When to See a Cardiovascular Specialist
The earlier you seek treatment for a heart condition, the better the outcome. Our doctors are here to provide a full spectrum of care, from your initial diagnosis to management. If you are at risk for heart disease or are experiencing symptoms that concern you, we invite you to visit us to discuss options. We can help with:
Understanding what’s causing your symptoms is fundamental in deciding on the best treatment options for you. We offer a variety of diagnostic tests to help us determine the type and extent of your heart disease. Many of our diagnostic procedures are noninvasive or minimally-invasive. They include:
Our goal in treating your heart disease is to help you feel better and worry less so you can return to doing what you love. We are proud to offer advanced procedures to treat and manage your cardiovascular conditions. If you have been diagnosed with a heart condition, we are able to offer relief through:
Chest Pain Evaluations
Most of us think of chest pain as heart-related. While you should always have a healthcare professional evaluate your chest pain, your discomfort could be from other causes, such as heartburn, a lung issue, or a pulled muscle in the chest.
When chest pain is a result of the heart not getting enough oxygen, it is called angina. On its own, angina is not a disease — it's a symptom of an underlying condition, such as coronary artery disease (CAD). Other conditions that can result in chest pain include:
- Pulmonary embolism
- A lung infection
- A panic attack
Report any new or unusual chest pain or sensation to your doctor. If you feel that you may be having a heart attack, call 911 immediately.
Evaluating Chest Pain
Any chest pain should be evaluated by a medical professional to rule out a heart condition. We'll begin by discussing your symptoms with you, including when you started experiencing them and how often they occur. We'll ask about any family history with heart disease or other cardiovascular conditions. If our examination shows that your chest pain could indicate a heart condition, we will recommend additional testing, which may include:
- Ambulatory EKGs
- Stress EKG Test
- Nuclear Stress Test
- Angiography of the Heart
- Coronary Calcium Scoring
- CT Scan of the Coronary Arteries
Depending on which procedure you have, your recovery time will vary. Most of our cardiac diagnostic tests are either non-invasive or minimally-invasive. In most cases, you are able to resume your normal activities immediately following the test. Your doctor will discuss any specific limitations you may have at your appointment.
Risks & Side Effects
Am I a Candidate?
If you are experiencing chest pain, you are eligible for diagnostic testing. When ordering a screening, we will evaluate any symptoms you're experiencing along with your risk factors for heart disease, which can include older age, being male, smoking, and being overweight. In addition, you may be more likely to experience heart disease if you have:
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Lack of physical activity
- Unmanaged stress
More on Chest Pain Evaluations
Additional Symptoms Related to Chest Pain
Chest pain can range in intensity from dull to sharp. You may feel burning or stabbing and pain can radiate to different areas of your body. If your symptoms are related to heart disease, you may experience:
- Pressure or tightness in the chest
- Pain that comes and goes
- Shortness of breath
- Dizziness, nausea, or vomiting
- Cold sweats
Additional Information About Diagnostic Tests
Ambulatory EKGs: record the electrical activity of the heart. Ambulatory cardiac monitors allow us to continuously monitor your heart's electrical activity as you go about your normal activities.
Echocardiography: is a noninvasive cardiac imaging tool that takes moving pictures of the heart.
Stress EKG Test: also known as a cardiac stress test or exercise stress test, provides insight into how your heart functions during physical activity.
Nuclear Stress Test: uses a small amount of radioactive medicine in conjunction with cardiac imaging to see how well blood flows to your heart.
Angiography of the Heart: uses X-ray imaging to see if there are blocked or narrowed blood vessels in your heart.
Coronary Calcium Scoring: can help determine the degree and severity of calcium-containing hard plaque within your coronary arteries.
CT Scan of the Coronary Arteries: examines the arteries that supply blood to the heart to see if the vessels are blocked or narrowed, which can indicate coronary artery disease.