has reviewed your baseline echocardiogram you will begin walking on the treadmill. You will walk on the treadmill until your heart rate reaches an age-predicted heart rate. You will quickly return to the exam table for ultrasound imaging of your heart under “stress.” The cardiologist will then compare the rest and stress images to determine your test results.
 
  • Chemical Stress Echocardiogram 
This test lasts approximately 90 minutes. The chemical stress echocardiogram is designed for patients who are unable to exercise on the treadmill. The goal of this test is the same as the treadmill stress echocardiogram – to evaluate the heart for signs of ischemia. Electrodes will be placed on your body to monitor your heart’s electrical activity throughout the test. A cardiologist, registered nurse, and cardiac sonographer will be present during your examination. Similar to the treadmill stress echocardiogram, a baseline echocardiogram will be obtained study your nurse will administer medication to make your heart beat faster to mimic exercise on the treadmill. Once your heart rate reaches an age-predicted heart rate, the cardiac sonographer will obtain images of your heart under “stress.” The cardiologist will then compare the rest and stress images to determine your test results. 

 

What is Transesophageal Echocardiography? 

Transesophageal echocardiography is a specialized echocardiogram that visualizes your heart in greater detail. A cardiologist, registered nurse, and cardiac sonographer will be present during the examination. The cardiologist or your physician will explain the test to you in detail. Prior to the procedure, electrodes will be placed on your chest to monitor your heart’s electrical activity, and a registered nurse will monitor your vital signs before, during, and after the exam. You will be given numbing medicine and conscious sedation to make you as comfortable as possible during the procedure. You can expect this procedure to last 90 minutes from start to finish. 

What is Electrical Cardioversion? 

Electrical cardioversions are often done in conjunction with transesophageal echocardiography. Your physician may order an electrical cardioversion to convert your heart back into sinus rhythm in your are having rhythm disturbances. A cardiologist, anesthesiologist, registered nurse, and cardiac sonographer will be present. After the transesophageal echocardiogram is obtained, you will receive more sedation and the cardiologist will deliver an electrical shock to your heart to convert you back into normal sinus rhythm. You can expect this procedure to last 90 minutes from start to finish. 

What is an Electrocardiogram (EKG)? 

An electrocardiogram (EKG) is used to analyze the electrical activity of your heart. This procedure is quite simple and takes only a few minutes. An EKG treadmill technician will apply electrodes to specific areas on your body. An EKG machine then analyzes the heart’s electrical activity. The cardiologist will interpret the study once it is completed.