At CentraState, we’re committed to helping people throughout the region keep their hearts healthy on many fronts. In addition to offering robust wellness and heart disease prevention programs, we provide advanced treatment for a wide range of heart conditions, from coronary heart disease to congestive heart failure. We also provide prompt emergency care and access to expert cardiologists and other physicians trained to safeguard healthy hearts.
The Thomas J. Blanchet Cardiac Diagnostic Center at CentraState’s Star and Barry Tobias Ambulatory Campus offers comprehensive services using advanced technology to identify and evaluate heart conditions, and to monitor your progress following treatment for a heart-related condition. The center’s experienced staff is certified in advanced cardiac life support (ACLS).
View the different cardiac diagnostic tests available at CentraState Medical Center below.
Cardiology experts use many different diagnostic procedures—including cardiac catheterization—to determine if you may have heart disease or a heart problem.
Cardiac catheterization is a non-surgical, minimally invasive procedure that allows your cardiologist to take X-ray pictures of your heart to visually assess how well your heart is functioning. Usually performed as an outpatient procedure, it allows our cardiologists to view how your heart functions from the inside without the use of surgery.
Cardiac catheterization can be used to detect the presence and severity of blockages in the arteries of the heart, evaluate the pumping action in the chambers of the heart, determine how well the heart valves are working, uncover heart problems that may have been present since birth, detect possible damage from previous heart attacks, infections, or trauma, check on the results of cardiac bypass surgery, and assess heart function as it relates to surrounding tissues.
Your cardiologist’s office will contact the Cardiac Catheterization Lab to schedule your test, including pre-admission testing, which may include blood work, an EKG, and X-rays. You will be asked to call CentraState’s Centralized Scheduling department at 732-294-2778 on the day before your test to preregister. This ensures that important paperwork is prepared before you arrive for your test.
How Cardiac Catheterization Is Performed
In the Cardiac Catheterization Lab, you are placed on cardiac monitors. You receive a local anesthetic at the site of catheterization and a mild sedative to help you relax. You remain awake during the procedure.
Your cardiologist threads a catheter—a thin, flexible tube—through a blood vessel in your wrist (radial artery) or groin (femoral artery), and carefully advances it into your heart and its arteries using X-ray guidance. Through the catheter, the physician can measure pressures and take blood samples.
A contrast dye is injected through the catheter into your heart’s blood vessels and chambers. The cardiologist can view the movement of the dye through your heart and coronary arteries to identify any areas of narrowing or blockage. This portion of the test is called coronary angiography. The cardiac catheterization team also performs a ventriculography, in which dye is injected into the heart’s pumping chambers to provide a view of the heart’s pumping action. X-ray pictures are taken in the Control Room adjacent to the Cardiac Catheterization Lab during the procedure and recorded digitally. Results will be presented at your follow up appointment.
For more information about CentraState’s Cardiac Catheterization Lab, call 732-303-5174.
Preventing Heart Disease in Women
If you’re noticing any heart disease symptoms, it’s something that you should not put off. Heart disease is the number one killer of women in America. That’s just one of the reasons why CentraState offers cardiac care designed especially for women, from prevention to treatment.
Located in our Star and Barry Tobias Ambulatory Campus, the Gloria Saker Women’s Heart Program at Centrastate was developed and managed by women, to identify women at risk for cardiovascular disease and help them modify preventable risk factors. The Women’s Heart Program offers comprehensive cardiac services from board-certified cardiologists and nurse practitioners who specialize in women’s heart health. We provide in-depth cardiac evaluations, individualized treatment plans, and assistance in preventing cardiovascular disease, including health, wellness, and fitness programs.
Pay attention to these heart disease risk factors in women: Diabetes, chronic kidney disease, metabolic syndrome, strong family history of coronary artery disease, hypertension with a systolic blood pressure above 120, body mass index higher than 25, tobacco use, inactive lifestyle, high cholesterol.
Individualized Heart Disease Risk Assessment
The first step in identifying risk factors for heart disease is to conduct an individualized cardiac assessment. This will help us better understand your lifestyle habits and create an appropriate treatment plan. After reviewing your history and assessment results, the next step is a physical examination and screening tests. These may include: blood pressure, cholesterol levels, blood glucose testing, weight/body mass index, cardiac diagnostic tests.
Based on your assessment and test results, we work closely with you and your primary care physician to develop a customized wellness plan that addresses any risk factors you may have.
Scheduling an Appointment
You can be referred to The Gloria Saker Women’s Heart Program at CentraState by your primary care physician, or request an appointment without a referral. We accept most insurances. To request an appointment, call 732-637-6366.
Adopting a Healthy Lifestyle for Your Heart
The Star and Barry Tobias Health Awareness Center helps people adopt healthy lifestyles through our engaging wellness programs. As part of these offerings, our weight management and health services include:
- Nutrition counseling—A registered dietitian designs a personalized approach to healthy eating and weight management.
