If you’ve been diagnosed with arrhythmia, a common heart rhythm disorder, your doctor in Houston, Texas, may have recommended catheter ablation as a treatment option. This minimally invasive procedure involves threading a thin wire through a vein in your arm or leg and up to your heart. The wire is used to destroy the tiny areas of heart tissue, causing an arrhythmia. Before you undergo catheter ablation, your specialist in catheter ablation in Houston will likely order a series of tests to ensure it’s the proper treatment for you and help plan for the procedure. Here are some of these tests.
One of the first tests you’ll likely have is an echocardiogram, which uses ultrasound waves to create a moving picture of your heart. This test can help your doctor evaluate the structure and function of your heart and check for any underlying conditions that could be causing or contributing to your arrhythmia.
An ECG measures the electrical activity of your heart. It can help your doctor determine how severe your arrhythmia is and whether you’re at risk for a heart attack.
A chest x-ray (also called a chest film) is an imaging technique that doctors use to look for problems in your heart, lungs, or breasts. Chest x-rays may also be used to detect fractures in your arms or legs.
It can help identify and diagnose certain conditions by allowing the doctor to see pictures of the inside of your chest. Some common conditions that a chest X-ray can help identify are pneumonia, pulmonary embolism, and congestive heart failure.
A computed tomography (CT) scan is an imaging procedure that uses special x-ray equipment to create detailed pictures, or slices, of your body. CT scans are often used to diagnose cancer, heart disease, and other conditions.
Your doctor may recommend a CT scan of your chest if you have symptoms of lung cancer, such as a cough that doesn’t go away or difficulty breathing, or if you have a family history of the disease.
A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan is a diagnostic test that uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create detailed images of your body. An MRI can help your doctor diagnose conditions such as cancer, heart disease, and stroke.
Your doctor may recommend an MRI scan if you have symptoms of a heart condition, such as chest pain or shortness of breath. An MRI can also be used to check for problems with your blood vessels or valves.
Blood tests are a type of lab test that helps doctors diagnose and monitor health problems. They can also help determine a person’s risk for health problems in the future. There are many different types of blood tests, and each one serves another purpose.
Some standard blood tests include a Complete Blood Count (CBC) that measures the levels of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets in your blood. It can help your doctor diagnose anemia, infection, or other conditions.
Preparing for catheter ablation can be a daunting task, but it’s vital to ensure you’re as prepared as possible before undergoing the procedure. There are crucial tests that your doctor orders first. It will help them determine if catheter ablation is the right treatment option for you and help plan the procedure.