Cardiac Testing & Procedures

Identifying and Treating Heart Disease

Cardiac Testing

Our award-winning team has the ability to perform a wide range of cardiac tests to accurately diagnose heart disease. Please review the information below for detailed information about the common tests performed at the UMC Cardiology and Stroke Center.

  • Electrocardiogram (EKG): A device that detects any changes in the heart.
  • Echocardiogram (ECHO): This test uses ultrasound waves to view the heart. This gives the doctor information on the functioning of the valves of the heart.
  • 2-Dimensional Echocardiogram: Shows the actual shape and motion of the different heart structures.
  • Transesophageal Echocardiography (TEE): A new and advanced method of imaging the heart structures with greater detail. It is performed with a small tube that is swallowed by the patient. It is used to see the heart with sound waves from the inside out and allows for high-quality and high-resolution pictures of the heart in motion. It aids in the imaging of the heart in patients who cannot be imaged using standard echocardiogram because of lung disease or thick chest wall.
  • Nuclear Testing: Nuclear testing is used to determine blood flow of the heart during rest and stress conditions. It provides an excellent way of determining coronary blockages and the size and function of the heart.
  • Exercise Stress Testing: The exercise test monitors the reaction of the heart when it is stressed by exercise.
  • Holter Monitor: This is a continuous recording of a person's EKG, usually 24 hours of your usual day and night activities. It is especially useful in diagnosing abnormal heart rhythms.

Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory

This is where all invasive procedures are performed using high-tech equipment to help diagnose and treat coronary artery disease. Please review the list of common procedures below. 

  • Coronary P: A test to evaluate coronary artery disease. It allows the physician to know exactly which coronary artery has a blockage and the severity of the blockage.
  • Balloon Angioplasty: This is a procedure to open blocked arteries. It uses a small balloon to open the blocked artery to increase blood flow to the heart thereby preventing possibility of a heart attack.
  • Stents: Stents are tiny metal mesh tubes that are applied inside a diseased artery and then expanded to keep the coronary artery open.
  • Valvuloplasty: A procedure in which a narrowed heart valve is stretched open to prevent the patient from requiring open-heart surgery. It helps to regulate blood flow from one part of the heart to another. A thin tube with a balloon on the tip is inserted into the narrowed heart valve and the balloon is then inflated and stretches the narrowed opening.
  • Septostomy: A special balloon catheter is used to create or enlarge the atrial septal defect found in the heart of certain infants.
  • Electrophysiology Study: A minimally invasive procedure performed with specially designed equipment to assess the heart's electrical conduction system. Its main purpose is to evaluate irregular heart rhythms under controlled conditions to determine the most effective way to treat these irregular heart rhythms.
  • Ablation: A minimally invasive procedure where a catheter is inserted into the heart to burn or destroy the area of the heart tissue that causes the irregular and sometimes fatal rhythms.
  • Pacemaker: A device that is implanted inside the chest along the pectoral area, which generates an electrical impulse to create the heartbeat. It is used when the heart's natural pacemaker is not functioning correctly.
  • Automatic Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator (AICD): Like the pacemaker, this device is implanted inside the body. It delivers an electric shock to the heart whenever an irregular heart rhythm occurs, restoring the heart to its regular rhythm.
  • Rotablation:  An invasive procedure that uses a fast-spinning drill to open a hardened artery of the coronary artery vessel.

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