null Heart Disease Diagnosis | UnityPoint Health | Fort Dodge
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UnityPoint Clinic Express (Fort Dodge)

2728 2nd Avenue South
Fort Dodge, IA 50501

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Heart Disease Diagnosis

Heart disease, a leading cause of death among Americans, can go undetected for years. The cardiologists at UnityPoint Health – Trinity specialize in diagnosing and treating patients with all types of heart disease.

Our team also works closely with the emergency room and ambulance services at Trinity Regional Medical Center and area hospitals to provide lifesaving care to heart attack patients – 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Because of our outstanding quality of care and positive outcomes for heart attack patients, the American College of Cardiology recognized us with a Chest Pain – MI Registry™ Platinum Performance Achievement Award for 2020.

Make sure you know the signs of a heart attack and stroke warning signs.

Heart Disease Diagnosis at Trinity: Tests We Offer

We believe that providing a full array of diagnostic services close to home makes it easier to understand the cause of your heart problems. You don't have to travel to larger cities for diagnostics and treatment. You can get what you need right here in Fort Dodge, Iowa.

We can perform a wide range of diagnostic tests in our cardiovascular lab. Your provider will determine which tests to order.

Common tests for heart disease

There are several types of tests used to diagnose heart disease. Some use ultrasound to check your heart's function, while others monitor the electrical signals your heart makes. Some of the standard tests we perform include:

  • Echocardiogram: Using ultrasound, we check how well blood moves through the heart. We can evaluate heart function, heart murmurs, fluid around the heart and heart size. No preparation is necessary for this test. 
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG): We use this test to record electrical signals from your heart. The signals' pattern tells the doctor whether your heart is beating normally, under stress or experiencing electrical problems, strain or damage. No preparation is necessary for this test. 
  • Event monitoring: For event monitoring, you wear a small device that records an EKG. You'll carry this monitor for 30 days to see how your heart beats. It is a painless way to record your heartbeat. After 30 days, you return the monitor to your doctor for analysis. No preparation is necessary for this test. 
  • Holter monitoring: A Holter monitor is another painless way to record your heartbeat. You will wear a small device that records an EKG for 24 hours. Afterward, you return the monitor to your doctor for analysis. No preparation is necessary for this test. 
  • Transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE): This test uses ultrasound to take pictures of the heart. A doctor inserts a small probe through your mouth and down into your throat. Sound waves from the probe travel to your heart and bounce back. We can get clearer pictures of the heart with this test. You need to follow your provider's directions to prepare for the test. 

Stress tests

Some of the tests you may have check how your heart handles its workload. These are called stress tests or exercise tests. These tests include:

  • Exercise test: The basic exercise or stress test checks how your heart reacts to exercise. It records your heartbeat using EKG while you walk on a treadmill. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes and clothing on the day of your test. You also need to follow directions from your provider to prepare for the test. 
  • Stress echo: With a stress echo, we use ultrasound to see the heart's function as you walk on a treadmill. A flat-headed probe takes pictures of the heart before you walk on the treadmill and immediately after you're done. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes and clothing and follow your provider's directions to prepare for the test. 
  • Lexiscan® stress test: We use this test for people who cannot walk on a treadmill. You receive a medication called regadenoson (brand name Lexiscan) to make your heart beat faster, so we can see how your heart reacts to extra work. You need to follow your provider's directions to prepare for the test. 
  • Dobutamine stress echo: We use this test if you cannot walk on the treadmill. You receive a drug called dobutamine to increase your heart rate. We take pictures of the heart before, during and after the drug is started. You need to follow your provider's directions to prepare for the test. 

Cardiac cath lab tests

Some of the tests we do take place in the cardiac cath lab. These may include minimally invasive procedures.

  • Angiography: We use this test to check the veins and arteries, including the aorta (the body's main artery), for blockage and disease. We inject a special dye and use X-ray imaging to take pictures of blood vessels.
  • Coronary angiography: We inject a contrast dye into your veins and take multiple, quick X-rays of the dye as it passes through the heart. We check the heart arteries for blockages using this test. 
  • Left heart cath with ventricular angiography: We make a small incision in your thigh, insert a small tube (catheter) and guide special tools through it to the blood vessels on the left side of the heart. It allows us to measure the pressure and function of the heart's main pumping chamber and its valves.
  • Pulmonary angiography: We use this test to check the arteries that take blood to the lungs. 
  • Right heart cath: We make a small incision in your groin, insert a small tube (catheter) and guide tools through it to the blood vessels to the right side of your heart. With the tools in place, we can measure the function of the right side of the heart and its valves. 

Heart Screenings

We also offer calcium scoring heart screenings to assess heart health and discover heart disease faster. This screening uses a CT scan to identify plaque in your coronary arteries and determine your heart disease risk. Call (515) 574-6772 to find out if you are a candidate for a calcium scoring screening.

Contact Us

To learn more about our heart care services at UnityPoint Health – Trinity, call us today at (515) 573-3101.