Hospital Testing

  • Holter Monitor – A Holter monitor is a portable device that enables an EKG to be recorded for 24 hours. Four electrodes are placed on the chest and attached to a pager-sized monitor that records the heartbeat. The monitor is worn on a belt or shoulder strap. The patient performs their normal day-to-day activities, except getting the device wet, and is asked to keep a diary to note activities and symptoms that may be noticed during the recording. After the recording is complete, the device is returned to the hospital where a computer scans it and a report is printed.
  • Exercise Stress Test - An exercise stress test is used to assess cardiac performance during exercise. It is done in a hospital room equipped with a treadmill, EKG and blood pressure monitoring equipment. The patient’s cardiologist and a technologist monitor your child while they walk/run on a treadmill. To prepare for the stress test, your child should eat a light meal two hours before coming to the hospital and wear comfortable clothing and athletic shoes. The doctor and technologist will continue to monitor your child for several minutes after the test. When the test is completed, the patient can eat, drink and resume normal activities, including returning to school.
  • Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE)- A transesophageal echocardiogram is done in a sedated patient by passing a small transducer into the mouth and down the esophagus (the long tube-like structure connecting the mouth to the stomach). The TEE allows visualization of the anatomy and function of the heart in greater detail than the traditional transthoracic echocardiogram. This is also used during most heart surgeries and some interventional catheterizations.
  • Cardiac Catheterization - Under anesthesia, Dr. Velvis, who is specially-trained, numbs the skin in the patient’s groin and passes catheters, or long, flexible tubes, into the blood vessels and heart. These catheters measure blood pressures and oxygen levels. Injections of contrast, or special dye, to outline the heart structures and help to determine the nature and severity of any heart problem are performed. This is called a diagnostic catheterization. An interventional catheterization provides treatment for heart problem. In many cases, interventional catheterization is able to substitute for open heart surgery, without leaving a scar on the chest. Dr. Velvis is able to close holes inside the heart such as a patent foramen ovale (PFO) or atrial septal defect (ASD), balloon open tight or stenotic valves, close abnormal vessels such as a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), and stent open other vessels that are abnormally narrowed. Patients who have routine elective diagnostic or interventional catheterizations are discharged from the hospital the same day, or the next day following the procedure.