Baylor Scott & White Heart and Vascular Hospital – Dallas non-invasive echocardiography laboratory offers a comprehensive range of basic to advanced non-invasive procedures and technologies to diagnose heart disease. Backed by over 20 years of combined, specialized experience in the field, we pride ourselves on the delivery of safe, quality care in a patient-centered environment.
The non-invasive echocardiography lab is recognized and accredited by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC). An ongoing goal of the hospital is to exceed national standards and encourage the IAC to continuously evaluate quality and education objectives across the country. The leadership and staff in the non-invasive services department are actively involved in elevating the profession by publishing, working on nationwide projects to standardize roles for advanced cardiac sonographers and improving processes and patient experience.
The non-invasive cardiology department is staffed with nationally-registered sonographers who work closely with cardiologists on the hospital’s medical staff to quickly and accurately diagnose your heart condition. This team is focused on achieving the best outcomes for patients by using methods that are safe and virtually painless, including no exposure to radiation and less risk than an invasive procedure, allowing normal activities to resume almost immediately.
The non-invasive echocardiography laboratory provides a broad range of non-invasive cardiovascular services, including:
Exercise Stress Testing
Exercise stress echocardiography — This type of procedure combines ultrasound imaging, electrocardiography (ECG), blood pressure monitoring, and exercise to evaluate the effect of exertion on the heart. This includes the evaluation of heart function by ultrasound imaging, which can be used to identify abnormal blood flow to the heart muscle or to confirm damage from a previous heart attack and observation of heart valve structures. The ECG will be monitored throughout the test and will provide necessary information on rhythm changes that may occur.
Pharmaceutical stress echocardiography — This type of stress test is similar to the exercise stress, but instead of using a treadmill this test uses medications which speed up your heart rate, increasing the pumping mechanisms of the heart. This test is only indicated in patients who are unable to walk on a treadmill long enough to reach target heart rate.
Exercise treadmill test — This is a non-imaging procedure that involves exercise, electrocardiography (ECG), and blood pressure monitoring to measure the effect of exercise on your heart.
Transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE) – This is a quick and accurate test used to assess the overall function of the heart and valves. The medical team will measure the strength (heart muscle contractility) of your heart and determine if there are any valvular abnormalities.
Transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) – This is a minimally invasive test performed by inserting a specialized probe, with an ultrasound transducer at the tip, inside your esophagus to look closely at the upper chambers and valves of your heart. The medical team uses this to look for abnormalities, such as blood clots or infections in the heart and a more detailed look at valve function. This test does require sedation and may be performed if a transthoracic echo does not provide enough diagnostic information to your care team.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where do I park?
Self-parking is available adjacent to the hospital in Lot 19 or Garage 10. Valet parking is available at the hospital's entrance off Junius Street.
Where do I go?
When you arrive, you will need to visit our Access Services desk where you will be greeted and checked in. Our access services team will collect any co-payment due as well as have you sign the appropriate consent forms. Once you are completely checked in, your access services representative will arrange for your transport to the non-invasive department.
How long will it take?
Most of our procedures are short, but plan on spending a couple of hours to account for checking in on the ground floor, walking to the department, and completing your test.
Stress and TEE information
If you are having a stress test, we recommend that you wear tennis shoes and comfortable clothes as though you were going to the gym or to exercise.
You cannot eat prior to a stress test or a TEE. If you are having these procedures and need to take your morning medications, do so with a small sip of water. Please consult your physician if you have any questions about how you should take your medications prior to your procedure.
If you are having a TEE, you must have an individual available to drive you home following the test due to the sedation you will be given. If you do not have a person to take you home, your test will be rescheduled to a time that can have a ride arranged.
Have additional questions?
If you have general questions, feel free to call and speak directly with someone on our care team at 214.820.0150.
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For questions about an upcoming hospital appointment, please call 214.820.0128