High-quality and compassionate care
We offer a full breadth of cardiology services from expert diagnostics to state of the art treatments. Our philosophy is to prevent long hospitalizations by using minimally invasive techniques as much as possible.
Also called EKGs, electrocardiograms are performed by placing electrode patches on the chest and extremities and connecting them to a machine. The sensors picks up electrical activity in the heart and sends the results to the printer and a monitor. A lot of information can be obtained from an electrocardiogram, including heart rate and heart rhythm. It can help determine if a heart attack is occurring and reveal where the damage is located.
An echocardiogram, also known as an echo, is a relatively simple test in which high-frequency sound waves are bounced off the heart to create an image of its structures, somewhat like the sonar a submarine uses underwater. Using a sound probe placed at various locations on the chest, the doctor can see an image of the pumping action of the heart and how the valves are working.
Exercise Stress Tests
Also known as “treadmill tests,” exercise stress tests are used to look for coronary heart disease or blocked coronary arteries. It can be used to access the cause of chest pain. Patients undergoing this test walk on a treadmill machine while a technician monitors their symptoms and blood pressure, and an electrocardiogram. If patients cannot exercise, the heart is “stressed” with drugs that mimic the effect of exercise on the treadmill.
Exercise echocardiography is another type of stress test combining exercise and echocardiogram pictures to show the contraction of the heart. Like exercise stress tests, drugs can be used to for patients who cannot exercise.
Ambulatory Electrocardiographic Monitoring (Heart Monitoring)
This monitoring includes holter and event monitoring. Both these tests provide the doctor with information about how the patient’s heart responds during normal daily activities over a period of time. These tests can be done for several days or longer depending on the information the doctor needs.
Nuclear Perfusion Tests
These tests use a small amount of a radioactive agent to study blood flow, how the chambers of the heart are functioning and how big they are. These tests may be used to monitor the progress of disease in patients. They may be done with an exercise stress test.
Testing leads to the next step in your care, whether that is further testing, treatment or simple relief that comes when a test shows the heart is functioning as it should.
Cardiac catheterization is a procedure used to diagnose and treat certain 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.
A specially designed catheter with a tiny balloon is carefully guided through the artery to the blockage, then inflated to widen the opening and increase blood flow to the heart. A stent is often placed during the procedure, to keep the artery open after the balloon is deflated and removed.
A coronary stent is a tube-shaped device placed in the coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart, to keep the arteries open in the treatment of coronary heart disease. It is used in a procedure called percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Coronary stents are now used in more than 90% of PCI procedures.
Coronary atherectomy is a procedure to open a coronary artery that is blocked or narrowed by plaque. Coronary arteries are blood vessels that supply your heart muscle with blood. Coronary atherectomy improves blood flow to your heart muscle.
Trans Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)
Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is a minimally invasive procedure to replace a narrowed aortic valve that fails to open properly (aortic valve stenosis). In this procedure, doctors insert a catheter in your leg or chest and guide it to your heart.
Watchman Implant for Atrial Fibrillation
The Watchman Device is a small implant placed in to the heart that can reduce the risk of stroke in patients with 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.
Endovascular treatments are innovative, minimally invasive procedures that are done inside the blood vessels and can be used to treat peripheral artery disease or PAD which is a common type of vascular problem in the leg, aorta, carotid and renal arteries.
Pacemakers & Defibrillators (ICDs) monitoring and evaluations
Living with a pacemaker or ICD requires special instructions and care. Listed in the directory below you will find information related to pacemakers, for which we have provided a brief overview.
FAQs About Pacemakers and Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICDs)
If you have additional questions, we’re always here to help. Just give us a call at (760) 353-3222 or drop us a line and we’ll take care of you.
790 West Orange Avenue, Suite B
El Centro, CA 92243
Cell phones available in the U.S. don’t seem to interfere with or damage pacemakers. But try not to keep your cell phone in your breast pocket on the side of the device. And use the phone on the opposite ear.
Some devices may need to be adjusted if your health condition or lifestyle changes. Changes are done in the clinic using a device called a programmer. This is a special computer that “talks” with the pacemaker or ICD. This is done using magnetic signals via a “wand” or loop placed over your chest where the device is implanted. Your doctor will tell you about the schedule of follow-up visits you should keep based on your condition and type of device. You may have an assessment using a monitor and telephone line. Or it may be done by an internet connection. Most current ICDs and pacemakers can now be followed remotely. This means the device can send data to your doctor wirelessly.
If the original leads are working correctly, they will often be left in place and reattached to the new device.
Most device batteries will last at least 8 to 10 years, depending on use. Biventricular pacemakers/defibrillators often tend to have a shorter battery life. After that time, the battery or pulse generator will need to be replaced. Replacing a pacemaker generator may be done on an outpatient basis. Or you may need to stay overnight in the hospital.
Yes, you can travel by air with your device and drive a car, if cleared by your doctor. Airport security detectors are generally safe. But let airport security staff know you have a pacemaker/ICD and discuss the appropriate screening procedure. If you are selected to be screened by handheld wand, politely remind the screener that these wands should not be held over the device area for more than a few seconds. Always have your ID card with you wherever you go. Some people with ICDs may not be allowed to drive unless cleared by their doctor. For your safety, and the safety of others, your doctor may advise that you don’t drive for 6 months after your ICD is implanted, or after an ICD discharge. The life-threatening heart problems that these devices treat can cause you to lose consciousness. This is dangerous if you’re driving.
You may be able to exercise with your pacemaker or ICD. But check with your doctor first to make sure the exercise you do will not damage the device.
When you have a pacemaker implanted, stay away from devices with large magnets or magnetic fields that can be created from motors of cars or boats. An MRI is an imaging test used to take images of your body using magnets. Some pacemaker and ICD devices are approved to have an MRI. But always talk with your provider before having this test to make sure it is safe for you. Magnetic fields can be created by other machines and these can affect the normal function of your device. Stay away from high-voltage radar machines such as radio or TV transmitters, electric arc welders, high-tension wires, radar installations, or smelting furnaces. If you have any broken or leftover wire in your body, you won’t be able to have an MRI.