Diagnostic Services

Ballarat Heart Centre has established a Cardiac Diagnostic Service to improve access to services that enhance the health information required by your Cardiologist to improve your health and treat your heart condition.

Referral Form

Referring doctors, please click here to download the referral form for Cardiac Diagnostics at Ballarat Heart Centre.

Diagnostic services on-site

Our onsite cardiac diagnostic services include the following non-invasive tests:

This test uses sound waves to produce live images of your heart showing how your heart and valves are functioning. This procedure provides important information about the health of your heart muscle, especially following a heart attack or experiencing shortness of breath.

This is a very reliable test that uses ultrasound imaging to show how well your heart muscle is working to pump blood to your body when resting and under stress. The images created show if there is a decrease in blood flow to the heart from narrowing in the coronary arteries. There is no radiation used.

During this procedure your blood pressure and heart rhythm will be monitored by the Cardiologist and Cardiac Technician. This test may be performed at rest and / or whilst you are exercising on a treadmill showing how your heart responds to additional stress.

This test may be ordered if you have experienced chest pain and will help determine the cause. Early diagnosis helps prevent future complications.

This test records the electrical activity of your heart by detecting tiny electrical signals that make your heart pump blood around your body. This information tells a story about your heart that is important for your cardiologist to know when determining your treatment.

This test is used to assess your body’s response to ‘stress’ created by exercise. The cardiac technician will connect electrodes to your chest that measure the electrical activity in your heart. You will be asked to walk on a treadmill and the monitor will show how much your heart can manage before an abnormal rhythm starts or the blood flow to your heart muscle drops.

This test monitors your heart rate and rhythm over a period of 24 hours or longer. The recordings provide information about the electrical function of your heart and how your heart responds to normal day to day activities and routine.

Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring (ABPM) is a test done to record your blood pressure at fixed intervals throughout a 24-hr period while you move around, living your normal everyday life. It uses a small blood pressure machine that is attached to a belt around your body and is connected via a tube to a cuff wrapped around your upper arm. It is small enough not to obstruct normal daily life, and you can even sleep with it on.

Hospital based tests and procedures (cath lab)

We carry out the following invasive tests and procedures locally at Ballarat Health Service and St John of God Hospital Ballarat cardiac laboratory:

Coronary Angiography

This is a procedure that x-rays images of your blood vessels, which can be seen clearly when coloured with a contrast agent that is injected into the bloodstream (usually via the arm)

Computed tomography (CT) is used to take pictures of the coronary arteries, the important vessels that supply blood to your heart muscle.

Coronary Angioplasty

This procedure is used to widen blocked or narrowed coronary arteries. Angioplasty refers to the process of using a balloon to stretch and open a narrowed or blocked artery. This should result in improved blood flow to the heart.

Most but not all people who have an angioplasty will also have a stent placed in the blocked artery. A stent, which looks like a tiny coil of wire mesh, supports the walls of the artery and helps prevent re-narrowing of the vessel after the angioplasty.

Direct Current Cardioversion (DCR)

Direct Current Cardioversion is a procedure that aims to restore the heart’s abnormal rythm to a normal rythm by transmitting a brief electrical current. This procedure may be used if you have atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter but will be discussed with your Cardiologist for best method of treatment.

Pacemaker implant/explant

A small device that can be implanted in your chest to control your heartbeat.

Loop recorder

A loop recorder monitors and records an ECG of the heart.