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Transesophageal Echocardiogram

  • 20-40 Minutes
  • Avoid Eating or Drinking 6-8 Hours Prior
  • May Experience Mild Sore Throat Following Exam
  • Requires Someone to Drive You Home After

If your doctor suspects your heart may be producing blood clots, a transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) offers a close look of the structure of the heart through the use of ultrasound. A small tube containing a transducer is inserted into the esophagus through the mouth and produces sound waves that produce clear pictures of the heart and its performance. This test provides more detail than the standard cardiogram.

Angiogram/Heart Catheterization

  • 45-60 Minutes
  • Avoid Eating or Drinking 6-8 Hours Prior
  • Certain Medications May Need to Be Paused
  • Requires Someone to Drive You Home After
  • Rest 4-6 Hours Following Procedure

If you’re experiencing artery blockages and the associated symptoms, an angiogram may be used to diagnose the problem and help your surgeon determine the best treatment for you. This procedure is also known as a coronary arteriography. A small tube known as a catheter is inserted through the femoral artery in the groin or an artery in the arm. By injecting an iodine dye as a contrast agent, the doctor can use X-rays to obtain clear pictures of the blockage site.


  • 30-60 Minutes
  • Avoid Eating or Drinking After Midnight the Night Prior
  • Certain Medications May Need to Be Paused
  • Generally Requires an Overnight Stay
  • Requires Someone to Drive You Home After
  • May Require Days Off Work to Recover

For those suffering from a narrowed or blocked coronary artery, an angioplasty can open the vessel back up and restore blood supply to the heart. This is achieved by inserting a catheter through the femoral artery in the groin and threading it through to the problem area. The catheter carries an uninflated balloon and inflates it at the site. As the balloon is inflated, it flattens and compresses the built-up plaque against the wall of the artery, widening the artery. Angioplasty is often followed by the placement of an arterial stent.

Arterial Stent

Depending on the location of the blockage and the size of the artery, your doctor may implant an arterial stent during your angioplasty. After the balloon has compressed the plaque and widened the artery, a stent is positioned to keep the blocked vessel open. The heart stent is meant to be permanent and the lining of the artery will eventually grow over it.

Implantable Loop Recorder

  • Avoid Eating or Drinking 6 Hours Prior
  • Certain Medications May Need to Be Paused

For those suffering from irregular heart symptoms, an implantable loop recorder (ILR) may be used by your doctor to monitor your heart over an extended period of time. An ILR is suitable for irregular and inconsistent symptoms that may have days or weeks between episodes, including fainting, seizures, palpitations, lightheadedness, or dizziness. The device uses two methods for recording the heart’s electrical activity.

  1. The doctor will set a minimum heart rate value and the ILR will begin recording when the heart drops below it.
  2. The ILR can begin manually recording by pushing a button on the activator during a spell of dizziness, lightheadedness, or palpitations.

The implantation is relatively minor and very low risk, and the device itself is about the size of a USB memory stick. It requires a small, 1.5-inch incision near the breastbone. Patients are able to go home the same day and the device can be used for up to three years.

Our cardiovascular experts are ready to help you.
Call us at 478.254.2644.

Pacemaker Implantation

  • 2-3 Hours (Includes Testing the Device)
  • Avoid Eating the Night Before the Procedure
  • May Require an Overnight Hospital Stay
  • Requires Someone to Drive You Home After

A pacemaker may be a necessity for patients suffering from irregular heartbeats and a faulty electrical system in the heart. The pacemaker can be used to moderate the heart rate by sending electrical impulses to the heart at the right time, helping it maintain a healthy rhythm. The surgery to implant the pacemaker is minor, requiring just a 5cm incision for implantation. Once you have your pacemaker, you will receive a pacemaker registration card in case of emergency. You may also need it to pass through metal detectors at the airport.

Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) Closures

  • 30 Minutes – 2 Hours
  • May Require an Overnight Hospital Stay

The upper chambers of the heart have a wall separating them called the septum. While a baby is in the womb, the septum has a hole called the foramen ovale, allowing the fetus to receive blood from its mother. Following birth, the foramen ovale is supposed to close. When it doesn’t, this is known as a patent foramen ovale. By using a catheter, your doctor can place a permanent device to keep the foramen ovale closed. This device is called a PFO Occluder, wire mesh made from nickel and titanium alloy.

We take your heart’s health seriously.
Call us at 478.254.2644.