An electrocardiogram is a painless, non-invasive way to help diagnose many common heart problems in people of all ages. Your doctor may use an electrocardiogram to determine or detect:
- Abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmias)
- If blocked or narrowed arteries in your heart (coronary artery disease) are causing chest pain or a heart attack
- Whether you have had a previous heart attack
- How well certain heart disease treatments, such as a pacemaker, are working
You may need an ECG if you have any of the following signs and symptoms:
- Chest pain
- Dizziness, lightheadedness, or confusion
- Heart palpitations
- Rapid pulse
- Shortness of breath
- Weakness, fatigue, or a decline in the ability to exercise
Echocardiography Ultrasound (Echo)
Your doctor may use an echo test to look at your heart’s structure and check how well your heart functions. The test helps your doctor find out:
- The size and shape of your heart, and the size, thickness, and movement of your heart’s walls.
- How your heart moves.
- The heart’s pumping strength.
- If the heart valves are working correctly.
- If blood is leaking backward through your heart valves (regurgitation).
- If the heart valves are too narrow (stenosis).
- If there is a tumor or infectious growth around your heart valves.
The test also will help your doctor find out if there are:
- Problems with the outer lining of your heart (the pericardium).
- Problems with the large blood vessels that enter and leave the heart.
- Blood clots in the chambers of your heart.
- Abnormal holes between the chambers of the heart.
Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI)
What is an Ankle-Brachial Index Test?
An ankle-brachial index (ABI) test measures the blood flow to your legs and feet. The measurements can highlight any potential problems, like blockages or partial blockages in blood flow to your extremities.
The ABI test is particularly useful because it’s non-invasive and easy to conduct.
Who typically needs this test?
If you have peripheral artery disease, your limbs may not be getting enough blood. You may feel symptoms like pain or muscle cramps when you’re walking, or possibly numbness, weakness, or coldness in your legs.
What distinguishes PAD from other causes of leg pain are the symptoms that arise after a defined distance (e.g. 2 blocks) or time (e.g. 10 minutes of walking) and are relieved by rest.
Left untreated, PAD can lead to painful symptoms and it may increase your risk of losing a limb.
Not everyone needs an ABI test. But people with certain risk factors for peripheral artery disease can possibly benefit from one. Typical risk factors for PAD include:
- history of smoking
- high blood pressure
- high cholesterol
Carotid Intima-Media Thickness Test (CIMT)
The carotid intima-media thickness test (CIMT) is a measure used to diagnose the extent of carotid atherosclerotic vascular disease. The test measures the thickness of the inner two layers of the carotid artery—the intima and media—and alerts physicians to any thickening when patients are still asymptomatic.
Early detection may indicate the need for a more aggressive approach to managing the risk factors associated with heart disease and stroke.
Aging is a contributing factor to increased carotid intima-media thickness. Other risk factors include high lipoprotein levels, high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle.
Physicians use CIMT testing to determine the “age” of the carotid arteries. Knowing that patients may not be experiencing the symptoms of atherosclerosis, there still may be subtle changes in artery thickness. Armed with this information, physicians may develop an aggressive medical approach by prescribing medications such as blood pressure and cholesterol-lowering agents, and aspirin and patients may be encouraged to make lifestyle and dietary improvements.
Carotid ultrasound is a safe, painless procedure that uses sound waves to examine the blood flow through the carotid arteries.
Your two carotid arteries are located on each side of your neck. They deliver blood from your heart to your brain.
Carotid ultrasound tests for blocked or narrowed carotid arteries, which can increase the risk of stroke. The results can help your doctor determine a treatment to lower your stroke risk.
Why it’s done
A carotid ultrasound is performed to test for narrowed carotid arteries, which increase the risk of stroke.
Carotid arteries are usually narrowed by a buildup of plaque — made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances that circulate in the bloodstream. Early diagnosis and treatment of a narrowed carotid artery can decrease stroke risk.
Your doctor will recommend carotid ultrasound if you have transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) or certain types of stroke and may recommend a carotid ultrasound if you have medical conditions that increase the risk of stroke, including:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Family history of stroke or heart disease
- Recent transient ischemic attack (TIA) or stroke
- Abnormal sound in carotid arteries (bruit), detected by your doctor using a stethoscope
- Coronary artery disease
What is a vascular ultrasound?
