Cardiology

HMC Cardiovascular Specialists is dedicated to prompt, comprehensive care, blending the unique personalized approach of Holyoke Medical Center with the advanced diagnostics and treatment methods you need.
Programs & Services

Heart disease continues to be one of the primary causes of death among Americans, and Holyoke Medical Center has a variety of on-site programs focusing on heart health.

Our triple board certified cardiologists employ a patient centered approach to your care, administering the tests you need to find answers regarding your condition, as well as direction for your treatment. At HMC, you will receive access to the same advanced screening technologies found at larger hospitals, with the more compassionate, one-on-one care found only at Holyoke Medical Center.

From the highly-trained technicians and physicians providing EKGs and stress testing in our Cardiology Department, to the rehab specialists working in our popular Cardiac Rehabilitation Program, our staff is dedicated to helping you create and maintain a healthy heart.

Our Cardiology Services Include:

     Cardiac Catheterization

     Pacemaker Placement

     Implantable Cardiac Device Management

     Advanced CHF Clinic

     Cardiac Rehabilitation Program

     Electrocardiograph (EKG, ECG)

     Ambulatory Electrocardiography

     Holter Monitoring

     Cardiac Event Monitor

     Echocardiogram

     Cardiac Stress Testing

          Exercise Stress Test

          Stress Echocardiogram

          Nuclear Stress Test

          Pharmacologic Stress Tests

 


Cardiac Catheterization

Cardiac Catheterization is a medical procedure that allows the doctor to check the blood flow and pressure in the heart chambers and insert a catheter if necessary. This procedure would be completed by Holyoke Medical Center physicians at another local medical facility.

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Pacemaker Placement

This surgical operation is performed at Holyoke Medical Center by Dr. Sandeep Sharma.

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Implantable Cardiac Device Management

Patients living with implantable cardiac devices, such as a pacemaker or defibrillator, have many options at HMC Cardiovascular Specialists in managing their device:

  • Remote monitoring is available
  • Our Doctors can check your device during regularly scheduled appointments
  • Once a month a clinic is offered to have your device checked

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Advanced CHF Clinic

This is an educational program for people living with Chronic Heart Disease. The four week series will consist of:

  • Understanding heart disease
  • Nutrition for your heart
  • Medications for your heart
  • Physical therapy and your heart.

The series will be repeated monthly and participants are welcome to join at any point.

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Cardiac Rehabilitation Program

The cardiac rehabilitation program is a physician referred exercise program for patients with heart disease. The program is facilitated and monitored by the cardiac rehabilitation coordinator and registered nurse.

The program consists of three phases:

  • Inpatient Services – patients will work with the cardiac rehabilitation staff while they are still in the hospital after a heart event
  • Exercise Therapy Program – up to 36 exercise sessions after a cardiac event with educational components of diet, stress reduction, smoking secession, etc.– requires a physician referral and is covered by most insurance providers
  • Maintenance Phase – ongoing continued exercise program with a cardiac rehabilitation staff offered at Holyoke Medical Center and Holyoke Community College for a fee of $40 per month
    Holyoke Medical Center
    M, W, F: 7 – 11 a.m., 1 – 2:30 p.m.
    Holyoke Community College
    Tuesdays and Thursdays: 7 – 9:30 a.m., 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
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Electrocardiograph (EKG, ECG)

Electrocardiograph is a test that records the electrical activity of the heart. This procedure does not require an appointment and takes about ten minutes. 

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Ambulatory Electrocardiography

This procedure requires an appointment and takes about 30 minutes.  Ambulatory electrocardiography is a recording that monitors the electrical activity of your heart while you go about your usual activities.  There are two types of ambulatory electrocardiographs.

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Holter Monitoring

Holter Monitoring:  provides a continuous 24 hour recording of the heart. This exam is useful in detecting irregular heartbeats.   The recording device is worn on a strap at your waist or over your shoulder.  The electrical signal is picked up by four small pads (electrodes) attached to your chest and these are connected to the recorder by wires.  While you are wearing the Holter Monitor you will be asked to perform you daily activities and keep a diary ofall your activities and symptoms.

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Cardiac Event Monitor

This exam is used when symptoms of irregular heartbeats occur infrequently. This small device is attached to the chest with electrodes and is about the size of a pager.  It constantly records heartbeats.  When symptoms occur you press a button and a permanent recording is made.  The recording is sent wirelessly and analyzed by your cardiologist.  You can keep the monitor up to 30 days.

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Echocardiogram

This procedure requires an appointment and takes about one hour. 

An Echocardiogram (Echo) is an ultrasound of the heart.  It is use to assess the overall function of your heart.  A trained sonographer performs this procedure.   High frequency sound waves (ultrasound) are bounced off the heart structures producing images and sounds that can be used by the doctor to detect heart disease.

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Cardiac Stress Testing

Requires an appointment you must fast for three hours prior to the exam.  Certain medications must be discontinued prior to the test.  Check with your physician to see if you need to stop your medications.

Stress tests are tests performed by a doctor and trained technician to determine how your heart responds to exertion.  This test is done to detect evidence of ischemia (not enough blood flow to the heart muscle. The many different types of stress tests are listed separately. 

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Exercise Stress Test

This procedure takes about one hour.  It involves walking on a treadmill at increasing levels of difficulty while your electrocardiogram, heart rate and blood pressure are monitored.

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Stress Echocardiogram

This procedure takes about one to two hours.  The procedure is both with and without exercise.  An echocardiogram (echo) is performed in addition to the electrocardiograph. 

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Nuclear Stress Test

This test takes about three hours.  The procedure is performed both with and without exercise and is associated with Nuclear Medicine Department.  A small amount of radioactive substance called a tracer is injected into the patient near the end of the test and a set of scans or pictures are performed about 30 minutes after the test is completed. (Click here for more information) (Person who clicks will be brought back to the Nuclear Medicine part of the procedure, as previously outlined)

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Pharmacologic Stress Tests

This procedure takes about three hours. This test is used in people who are unable to exercise.  A drug is given to make the heart respond as if the person were exercising.      It is performed in combination with either a Stress Echo or Nuclear Stress.

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