Protect Your Heart Health
An electrocardiogram, also known as an EKG or ECG, is a noninvasive diagnostic test that detects electrical activity in the heart. It is usually part of a routine physical exam and is commonly performed after patients have experienced heart attack symptoms including chest pain, shortness of breath and heart palpitations. An EKG produces a record of waves that relate to the electrical impulses that occur during each beat of a patient’s heart.
Echocardiography uses an echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) to assess the functioning and health of the heart by creating images out of sound waves. In addition to detecting many other heart problems, echocardiograms can diagnose specific heart conditions; determine if heart abnormalities exist; and evaluate the effectiveness of procedures that have been performed on the heart.
A stress echocardiogram is a diagnostic test used to evaluate the strength of the heart muscle as it pumps blood throughout the body. Using ultrasound imaging, the stress echocardiogram detects and records any decrease in blood flow to the heart caused by narrowing of the coronary arteries. The test, which takes place in a medical center or in the doctor’s office, is administered in two parts: resting and with exercise. In both cases, the patient’s blood pressure and heart rate are measured so that heart functioning at rest and during exercise can be compared. The ultrasound images enable the doctor to see whether any sections of the heart muscle are malfunctioning due to a poor supply of blood or oxygen.
Exercise Stress Test
An exercise stress test is used to evaluate how well your heart functions during physical activity. This non-invasive cardiac test can reveal problems with your heart that can go undetected because exercise makes your heart pump harder and faster than it otherwise normally would. Your doctor will ask you to exercise on a treadmill while they monitor your blood pressure, heart rhythm and EKG tracing.
Nuclear perfusion imaging, also known as a nuclear stress test, is a diagnostic test performed to determine if the heart is receiving adequate blood supply under both stress and rest conditions. The test is done with the injection of a small amount of radioactive material into the bloodstream, which will circulate throughout the body and help to evaluate the blood flow and function of the heart. This procedure is performed to determine the risk of a heart attack and to show if there is a limited blood flow to the heart and determine the best treatment plan for serious heart conditions.
During the stress test, a radioactive isotope (sestamibi) is injected into the bloodstream once during the exercise portion of the test and again when the patient is at rest. Images of the heart will be taken shortly after each injection to show any areas of the heart that are not receiving enough blood. Both sets of images will be interpreted by a board-certified nuclear cardiologist before providing the patient with the results.
Angioplasty opens blocked arteries and restores normal blood flow to your heart muscle. It is not major surgery. It is done by threading a catheter (thin tube) through a small puncture in a leg or arm artery to the heart. The blocked artery is opened by inflating a tiny balloon in it.
A cardiac catheterizatoin is a procedure used to diagnose and treat cardiovascular conditions. During cardiac catheterization, a long thin tube called a catheter is inserted in an artery or vein in your groin, neck or arm and threaded through your blood vessels to your heart.
Using this catheter, doctors can then do diagnostic tests as part of a cardiac catheterization. Some heart disease treatments, such as coronary angioplasty, also are done using cardiac catheterization.
Usually, you’ll be awake during cardiac catheterization, but given medications to help you relax. Recovery time for a cardiac catheterization is quick, and there’s a low risk of complications.
ASD and PFO Closures
ASD CLOSURE – Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) is an opening or hole in the wall that separates the two upper chambers of the heart. This wall is called the atrial septum. The hole causes oxygen-rich blood to leak from the left side of the heart to the right side. Different types of closure devices are used to close a hole or an opening between the right and left sides of the heart. Some of these birth defects are located in the wall (septum) between the upper chambers (atria) of the heart.
Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO)
Percutaneous closure is a surgical procedure used to treat patients with patent foramen ovale (PFO) and atrial septal defect (ASD). Advancements in device technology and image guidance now permit the safe and effective catheter-based closure of numerous intracardiac defects, including PFO and ASD.
Aortic Valvuloplasty also known as balloon aortic valvotomy is the widening of a stenotic aortic valve using a balloon catheter inside the valve. The balloon is placed into the aortic valve that has become stiff from calcium buildup.
Enhanced External Counter Pulsation (EECP) is performed as a non-invasive treatment to lower the number and intensity of angina episodes. Treatment is administered through three pairs of external inflatable cuffs that are applied around the lower legs, upper legs and buttocks
TAVR is a minimally invasive surgical procedure repairs the valve without removing the old, damaged valve. Instead, it wedges a replacement valve into the aortic valve’s place. This revolutionary procedure may be called a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) or transcatheter aortic valve implantation.
This type of ultrasound shows if there is a blockage in a leg vein. Such blockages are usually caused by blood clots, which can be dangerous and even life threatening if they break loose and travel through the blood to the lungs. If you have pain or swelling in one leg, your doctor may order an ultrasound to determine whether your symptoms are caused by a blockage.