Vascular ultrasound is a noninvasive ultrasound method (also called a duplex study) used to examine the blood circulation in the arms and legs. Noninvasive means the procedure does not require the use of needles, dyes, radiation, or anesthesia.
During a vascular ultrasound, sound waves are transmitted through the tissues of the area being examined. These sound waves reflect off blood cells moving within the blood vessels, allowing the reading physician to calculate their speed. The sound waves are recorded and displayed on a computer screen.
Why do I need this test?
Your physician has recommended that you have this test to evaluate the blood flow to specific organs in your body. Vascular ultrasound can be used to evaluate:
• The blood flow in the arteries in your neck that supply blood to the brain
• The blood flow to a newly transplanted organ
• Blood flow in the arteries to detect the presence, severity, and specific location of a narrowed area of the arteries
An abdominal ultrasound is done to view structures inside the abdomen. It’s the preferred screening method for an abdominal aortic aneurysm, a weakened, bulging spot in the abdominal aorta — the major blood vessel that supplies blood to the body. However, the imaging test may be used to diagnose or rule out many other health conditions.
An abdominal ultrasound can help your doctor see many organs in your abdomen. Your doctor may recommend this test if you have a problem in any of these body areas:
- Blood vessels in the abdomen
An abdominal ultrasound can help your doctor evaluate the cause of stomach pain or bloating. It can help check for kidney stones, liver disease, tumors, and many other conditions.
Your doctor may recommend that you have an abdominal ultrasound if you’re at risk of an abdominal aortic aneurysm.
A Renal Ultrasound is a test that uses sound waves to create an image of the inside of your body. This test can be used by itself or in combination with other tests to help diagnose many different medical conditions. When ultrasound is used to look at the kidneys or bladder, it’s called a renal ultrasound.
A stress echocardiogram (echo) is an ultrasound used to see how your heart works under stress. Your heart may be put under stress with exercise or medicine. An echo shows your heart structures and how well your heart muscle is pumping. It also shows how blood flows through your heart.
A Holter monitor is a battery-operated portable device that measures and records your heart’s activity (ECG) continuously for 24 to 48 hours or longer depending on the type of monitoring used. The device is the size of a small camera. It has wires with silver dollar-sized electrodes that attach to your skin. The Holter monitor and other devices that record your ECG as you go about your daily activities are called ambulatory electrocardiograms.
- You may be asked to wear a Holter monitor to see if you have a slow, fast, or irregular (uneven) heartbeat. Or, your doctor may use it to see how well your medicines are working to treat these problems. If you have a pacemaker and feel dizzy, your doctor may use a Holter monitor to find out if your pacemaker is working properly.
- This monitor has no risks and wearing it isn’t painful.
- The results of wearing a Holter monitor will help you and your doctor decide if you need more tests or medicines for your heart, or if you need a pacemaker or cardioversion procedure to restore a regular heart rhythm.
The overnight oximetry testing process is a simple way to access your overnight oxygen levels. Pulse oximeters record oxygen saturation and heart rate levels of patients overnight while asleep. This is an easy self-administered test that is done from the comfort of your own home. It is a small, easy-to-use oximeter device that consists of an oxygen sensor clipped to your finger. You sleep with the oximeter overnight and it records data continuously throughout the night. The data recorded measures your blood oxygen levels and results in a comprehensive report your physician will review.
Rapid Cholesterol Testing
The Heart Shop offers Rapid Lipid and glucose testing, measuring the total amount of cholesterol in the blood, including high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (“good cholesterol”), and triglycerides or TRG (fatty acids and glycerol that circulate in the blood and are stored as body fat) as well as glucose a measure of blood sugar.
The Heart Shop uses the industry standard for lipid profile and glucose testing analyzer Cholestech LDX from Abbott Laboratories.
- Rapid: Yields results in 5 minutes
- Flexible: fingerstick or venous whole blood
- Convenient: The sample size is 40 μl
Dr. Rothrock will be able to review your results immediately and assess your risks.
