Providing First-Rate Cardiovascular Care
Whether you need help managing a heart condition or are hoping to prevent one from developing, Michael Funk, MD Multispecialtyhealthcare, LLC in Coral Springs, FL is here for you. We can perform a variety of tests and procedures, from cardiac CT scans to pacemaker and defibrillator checks. No matter your condition, our healthcare providers can provide a comprehensive care plan especially for you.
Tests and Procedures
This basic screening tool can identify problems with your heart and arteries. This test is painless, will only take a few minutes, and will not require any previous preparation.
In the examining room, you will be asked to lie down. 12 electrodes, which are small and sticky patches, will be attached to your limbs and chest. Your heart’s electrical current will then be recorded as you lie still, and your physician will determine its pumping pattern.
This is a portable device that records the rhythm of the heart continuously by means of electrodes attached to the chest. Recordings typically take 24 hours.
A staff member will place the monitor on you. Then, you will need to bring it back the next day so that the doctor can interpret the findings. The monitor helps determine why you are experiencing symptoms like fast heartbeats/palpitations, dizziness, episodes of blackouts/syncope, or skipped heartbeats.
This exercise tolerance test is often used for diagnosing coronary artery disease. To determine whether there is a blockage in your heart’s arteries, you will be asked to exercise while the plain stress test records the rate and rhythm of your heart. Because the test places stress on your heart, it can bring out abnormalities that are not apparent at rest. These include abnormalities that are caused by partial blockages in the coronary arteries.
Much like in an electrocardiogram, electrodes will be placed on your chest during the test. During and after exercise, the physician will record your blood pressure, heart rate, and ECG at frequent intervals. These will also be recorded while you’re at rest—first when you’re lying on your back and again when standing. After this, you will be asked to perform a graded exercise on a motor-driven treadmill. You will start the exercise protocol at the easy level. However, with each subsequent stage, the test will get more and more difficult.
You can opt out of the test at any time for valid medical reasons. The technologist will stop the test if you report significant fatigue or discomfort. Despite this, we still encourage patients to exercise for as long as possible because it is helpful for us to assess how your heart reacts when under maximum stress.
Bear in mind that this screening test is meant only for patients who are able to exercise. If you are truly unable to exercise on a treadmill, we may propose that you take the nuclear stress test as an alternative.
A nuclear stress test is used to determine the blood flow to the heart muscle when the heart is under stress or at rest. This test is given if a plain exercise stress test is not indicated. Your doctor will explain why this test was chosen over a plain exercise stress test.
Unlike in a plain exercise stress test, a nuclear stress test includes inserting a small intravenous (IV) line in a vein in your arm. This allows us to inject the nuclear marker into the bloodstream at the appropriate time. The added imaging performed during this test gives more information than a plain exercises stress test. However, this test is not necessary for all patients.
The computed tomography (CT) scan is used for seeing the heart in 3-D. This diagnostic exam combines X-rays and computers to provide images that can show coronary artery blockages, the blood flow in the heart muscle, and even the pumping action of the heart. It can also be used to obtain a calcium score, which is used for assessing heart disease risk.
Through CT scans, cardiologists can perform thorough and noninvasive cardiac exams. Other imaging technologies such as traditional X-rays, ultrasounds, stress tests, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can’t obtain the specific diagnostic information that a CT scan provides.
During the exam, your doctor may administer a “contrast” solution, which helps improve the accuracy of the exam. You will have to let your doctor know if you’ve had an allergic reaction to contrast as well as iodine-based products and shellfish. In addition, tell your doctor if you have any disease of the kidneys because contrast may affect them. Prior to the test, you will need routine blood work to assess your kidney function. Once the CTA is completed, your doctor will determine if any further testing, such as cardiac catheterization, is needed.
This ultrasound is used to test for narrowed carotid arteries in the neck. The narrowing happens when plaque, which is made up of substances that circulate in the bloodstream, builds up in the carotid arteries. When excessive fat, cholesterol, and calcium accumulate in the arteries, the risk of stroke may increase.
A venous Doppler ultrasound is used to check the circulation in the large veins in the legs. This diagnostic test can detect blockage in the veins or a “thrombus” formation/blood clot. If there is a clot, then the doctor may need to place you on blood thinner medication.
An arterial Doppler ultrasound of the lower extremities is a quick and painless test. Using high-frequency sound waves, it measures the amount of blood flow through the legs’ arteries. It can detect if there is a possible blockage in the arteries of the legs and if further testing needs to be done.
Through a Doppler echocardiogram, the speed and direction of the blood flow within the heart can be measured. This tool is used to:
- Determine the size of your heart
- Evaluate how well your heart is functioning or pumping
- Assess the structure and function of the valves within the heart
- Screen the four valves for leaks and other abnormalities
- Check whether you have a defect, a hole, any masses, or suggestion of infection in your heart
Echocardiograms are useful for diagnosing weakened heart muscles or enlarged hearts. Depending on the findings, you may need to be placed on medication to prevent further damage to your heart. Your family members may need screening as well.
Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) produces pictures of your heart. During the test, a tube will pass through your mouth, go down your throat, and go into your esophagus. This allows for a much better picture of your heart than a standard echocardiogram. The procedure is performed in an outpatient facility and not in the office. For eight hours before the test, you will not be able to eat or drink.
This procedure only takes a few minutes and includes light sedation. Since you will be receiving anesthesia, someone will need to drive you to the procedure and take you home. You will be given the results immediately after the test when you wake up. The test will help determine if you need surgery on the heart valves or closure of any defects in the heart. It will evaluate what abnormalities were found on the standard echocardiogram.
Used for patients with a condition called atrial fibrillation, electrical cardioversion is an attempt to shock the heart externally. This is also meant to convert the heart’s rhythm from an irregular rhythm back into a normal sinus rhythm. This is usually performed immediately after a transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE).
You will not be able to eat or drink eight hours prior to the procedure as you will be given light sedation. Because of the anesthesia sedation, you will not be able to feel the shock to the heart. Also, someone will need to drive you to the procedure and take you home. You are typically placed on a blood thinner for four to six weeks after the procedure. Then, in your next checkup, the doctor will assess whether the blood thinner needs to be continued.
Noninvasive and painless, this procedure uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of the abdominal aorta. The abdominal aorta is the main blood vessel leading blood away from the heart. The ultrasound is used to screen for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), a medical emergency that can lead to rupture.