Heart & Vascular Care
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The heart and vascular specialists at Indiana University Health Ball Memorial Hospital provide comprehensive diagnosis and treatment for all conditions affecting the heart and vascular system, including atherosclerosis (a buildup in the arteries), coronary artery disease, peripheral arterial disease and more.
We provide life-saving heart care, from diagnostic testing to leading edge treatments for heart attack, heart disease, stroke and other conditions that affect the circulatory system. IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital is proud to offer $49 heart scans to patients at risk for heart disease. These screenings are done with same-day preliminary results.
Our cardiac services are among some of the most advanced in Indiana, and our doctors and professional staff are specially trained in the treatment of heart problems using advanced cardiac equipment and facilities. Through our partnership with the Indiana University School of Medicine we offer patients access to the latest research, which translates to better outcomes.
We are one of the few hospitals in the state to have an electrophysiology lab and specialty staff. During a heart attack, our Emergency Department and cardiac teams work together to provide treatment faster than the national average time. Designated as a Blue Distinction Center by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in the area of cardiac care in 2012, we are recognized for demonstrating better quality care and improved outcomes for patients, with lower rates of complications following certain cardiac procedures and lower rates of healthcare associated infections compared with peers.
Patients at the Indiana University Health Ball Memorial Hospital John W. Fisher Heart Center are cared for in a highly advanced facility designed specifically for the treatment of cardiac and critical care needs. Located in the Indiana University Health Ball Memorial Hospital South Tower, the Heart Center features 108 spacious private rooms, with caregiver stations located outside each room. The rooms and supporting technology are specifically designed to enhance the level of care provided.
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Diagnostic tests help doctors assess the disease or problem and plan your heart care treatment accordingly. At Indiana University Health Ball Memorial Hospital, our Cardiology/Neurology facility (also known as Noninvasive Diagnostics) provides diagnostic tests to help your doctor assess the disease or problem and plan your heart care treatment accordingly.
Tests may include:
- Cardiac stress tests. Also know as exercise stress tests, this screening tool tests the effect of exercise on your heart and gives a general sense of heart health.
- Echocardiogram. An echocardiogram uses sound waves to create a moving picture of the heart. This allows doctors to evaluate the valves and chambers of the heart in a noninvasive manner.
- Electrocardiogram (EKG, ECG). An electrocardiogram records the heart's electrical activity to measure the rate and regularity of heartbeats. It also determines the size and position of the chambers, the presence of any heart damage and the effects of drugs or devices used to regulate the heart (like a pacemaker).
- Electrophysiology study (EPS). This involves placing wire electrodes within the heart to determine the characteristics of heart arrhythmias.
- Heart magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This test uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create pictures of the heart, but does not use radiation. This test may also be done as part of a chest MRI.
- Noninvasive vascular testing. Intravascular ultrasound is a test that uses sound waves to see inside the coronary arteries, the blood vessels that supply the heart. Vascular Doppler ultrasound uses sound waves to examine the blood flow in various parts of your body.
- Neurology testing. Tests may include electroencephalogram (EEG), electromyography (EMG) and evoked response.
- Positron emission tomography (PET). This imaging test uses a substance called a tracer to look for disease in the body. Unlike MRIs and CT scans, which reveal the structure of organs, a PET scan shows how the organs and tissues are functioning.
- Tilt table testing. Tilt table testing evaluates your blood pressure as it responds to simple stresses and can help doctors determine why you are fainting or coming close to fainting.
- Transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE). A TEE takes ultrasound pictures of your heart by putting a probe into your mouth and down your esophagus (food tube). This provides a clear picture of your heart because it is just in front of the esophagus.
- Transtelephonic monitoring (King of Hearts event monitor). King of Hearts monitors are used to record an EKG rhythm for symptoms that may not happen everyday. When a symptom occurs, you push a button on the monitor you will be wearing so that an EKG is recorded. In most cases the monitor is worn for a 30-day period.