Pacemaker & Defibrillator Clinic
After receiving a pacemaker or defibrillator, patients are often directed to a pacemaker clinic for additional monitoring and regular checkups. A pacemaker clinic has several main directives: it monitors patient’s post-operation progress, it evaluates the newly installed pacemaker or defibrillator’s performance, and it provides patients with a convenient way to track their heart health. By performing these functions, pacemaker clinics provide a valuable sense of security to those with pacemakers or defibrillators.
Onsite Coumadin Clinic
At The Heart Shop coumadin clinic, we offer a simple, convenient way to monitor and assist patients taking Coumadin® or any other brand of anticoagulant or blood-thinning medication. At The Heart Shop, we schedule an appointment for patients on these medications. Results are immediate and medication adjustments if needed to be made are done at the time of your visit.
What are the benefits of participating?
- Decreased risk of potentially life-threatening complications
- Immediate results, while you’re there. No more phone tag trying to get your results
- One co-payment per month to see the healthcare professional, regardless of the number of visits within that month to regulate medication*
- One-on-one contact with a healthcare professional – Better anticoagulant monitoring/management – Increased access to education and support
- During your appointment and in a process that takes about two minutes, the Phlebotomist will take a drop of your blood by finger stick to analyzing your PT/INR (Prothrombin Time/International Normalized Ration) level.
*Office visits for other medical concerns within the same month will be subject to the usual co-payment.
How Do I Get More Information or Participate?
Ask your physician or provider.
The Heart Shop is focused on preventing cardiovascular disease. We provide advanced laboratory testing for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Our advanced blood testing including lipids, inflammation, metabolic and genetics tests. Our lab of choice is Boston Heart, (learn more at their website www.bostonheartdiagnostics.com) they offer the most relevant evidence-based and clinically proven results to your physician keeping you at the forefront of CVD risk assessment, management, and prevention. The video is available for your viewing pleasure at https://vimeo.com/261529169
Vibrant America is a leading science and technology company delivering life-transforming laboratory services. Vibrant’s vision is to enable symptom-based diagnostics and prognostics for Autoimmune disease, Cardiovascular Disease, Celiac, Food Allergens, Micronutrients and Women’s Health, and other chronic diseases using an integrated micro-array platform that would enable multiplex testing at an affordable cost.
Ask us about our advanced testing with Vibrant America. Visit https://www.vibrant-america.com/ to learn more.
Become a patient at The Heart Shop where we focus on preventing and improving cardiovascular disease.
At The Heart Shop, Dr. Rothrock will review your symptoms and your medical history and conduct a physical examination. Your doctor may ask about — or test for — conditions that may trigger your arrhythmias, such as heart disease or a problem with your thyroid gland. Dr. Rothrock may also perform heart-monitoring tests specific to arrhythmias. These may include:
- Electrocardiogram (ECG). During an ECG, sensors (electrodes) that can detect the electrical activity of your heart are attached to your chest and sometimes to your limbs. An ECG measures the timing and duration of each electrical phase in your heartbeat.
- Holter monitor. This portable ECG device can be worn for a day or more to record your heart’s activity as you go about your routine.
- In this noninvasive test, a hand-held device (transducer) placed on your chest uses sound waves to produce images of your heart’s size, structure, and motion.
- Implantable loop recorder. If your symptoms are very infrequent, an event recorder may be implanted under your skin in the chest area to continually record your heart’s electrical activity and detect abnormal heart rhythms.
Integrative Cardiology is “good cardiology.” At The Heart Shop integrative medicine is used to pick the most appropriate treatments for a person’s individual health benefits and disease risks. It offers conventional therapies when necessary while including the less conventional treatments such as nutrition, exercise, weight loss, and natural supplements when appropriate.
Conventional cardiology is wonderful for treating acute cardiac problems such as myocardial infarctions or heart failure. But it falls short when it comes to preventing and healing heart disease. According to the CDC, approximately 80% of premature heart attacks and strokes can be prevented with appropriate lifestyle changes.
Benefits of Integrative Medicine
We offer services that can help you make important healthy changes in your life, including:
Reduced need for medication
- Lower blood pressure
- Lowering blood sugar
- Reduced cholesterol levels
- Weight loss
- Greater vitality and energy
- Prevention of symptoms before they begin
- Enhanced well-being
- Support with evidenced-based natural supplements
Call today and make an appointment with Dr. Rothrock to learn more about prevention.