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Services

Superior Heart and Vascular Care

The heart is the most important muscle in your body, and our specially trained team of cardiologists, technologists and nurses work hard to provide the very best care for your entire cardiovascular system. We were the first hospital in Michigan to use a special, minimally invasive surgery to remove tumors near the heart, and we are continuing to advance care options so that we can minimize patient healing time and reduce the risk of infection.

Mercy Health Saint Mary's earned the Advanced Certification in Heart Failure (ACHF) from The Joint Commission in February 2014, becoming the first hospital in the area and only the second in the state to do so. According to The Joint Commission, this advanced certification is granted only to hospitals that provide safe, high quality of care, treatment, and services to their patients with heart failure.

Mercy Health Saint Mary's partners with Mercy Health Physician Partners - Grand River Cardiology for patient care. The experts at Mercy Health Physician Partners Grand River Cardiology offer diagnostic testing, medical intervention and patient education to promote cardiovascular health and disease prevention. We also partner with Mercy Health Physician Partners - Grand River Vascular Surgery for patients with any vascular surgery needs.

Learn more about our non-invasive cardiovascular procedures below.

In the News

  • WZZM TV 13 Story: Mercy Health Saint Mary's Honored for Heart Failure Care. Watch story >
  • Mlive.com Story: New Mercy Health Saint Mary's President Bill Manns tours Mercy Health Saint Mary's Heart and Vascular Center. Read story >
  • Dr. Kristopher Selke from Grand River Cardiology talks with WOOD TV's "eightWest" about surviving sudden cardiac arrest. Watch story >

Non-Invasive Procedures

Non-Invasive Procedures

EKG (ECG)

Each time your heart beats, it creates a small electrical charge that signals your heart muscles to contract in a specific order. Special sensors (electrodes) can be placed on the skin to measure this electrical charge. This measurement lets us know how your heart is performing.

Patient Prep: None
Approximate time for procedure: 5 minutes

12-lead EKG

We place ten sensors on your chest, legs and arms. These sensors create 12 different tracings of the electrical charge created by your heart. This very sensitive test can identify irregular heart rates, rhythms, heart attacks, oxygen shortages and the size of your heart chambers.

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Holter Monitor (24 or 48 hour)

We place five sensors on your chest that are connected to a small recording device. You'll wear the device for 24 to 48 hours. Once your prescribed monitoring period has passed, you'll return the device to us, where our technicians will analyze your recording and create a report detailing your heart rates and rhythms. You and your cardiologist will then discuss the findings and decide on treatment options, if any.

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Event Monitor

We place two sensors on the chest that are connected to a small recording device. When you feel an abnormal spell or symptomatic episode, you'll push the "event" button and the monitor will make a record. After an event, you can send a copy by phone to a 24-hour monitoring service that will generate a report of the heart's rhythms during the event, and will send this report to your doctor.

Because you can wear the event monitor for up to 30 days, we'll include extra sensors so you can replace them as needed. At the end of your monitoring period, you and your doctor will discuss the findings together.

Patient Prep: None
Approximate amount of time for procedure: Monitor setup, about 20 minutes

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Echocardiogram (Echo)

An echo creates an ultrasound picture of your heart by reflecting sound waves through your body using a small camera. The picture shows us the size and function of the chambers, valves and vessels in your heart. We can also see and measure the direction and speed of the blood as it passes through your heart. This is a good test for finding abnormal heart structures, stiff or leaky valves, heart attack damage, oxygen shortages, high blood pressure and fluid buildup.

Patient Prep: None
Approximate time for procedure: 45 to 60 minutes

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Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE)

A transesophageal echocardiogram creates an ultrasound picture of your heart, just as an echocardiogram does. The only difference is the camera is placed in your esophagus, allowing us to get greater detail since the esophagus is right next to the heart. You'll be lightly sedated, so we recommend having someone drive you home after the procedure — the medicine used to sedate you may cause extreme drowsiness.

Patient Prep: No food four hours before
Approximate time for procedure: 30 to 60 minutes

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Treadmill Stress Test

A stress test shows how your heart reacts under a heavy workload. While on a treadmill, you'll make a 12-lead EKG recording and your blood pressure will be monitored every three minutes. The findings will later be compared to measurements taken just before you started the treadmill.

The stress test can assess if you have coronary artery disease or arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat) stemming from symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath or palpitations.

Patient Prep: No food two hours before
Approximate time for procedure: 45 minutes

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Stress Echocardiogram (Echo)

Along with showing how your heart reacts while working hard, a stress echocardiogram includes ultrasound images of your heart taken before and immediately after your treadmill walk. This provides a more accurate picture of your heart, allowing your doctor to see areas that may be affected by coronary artery disease.

Patient Prep: No food two hours before
Approximate time for procedure: 60 to 90 minutes

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Nuclear Treadmill Stress Test

In a nuclear treadmill stress test, the same information gathered during a normal stress test is collected here, except a small dose of a radioactive tracer is injected through an IV to see how much of the tracer is absorbed into your heart at the start and at the peak of your treadmill walk. Photos will be taken at each interval, and your doctor will compare resting absorption to active absorption. The nuclear images will provide a more accurate picture of your heart, identifying specific areas that may be affected by coronary artery disease.

Patient Prep: No food four hours before
Approximate time for procedure: 3.5 to 4 hours

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Pharmacologic Stress Test

If your doctor feels that you are unable to complete a normal treadmill stress test, they may order a pharmacologic stress test. Instead of the treadmill creating the workload on the heart, a medication will simulate the effects of the treadmill — either dobutamine (increasing heart rate) or adenosine (increasing blood flow) will be used.

You'll be monitored for symptom, blood pressure and EKG changes. Depending on which medication your doctor uses for your test, nuclear or echo images of your heart will be taken before, during or after the simulation medication is administered. Your doctor will then compare the images, looking for signs of coronary artery disease.

Patient Prep: Dobutamine Stress Echocardiogram: No food two hours before Adenosine Nuclear Stress: no food four hours before, no caffeine for 24 hours, no smoking or tobacco for 24 hours.

Approximate time for procedure:
Stress Echocardiogram: 60 to 90 minutes
Adenosine Nuclear Stress: 3.5 to 4 hours

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