Imaging test used to evaluate airways, blood vessels, heart and lungs
Expert Heart & Vascular Care
Getting the care you need starts with seeing one of our heart or vascular specialists.
Chest X-rays are a common exam and often one of the first procedures you’ll have if the doctor suspects you have heart or lung disease. The test uses a small dose of radiation to create pictures of the structures inside the chest, including the lungs, heart and chest wall. They can be used to help spot abnormalities, reveal fluid in or around the lungs, or diagnose shortness of breath, persistent cough, chest pain or injury.
What to expect when getting a chest X-ray
A chest X-ray requires little to no special preparation. Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or suspect you may be pregnant as radiation exposure during pregnancy may lead to birth defects.
You will wear a lead apron to cover your genitals and be positioned (standing or lying down) between a machine that produces the X-rays and a plate that creates the images. The technician may ask you to take a deep breath and hold it for several seconds. You may be asked to move into different positions to capture images from various angles. The exam is painless and should take about 20 minutes.
Abdominal aortic aneurysm treatments include monitoring, medication or surgery to place a graft that reduces pressure on the walls of the aorta where the aneurysm exists.
Balloon valvuloplasty improves blood flow through the heart to the lungs and body by opening a stiff heart valve.
Cardiac implant closure devices are used to repair defects that allow blood to flow through a hole connecting the chambers of the heart.
Cardiac resynchronization therapy, or CRT, is a treatment for heart failure that uses a pacemaker device to keep the heart’s lower two chambers pumping together.
Catheter ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that uses heat or cold to destroy heart tissue causing atrial fibrillation, a type of abnormal heart rhythm.
Treatments for congenital heart conditions range from atrial septal defect and patent foramen ovale closures to cardiac ablations and heart valve replacements to heart transplants.
A convergent maze procedure is a procedure that aggressively treats atrial fibrillation (AFib). Maze procedures create a pattern, or maze, of scar tissue in the heart to disrupt faulty electrical signals causing your abnormal heart rhythm.
Coronary artery bypass surgery, also known as coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG), restores normal blood flow through narrowed or blocked coronary arteries by using a healthy blood vessel taken from your leg, arm or chest to create a detour around the problem area.
Electrical cardioversion uses electrical shocks to treat heart rhythm disorders.
Surgical treatments for heart failure can include coronary bypass surgery, mechanical support devices and heart transplants.
Treatments for heart failure such as medications, surgery and mechanical devices vary based on the cause and severity of your condition.
A surgical maze procedure treats atrial fibrillation (AFib) by creating a pattern, or maze, of scar tissue in the heart to disrupt faulty electrical signals causing your abnormal heart rhythm.
A heart transplant replaces a diseased, failing heart with a healthier heart from a donor.
An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is a device implanted below your collarbone that monitors your heart’s rhythm. When it detects an abnormal rhythm, it delivers an electrical impulse or shock to the heart to correct it.
Infective endocarditis surgery is the removal of infected heart tissue and repair or replacement of damaged heart valves.
Inotropic therapy is an IV medication that can relieve symptoms of heart failure and abnormal heart rhythms.
Intracoronary radiation therapy is an innovative treatment that uses radiation to prevent scar tissue buildup in the arteries after an angioplasty or stent placement.
Closing the left atrial appendage can decrease the risk of dangerous blood clots and stroke for patients with atrial fibrillation.
A left ventricular assist device (LVAD) helps the heart pump blood more effectively during end-stage heart failure.
During left ventricular reconstructive surgery, the left ventricle is reshaped to remove scar tissue caused by heart failure.
MitraClip is a device our doctors use to treat mitral insufficiency, also known as mitral regurgitation.
Mitral valve disease treatments may include medication, minimally invasive procedures and surgery to treat a damaged valve.
Mitral valvuloplasty improves blood flow through the heart to the lungs and body by opening a narrow or stiff heart valve.
Off-pump bypass surgery, also known as beating-heart bypass surgery, is an option for many patients to have coronary artery bypass surgery without needing to stop the heart or lungs during the procedure.
Percutaneous valve procedures use catheter-based methods to replace a damaged heart valve and are less invasive than traditional open-heart surgeries.
Treatment for pulmonary embolisms can include medication to dissolve and prevent blood clots and surgical procedures to remove them.
Pulmonary vein isolation creates scar tissue to disrupt electrical signals coming from the pulmonary veins that cause atrial fibrillation (AFib), a type of abnormal heart rhythm.
Radiofrequency ablation uses extreme heat to destroy heart tissue causing an abnormal heart rhythm known as atrial fibrillation.
Rheolytic thrombectomy uses a jet of saline delivered through a catheter to break up a blood clot.
Subcutaneous implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (S-ICD) deliver electrical shocks to regulate your heart during ventricular arrhythmias.
Structural heart and valve disease treatments address defects or abnormalities with the heart’s muscle or valves with or without surgery.
Learn how MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute uses thoracic outlet decompression to treat thoracic outlet syndrome.
Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is a minimally invasive option to replace a narrowed aortic valve that fails to open properly and blocks the flow of blood.
Transcatheter tricuspid valve replacement is a non-surgical procedure to replace a damaged tricuspid valve.
Tricuspid valve surgery includes repair or replacement of a damaged valve using traditional or minimally invasive methods.
Valve disease treatments include monitoring, medication or surgery to repair or replace a damaged valve.
Valve sparing surgery is a procedure to repair an aortic root aneurysm without replacing the aortic valve.
A ventricular assist device (VAD), also known as a mechanical circulatory support device, helps the heart pump blood more effectively during end-stage heart failure.
We can implant a WATCHMAN device to permanently seal off the left atrial appendage (LAA), which is a small pouch in the top left chamber of the heart that is the site of almost all stroke-causing blood clots in people with atrial fibrillation (AFib).
A vest that contains a device that monitors your heart and, if an abnormal heart rhythm is detected, delivers a shock to restore a normal heartbeat.