The signs and symptoms of heart disease can be hard to recognize on your own. That’s why our cardiologists in Boca Raton use some of the most advanced diagnostic tools for heart disease so you can get the efficient and effective treatment you need.
Sometimes, patients don’t know they have a heart condition until they experience signs of a heart attack. We suggest consulting a cardiologist when you experience the following signs and symptoms of heart disease:
- Chest pain or pressure in the chest
- Pain or discomfort in the arms
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea and fatigue
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Cold sweats
Tests for Heart Disease
With accurate cardiovascular disease diagnosis, our cardiologists in Boca Raton provide suitable treatment options for patients to help improve their heart health and quality of life and prevent further complications. Here are some of West Boca Medical Center’s diagnostic tools for heart disease:
- Ambulatory electrocardiography and Holter monitoring – also known as Holter monitoring, ambulatory electrocardiogram (ECG) or ambulatory electrocardiogram (EKG), is one of the heart monitoring services offered in Boca Raton, FL which measures the electrical activity of the heart during daily activities.
- Blood tests – may include tests for cardiac enzymes, C-reactive protein (CRP), fibrinogen, homocysteine, lipoproteins, triglycerides, brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) and prothrombin to determine the heart condition after a heart attack and to assess future risk for cardiovascular disease.
- Cardiac catheterization – uses special X-rays called angiograms to examine the blood vessels. One of the tests for heart disease used to determine plaque buildup, measure blood pressure, evaluate heart muscle and valve function and determine the best course of treatment.
- Cardiac computed tomography (CT) scan – A collective term that includes electron-beam CT (EBCT), positron emission tomography (PET) scan, dynamic cerebral angiography (DCA), digital subtraction angiography (DSA), multidetector CT or MDCT, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and single-photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT). These procedures create three-dimensional (3D) images of the heart that can show blockages in the coronary arteries.
- Echocardiogram – includes a handheld device that uses high-frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to produce images of the heart's size, structure and motion.
- Electrocardiogram – also known as electrocardiography, records the heart’s electrical activity, including its timing and duration of heartbeats.
- Exercise stress test – also known as a treadmill test, exercise test and exercise cardiac stress test. This procedure includes a monitor with electrodes attached to the skin that records the heart function while performing a specific activity.
- Thallium stress test – also known as myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI), multigated acquisition (MUGA) scan, radionuclide stress test and nuclear stress test. This procedure is the same as the exercise test but with images.
- Tilt-table test – usually used for people who often feel faint or lightheaded, this procedure involves the patient lying on a tilted table, and the doctor monitors how the blood pressure and heart rate respond to the force of gravity.
- Transesophageal echocardiography – involves an ultrasound to produce detailed pictures of the heart.
X-ray – creates pictures of the heart, lungs and bones.
A combination of the above procedures may be part of your annual cardiovascular screening. How often you get these procedures depends on the history and the risk factors of cardiovascular disease.
Once diagnosed, our cardiologists in Boca Raton may offer various treatment options depending on your heart’s condition. Rest assured, our cardiology team in West Boca Medical Center will consider all nonsurgical treatment options before resorting
Here are some of the cardiac services our cardiologists may prescribe:
- Eat smart
- Stay active
- Reduce stress
- Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers (ARBs) – help relax the veins and arteries to lower blood pressure
- Angiotensin receptor neprilysin inhibitors (ARNIs) – used to treat heart failure
- Antiarrhythmics – helps control irregular heart rhythms
- Anticoagulants – also called blood thinners to reduce blood clots
- Antiplatelet agents – also help prevent blood clots
- Calcium channel blockers – can help treat high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms and chest pain
- Glyceryl trinitrate – helps relieve chest pain symptoms
- Statins – reduce cholesterol levels that help lower the risk of heart attack and stroke
- Beta blockers - steadies the heart rate and rhythm, lowers the blood pressure and reduces the risk of having a heart attack
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors – lower blood pressure and lessens the workload of the heart
- Long-acting nitrates – help prevent angina
- Diuretics – also known as water tablets, helps reduce the fluid buildup in the body
Procedures and Surgeries
- Angioplasty - A tube with a balloon on one end is threaded to the coronary arteries. The balloon is then inflated, which widens the blocked areas. This procedure helps increase blood flow, decrease chest pain, increase the ability of physical activity and can also be used to open arteries, helping prevent stroke
- Laser Angioplasty - Same with angioplasty, but has a laser on the tip instead of a balloon
- Artificial heart valve surgery - Replaces a diseased or damaged valve with an artificial heart valve
- Atherectomy - Similar to angioplasty but has a rotating shaver on its tip instead of a balloon
- Bypass Surgery - Creates new passages for blood flow to the heart
- Cardiomyoplasty - Takes skeletal muscles from the patient’s back or abdomen to wrap around the heart
- Heart Transplant - Replaces a diseased or damaged heart with a donated heart
- Mechanical Assist Device
- Implantable ventricular assist device (VAD) – also known as ventricular assist system (VAS), consists of a mechanical pump that helps a weakened heart pump blood
- Intra-aortic balloon pump – also known as intra-aortic balloon counterpulsation (IABC) or balloon pump, consists of a balloon that inflates or deflates to help blood flow and decrease the heart’s workload
- Total artificial heart (TAH) – a mechanical device that can replace the heart. Research is still ongoing for this mechanical device
- Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery - An alternative procedure to heart bypass surgery
- Pacemakers - Used to correct irregular heartbeats, pacemakers are the size of a matchbox implanted under the skin. The pacemakers help regulate heartbeats by generating electrical impulses to help the heart beat at a normal rhythm.
- Radiofrequency ablation - A catheter-based procedure with an electrode tip guided through the veins to zap heart muscles in a small area
- Stent placement - A wire mesh tube used to open an artery during angioplasty
- Transmyocardial revascularization - Involves a later to drill holes from outside the heart to the heart’s pumping chamber
A combination of medication(s), lifestyle changes and cardiovascular services may be prescribed depending on your heart’s condition.
Advanced Heart Care in Boca Raton, FL
West Boca Medical Center offers a wide range of cardiology services, including advanced diagnostic tools for heart disease, heart monitoring services and noninvasive and invasive treatment options in one place.
Our cardiologists in Boca Raton also provide annual cardiovascular screenings for the prevention and early detection of cardiovascular disease. You can also check our Cardiovascular Resources for healthy tips on caring for your heart.