- Weight-loss programs—Group sessions taught by registered dietitians and fitness professionals are custom-designed for those with cardiac risk factors.
- Metabolic weight analysis—This includes computerized metabolic rate analysis and interpretation of results to help you achieve weight management goals.
- Smoking Cessation Programs at CentraState – Our trained tobacco dependence counselors provide proven methods to help you achieve your smoke-free goal. A group setting offers mutual support, positive reinforcement, and encouragement.
- CentraState’s Fitness and Wellness Center– Stocked with the latest strength and cardiovascular equipment, two pools, and more than 170 group exercise classes each week for all fitness levels and ages.
CARDIAC TESTS AND DIAGNOSTICS
24-HOUR HOLTER MONITOR TEST
A 24-hour Holter monitor test can help identify an irregular heartbeat or palpitations. This test is an EKG (electrocardiogram) taken for a 24-hour period. During this time, you are able to go about most of your daily activities at home. A Holter monitor test requires a prescription. To schedule a 24-hour Holter monitor test, call 732-294-2778.
An exercise stress test measures your heart’s health during physical activity. It involves walking on a treadmill under the supervision of a physician while your heart is monitored. The test usually takes 30 to 40 minutes. This test helps determine: underlying heart conditions, your fitness level, a safe exercise program for you.
This test can often detect heart disorders missed by an EKG (which is performed while you are at rest). Because the heart beats faster and the body needs more oxygen while exercising, an exercise stress test can provide more specific information about the functioning of the heart muscle and arteries.
To prepare for an exercise stress test, do not eat for 2 hours before the test, wear loose-fitting, comfortable walking clothing, wear flat, rubber-soled shoes or sneakers, women should wear a non-underwire bra, you may also need to avoid certain medications before the test.
During the test, a specially trained technician or nurse places electrodes on your chest. The cables or “leads” from the electrodes are connected to an electrocardiograph recorder. You then step on a treadmill or stationary bike and exercise according to the doctor’s instructions. The technician takes an EKG every minute and monitors your blood pressure and pulse during the exercise. Your results are interpreted by a cardiologist, and your physician or primary care provider will receive them within one to two days.
A nuclear stress test is similar to an exercise stress test in that you exercise on a treadmill while your heart is monitored. However, a nuclear stress test also uses thallium or another tracing substance to provide more information about blood flow to your heart. The test will take about 3 to 4 hours.
To prepare for a nuclear stress test, do not eat for 8 hours before the test, wear loose-fitting, comfortable walking clothing, wear flat, rubber-soled shoes or sneakers, women should wear a non-underwire bra, you may also need to avoid certain medications before the test.
During a nuclear stress test you receive an injection of a small amount of a nuclear isotope before and during the test. A rotating camera above you takes pictures of your heart following the injections, both at rest and after you exercise. This way, the cardiologist can visualize the blood supply to your heart before and after the stress test. A physician is present throughout the course of exercise. Your results are interpreted by a cardiologist, and your physician or primary care provider will receive them within one to two days.
Sometimes called a non-stress test, a pharmacological nuclear stress test evaluates blood flow to the heart by using a tracing substance instead of exercise.
You should avoid eating for four hours before the test. Your doctor will instruct you about certain medications to avoid.
Throughout the test and for a period of time after it, an EKG (electrocardiogram) is taken. A medication that simulates the effects of stress (or exercise) on the heart is given to you through an IV (intravenously), along with nuclear isotopes in order to make it possible to image the heart muscle. A rotating camera above you takes two sets of images—one at rest before the medication is administered and one after the medication is administered. Each set of images takes about 15 minutes. A physician and nurse will be present during the stress portion of the test. Your results are interpreted by a cardiologist, and your physician or primary care provider will receive them within one to two days.
A prescription is necessary for this test. To schedule a pharmacological nuclear stress test, please call 732-294-2778.
The echocardiogram, also called “echo,” is a painless test that is used to track the heart’s movements or diagnose certain heart abnormalities. It operates like the sonar used by whales and submarines to locate objects under water. During the test, sound waves generated by small devices called transducers bounce off heart structures and beam back to a screen where they are recorded. The test typically takes less than 45 minutes.
During the test, you are asked to remove clothing above the waist or anything covering the left side of the chest. A hospital gown and a towel to cover the chest area will be provided. A specially trained technician will hold the echo transducer with firm pressure in various places across the chest. You may be asked to lie in different positions while information is gathered and recorded. A CentraState cardiologist will evaluate the findings and prepare a report that is sent to your physician in one to two days. Your physician will explain the results to you and recommend additional tests or treatment, if necessary.
Echocardiogram with Contrast
Your physician may order the use of an imaging agent to enhance certain parts of the echocardiogram test, which is called echocardiogram with contrast. This involves the insertion of a small intravenous catheter and the imaging agent by a registered nurse. Please let the scheduler know if your physician has indicated this on your prescription when you call to register.
