Imaging Diagnostics

Echocardiogram (ECG)

About your test or treatment

An echocardiogram uses sound waves to detect how well your heart muscle and valves are working. This test also may be used to detect the overall size and shape of your heart. Small, adhesive electrodes will be placed on your chest to monitor your heartbeat while a device that looks like a microphone is used to bounce sound waves off your heart. A computer then transforms these sound waves into pictures that will be recorded and studied by your physician.

What to expect during your test

  • Your echocardiogram should not cause you any discomfort and usually takes about 45 minutes to complete.
  • You will be asked to remove your clothing from the waist up and change into a gown.
  • A technologist will place three adhesive electrodes on your chest. These electrodes are connected by thin wires to a heart monitor that records your heart’s electrical activity during the test.
  • You will be asked to lie on your side on an exam table while the technologist places a wand on several areas of your chest. The wand will have a small amount of cool gel on the end. This gel helps produce clearer pictures and will not harm your skin.
  • The only discomfort you may feel is coolness from the gel or a slight pressure from the wand as it moves across your chest.
  • You may hear swooshing sounds during the test as the sound waves are detected.
  • You may be asked to change positions or hold your breath at times during the procedure.

What to expect after your test

  • You may resume all normal activities immediately following your echocardiogram.
  • Your physician will assess the test results and discuss them with you at a scheduled time.
  • The results of your echocardiogram will go into your electronic medical record.

Returning home

If you have any questions about your care after you return home, call your physician’s office. 

This test is offered at these facilities: 

Electrocardiogram (EKG)

About your test

An electrocardiogram (EKG) is a quick and easy way to measure your heartbeat and heart rate. Small, adhesive electrodes are placed on your arms, legs and chest to measure the energy levels in your body. As your heart beats, the electrodes record the electrical activity of your heart on graph paper, and the results are either printed out or displayed on the monitor for your physician or nurse to study. An EKG is one of the most common tests performed on heart patients, allowing medical staff to keep a close eye on your heart’s activity.

What to expect during your test

  • The EKG is a simple procedure that requires no previous preparation. The test is completely safe and painless and only takes about five minutes to complete.
  • A technologist will clean the areas of your skin where the electrodes will be placed. These areas usually involve the arms, legs and chest.
  • If you are a man, your chest may be partially shaved to allow a better connection.
  • The technologist will then connect 10 electrodes with adhesive pads to your skin.
  • These electrodes are connected by thin wires to the heart monitor, or EKG machine.
  • Once the electrodes are in place, you will be asked to lie down while the machine takes its reading of your heart’s activity.

What to expect after your test

  • You may resume your normal activities immediately following the EKG.
  • Your doctor will use your EKG to assess such things as your heart rhythm, abnormal electrical conduction, heart abnormalities and whether you’ve had a heart attack.
  • Your physician will schedule a time to discuss the results with you.
  • Your EKG reading will be kept on file for comparison with future EKG readings.

Returning home

If you have any questions about your care after you return home, call your physician’s office. 

This test is offered at these facilities:

Electrophysiology (EP) studies

About your test

A physician may recommend electrophysiology (EP) studies if you have symptoms suggesting heart rhythm difficulties. An EP study can help determine the nature of your heart rhythm problems and outline available treatment options to help.

What to expect during your test

  • During the study, your heart rhythm and vitals signs will be closely monitored.
  • A catheter – a narrow flexible tube – will be inserted into blood vessels in either the groin or the neck.
  • The catheter will then moved through the blood vessels to the heart where it will record electrical activity in the heart.
  • Once the catheter is inserted into the heart, the surgeon will conduct several tests and attempt to identify any problems with the heartbeat.
  • The EP study typically takes one to four hours.

What to expect after your test

  • EP studies are less invasive and pain is minimal.
  • After conducting the EP study, your cardiologist may recommend further testing or treatment.

Returning home

If you have any questions about your care after you return home, call your physician’s office. 

