Non-invasive cardiology includes many general preventive and diagnostic methods to promote your heart health. It typically involves test that don’t require instruments being inserted into your body. Instead the tests are typically external.
Non-invasive cardiology can also involve counseling. Your cardiologist could recommend risk factor modifications and lifestyle changes tailored to your individual health. You may also undergo diagnostic tests to look for disorders of your heart or valve disease. If something is discovered you and your doctor will put together a plan for minimally invasive treatment.
Any diagnosis starts with a test. And there are many tests and procedures tied to non-invasive cardiology. So, let’s look at some of them, how they’re performed and what they might find.
Non-Invasive Cardiology Tests
The American Heart Association gives a thorough breakdown of the tests you might have or the procedures that might be carried out if you visit a non-invasive cardiologist. Some of the tests include:
- Electrocardiogram (EKG / ECG)
- Chest X-Ray
- This test records the electrical activity of your heart to determine if you’ve had a heart attack or if one is developing. It can also pick up changes in your heart’s rhythm.
- A chest x-ray will give your doctor a look at your heart, lungs and bones of your chest. The x-ray can determine if you have an enlarged heart or if fluid is accumulating in your lungs as a result of a heart attack.
3. Computer Imaging
- This could be done in the form of a CT or CAT scan, or even an MRI. A computer creates three-dimensional images that can show blockages caused by heart disease or by calcium deposits you may have in your arteries. It can also spot a pulmonary embolism or other heart conditions or vascular disease.
4. Exercise Stress Test
- This test is also known as:
- Treadmill Test
- Exercise Test
- Exercise Cardiac Stress Test
It’s done to check many aspects of your heart’s function like:
- Heart rate
- Blood pressure
- How tired you become when exercising
The test can diagnose a number of heart problems including: coronary artery disease or the possible cause of chest pain. It could also simply determine your safe level of exercise, especially if you have already had heart surgery.
5. Nuclear Heart Scan
- This test is similar to an exercise stress test, but with images of the heart. You’ll receive a dye injection to make issues more visible. The images can help measure blood flow, find blockages, or heart muscle damage from a heart attack.
Non-Invasive Cardiology Results
If your non-invasive cardiologist discovers something is wrong, you’ll get a list of recommendations and lifestyle changes that you’ll have to make. Most people with heart disease can do very well with the appropriate testing and management plan. This may include medications , on top of changes in diet and lifestyle.
Talk to your doctor to find out if you’re a candidate for a non-invasive cardiology procedure. And to learn more about some of the risk factors related to heart disease, try downloading our guide: “The Heart Disease Facts That Could Change Your Life.” In it you’ll find the list of the most telltale signs there may be something wrong with your heart.