Cardiology Services

Your heart deserves extraordinary care. That's why Covenant Cardiology offers such an extensive array of services. Learn more about how our clinics, testing services, and procedures can make a difference for you.

Clinics

  • Cardiomyopathy Center: Cardiomyopathy is a progressive heart muscle disease that causes the heart to enlarge, thicken or stiffen. This, in turn, makes it harder for the heart to pump blood throughout your body, which can cause heart failure and other issues. Cardiomyopathy, however, can usually be treated and the earlier the intervention, the better your long-term prognosis and quality of life. Treatment can range from medications to surgically implanted devices, or in extreme cases, a heart transplant.

  • Device Clinic: We offer device clinics in Saginaw, Alma, Frankenmuth, Marlette, and Sandusky so patients with Pacemakers and Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICDs) do not have to travel long distances for their in-person device appointments. We also have an RN dedicated to working with our pacemaker and ICD patients to provide one-on-one care. We also offer remote monitoring services to decrease the number of in-person appointments. Education on devices and follow-up care is provided to the patient on a routine basis.

Testing

  • EKG: Records the electrical impulses from your heart
  • Echocardiogram: Uses sound waves to check your heart muscle or your valves
  • Carotid Doppler: Uses sound waves to check the flow of blood in your neck arteries leading to your brain
  • ABI - Ankle Brachial Index: Compares pressures between the arms and legs; may also compare differences in pressures in different locations of the legs
  • Lower Extremity Dopplers: Ultrasound of the arteries in the legs
  • Stress Testing: Determines how well your heart handles work; also will determine if there is an area of your heart that doesn't seem to be getting enough blood flow
    • Exercise Stress: You will walk on a treadmill while on a heart monitor to increase your heart rate. You will be monitored for changes on your EKG, and for shortness of breath. Your blood pressure will also be checked periodically during this test.
    • Stress Myoview: A nuclear tracer will be given to you through an IV, and pictures will be taken before and after an exercise stress test.
    • Lexiscan Myoview: Instead of walking on a treadmill, medication will be given through an IV to increase your heart rate.
    • Stress Echo: Ultrasound pictures of your heart will be taken before and after an exercise stress test.
    • Dobutamine Stress Echo: Ultrasound pictures will be taken before and after receiving IV medication to increase your heart rate.
  • CT Angiogram: A special CT scan in which IV dye is injected and blood vessels are examined
    • Carotids: Examines the arteries in the neck leading to the brain
    • Coronaries: Examines the heart arteries
    • Abdomen & Lower Extremities: Examines the arteries in the abdomen, going to the kidneys, and down the legs
  • Holter Monitor: Continuous EKG monitoring for a set period of time (24 hours, 48 hours, etc.)
  • Event Monitoring: EKG monitoring in which the patient presses a button if they feel that something doesn't seem right; device may also sometimes detect an abnormal rate and/or rhythm
  • Blood Pressure Monitoring: May involve wearing a blood pressure cuff that inflates at set intervals for 24 hours to see how your blood pressure changes throughout the day and in response to medications that may be prescribed 
  • Tilt Table Study: Performed to diagnose dizziness or lightheadedness that is suspected to be caused by a drop in blood pressure. The table starts in a flat position, and then is tilted until almost upright. Symptoms, blood pressure, pulse, and EKG are monitored throughout the test.

Procedures

  • Cardioversion: A controlled electrical shock to briefly stop all electrical activity and allow the SA node to reset and take over again.
  • AICD Insertion (Automatic Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators): A small electronic device that is placed inside the body. It's a pacemaker with extra features. If your heart rate becomes dangerously fast, it may send impulses to slow it down, or it may briefly shock the heart. If your heart rate is too slow, it sends impulses to bring the rate up to a normal speed.
  • PPM Insertion (Permanent Pacemaker): A small electronic device that helps to correct a slow heartbeat. Signals will tell the heart when to contract. Sensors also keep track of your activity level and can adjust the signals as needed (speed up when you are active and slow down when you are resting).
  • Cardiac Catheterization (Coronary Angiogram): This is a special x-ray test to see if your heart arteries are clogged. The doctor will insert a catheter into an artery and up to the heart. Dye is then injected through the catheter into the arteries, which are viewed on a screen.
    • Percutaneous Coronary Intervention: This opens blocked arteries and restores normal blood flow to your heart muscle.
    • Stent Placement: A wire mesh (stent) is inserted through the catheter to the blocked area and left in place, opening the blocked area.
    • Balloon Angioplasty: A balloon is inserted through the catheter to the blocker area and then slowly inflated to open the area. Sometimes just a balloon is needed, though sometimes a stent needs to be placed.
    • Athrectomy: In some instances, the plaque is very hard and needs to be shaved away before a balloon or stent can be used. This is done through the same catheter as an angioplasty or stent.
  • Peripheral Procedures: This is a type of x-ray test which determines if arteries in areas other than the heart are blocked. IV dye is injected into the arteries through a catheter inserted into the groin.
    • Abdominal Aortogram with Run-off: Examines the aorta and the legs
    • Renal Angiogram: Examines the arteries going to the kidney
    • Subclavian Angiogram: Examines the arteries in the upper chest leading to the arms and neck
    • Carotid Angiogram: Examines the arteries in the neck leading to the brain
  • Peripheral Interventions: This opens blocked arteries other than the heart. If may take any combination of balloons, stents, and/or athrectomy to open these arteries.
    • Athrectomy: Removal or shaving of hard plaque build-up
    • Stent Placement: A wire mesh, which is left in place to keep an artery open
    • Balloon Angioplasty: A balloon is slowly inflated to open the area of the artery that is blocked