Angiogram — An imaging test that uses X-rays to view your body’s blood vessels. Physicians often use this test to study narrow, blocked, enlarged, or malformed arteries or veins. To create the X-ray images, your physician will inject a liquid or dye through a thin, flexible tube, called a catheter. The catheter is threaded into the desired artery or vein from an access point.

Angioplasty — A medical procedure in which a balloon is used to open a blockage in a coronary (heart) artery. This procedure improves blood flow to the heart.

Anticoagulation services — A program to help you manage potential bleeding risks, blood-thinning medications, and potential food and drug interactions.

Arrhythmia — A disturbance in the heart’s normal electrical pattern.

Bypass surgery — This type of surgery reroutes, or “bypasses,” blood around clogged arteries to improve blood flow and oxygen to the heart. Surgeons take a segment of a healthy blood vessel from another part of the body and make a detour around the blocked part of the coronary artery.

Carotid artery disease — This disease occurs when the major arteries in your neck become narrowed or blocked. These arteries, called the carotid arteries, supply your brain with blood. Your carotid arteries extend from the aorta in your chest to the brain.

Echocardiogram — An echocardiogram is a test that uses sound waves to create a moving picture of the heart. The picture is much more detailed than a plain X-ray image and involves no radiation exposure. A trained sonographer performs the test and a physician interprets the results.

Electrophysiology — Study of the way heart’s electrical system works. When there is a disturbance in the electrical system, heart arrhythmia occurs.

F.A.C.C. — Fellow American College of Cardiology

Heart (Failure) Improvement Program — A customized program at Northwest Cardiovascular Institute, where we closely manage and monitor our heart failure patients. Clinical studies have shown patients in this type of program have an improved quality of life and a decreased chance of hospitalization.

Heart device clinic — An area within the Northwest Cardiovascular Institute offices to help you manage your cardiovascular medical devices; we’re here to problem solve any issues and answer your questions.

Myocardial infarction — Another word for heart attack. A heart attack is damage to the heart muscle from the sudden blockage of a coronary artery by a blood clot. Coronary arteries are blood vessels that supply the heart muscle with blood and oxygen. Blockage of a coronary artery deprives the heart muscle of blood and oxygen, causing injury to the heart muscle.

Pacemaker — A small device that’s placed in the chest or abdomen to help control abnormal heart rhythms. This device uses electrical pulses to prompt the heart to beat at a normal rate. Pacemakers are used to treat arrhythmia.

Peripheral arterial disease — This disease, also called PAD, occurs when plaque builds up in the arteries that carry blood to your head, organs and limbs. Over time, plaque can harden and narrow the arteries. PAD usually affects the legs but also can affect the arteries that carry blood to the head, arms, kidneys and stomach.

Radiofrequency ablation — A nonsurgical procedure used to treat some types of rapid heart beating.

Sonogram (or ultrasound) — A procedure to evaluate the structure and function of the heart and associated vessels. It’s a fast, easy and painless evaluation that uses ultrasound waves to produce images of the heart.

Stent — A wire metal mesh tube used to prop open an artery during angioplasty. The stent is collapsed to a small diameter and put over a balloon catheter. It’s then moved into the area of the blockage. When the balloon is inflated, the stent expands and holds the artery open.

Stress test — A stress test, sometimes called a treadmill test or exercise test, helps a doctor find out how well your heart handles work. As your body works harder during the test, it requires more oxygen, so the heart must pump more blood. The test can show if the blood supply is reduced in the arteries that supply the heart. It also helps doctors know the kind and level of exercise appropriate for a patient.

Vascular services — Vascular disease includes any condition that affects the circulatory system. Our vascular services include non-invasive procedures using ultrasound and Doppler technology to assess the flow of blood through the blood vessels. This technology can allow a physician to determine if there is a blockage.  We also offer services for patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and carotid artery disease.

Women’s heart services — Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death for women. At Northwest Cardiovascular Institute, our doctors are nationally recognized experts on diagnosing and treating heart disease in women.