Serving Los Angeles and the surrounding cities, our cardiology services cover a vast continuum of care, from prevention and early detection to the latest in cardiovascular treatment.
This is a list of the most common diagnostic testing and procedures performed by Dr. Helmy.
A cardiology consultation is usually requested by your primary care doctor, or sometimes another specialist, when he or she wishes to have a cardiac specialist use his expertise to evaluate you. This may be because your primary care physician or regular cardiologist wishes you to have a confirmatory or second opinion.
Medication Management, most commonly for blood pressure and arrhythmias
Managing heart related medicine can be as simple as being treated for cholesterol or high blood pressure. Sometimes, medication management can be more complex when there are multiple drug interactions or other conditions being treated at the same time.
Electrophysiology studies, or EPS’s, use cardiac catheterization techniques to study patients who have irregular heartbeats (called arrhythmias). An EPS shows how the heart reacts to controlled electrical signals. These signals can help doctors find out where in the heart the arrhythmia starts and what medicines will work to stop it. For more information on electrophysiology studies, go to the “Electrophysiology Tab”
Electrocardiograms (EKG’s or ECG’s)
An electrocardiogram is a test that checks for problems with the electrical activity of your heart. It translates the hearts electrical activity into a line tracing. It is a very useful and routine test performed to make an initial diagnosis.
Most commonly, an electrocardiogram, or ECG, is performed to find the cause of unexplained chest pain. Chest pain could be caused by a heart attack, inflammation of the sac surrounding the heart, or angina. It also helps to find the cause of symptoms of heart disease, such as shortness of breath, dizziness, abnormal heartbeats, or checks if the walls of the heart chambers are too thick (hypertrophied).
An ECG is a useful check to see how well medicines are working and whether they are causing side effects, how well a mechanical implanted device, such as a pacemaker or defibrillator, are working to control the heart rate.
An implantable loop recorder (ILR) is a small device that is implanted under the skin of the chest and to the left of the breastbone. It has the ability to record the electrical activity of the heart in two ways: First, the ILR begins to record when the heart rate rises or falls too much. Secondly, the ILR has a “patient activator” button, whereby you can trigger a recording manually for any particular reason. For example, the activator can be used when you experience symptoms like skipped beats, lightheadedness, or dizziness.
ILRs are recommended for patients who experience symptoms such as syncope (fainting), seizures, recurrent palpitations, lightheadedness, or dizziness. The ILR is best used in patients who experience these serious symptoms regularly but not often enough to be captured by a 24-hour or 30-day external monitor.
An implantable cardiac monitor is used to keep a close eye on heart rhythms for a long term analysis of cardiac patterns. The complete system automatically and continuously monitors the heart and regularly sends data from the implant to the patient’s cardiologist for review.
Implantation of Pacemakers
A pacemaker is a small device that is placed under the skin of your chest or abdomen to help control abnormal heart rhythms. This device uses electrical pulses to prompt the heart to beat at a normal rate. Pacemakers are used to treat heart rhythms that are too slow, fast, or irregular.
Implantation of Cardiovascular Defibrillators
Some people who have severe heart failure or serious arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats) are candidates for implantable defibrillators. These devices are surgically placed and deliver pacing, or an electric countershock, to the heart when a life-threatening abnormal rhythm is detected.
Pacemaker and Defibrillator Checks
A pacemaker or defibrillator regulates your heart’s electrical system, normalizing your rhythms. A patient along with their physician must maintain the equipment by conducting regular tests.
Stress Testing by Treadmill and Holter Systems
Stress tests are tests performed by a doctor and/or trained technician to determine the amount of stress that your heart can manage before developing either an abnormal rhythm or evidence of ischemia (not enough blood flow to the heart muscle). The most commonly performed stress testing is the exercise stress test using a treadmill and having the patient hooked up to a holter system.
Tilt Table Testing
The tilt-table test is a simple, inexpensive, and informative test that can help identify the causes of fainting. As its name implies, the tilt table test involves placing a patient on a table with a foot-support, then tilting the table upward.
Contact Dr. Helmy for all of your electrocardiogram, pacemaker, and stress testing needs. Call or stop by one of our Los Angeles area offices today.