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Non-Invasive Cardiology Services

Non-Invasive Cardiology

At the Baylor Jack and Jane Hamilton Heart and Vascular Hospital, the Non-Invasive Echocardiography laboratory uses state-of-the-art equipment and sophisticated non-invasive methods to diagnosis heart disease. First and foremost, the echo team's highest priority is to help in the diagnosis of conditions so the medical team can then move on to aiding in patient treatment.

The advantage to non-invasive cardiac procedures is that they allow the achievement of similar results of procedures that are more invasive, but do so with less risk, no exposure to radiation (X-Rays), and fewer needles. There is little to no pain associated with ultrasounds and the procedures are much shorter than more invasive testing. We offer you and your loved ones over 20 years of combined, specialized experience in the field. As always, we pride ourselves on the delivery of safe, quality care in a compassionate, patient-centered environment.

The Non-Invasive Cardiology department is staffed with nationally certified sonographers who work closely with the board certified cardiologists to quickly and accurately diagnose your heart condition so you can move on to treatment. This team is focused on achieving the best outcomes for patients by using methods that are safe and virtually painless allowing normal activities to resume almost immediately.

Leaders in Their Field

Other Baylor labs and physicians draw on the expertise of the BHVH non-invasive cardiology professionals. The lab?s medical director on staff is heavily involved in writing the guidelines for echocardiography that are used throughout the medical community. The echocardiography lab serves as a Valve Clinic and also as a Core Lab for numerous research trials. The staff of Baylor Heart and Vascular Services at Dallas are leaders in the community and share our experiences and evidence based practice throughout the healthcare system in order to ensure standardized practice.

The Non-Invasive echocardiography laboratory is accredited by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission in adult transthoracic, adult stress, and adult transesophageal echocardiography. Accreditation is only granted to facilities that are found to be providing quality care to their patients; meaning that our echo lab is dedicated to achieving the highest standards of quality patient care. Patients and their loved-ones can rely on accreditation as an indication that the facility where their examination will be performed has proven a commitment to providing quality testing for the diagnosis of heart and vascular disease.

For more information on our Valve Clinic, please click the link below to be directed to the Center for Valve Disorders.

Center for Valve Disorders

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 measurements, and exercise to diagnose the effect of exercise on the heart. This includes detecting if you could have reduced blood flow through your coronary arteries, damaged heart muscles from a prior heart attack, valvular heart disease, as well as monitoring if you have any heart rhythm changes with exercise.
  • 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.
  • Metabolic stress testing — This is a non-imaging stress test which combines exercise, blood pressure measurements, electrocardiography (ECG), and lung function measurements in order to determine how healthy your heart and lungs are by measuring your hearts ability to do work (functional capacity).
  • Exercise treadmill test — This is a non-imaging procedure that involves exercise, electrocardiography (ECG), and blood pressure measurements to measure the effect of exercise on your heart.

Transthoracic Echocardiography

Transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE) is a quick and accurate test used to assess the overall function of the heart. The medical team will measure the strength (heart muscle contractility) of you heart and see if there are any valvular abnormalities. Additionally, your lining of the heart and the aorta will also be evaluated.

Transesophageal Echocardiography

Transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) 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, as well as, your heart valves? function. This test does require sedation and will only be performed if a transthoracic echo does not provide enough diagnostic information to your care team.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Where do I park? Click this link for a campus map. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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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