CVPH Cardiology in Plattsburgh includes a team of cardiologists skilled in life-saving heart procedures, preventative care and cardiac rehabilitation.
While the COVID-19 pandemic is changing the way some things look and feel at CVPH, providing you and your loved ones with the care you need is always our top priority. We are taking extra precautions by adjusting some of the ways we provide care, both in-person and remotely at CVPH Cardiology. It is important to know what to expect when you are in our care. Below is a glimpse of the experience you can expect before, during and after your provider visit.
If you have a pressing issue, do not hesitate to call (518) 563-2404 from 8:00 a.m. -
4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday.
To streamline your visit and limit time spent in the waiting room, you may go through pre-registration before the appointment if you haven’t been seen in the last 4 months.That involves a phone call a few days ahead of the visit to verify some basic information about you and your insurance. This is similar to what you used to do in the waiting room before seeing your provider. The entire call will only last a few minutes.
The process is similar for same day appointments. Once the appointment is scheduled, you will be transferred to a representative for pre-registration.
Whether it’s in person, on the phone or via video, we are offering expanded access to ensure you get the care you need, when you need it. CVPH Cardiology offers these options:
Please call our office to speak with a staff member about the different ways you can get care, or click here to learn more about each option.
When you arrive for your appointment, you’ll notice more precautions in place to support your health and comfort.
What you can expect:
- Check-in: To ensure a smooth process and avoid significant waiting times, we ask that you arrive promptly for your appointment. If you arrive early, you may be asked to wait in the car until an exam room opens up. A staff member may then call you (if you have a cell phone) when a room is free or come out to get you. You will go inside the FitzPatrick Cancer Center entrance. If you have a mask, be sure to put it on before going into the building.
- Screening: Once you enter the building, a representative at the desk immediately in front of the doors will ask you a few screening questions to determine if you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 or have any symptoms and get your temperature checked. If you do not have a mask, we are happy to provide one for you and help put it on.
- If you do not pass the screening: Don’t worry! We are taking every precaution to ensure you receive the care you need and minimize exposure to others. If necessary, your provider will be notified and will work directly with you to ensure your appointment is kept.
- If you pass: Head to the office. If an exam room is not immediately available, you may be taken to the waiting room for no more than a few minutes. If the wait is longer, you may be asked to go back to your car. A staff member will be sent out to get you when a room is available.
- Exam Room: Once in the room, the nurse will go over basic information as usual, including medications and the reason for the visit. You will be asked to wash your hands before the provider sees you. Your provider will then visit with you.
- Check Out: Once the visit is complete and your provider leaves the room, you may head to the check out desk where a member will get you checked out, schedule any follow-up visits and escort you to the exit. Any co-pays or other payments owed will be handled over the phone or through the mail.
What we will be doing:
- Masking: For everyone’s protection, we’re asking you to wear your mask while in our care, and we’ll be wearing masks, too.
- Cleaning & Sanitizing: Following CDC and New York State Department of Health Guidelines, we are cleaning and disinfecting exam rooms, front desk counters, check-out counters, waiting room furniture and patient bathrooms in between each patient visit. You may also notice we are cleaning common areas and wiping down surfaces more frequently throughout the day.
- Social Distancing: We are limiting the use of the waiting room as much as possible. We have also made changes to support safe social distancing of at least 6 feet. That includes fewer chairs and new floor markings to create a “circle of health” to help with appropriate distancing.
You may be accustomed to bringing a friend or loved one to your appointments. For the most up-to-date visitation policy at the hospital and our clinics, click here.
If you need a support person or driver to accompany you to the office, we ask that they wait in their vehicle or return at a specific time. We also ask that they be no more than 15 minutes away while you are with us. After your appointment, a staff member will bring you to the designated entryway to meet up with your support person outside the office.
If a support person needs to come inside the building with you for the appointment, that individual will also be screened before entering the building and must wear a mask for the duration of the visit. Please call us at (518) 314-3491 to determine if a support person during the visit is appropriate.
Your heart is in the right place.
Our team of board certified cardiologists is dedicated to excellence in the clinical treatment of heart disease, the leading health problem in New York's North Country.
If you're concerned about your heart health, our cardiology specialists are available to consult with you and your primary care physician about life-saving cardiac disease specialties, preventative cardiology and cardiac rehabilitation treating:
- Congenital heart disease
- Heart failure and cardiomyopathy
- Ischemic heart disease
- Pulmonary hypertension
- Valvular heart disease
Leading Cardiovascular Treatments
CVPH cardiologists will work with you using the latest diagnostic procedures and treatments of cardiovascular disease including:
Electrocardiography (ECG or EKG)
An electrocardiogram or ECG (also called an EKG) is a common, painless test recording the electrical activity of the heart and converts it into lines called "waveforms" that can be seen on a monitor or printed out on paper. The waveforms created by the ECG can be divided into time segments to measure the rate of movement of your heart's electrical impulses.
An ECG can tell if your heart is beating normally or detect heart disease or problems with the electrical conduction system of the heart. It records the rate and regularity of heartbeats, can tell the size and position of the chambers of the heart. An ECG also can record signs of damage to the heart and the effects of drugs or devices such as pacemakers.
Holter Monitoring/Event Recording
A Holter Monitor is a machine that your doctor will order which will continuously record your heart rhythms for 24 hours or more. The monitor is worn continuously throughout the day and night and because it is worn for an extended time period, it can help physicians determine if there is a problem with the heart that would not normally be detected with a regular EKG which only checks the patient's heart rhythym for less than a minute.
