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In order to provide our patients with comprehensive medical care, the Middle Georgia Heart provides numerous in-office procedures and tests. Testing is especially important for cardiovascular conditions as many of them, if caught early, can be treated or even reversed through proper lifestyle changes. Your physician and other medical staff will clearly explain your procedure and answer any questions you may have. You may also consult with your doctor prior to any procedure to determine necessary preparations.

Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI) Measurement

  • 5-10 Minutes
  • Painless

The ABI uses doplar ultrasound to test for peripheral artery disease (PAD) by measuring bloodflow and checking for blockages. The test is done by placing blood pressure cuffs around the ankles, inflating them, and using a handheld doplar device. This test is similar to a normal blood pressure test and takes just a few minutes.

Stress Echocardiography

  • About 1 Hour
  • Wear Loose, Athletic Clothes and Comfortable Shoes
  • Avoid Eating/Drinking 3 Hours Prior
  • Avoid Smoking or Ingesting Caffeine Prior to the Exam

If you’re suspected to be suffering from decreased blood flow to the heart or a narrowing of the coronary arteries, you may need a stress echocardiography. This test uses ultrasound to measure if your heart is efficiently pumping blood throughout your body. We’ll begin by taking resting images of the heart to establish a baseline of the wall motion, or how the heart is squeezing. Patients then exercise on a treadmill or stationary bike (or take medicine if they’re incapable of using the treadmill) to increase their heartrate. With an elevated heartrate, our providers will scan for changes in their heart muscle.

Echocardiogram

  • 15-20 Minutes
  • Painless

An echocardiogram allows our providers to get a clear view of your heart, its performance, and potential problems through the use of ultrasound. It’s one of the most effective ways to determine heart health and diagnose potential cardiovascular problems. The test is performed by having the patient lie on their back or left side, spreading gel over the chest, and inspecting various areas of the abdomen.

Carotid Ultrasound

  • 10-20 Minutes
  • Avoid Smoking or Ingesting Caffeine Prior to the Exam
  • Painless

Narrowed carotid arteries can significantly increase the risk of a stroke, and a carotid ultrasound is among the best ways to determine the health of this vital system. A carotid ultrasound is performed by scanning the carotid site with a handheld device called a transducer. The test allows our providers to determine if a blockage or stenosis is present in carotid arteries. The test requires patients to lie on their backs and generally lasts 10-20 minutes.

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Electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG)

  • 5-10 Minutes
  • Avoid Using Lotions or Oils on Your Chest the Day of the Exam
  • Painless

Each time the heart beats, it produces an electrical impulse, causing the heart’s muscle to squeeze and pump blood to the body. An electrocardiogram, also known as an ECG or EKG, allows our experts to determine the heart’s electrical activity, search for abnormalities, and more. In order to perform the test, our providers will place 10 electrodes on the patient’s arms, legs, and chest. The test is painless and takes just a few minutes.

Pacemaker Reading

  • 10-15 Minutes
  • Painless

Our expert providers offer pacemaker readings for those suffering from low or pauses in heart rate. We offer 6-month readings and can quickly determine events or issues that have come up during that time period. Additionally, we offer battery changeout for our pacemaker patients.

Holter Monitor

  • 5-10 Minutes
  • Avoid Getting the Device Wet
  • Painless

For patients suffering from irregular cardiac rhythms like palpitations, we may need to monitor the heart over an extended period of time to more accurately gauge and diagnose the problem. A Holter Monitor is a device that allows provides our medical team with continuous cardiac monitoring from 24-48 hours. The monitor records all of the heart’s activity, allowing us to review its performance throughout the day at various times.

Event Monitor

Similar to the Holter Monitor, the Event Monitor is a wearable device that records heart activity over an extended period of time, generally up to 21 days. The only real limitation of the device is that it must be removed prior to showering or bathing.

Nuclear Exercise Stress Test

  • 2-3 Hours
  • Avoid Smoking or Ingesting Caffeine Prior to the Exam
  • No Food or Drink Except Water for 2 Hours Prior

A nuclear exercise stress test is performed in order to detect blockages in the heart and analyze its performance during stages of rest and stages of stress. At the beginning of the test, the patient will be injected with a safe radioactive substance, known as a tracer, that is photographed with special imaging technology. Areas of the heart suffering from blocked arteries do not pick up as much of the tracer as healthy, properly functioning arteries. Photos will be taken shortly after injecting the tracer to establish baseline “resting” phase pictures of the heart. The patient will then begin walking on the treadmill in order to increase their heartrate. Once they near peak activity, the tracer will be injected again, allowed to circulate, and a second set of images will be taken. Please allow 2-3 hours for the full test to be completed. It is also recommended that you do not consume anything containing caffeine, tobacco, or any other substance that may alter your heartrate on the day of the test.

Nuclear Chemical Stress Test

  • 2-3 Hours
  • Avoid Smoking or Ingesting Caffeine Prior to the Exam
  • No Food or Drink Except Water for 2 Hours Prior

For patients who are unable to sufficiently walk on the treadmill due to a physical or medical condition, we also offer a chemical stress test. This test functions identically to the exercise stress test and is equally capable of detecting blockages in the heart and coronary arteries and diagnosing various cardiovascular diseases. The test begins with the injection of a safe radioactive substance, called a tracer, while the patient is at rest. This tracer allows special imaging technology to capture photos of the performance of the heart and its arteries. Following this, instead of using the treadmill to achieve a state of “stress,” the patient will take a special medication that causes the heart to reach the necessary level of activity for the test to be completed. The patient will then be injected with the tracer once more and further pictures will be taken.

To Schedule an Appointment with Our Expert Medical Team,
Call Us at 478.254.2644.