Carotid ultrasound is a painless imaging test that uses high-frequency sound waves to create pictures of the inside of your carotid arteries. This test uses an ultrasound machine, which includes a computer, a screen, and a transducer. The transducer is a handheld device that sends and receives sound waves.
Ultrasound is an essential diagnostic tool because of its safety, convenience and effectiveness. It produces images of the body’s internal structures through the use of high-frequency sound waves, the echoes of which are used to create moving and still images. All images appear in “real” time as soon as the machine is turned on, and the transducer (a handheld device that sends and receives sound waves) placed on the body; there is no wait, as there is for X-rays and other imaging procedures, for images to be developed.
The abdominal aorta is the artery that runs through the middle of the abdomen, supplying blood to the lower half of the body. It can develop an aneurysm, which is a localized, balloon-like expansion caused by having weak walls. If an aneurysm is suspected, an abdominal aortic ultrasound, which provides information about blood flow through the aorta, may be performed.
A renal ultrasound is a safe and painless test that uses sound waves to make images of the kidneys, ureters, and bladder. The kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs located toward the back of the abdominal cavity, just above the waist. They remove waste products from the blood and produce urine.
Ankle Brachial Index (ABI)
The ankle–brachial pressure index (ABPI) or ankle–brachial index (ABI) is the ratio of the blood pressure at the ankle to the blood pressure in the upper arm (brachium). Compared to the arm, lower blood pressure in the leg suggests blocked arteries due to peripheral artery disease (PAD).
Endovascular treatment offers a lower risk alternative to open surgery in many patients with multiple comorbidities. Noninvasive physiological tests and arterial imaging precede an endovascular intervention and help localize the disease and plan the procedure.
Varicose Vein Ablation (COMING SOON)
A pacemaker insertion is the implantation of a small electronic device that is usually placed in the chest (just below the collarbone) to help regulate slow electrical problems of the heart. A pacemaker may be recommended to ensure that the heartbeat does not slow to a dangerously low rate.
An Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator (ICD) is a cardiac device that is intended for high risk patients to reduce their risk of dying if the lower chambers of the heart (ventricles) go into a dangerous rhythm and stop beating effectively (cardiac arrest)
Device Battery Replacement
A pacemaker battery usually lasts 7 to 8 years. When the battery runs down, a new pacemaker will be implanted. The surgery to replace the old pacemaker with a new one usually requires a local anesthetic. In most cases, your original pacemaker leads will not need to be replaced.
The ICD battery will be checked during regular checkups, which should occur every three to six months. When the battery is nearly out of power, your old shock generator is replaced with a new one during a minor outpatient procedure.
The Watchman Device is a small implant placed in to the heart that can reduce the risk of atrial fibrillation. Patients with atrial fibrillation are at increased risk of stroke, mainly due to clots that form in a small chamber in the top of the heart known as the left atrial appendage. In the Watchman procedure a small tube is passed up to this appendage through the veins of the leg and the watchman device is deployed, closing off the appendage. For this reason the Watchman procedure with the Watchman Device is known as a form of left atrial appendage occlusion.
Complex Ablations For A-FIB, A-FLUTTER, VT, SVT, PVC
Catheter ablation is a minimally invasive procedure to treat cardiac arrhythmias. It can relieve symptoms and improve quality of life. During an ablation, the doctor destroys small areas in the heart that are firing off abnormal electrical impulses and causing atrial fibrillation, aflutter, ventricular tachycardia, supraventricular tachycardia or premature ventricular contractions.
Dr. Ali Sovari specializes in complex ablations, and accepts new patients for first time evaluations as well as new patients seeking to have a redo ablation. Dr. Sovari regularly performs these procedures at St. John’s Regional Medical Center and Cedars Sinai Los Angeles.
Implantable Cardiac Monitoring
Reveal LINQ, Insertable Cardiac Monitor, is the world’s smallest implantable cardiac monitoring device. The procedure to implant one just takes a few minutes to perform as an outpatient. It records the heart rhythm continuously to capsure recurrent unexplained episodes of palpitations.
A cardiac event recorder is a battery-powered portable device that you control to tape-record your heart’s electrical activity (ECG) when you have symptoms. There are two types of event recorders: a loop memory monitor and a symptom event monitor. The FDA-cleared ZIO Patch is a small, adhesive, water-resistant one lead ECG sensor that the user can stick onto their chest for a continuous 24-hour monitoring over 2 weeks, but it is only approved on some insurance plans. Also Mobile Cardiac Telemetry (MCT) solutions that detect, record and wirelessly transmit asymptomatic and symptomatic arrhythmia to our clinicians for analysis. Patients may also record manual events with symptom and activity reporting.
Holter Monitors are a portable device that records the rhythm of the heart continuously, typically for 24–48 hours, by means of electrodes attached to the chest.