This test is offered at these facilities:

Exercise stress test

About your test

An exercise stress test is a common procedure that your doctor might use to diagnose heart disease. It shows how your heart performs during exercise and usually involves walking on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike at increasing levels of difficulty. During the exercise, your heart rate and blood pressure are closely monitored.

What to expect during your test

  • The exercise stress test usually lasts about one hour, but the exercise portion is only about seven to 12 minutes.
  • A technologist will clean 10 small areas of your chest and attach adhesive electrodes to these areas. The electrodes are attached by thin wires that connect to a heart monitor to track your heart’s electrical activity during the test.
  • If you are a man, your chest may be partially shaved to help the electrodes stick.
  • You will wear a blood pressure cuff around your arm so that the technologist can track your blood pressure during the test.
  • You will then begin to exercise by walking on a treadmill or pedaling a stationary bike. The degree of difficulty will gradually increase, and you will continue to exercise very hard until you feel exhausted.
  • Your blood pressure and your heart’s electrical activity will be monitored before, during and after the exercise.
  • It is normal for your heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure and perspiration to increase during the test, but you should tell your technologist if you feel chest, arm or jaw pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, or any other unusual symptoms. If such symptoms persist, the test will be stopped.

What to expect after your test

  • After your exercise, you will walk gently or pedal slowly for a couple of minutes to cool down.
  • Your heart rate, electrical activity and blood pressure will continue to be monitored until the levels are normal. You may be asked to lie down or sit quietly if necessary.
  • As soon as your heart returns to normal, you may eat, drink and resume all regular activities.
  • Your doctor will discuss the results of your test with you at a scheduled time.

Returning home

If you have any questions about your care after you return home, call your physician’s office. This test is offered at these facilities:

Holter Monitoring

About your test or treatment

Holter monitoring is a simple and direct way for your physician to track your heartbeat using a portable heart machine that you carry with you. The Holter monitor will record your heartbeat for at least 24 hours as you go about your daily activities. Your doctor then reviews the results to evaluate how your heart is working.

What to expect during your test or treatment

  • Small, adhesive patches, called electrodes, will be placed on your chest. The electrodes are connected by thin wires to a small heart monitor that is worn on a belt or shoulder strap.
  • You will wear the monitor for 24 hours, even while you sleep. Your heartbeat will be continuously recorded by the monitor.
  • While you are wearing the monitor, you will be asked to keep a diary of your activities and symptoms, such as fluttering feelings in your chest, rapid heartbeat and episodes of dizziness. It is important to keep track of the activities you are doing when these symptoms occur, so your doctor can review what may be causing these symptoms.

What to expect after your test or treatment

  • After 24 hours, you will return the Holter monitor according to the instructions you are given.
  • A technologist will play the tape of your heart’s activity on a special computer that analyzes the recording and looks for abnormalities in your heart rhythm.
  • The technologist will prepare a full report for your doctor, who will discuss the results with you at a scheduled time.

Holter monitoring is offered at these locations:

Peripheral arterial test

Arteries are blood vessels that carry blood from the heart to the rest of the body. Diagnostic testing for peripheral arterial disease falls into two primary categories:

  • Physiologic testing (nonimaging) uses blood pressure cuffs and Doppler ultrasound techniques to evaluate vessels in the arms and legs. Ankle-brachial indices (ABIs) are calculated by comparing the pressures in the ankles to those in the arms. These are used primarily to evaluate leg pain and cramping, and determine wound-healing ability.
  • Ultrasound testing (imaging) is used to examine arterial conditions such as aneurysms. It also is used in addition to physiologic testing to help treat and monitor the progression of peripheral arterial disease.

