An echocardiogram uses sound waves to produce images of the heart. This common test is used to identify problems with the valves or chambers of the heart, and assess if heart problems are the cause of symptoms such as shortness of breath or chest pain.
An electrocardiogram, abbreviated as EKG or ECG, is a test that measures the electrical activity of the heart. The ECG will demonstrate how long the electrical wave takes to pass through the heart to determine if the electrical activity is normal or slow, fast or irregular. This test will also show if parts of the heart are too large or are overworked.
A multi-graded acquisition (MUGA) scan is a test that utilizes a radioactive tracer (called a radionuclide) and a special camera to take pictures of the heart as it pumps blood. The test measures how well the heart pumps with every heartbeat. This test may be completed for investigation of chest pain, trouble breathing, tiredness, and dizziness.
A stress test shows how the heart works during physical activity. An exercise stress test usually involves walking on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike while the heart rhythm, blood pressure and breathing are are monitored. Sometimes, a drug that mimics the effects of exercise is given instead. A nuclear stress test allows for visualization of the heart while during rest and after exercise. The test can show the size of the heart’s chambers, how well the heart is pumping blood, and whether the heart has any damaged or dead muscle. Nuclear stress tests can also provide information about whether arteries are narrowed or blocked because of coronary artery disease.
Capsule endoscopy is a procedure that uses a tiny wireless camera to take pictures of the digestive tract. A capsule endoscopy camera sits inside a vitamin-size capsule. As the capsule travels through the digestive tract, the camera takes thousands of pictures that are transmitted to a recorder the patient wears on a belt around the waist.
Several carbohydrate breath tests can be utilized to assess carbohydrate malabsorption (lactose, fructose, sucrose), or identify patients with small bowel bacterial overgrowth. Breath testing relies on the intestinal bacteria to metabolize various carbohydrates producing hydrogen and/or methane and leading to the release of measurable levels of these gases in exhaled air from the lungs.
Colonoscopy is a common and safe test to examine the lining of the large bowel. This procedure is often done under sedation to assure maximal patient comfort. Colonoscopy can detect Crohn's disease, and ulcerative colitis and can treat polyps, colorectal bleeding, and strictures.
Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is a specialized technique used to study and treat problems of the liver, pancreas and, on occasion, the gallbladder. ERCP is performed under sedation. ERCP can be used to remove obstructing gallstones, and investigate causes of jaundice, elevated liver enzymes, and pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas).
Hemorrhoid banding is a non-surgical approach to treat hemorrhoids. The procedure places a small rubber band around the base of the hemorrhoid, which causes it to shrink down and eventually fall off. This procedure can successfully treat hemorrhoids in just three office visits. It does not require sedation, it’s painless, there is no preparation or fasting needed prior to the hemorrhoid banding procedure and the entire process only takes minutes. This method allows patients to return to their normal routine after each procedure.
An upper endoscopy allows for examination of the lining of the upper part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, which includes the esophagus, stomach and duodenum (first portion of the small intestine). Upper endoscopy is often done under sedation to assure maximal patient comfort. Upper endoscopy can be performed to evaluate persistent upper abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting or difficulty swallowing. Upper endoscopy can also be used to detect Barrett's esophagus (a possibly precancerous alteration in the esophageal lining), detect and biopsy gastrointestinal cancers, treat bleeding, and detect and treat symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Bronchoscopy is a procedure that allows for the visualization of the lungs and air passages. During bronchoscopy, a thin tube (bronchoscope) is passed through the nose or mouth, down the throat and into the lungs. Bronchoscopy is usually done to find the cause of a lung problems and can also treat some medical problems.
Polysomnography, also called a sleep study, is a test used to diagnose sleep disorders. Polysomnography records brain waves, the oxygen level in blood, heart rate and breathing, as well as eye and leg movements during the study.
Polysomnography monitors the sleep stages and cycles to identify if or when sleep patterns are disrupted and why.
Pulmonary function tests (PFTs) are noninvasive tests that show how well the lungs are working. The tests measure lung volume, capacity, rates of flow, and gas exchange. This information can help diagnose and decide the treatment of certain lung disorders.
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