Keeping your Heart Healthy
More than 58 million Americans suffer from cardiovascular disease and many more are at risk of developing it. More than one million people have a heart attack each year, and another 300,000 will experience actual cardiac arrest.
Ohio Valley General Hospital provides a full range of diagnostic services to prevent, diagnose, treat, and repair heart disease and stroke.
A variety of non-invasive procedures available at OVGH helps doctors to better understand their patients’ conditions, and to introduce treatments that can prevent a heart attack.
An electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG), a painless test in which sensors are affixed to your chest, helps your doctor understand and monitor your heart’s health. It is a snapshot of your heart’s electrical activity that can determine the cause of chest pain, or other symptoms related to heart disease, like shortness of breath, dizziness, fainting, or an irregular heartbeat.
A Holter monitor continuously records a patient’s EKG for a 24-hour period. Worn during regular daily activities, it helps your doctor correlate symptoms of dizziness, palpitations, or black outs with your heart’s electrical activity.
An echocardiogram uses sound waves to create a moving picture of your heart. While completely non-invasive, it allows your doctor to peer into your heart to monitor how well it is working, and to diagnose problems that should be addressed to prevent heart attack.
The stress test involves walking on a treadmill or pedaling a stationary bike at increasing levels of difficulty while your electrocardiogram, heart rate, and blood pressure are monitored. It helps to determine if there is adequate blood flow to your heart during strenuous activity, tests the effectiveness of medications or procedures that may have been performed, and tells your doctor if further evaluation is needed.
Minimally Invasive Procedures
Cardiac catheterization is a high-tech procedure in which a catheter is inserted into an artery or vein in your arm or leg and advanced into the coronary arteries or the heart itself. This test can measure blood pressure within the heart, tell how much oxygen is in the blood, and record the pumping ability of the heart muscle. Catheters may also be used to inject dye into the coronary arteries so they can be examined by a fluoroscope, which is similar to an x-ray.
Peripheral Vascular Angioplasty
As you age, plaque may build up along the walls of your veins and arteries, restricting proper blood flow. In an angioplasty, a balloon-tipped catheter is guided into a blood vessel to the point of that impairment. The balloon is inflated to open the vessel, then deflated and removed. A small wire mesh tube called a stent is sometimes placed in the newly-opened artery or vein to help it remain open.
A pacemaker is a device that assists or replaces the function of the body’s natural pacemaker. Pacemakers are frequently necessary after a heart attack or following cardiac surgery. Without treatment, a slow or irregular heart rate can lead to weakness, confusion, dizziness, fainting, shortness of breath, and even death.
A pacemaker implantation is a minor procedure requiring only mild sedation and a local anesthetic. A thin wire lead is inserted into a vein below the collar bone and advanced through the vein and into the heart. Once attached, it will stimulate a normal heartbeat. The other end of the wire is connected to a generator, a device a little larger than a silver dollar, implanted under the skin beneath the collarbone. Implantation is painless, and most patients return home the day of the procedure.
Returning to good health
Cardiac Rehab incorporates supervised exercise, education, and counseling by specially trained professionals to help patients return to their best possible condition following any cardiac event.
For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call:
|Non-invasive diagnostic procedures||(412) 777-6136|
|Minimally-invasive diagnostic procedures||(412) 777-6595|
|Cardiac Rehabilitation||(412) 777-6849|