The Warning Signs
Our cardiology teams at our Heart & Vascular Centers in Everett and Smokey Point provide complete heart care utilizing the most advanced technology available. We know each person is different, and we individualize care to offer you choices for treatment.
When you are first referred to one of our board-certified cardiologists, you will have a consultation appointment. At this appointment you will undergo an evaluation and risk stratification to determine if you have heart disease. You may then be scheduled to undergo one of a variety of tests at The Everett Clinic, including:
- Testing and evaluation to determine if you have heart disease
- Heart disease prevention and education
- A wide range of treatment options
The results from each of these tests are sent to your cardiologist for review.
An electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) detects the electrical impulses that cause the heart to contract. Changes in the EKG signal can indicate electrical disturbances of the heart conducting system, as well as structural abnormalities. This test is done by placing electrodes on the chest, wrists and ankles and connecting them to a monitor that displays the heart's electrical impulses. Following your EKG, a printed report will be sent to your doctor.
Treadmill test for basic evaluation
A stress echocardiogram ("stress echo") is a non-invasive test that combines ultrasound pictures of the heart with an exercise test. It checks the coronary arteries for narrowing by evaluating muscle function at rest and after exercise.
Typically, you will be asked to walk on a treadmill in order to increase your heart rate. If you can't exercise, you'll be given medicine that raises your heart rate without physical activity.
An echocardiogram, often called "echo," is a graphic outline of the heart's movement. During this test, high-frequency sound waves (ultrasound) are sent into the body. Echoes received are used to produce an image of the heart's chambers and valves. These pictures can be seen on a monitor and recorded, allowing your doctor to see how well your heart is working. An echocardiogram is similar to ultrasound exams performed on pregnant women.
With nuclear-imaging tests, your doctor can check the blood supply to your heart and see how well your heart works. The tests usually involve injecting a small amount of radioactive material into a vein and then tracing it through your bloodstream to your heart muscle. A special camera that can see the tracer is then used to take pictures of your heart.
- Holter Monitors
A Holter monitor is worn for 24 hours and is generally used for patients who may experience symptoms of abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmia) one or more times a day.
The monitor is the size of a Walkman radio that you can wear on your belt or over your shoulder on an accompanying strap. The monitor records every heartbeat over the test period, which is then analyzed for the presence of heart rhythm irregularities. Upon completion of the test, the monitor is returned and analyzed by The Everett Clinic technicians. Results are available to the referring physician within 24 hours.
If you need to schedule a Holter Monitor test or are having problems with your Holter Monitor, please call 425-339-5411.
Vascular studies use ultrasound (sound waves) to listen to and evaluate the blood flow, blood pressure, circulation and level of oxygen in the blood in your veins and arteries. The ultrasound can produce a picture of the inside of your veins and arteries. A specially-trained vascular sonographer performs this test.
The Everett Clinic has highly-trained and nationally-certified Vascular Ultrasound Sonographers for diagnostic vascular studies including carotid, renal, mesenteric, DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and arterial scans. These are non-invasive procedures because there is no need to insert anything into veins or arteries.
Following your vascular study, a report will be sent to your provider.
Upon completion of your diagnostic testing, you will review recommendations from your cardiologist on how to proceed. Your options could include lifestyle modification, medications, an angioplasty procedure, or surgery.
Laser Vein Ablation
The Everett Clinic also offers a varicose vein treatment called endovenous ablation. It is a minimally-invasive treatment for abnormally enlarged, painful veins in the legs. The treatment uses radiofrequency or laser energy to cauterize and close the veins.
Normally, blood circulates from the heart to the legs via arteries, then back to the heart via veins. Veins contain valves that allow blood to return from the legs against gravity. If these valves leak, then blood pools in the leg veins which can then become enlarged, or varicose.