Cardiac Cath Lab
The longer a heart attack goes untreated, the more damage occurs to the heart. Research shows that opening a blocked artery within 90 minutes of diagnosis provides the best chance for recovery. Our team of emergency physicians, cardiologists, nurses and technologists are able to rapidly respond when needed during a cardiac emergency to diagnose and treat blocked arteries. The Indiana University Health Ball Memorial Hospital Cardiac Cath Lab is able to perform balloon angioplasty; a procedure to open narrowed or blocked blood vessels that supply blood to the heart. Our “door to balloon time” response is faster than the national average.
Other important cardiac diagnostic and treatment options are available, including:
- Cardiac diagnostic and interventional procedures
- Electrophysiology diagnostic and intervention (device implantation and ablation)
- Peripheral diagnostic and intervention procedures
- Tilt table testing
- Transesophageal echoe (TEE)
Cardiac rehabilitation is a comprehensive inpatient and outpatient program that includes prescribed exercise, cardiac risk factor modification, education, counseling and behavioral interventions. Our program is designed to limit the adverse physical and mental effects of cardiac illness, reduce the risk of sudden death or relapse, control cardiac symptoms, stabilize and/or improve your condition and enhance your quality of life. The program has three phases.
- Phase One. Cardiac rehabilitation begins in the hospital while you are recovering from a cardiac event. We use a multidisciplinary approach that includes exercise and education and involves family members for educational instruction. The exercise program consists of a gradual increase in walking and may progress to climbing stairs. An exercise physiologist will monitor you during exercise. Your team, including nurses, an exercise physiologist, a registered dietitian and a registered pharmacist will provide education on topics including heart attacks, heart surgery, heart failure, angioplasty, stents, coronary angiography, risk factor modification, emotional aspects, and activity moderation during the healing process. A registered dietitian will give instruction on low cholesterol, low-fat diet, sodium restriction and weight control. A registered pharmacist provides instruction on medicine usage and side effects of prescribed medicines.
- Phase Two. Your first step of outpatient cardiac rehabilitation will begin when you are discharged from the hospital. During this phase, you will receive EKG monitoring of your individualized exercise plan, along with educational information to assist you with lifestyle modifications. Classes are taught by multidisciplinary teams, including exercise physiologists, registered pharmacists, registered dietitians, stress counselors, nicotine counselors and diabetes educators. Courses include smoking cessation, medicine review, coping, depression, anatomy of the heart, diabetes, nutrition and other topics of interest to heart patients and their families.
- Phase Three: Following successful completion of Phase Two, or with an order from your physician, you will begin supervised exercise sessions. During these classes, you will learn to monitor your blood pressure, take your own pulse rate and receive other guidance for your exercise sessions. The tailored exercise sessions may include exercise on treadmills, Air-Dyne bicycles, Stairmaster, NU-steps, elliptical trainers and rowers. Our facility is open throughout the day to help accommodate busy schedules. Spouses or friends are invited to participate in the exercise phase of the program.
IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital provides a full range of medical and surgical treatment for heart disease. Our cardiac services are among some of the most advanced in Indiana, and our doctors and professional staff are specially trained in the treatment of heart problems using advanced cardiac equipment and facilities.
Surgical treatments offered include:
- Aortic aneurism repair/removal/stent. When part of the aorta becomes weakened and begins to widen (bulge), this is called an aortic aneurism. Depending on the size and location of the aneurism, doctors must either replace the affected portion of the aorta with a fabric substitute or repair it with a stent.
- Aortic dissection repair. An aortic dissection occurs when a tear develops in the inner layer of the aorta. As blood flows through this tear, it causes the inner and middle layers of the aorta to separate (dissect). Surgery to repair the affected portion of the aorta is the most common treatment; however, in certain cases they may be treated with medicine.
- Carotid endarterectomy (carotid artery surgery). Carotid endarterectomy is a surgical procedure to restore adequate blood flow to the brain by removing build up of plaque within the carotid artery.
- Coronary artery bypass grafting (heart bypass surgery). This surgery is done to bypass clogged arteries supplying the heart. Typically, doctors will take a vein from the leg and attach one end of it to the coronary artery just below the blockage and attach the other end into an opening made in the aorta.
- Valve repair/replacement. Heart valve surgery is used to repair or replace diseased heart valves.