Cardiology Services

At Los Alamitos Medical Center, we offer a range of cardiology services performed by heart specialists, so you can rest assured that your heart is in the right place.

Diagnostic Tests and Procedures

The following diagnostic cardiology services help cardiologists determine the heart’s condition. Learning the types of tests and procedures and how they’re done can help patients feel more confident about having them. There are two types of diagnostic tests and procedures:
Noninvasive diagnostic tests may involve having a needle stick for an intravenous contrast agent injection. These cardiac services measure the heart’s activity through external imaging and electrocardiography.

  • Electrocardiogram (EKG / ECG) – records the heart’s electrical activity to determine if a heart attack has occurred, predict if a heart attack is developing and monitor changes in heart rhythm.
  • Ambulatory electrocardiography and Holter monitoring – documents and describes the abnormal electrical activity of the heart while doing daily activities.
  • Chest X-ray – takes pictures of the heart to determine if the heart is enlarged or if fluid is accumulating in the lungs
  • Echocardiogram (echo) – involves a hand-held device that uses high-frequency sound waves to determine the heart’s size, structure and motion. This procedure helps gather information about abnormal heart rhythms and provides insight into the heart's overall health.
  • Cardiac computed tomography – refers to several noninvasive cardiology services to gather heart images.
  • Exercise stress test – Involves a monitor and electrodes attached to the skin to record the heart function while the patient is walking on a treadmill. This test can check the heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, ECG and how tired the patient is when exercising; this helps diagnose coronary artery disease (CAD), diagnose the possible cause of chest pain, determine the safe level to exercise and predict dangerous conditions such as a heart attack.
  • Thallium Stress Test (MPI or MUGA) – similar exercise stress test but with images and involves a radioactive substance called thallium injected into the bloodstream. 

Invasive diagnostic tests may involve the insertion of a tube, device or scope. 

  • Blood tests – include testing for cardiac enzymes (including troponin and creatine kinase), C-reactive protein (CRP), fibrinogen, homocysteine, lipoproteins, triglycerides, brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) and prothrombin. Blood tests confirm if a heart attack occurred and determines the extent of damage to the heart.
  • Cardiac catheterization – involves a dye injected into the vessels to make them visible in the X-ray. This is to monitor if plaque is narrowing or blocking coronary arteries. This procedure can also measure blood pressure and evaluate heart muscle and valve function.

Sometimes, a heart attack is the first sign to get the heart checked. If you are having your heart checked after a heart attack, you may consider asking these questions to your cardiologist to learn more about your condition:

  • What kind of heart attack did I have?
  • Is the damage to my heart permanent?
  • Why did this happen?
  • Is there a chance of having another attack soon?
  • Could you explain the tests and procedures I will go through?
  • Will there be side effects of taking my medications?
  • How long will I stay in the hospital?
  • What are my physical limitations after the procedure?
  • Will I be able to return to my daily routine?
  • Do I need cardiac rehab?
  • At what point will my cardiac rehab start?

Cardiology Procedures and Services 

Once diagnosed, your cardiologist may recommend treatments and surgeries most appropriate for your condition. You can rest assured that our heart specialists will consider the nonsurgical options first before resorting to the following cardiology procedures and surgeries:

  • Angioplasty – involves a tube with a deflated balloon on one end. The balloon is then inflated to widen the blocked areas where blood flow has been reduced or blocked. This procedure is considered less invasive because the body is not cut open. This procedure increases blood flow, decreases chest pain, increases physical ability that has been limited by chest pain and is also used to open neck and brain arteries to prevent stroke.
  • Bi-plane cardiac catheterization laboratory – an advanced medical facility for performing minimally invasive diagnosis and treatment procedures for cardiovascular diseases.
  • Peripheral atherectomy – same with angioplasty but with a rotating shaver in one end to help cut the plaque from a peripheral artery.
  • Stent placement – involves a wire mesh tube called a stent to prop open an artery during angioplasty. This procedure is performed to hold the artery open, improve the blood flow and relieve chest pain.

Cardiac Rehab

The cardiac rehabilitation program at Los Alamitos Medical Center uses a patient-centered approach to help you get you back to a full and active lifestyle. Learn more about our Cardiac Rehabilitation here

Why Choose Los Alamitos Medical Center for Cardiovascular Services?

The Los Alamitos Medical Center offers innovative cardiovascular services delivered by experienced heart specialists. The Los Alamitos Medical Center has numerous recognitions for cardiac care:

  • The American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines Gold+ Performance Achievement Awards for Stroke
  • ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) receiving and Elective Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) Center Accreditation

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