Heart and VascularTesting & Diagnosis

Overview

About Heart and Vascular Testing & Diagnosis at Aurora

Many heart and vascular conditions are difficult to diagnose in a single medical examination. After your doctor listens to your description of symptoms, does a complete physical exam and reviews your medical history, he/she may refer you to one of our Aurora labs for additional tests.

To protect your health, your Aurora doctor will always try to use the most minimally invasive tests possible. These may include ultrasounds and procedures involving tiny incisions rather than major surgery.

We use more invasive, or internal-body tests, only when necessary to get a clear and accurate diagnosis of your heart or vascular condition. These tests could include cardiac catheterizations, carotid angiographies and more. You may need to have anesthesia for these more complex tests.

World-Class Care

Aurora’s Advanced Heart and Vascular Testing

With Aurora Health Care, you have access to some of the best-equipped labs and most thorough, caring diagnosticians in the country. We offer:

  • Convenient appointments: In many cases, your heart or vascular doctor can order a test and send you to one of our labs right after your office visit. We respect your time. We want to make tests as easy for you as possible.
  • Proactive care: Our doctors are dedicated to preventing illness, not just treating it. They may order a heart or vascular test before you even notice any pain or problems. They do so when they see other health conditions or test results indicating that you may be in the early stages of heart or vascular disease.
  • Advanced technology: Our labs are among the best-equipped facilities in the country. For instance, we are one of the first health systems in the world – and the first in Wisconsin – to use 4-D ultrasound imaging systems to diagnose and treat heart rhythm disorders.
  • Innovative testing/treatment rooms: Our cardiac electrophysiology lab at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center features hybrid catheterization labs/operating rooms (ORs). If you are diagnosed during a lab test with a medical condition that can be treated immediately, you may be able to stay in the same room and undergo the necessary procedure right away.
  • Minimally invasive emphasis: Our approach is to always begin with minimally invasive tests – those that physically affect your body the least. We move on to more complex tests only when they are needed to help us diagnose your heart or vascular condition.

Tests We Offer

Your doctor will determine which tests can best help us diagnose your condition and develop a treatment plan. Aurora’s heart and vascular diagnostic tests generally fall into these categories:

  • Cardiovascular imaging: These heart and vascular tests allow doctors to see the inner workings of your heart and other organs. Advanced software programs, X-rays, strong magnets, radioactive particles and other tools let us develop still and video images of your key body structures. Typical cardiovascular imaging tests include: Learn more about cardiovascular imaging.

  • Heart ultrasound (echocardiogram): High-frequency sound waves reflecting off your heart structures create moving images of your heart’s pumping motions and blood flow. Learn more about heart ultrasound.
  • Minimally invasive tests: With this group of tests, doctors use tools to reach inside your body. Typical minimally invasive tests include:
  • Radiographic testing: X-rays, computed tomography (CT scans), magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs) and related tests help doctors clearly view your internal body structures. Learn more about radiographic testing.
  • Laboratory testing: This category of tests primarily includes blood tests to check for heart disease or other health conditions. Learn more about laboratory testing.
  • Additional tests: An electrocardiogram (EKG) monitors your heart’s electrical activity, using electrodes attached to your body. Learn more about EKGs. A tilt-table test checks your autonomic reflex system, which controls your heart rate. Disorders of your nervous system can affect your heart’s electrical system, muscle or valves. Learn more about tilt-table testing.

Locations

Aurora Care Close to You

You can have many diagnostic tests, including many advanced tests, at an Aurora location close to your home community.

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