What to expect during the test

  • You may be asked to change into a gown and remove all jewelry.
  • You will be asked to lie on your back while a technologist places a sensor on several areas of your legs and arms. The sensor will have a small amount of cool gel on the end. The gel helps produce clearer pictures and will not harm your skin.
  • Blood pressure readings may be performed on various parts of body, including your legs, arms and toes.
  • The only discomfort you may feel from the ultrasound is the coolness from the gel or a slight pressure from the sensor as it moves along your extremities. You may feel somewhat more discomfort from the tightness and restriction of the blood pressure readings.
  • You may hear swooshing sounds during the ultrasound as the sound waves are detected.
  • Sometimes a stress test may be required during your procedure. Small electrodes may be placed on your chest to monitor your heart, and you will be asked to run or walk for a short period of time on a treadmill. The ultrasound and blood pressure readings will be performed again after your time on the treadmill. The stress test will help detect any changes in blood flow resulting from exercise or activity.
  • The entire test takes about 45 minutes to complete.

What to expect after the test

  • If your test results are normal you may resume your regular activities immediately following the test.
  • A vascular surgeon will use your scan to assess any blockages or abnormalities in your arteries.
  • Results from your scan will be prepared by the vascular surgeon, and a report will be mailed to your primary care physician.

Returning home

If you have any questions about your care after you return home, call your physician’s office.

Venous disease scan

Veins are blood vessels that carry blood back to the heart, working against the force of gravity. Your calf muscles and a system of valves in the veins help to move blood towards the heart. A variety of tests can assist in the diagnosis of venous disease:

  • Venous duplex study is an ultrasound (imaging) test of the major leg or arm veins to determine whether blockage (clot) is present. The valves in the veins can also be tested and may be indicated when varicose veins are present.
  • Vein mapping uses ultrasound and is a process of locating and measuring veins in the arms or legs to be used for bypass surgery or dialysis access.

What to expect during the test

  • You may be asked to change into a gown and remove all jewelry.
  • A venous disease scan requires no previous preparation. The test is completely safe and painless, and only takes between 30 and 45 minutes to complete.
  • You will lie on your back while a technologist places a sensor on several areas of your body. The sensor will have a small amount of cool gel on the end. The gel helps produce clearer pictures, and will not harm your skin.
  • The only discomfort you may feel is the coolness from the gel or a slight pressure from the sensor as it moves along your body.
  • You may hear swooshing sounds during the test as the sound waves are detected.

What to expect after the test

  • If your scan results are normal you may resume your regular activities immediately following the scan.
  • A vascular surgeon will use your scan to assess any blockages or abnormalities in your veins.
  • If your results are abnormal your physician will be contacted immediately, and you may be admitted to the hospital for further tests or treatment.
  • Results from your scan will be prepared by the vascular surgeon, and a report will be mailed to your primary care physician.

Returning home

If you have any questions about your care after you return home, call your physician’s office.

Overall – 1234

Dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke symptoms and what to do

We are seeing record high temperatures in Greater Louisville already this spring. These early hot days mean you can get caught off guard by heat-related illnesses, such as dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat [...]

Read Full Story

Veterans can get urgent care with Norton Healthcare under VA Mission Act

Under the VA Mission Act of 2018, eligible U.S. veterans now are able to get treatment for minor injuries and illnesses such as colds, sore throats and minor skin infections at urgent care clinics through […]

Read Full Story

Patient navigator Karen Allen educates patients and learns from them too

Karen Allen, R.N., oncology patient navigator for Norton Cancer Institute, sees the patient navigator role as a “bridge across the canyon of uncertainty” for patients who are newly diagnosed with cancer. “I imagine my family […]

Read Full Story

That fabulous handbag may be causing pain and damage to your body

You have a thing for bags. The bigger the better, right? Sure, a big, fabulous bag might be able to hold everything you want to carry with you, but all that extra baggage is doing […]

Read Full Story

Easy fish tacos recipe

Be ready to impress with this delicious, easy recipe. Want to make it even easier? Buy pre-seasoned or battered frozen fish and just heat in the oven or air fryer.  Enjoy! Easy fish tacos 1 […]

Read Full Story

Search our entire site.

Schedule an Appointment

Select an appointment date and time from available spots listed below.