Creating the appropriate treatment plan for your condition begins with a cardiac consultation. Your consultation is a chance for you to share your health history and current concerns with your cardiologist. All necessary exams and tests are conducted on-site by your cardiac care team. The results are shared and discussed directly with you so that you fully understand your condition, treatment options, associated risks, and potential lifestyle changes.
After a heart episode or surgery, there’s nothing our cardiac team and you want more than for you to just get back on your feet and live the life you want. That’s why we begin your rehabilitation program before you even leave the hospital. Through a combination of education and exercise, your personalized program will help you build strength and reduce your risk factors. Using the full range of cardio equipment in our Cardiac Rehab Center and under the watchful eye of our rehab team, you’ll improve your heart’s strength and capacity and get closer to resuming a full and active lifestyle. For more information about Cardiac Rehabilitation, click here.
In order to understand how well your heart is or isn’t functioning, an echocardiogram may be performed. This non-invasive procedure uses sound waves to produce images of your heart. Both of SVMC’s cardiologists are board certified in echocardiography and able to observe how your heart is pumping and identify any abnormalities in the heart muscle or valves. An echocardiogram allows our team to make the most informed and appropriate recommendations for the next steps in your care.
If a standard echocardiogram does not provide a clear image of your heart, your SVMC care team may recommend a transesophageal echocardiogram or TEE. Performed at the hospital, this procedure involves inserting a flexible tube containing a transducer down your throat and into your esophagus. From this closer vantage point, the transducer then uses sound waves to create more detailed images of your heart and allows for better diagnosis.
Before we treat your heart, we need understand how it’s performing. At SVMC we offer a number of non-invasive stress tests that can quickly and easily reveal a number of things including: how well your heart works during increasing levels of activity; how certain medications are impacting blood flow; the effectiveness of procedures done to improve heart performance; and more.
A pacemaker is one of the most effective ways to ensure a heart maintains a steady, healthy beat. The SVMC cardiac team is exceptionally skilled and experienced at both pacemaker implantation and monitoring.
Considered a minor surgery, implantation takes place at the hospital with most patients returning to normal activity (and a more steadily beating heart) within a few days.
Like all medical equipment, pacemakers need a little TLC every now and then. At SVMC our cardiac team can perform routine monitoring, both remotely and in the office, and reprogramming as needed.
One of the most common cardiac diagnostic tools, an EKG is a painless way to check for problems with the electrical activity of your heart. The EKG translates and records your heart’s electrical activity over a period of time and translates it into waves. Your SVMC care provider can use printouts of the waves to detect any patterns that might point to a specific condition and put together a treatment plan that meets your specific needs.
Should your SVMC cardiac care provider want to monitor your heart over a longer period of time than is practical for a standard EKG, you may be given a Holter or event monitor. Worn outside the body and completely painless, monitors are helpful in detecting abnormalities that only happen occasionally and can help your doctor link any abnormalities to specific activities or events in your day.
At SVMC our goal is to treat your health issues before they become problems. Using our sophisticated carotid ultrasound test, your cardiac care provider can detect blockages in your neck arteries that could lead to a stroke or indicate problems in other parts or your circulatory system.
Because understanding what causes heart problems is essential to resolving them, we offer a variety of educational resources to patients and their families. Workshops are offered on an ongoing basis throughout the Dartmouth-Hitchcock network, and condition-specific literature is available in our offices.