At Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center, our experienced physicians place patients at the heart of all they do. When considering heart care, you can be confident that our services are delivered by leading, board-certified, highly experienced cardiologists, cardiovascular and thoracic surgeons, electrophysiologists and other multidisciplinary heart specialists.
An electrocardiogram (also known as ECG or EKG) measures the electrical activity of the heart. An electrical impulse travels through the heart with each beat, which causes the muscle to squeeze and pump blood from the heart. An EKG is done to determine if the electrical activity of the heart is normal, slow, fast or irregular, or to determine if parts of the heart are too large or being overworked.
Stress tests are performed by attaching electrodes to the skin on the chest to record heart function while a patient walks on a treadmill. Heart rate, breathing, blood pressure and fatigue can be checked while exercising. Stress testing helps diagnose coronary artery disease and possible causes of chest pain, determines a safe level of exercise and helps predict dangerous heart-related conditions. At times, this may be combined with an echocardiogram to determine areas of the heart at risk. In addition, the Heart Center offers Myocardial Perfusion Stress Tests that use three-dimensional imaging of a patient’s heart before and after exercise to determine the effect of physical stress on the flow of blood to the heart.
An echocardiogram uses a hand-held device that uses ultrasound to produce images of the heart’s size, structure and motion. It can provide information on the health of a patient’s heart and gather information about abnormal rhythms of the heart.
A transesophageal echo, like a standard echocardiogram, produces an ultrasound image of the heart. A long tube with an ultrasound probe is placed in the patient’s esophagus to obtain a clearer image of the heart. It is often performed when a standard echo isn’t clear enough to make a diagnosis or before heart surgery to aid the surgeon in treatment after surgery. It can also help a surgeon determine if a surgical procedure has been successful or if further repair is needed before leaving the operating room.
Tilt tests are typically performed on patients who experience frequent fainting spells. The test shows how the heart rate and blood pressure respond to a change in position, from lying down to standing up. The tilt table will start off in a horizontal position and be tilted by degrees to a nearly complete vertical position.
Targeted Temperature Management can increase survival rates in certain patients who experience cardiac arrest, as well as decrease the negative consequences associated with a cardiac event. Targeted Temperature Management involves placing a patient into a hypothermic state, or lowering the body temperature. When the heart stops, the brain is deprived of oxygen, even with CPR. No drugs or high-tech machines can stop the damage, but studies show induced hypothermia administered for 24 hours may stop and even prevent neurological damage. Research shows that cooling decreases the body’s metabolism, thereby preserving neurologic function and preventing swelling in the brain. In 2005, the American Heart Association incorporated Targeted Temperature Management into its advanced cardiovascular life support protocol.