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Procedures are performed Monday through Friday for inpatients and outpatients. Staff is available on-call for night, weekend and other emergency exams.
Exercise Tolerance Test — Procedure which involves walking on a treadmill while blood pressure, heart rate and electrocardiogram are being monitored. Test is completed when a target heart rate is achieved.
Stress Echocardiogram — Procedure which involves walking on a treadmill while blood pressure, heart rate and electrocardiogram are being monitored. In addition, an ultrasound picture of the heart is obtained at rest and peak exercise. If a patient is unable to walk on a treadmill, a medication (Dobutamine) can be given to increase heart rate, simulating exercise.
Nuclear Stress Test — The Nuclear Stress Test involves injecting two isotopes into a vein and then scanning the heart under the nuclear camera. The first isotope is injected and resting photos are obtained. Then the heart rate is increased by walking on the treadmill or with medication (Dobutatmine or Persantine). At peak heart rates, the second isotope is injected. After the required time frame, the second scan of the heart is obtained.
Echocardiogram — This procedure involves obtaining ultrasound photos of the heart through the chest wall. Heart wall movement can be evaluated as well as the heart valves.
Transesophageal Echocardiogram — When ultrasound photos through the chest wall are not clear, a transesophageal echocardiogram may be ordered. This procedure involves inserting a probe with a camera on the end down the esophagus, allowing for a clear and close-up photo of the heart. Sedation is given for the comfort of the patient during this procedure.
Cardioversion — Procedure performed when the heart is in an irregular rhythm (atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter). Cardioversion involves delivering a prescribed amount of electrical current through the chest wall to "shock" the heart back into a regular rhythm. Sedation is given for the comfort of the patient during this procedure.
Electrocardiogram (EKG) — Procedure which picks up the electrical impulses sent out by the patient’s heart and is used to help determine rhythm abnormalities or injury that might have occurred to the heart.
Holter monitor — Procedure which monitors a patient’s heart rhythm for a 24 to 48 hour period and is used to determine rhythm abnormalities.
Event monitor — A type of testing which allows a patient to record his or her heart rhythm when having symptoms. The patient keeps the monitor for a two-week period and will send rhythm strips across telephone lines to a computer monitoring system for analysis.
Blood pressure monitor — A type of testing which records a patient’s blood pressure for a 24-hour period.
Carotid Duplex Scan — Procedure which uses ultrasound to evaluate the carotid arteries in the neck that carry blood to the brain, the carotid arteries. It determines the presence or absence of plaque buildup (blockages) in the arteries.
Venous Duplex Scan — An ultrasound procedure which evaluates the veins in the body, specifically in the legs and arms /neck. The purpose of the procedure is to determine the presence or absence of blood clots in the veins.
Pulse Volume Recording (PVR) — Procedure performed to evaluate the blood flow in the arteries that carry blood to the legs and arms. It is a non-invasive indirect test meaning that ultrasound is not used. During the test, blood pressure cuffs are wrapped around both legs at the ankle, calf, lower thigh and upper thigh and in both arms. The blood pressure is taken at different levels in the legs and compared to the arm pressure to determine the presence or absence of disease in the arteries.
Renal Artery/Aorta Duplex Scan — Another ultrasound procedure which evaluate some of the arteries in the abdomen to determine the presence or absence of disease in the arteries that carry blood to the kidneys. The arteries are evaluated from just below the breastbone to the bellybutton area. Blood flow to each kidney is also assessed.
Tilt Table Study — For individuals experiencing sycope (fainting spells), the tilt table is used to diagnose a specific kind of syncope (vasovagal). It involves being placed on a special table that tilts in different positions in an attempt to induce the syncope while the patient's heart rate and blood pressure are constantly monitored.
In addition, Northeast Georgia Medical Center also offers cardiac MRI services at The Imaging Center, located in Gainesville. These additional services were made available through an upgrade of NGMC’s current MRI machine, and NGMC is the first in the region to offer this technology. A non-invasive way for physicians to look closely at the structure and function of the heart as well as major vessels quickly and thoroughly, cardiovascular MRI is cutting-edge technology in the diagnosis and management of heart and vascular disease.