Echocardiography is a diagnostic test that uses ultrasound waves to make images of the heart chambers, valves and surrounding structures. It can measure cardiac output and is a sensitive test for inflammation around the heart (pericarditis). It can also be used to detect abnormal anatomy or infections of the heart valves.
Transthoracic (adult and pediatric), Transesophageal
An echocardiogram, often referred to in the medical community as a cardiac ECHO or simply an ECHO, is a sonogram of the heart. Also known as a cardiac ultrasound, it uses standard ultrasound techniques to image two-dimensional slices of the heart. The latest ultrasound systems now employ 3D real-time imaging.
In addition to creating two-dimensional pictures of the cardiovascular system, an echocardiogram can also produce accurate assessment of the velocity of blood and cardiac tissue at any arbitrary point using pulsed or continuous wave Doppler ultrasound. This allows assessment of cardiac valve areas and function, any abnormal communications between the left and right side of the heart, any leaking of blood through the valves (valvular regurgitation), and calculation of the cardiac output as well as the ejection fraction.
Stress Echocardiography (Exercise and Pharmacologic)
Patients with coronary artery blockages may have minimal or no symptoms during rest. However, symptoms and signs of heart disease may be unmasked by exposing the heart to the stress of exercise. During exercise, healthy coronary arteries dilate (develop a more open channel) than an artery with a blockage. This unequal dilation causes more blood to be delivered to heart muscle supplied by the normal artery. In contrast, narrowed arteries end up supplying reduced flow to it's area of distribution. This reduced flow causes the involved muscle to "starve" during exercise. The "starvation" may produce symptoms (like chest discomfort or inappropriate shortness of breath), EKG abnormalities and reduced movement of the heart muscle. The latter can be recognized by examining the movement of the walls of the left ventricle (the major pumping chamber of the heart) by Echocardiography.
ECG and Exercise
The exercise cardiac stress testing (ECST) is the most widely used cardiac (heart) screening test. The patient exercises on a treadmill according to a standardized protocol, with progressive increases in the speed and elevation of the treadmill (typically changing at three-minute intervals). During the exercise cardiac stress testing (ECST), the patient's electrocardiogram (EKG), heart rate, heart rhythm, and blood pressure are continuously monitored.
If a coronary arterial blockage results in decreased blood flow to a part of the heart during exercise, certain changes may be observed in the EKG (the electrocardiogram), as well as in the response of the heart rate and blood pressure.
There are a diversity of pharmacologic stress tests. Typically this refers to a pharmacologic cardiac stress test whereby certain medications are administered in order to stimulate the heart to mimic the physiologic effects of exercise.
Patients with coronary artery blockages may have minimal or no symptoms during rest. However, symptoms and signs of heart disease may be unmasked by exposing the heart to the stress of exercise. During exercise, healthy coronary arteries dilate (develop a more open channel) than an artery with a blockage. This unequal dilation causes more blood to be delivered to heart muscle supplied by the normal artery. In contrast, narrowed arteries end up supplying reduced flow to its area of distribution. This reduced flow causes the involved muscle to "starve" during exercise. The "starvation" may produce symptoms (like chest discomfort or inappropriate shortness of breath), EKG abnormalities and reduced movement of the heart muscle. The latter can be recognized by examining the movement of the walls of the left ventricle (the major pumping chamber of the heart) by Echocardiography.
During exercise, healthy coronary arteries dilate (develop a more open channel) more than an artery that has a blockage. This unequal dilation causes more blood to be delivered to heart muscle supplied by the normal artery. In contrast, narrowed arteries end up supplying reduced flow to its area of distribution. This reduced flow causes the involved muscle to "starve" during exercise. The "starvation" may produce symptoms (like chest discomfort or inappropriate shortness of breath), and EKG abnormalities. When a "perfusion tracer" (a nuclear isotope that travels to heart muscle with blood flow) is injected intravenously, it is extracted by the heart muscle in proportion to the flow of blood.
The amount of tracer uptake helps differentiate normal muscle (which receives more of the tracer) from the reduced uptake demonstrated by muscle that is supplied by a narrowed coronary artery. In other words, areas of the heart that have adequate blood flow quickly picks up the tracer material. In contrast, muscle that has reduced blood flow picks up the tracer slowly or not at all. Analysis of the images of the heart (taken by a scanning camera) can help identify the location, severity and extent of reduced blood flow to the heart. The reduced blood flow is known as ischemia (pronounced is-keem-ya).
Cardioversion is a brief procedure where an electrical shock is delivered to the heart to convert an abnormal heart rhythm back to a normal rhythm. Most elective or "non-emergency" cardioversions are performed to treat atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter, benign heart rhythm disturbances originating in the upper chambers (atria) of the heart. Cardioversion is used in emergency situations to correct a rapid abnormal rhythm associated with faintness, low blood pressure, chest pain, difficulty breathing, or loss of consciousness.
The Tilt Table Test is used to determine a cause of syncope (fainting or loss of consciousness). There can be different reasons people experience syncope. For some people it is related to an abnormal nervous system reflex causing the heart to slow and the blood vessels to dilate (open up) lowering the blood pressure. When this happens there is a reduced amount of blood to the brain causing one to faint. This type of syncope is called vasovagal, neurocardiogenic or abnormal vasoregulatory syncope and is considered benign (not dangerous or life-threatening), except for the injuries that can happen when one faints unexpectedly. The Tilt Table Test is performed to reproduce (bring on) symptoms of syncope while the person is being closely monitored.