Heart & Vascular Care

If you suffer a heart attack, heart disease, stroke or other condition that affects the circulatory system, you need lifesaving treatment right away. The heart and vascular specialists at Indiana University Health 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.

Indiana University Health West Hospital offers a full range of testing and treatment, from stress tests and electrocardiograms (EKGs) to diagnostic and interventional catheterization. Our team of multidisciplinary specialists—including cardiologists, cardiac surgeons and clinical specialists—provides the highest quality care and service in a remarkable healing environment. IU Health West Hospital now offers Hendricks County's only 24/7 Heart Catherization Lab.

IU Health West Hospital provides convenient educational resources, such as diabetes education and smoking cessation, to enhance your treatment plan. In addition, our partnership with the Indiana University School of Medicine includes access to the latest research, which translates to better outcomes for our patients.

Testing & Diagnostics

At IU Health West Hospital, we offer a number of comprehensive heart care diagnostic tests. While most of the testing is done at the hospital, some tests may even be conducted by emergency medical personnel in an ambulance on the way to the hospital. 

Electrocardiogram

An electrocardiogram (EKG) is a simple test that depicts the heart's electrical activity. This is generally the first test performed on a patient suspected of having heart disease and can give clues to the presence of a prior heart attack, heart enlargement or heart rhythm disturbance. It can be performed in less than five minutes, is completely painless and can suggest a problem, but often cannot determine the extent of the underlying problem.

Echocardiogram

An echocardiogram or "echo" is a special kind of ultrasound test that allows for direct visualization of the heart's size, thickness, ability to contract and valvular function. It can be performed in less than 30 minutes, is completely painless and carries no known risk of complications. We routinely perform this test to diagnose and determine the severity of most heart conditions and to assess the response to treatment.

Heart Catheterizations

IU Health West Hospital is the only hospital in Hendricks County offering a cath lab that is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, providing the best care possible to community members and beyond.

A heart catheterization is an invasive test that allows for direct measurement of the pressures within the heart, as well as direct X-ray visualization of the heart's arteries. It is still considered the "gold standard" for the diagnosis of the presence and extent of coronary artery disease but is often performed only after a noninvasive test suggests a problem.

Heart catheterization is usually performed through a needle-sized hole in an artery in the groin; catheters are then advanced to the heart under X-ray guidance. A diagnostic heart catheterization can usually be performed in less than 30 minutes, with a risk of major complications in less than one percent of cases.

Interventional catheterization is defined as a heart catheterization which allows for blocked heart arteries to be opened at the time of diagnosis by balloon angioplasty. Usually, we also place one or more coronary artery stents at this time. 

Stress Tests

A stress test involves assessing a patient's cardiovascular response to exercise or medicine-induced stress. This consists of raising the heart rate and blood pressure, thus placing an added burden on the heart. Stress testing is the most commonly used noninvasive procedure to evaluate for the presence of blockages in the heart's arteries. It can also be useful for the management of valvular heart disease, congenital heart disease and pulmonary hypertension.

During a stress test, a patient exercises on a treadmill or bicycle to gradually increasing levels of speed while we continually monitor the heart rate, rhythm, blood pressure, EKG and presence of symptoms. If a patient cannot perform physical exercise, we use medicine to simulate the heart's response to exercise. Stress testing is often combined with echocardiographic or nuclear imaging techniques to improve the sensitivity of the test for detecting disease.

Level One Heart Attack Program

In an emergency, our Level One Heart Attack Program team is ready to quickly stabilize patients. You are instantly connected to the IU Health nationally recognized heart failure, open heart surgery and heart transplant services, if and when you need them.

Our Level One Heart Attack Program requires a high degree of coordination that starts with personnel who understand the need for a fast response and who can begin immediate medical treatment when the emergency department physician diagnoses a heart attack. As the patient is being stabilized, staff members coordinate physicians, nurses and technicians to ensure there are no delays in opening the heart artery.

For most patients, the preferred heart attack procedure to open blocked heart arteries is percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). This procedure, performed in a specialized cardiac laboratory, is also known as coronary angioplasty or coronary stenting.

Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation

Once you have experienced heart or lung disease, rehabilitation becomes even more important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation at IU Health West Hospital gives you the opportunity to participate in safe, monitored exercise and take part in education classes designed especially for heart and vascular disease patients.

Studies show that patients who regularly participate in prescribed cardiac rehabilitation can expect to see improvements in:

  • Blood pressure
  • Blood sugar control
  • Body weight
  • Cholesterol
  • Strength/endurance
  • Mood/depression/anxiety

In addition, studies show that patients who regularly participate in prescribed pulmonary rehabilitation can expect to see improvements in:

  • Symptoms of respiratory diseases (such as overall weakness)
  • Muscle conditioning
  • Ability to exercise
  • Ability to participate in social and physical activities

Interaction with the cardiopulmonary rehabilitation team often begins when you are in the hospital. By being involved in your inpatient stay, the team can begin to shape your outpatient program from the very beginning.

In an outpatient setting, we closely supervise your goals and progress, with monitored daily exercise sessions and weekly educational seminars tackling a wide range of topics (from diet to cholesterol management to smoking cessation). Together, both phases of the program are designed to improve your overall health and prevent the occurrence or recurrence of heart or lung disease.

While the duration of rehabilitation depends on both your recovery progress and insurance coverage, a typical program lasts around six weeks. We welcome and encourage a family member or other loved one to attend the classroom portion of the program with you. This will enhance your support network related to the lifestyle changes that rehabilitation will promote.

Additional Contact Information

Cardiac Diagnostics at IU Health West Hospital is located in the main hospital building at:
1111 N. Ronald Reagan Parkway
Avon, IN, 46123

Our heart and vascular care physician practices, and our Cardiopulmonay Rehabilitation team are located in the IU Health West Professional Office Building.  The building is connected to the hospital at:
1115 N. Ronald Reagan Parkway
Avon, IN 46123