Diagnostic heart services are used to evaluate heart functioning, an essential part of diagnosing heart diseases and conditions.
You may need a heart diagnosis if you have symptoms of heart disease, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, or swelling in your ankles or feet. Bassett Healthcare Network’s cardiac diagnostic team uses advanced technology in order to produce an accurate assessment of your heart function and the vessels surrounding your heart.
An electrocardiogram, or EKG, can be performed in your heart specialist’s office or one of our hospitals. For this cardiovascular test, electrodes are placed on your arms, legs, and chest, and connected to the EKG machine, which then records the electrical activity of your heart. The test can detect an abnormal heartbeat or any previous damage to the heart.
Sometimes called a treadmill test or exercise EKG, a cardiac stress test involves walking on a treadmill so your cardiologist can assess your heart’s function when it’s working harder than usual. A technician measures your breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure, and your cardiologist can see the performance of your heart before, during, and after exercise. For those patients not able to exercise, there are stress tests using medications that “stress” your heart to obtain similar information.
Advanced Cardiac Imaging
This group of imaging tests is called “advanced” because it shows our cardiologists a comprehensive cross-sectional view of your heart. Contrast material (dye) gives a clear picture of your blood vessels and heart as the dye circulates throughout your body. Using advanced cardiac imaging, our heart specialists can more easily examine:
- Your heart’s structure
- An enlarged heart
- How efficiently your heart pumps blood
- Scar tissue and other damage
- Any fluid surrounding the heart
- Other abnormalities
From these images, a range of heart conditions can be diagnosed, including coronary artery disease, congenital heart defects, heart failure, heart valve problems, or tumors in your chest. At Bassett Healthcare Network, our advanced cardiac imaging includes:
- Cardiac CT scan
- Cardiac MRI, which uses a magnet and radio waves to capture images of your heart
- Echocardiogram, an ultrasound of the heart
- Electrophysiology, an assessment of the electrical activity of your heart to locate an abnormal heartbeat
- Cardiac catheterization, in which a specialist inserts a catheter into your heart or a blood vessel to see how well it is functioning
- Vascular services, including treatment of arterial disorders, such as carotid artery disease and aortic aneurysm, and venous disorders, such as varicose veins
Getting a Diagnosis for Your Heart Condition
If you are experiencing symptoms of heart problems such as shortness of breath, chest pain, or excessive fatigue, ask your primary care physician or practitioner for a referral for diagnostic heart services.
Bassett Healthcare Network provides diagnostic heart services in Central New York, including Cooperstown, Oneonta, Herkimer, Cobleskill, Otsego, and beyond.