Coastal Heart Institute: Personalized care to improve your heart health
At Coastal Heart Institute, our cardiologist Dr. Charles Drake and the staff of nurses and technicians are committed to providing quality care to each patient to improve heart health as well as life-saving care to those with heart disease, the nation’s number one killer. Dr. Drake prides himself on the art of medicine, mixing the latest technology with years of experience. Dr. Drake ensures his patients are receiving high-quality care in a personalized environment.
Coastal Heart Institute offers the latest treatments and technology to improve your heart health. We offer a wide range of in-office diagnostic testing and invasive and rehab services for any heart condition.
Echocardiogram: Using sound waves to check your heart
An echocardiogram (echo) is an imaging test that uses harmless sound waves to check your heart. Echo testing shows how well your heart muscle and valves are working. It also shows how large your heart is. A transducer – a device that looks like a small rod – is used to bounce sound waves off your heart. A computer changes the sound waves into images that are seen on a monitor. These images help Dr. Drake evaluate your heart and plan any treatment or other tests that may be needed. An echo test is painless and very safe.
Exercise Stress Test: Tracking your heart’s response to exercise
An exercise stress test is also called a stress echocardiography. It records your heartbeat while you walk on a treadmill or ride a stationary bike. This test helps your doctor evaluate how well your heart and blood vessels are working. It also measures the strength of your heart after a heart attack or surgery. Don’t worry about having to exercise. The stress test measures your heart, not your athletic ability. Your heartbeat and blood pressure are monitored during and after the test. Do not eat, drink, smoke, or have any caffeine for four hours before the test. As soon as the test is over, you may eat and return to your normal routine. A stress echo helps Dr. Drake plan your treatment, including deciding if any other tests are needed.
Electrocardiogram (EKG): Assessing your heart and arteries
An electrocardiogram or EKG is a basic screening to determine if there are any problems with your heart and arteries. An EKG is typically used in conjunction with an echo test. It is a painless test that typically only takes a few minutes. During an EKG, you will be asked to lie down while a dozen small, sticky patches, called electrodes, are attached to your chest, arms and legs. While you lie still, your heart’s electrical current will be recorded so Dr. Drake can determine your heart’s pumping pattern and if your heart is beating too fast, too slow or irregularly.
Heart palpitations are a "racing" or fluttering sensation of the heart. Some people may feel like their heart skips or adds a beat and takes their breath away for a second or two. For our patients that experience heart palpitations, we can give you a holter monitor. A holter monitor is a portable device that records the rhythm of the heart continuously for 24 to 48 hours. Electrodes will be attached to your chest and feed your heart's rhythm into the monitor. Wearing a holter monitor is painless and most patients report no problems sleeping with the monitor. The results from wearing a holter monitor will help Dr. Drake determine any treatment or further tests needed.