A stress echocardiogram (stress echo) combines exercise, stress testing, and cardiac ultrasound to look for evidence of ischemic heart disease (narrowed arteries) and monitor blood flow in the heart. The test takes about 1 to 2 hours.
You may walk on a treadmill, pedal a bike, or receive intravenous medicine if you are unable to exercise. An echocardiogram will be done before and immediately after exercise or medication.
Although your doctor will provide specific instructions on how to prepare, the basic guidelines are: Do not eat for 2 hours before the test, wear loose-fitting, comfortable walking clothing, wear flat, rubber-soled shoes or sneakers, women should wear a non-underwire bra, you may also need to avoid certain medications before the test.
A prescription is needed for a stress echocardiogram. To make an appointment, please call Cardiology Services at 732-294-2912.
A transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) is an invasive diagnostic procedure used to detect abnormalities in the internal structure of the heart muscle.
During the TEE, an IV is started so you can receive a sedative to promote restfulness and prevent discomfort, and you are connected to an EKG monitor. During the test, an ultrasound transducer is passed through your mouth and down the esophagus to view the heart muscle. A cardiologist or nurse, and a cardiac ultrasound technician, are present throughout the procedure.
To prepare for a TEE, you should avoid taking anything by mouth for 6 to 8 hours before the test. If you have dentures, please remove them. There is a short recovery period after the test. If you are taking the test as an outpatient, you must arrange for someone to drive you home.
A prescription is needed for a transesophageal echocardiogram. To schedule an appointment, please call 732-294-2778.
If you have a cardiovascular condition or are recovering from a heart attack, a cardiac procedure, or cardiac surgery, the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program at CentraState’s Star and Barry Tobias Ambulatory Campus can help. We offer a three-phase approach to improving your physical and emotional health.
CentraState’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Program is certified by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR). The program is led by a medical director who is a board-certified cardiologist. Our team also includes registered nurses with cardiac care experience and cardiac rehabilitation training who are certified by the American Heart Association in advanced cardiac life support (ACLS).
For more information about CentraState’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Program, call 732-294-2918.
PERIPHERAL ARTERY DISEASE REHABILITATION
CentraState provides a Supervised Exercise Therapy Program designed to aid those with symptomatic peripheral artery disease (PAD), including discomfort in the legs and restricted blood flow to the kidneys, stomach, arms, legs, and feet.
The customized program involves walking on a treadmill at a certain incline and speed until you develop mild discomfort, then taking a break until symptoms subside, then restarting. The exercise is completed under the supervision of a cardiac rehabilitation nurse and is designed to build endurance, alleviate the symptoms of PAD, and possibly prevent the need for surgery.
The program is three times a week for 12 weeks, and participants usually advance from being able to perform 15 to 30 minutes of exercise to 50 to 60 minutes of exercise per day, including warm-up and cool-down time. Once the on-site program concludes, patients are encouraged to exercise on their own at home or a medically-supervised fitness center such as CentraState Fitness and Wellness Center.
The benefits of PAD Rehab include: Improved exercise tolerance, more stamina, better quality of life, reduced probability of having a cardiac event, increased circulation.
L. Steven Zukerman, M.D. FACC
Leon O'Neill, DO
Rayson Yang, M.D.
David Pinnelas, M.D.
Ashish Shukla, M.D.
John Checton, M.D.
Cardiac Catheterization, Cardiology
Jeffrey Selan, MD
Cardiology, Echocardiography, Nuclear Cardiology
Charles Koo, M.D.
Bharath Sathya, M.D.
Jason Litsky, D.O.
Peter Hynes, M. D.
Leonard Sandler, M.D.
Robert Kayser, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.S.C.A.I.
Cardiac Catheterization, Cardiology, Endovascular Intervention
Arthur Okere, M.D.
Maurice Weiss, M.D.
John Werber, M.D.
Mark Mascarenhas, M.D.
Aaron Van Hise, D.O.
Peter Farrugia, M.D.
Cardiology, Interventional Cardiology
Brett Sealove, M.D.
Divya Menon, M. D.
Edmund Karam, M.D.
Riple Hansalia, M.D.
Jeffrey Osofsky, M.D.
Matt Bach, M.D., FACC
Cardiac Catheterization, Cardiology
Mahim Kapoor, M.D.
Daniel Kiss, MD
Iris Mentle, M.D.
Mitchel Alpert, M.D.
Matthew Saybolt, M.D.
Michael Macciocca, MD
Loyda Rivera, M.D.
Chase Contino, M.D.
Cardiology, Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology
Stephanie Chin, M.D.
Vincent Zales, M.D.
Matthew Schoenfeld, MD
Cardiology, Echocardiography, Nuclear Cardiology
Elsa Castro, M.D.
Maria Umali, M.D.
Sadaf Khan, M.D.
Jasrai Gill, M.D.
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