Heart & Lung Clinic

310 North 10th Street, Bismarck ND 58501

The Heart & Lung Clinic at CHI St. Alexius Health is committed to offering the highest level of medical expertise. Our team of board-certified cardiologists, heart and vascular surgeons and other medical professionals combine their collective knowledge and skills to treat patients with heart, lung and peripheral vascular diseases. Our heart, lung and vascular services include bypass surgery, cardiac catheterization, endovascular and electrophysiology procedures, bronchoscopy and diagnostic testing and medical management resulting in the establishment of a Heart and Vascular Center of Excellence.

Together, our team of specialists is dedicated to providing patients and families with a healing presence and compassionate, patient-centered care.

Areas of Expertise

  • Allergy
  • Cardiology - Heart Services: 
    Cardiac Consultation, Cardiac Surgery, Cardiac Catheterization, Electrophysiology, Angioplasty, Intracoronary Stents, Rotoblade
  • Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgery
  • Interventional Cardiology
  • Pulmonology - Lung: 
    Asthma, Emphysema, Cystic Fibrosis, Chronic Lung Disease, Lung Cancer

If you are like a lot of people, you are allergic to something. For most people, allergies mean itchy, watery eyes and a runny nose. But for some, allergic reactions to such things as bee stings or nuts can cause a life-threatening reaction. Whether your allergies are dangerous or just inconvenient, the Heart & Lung Clinic at CHI St. Alexius Health can help. 

For people suffering from allergies, testing can be done to determine what is triggering an allergic reaction. Skin tests are the most common test done because they are rapid and reliable. During a skin test a small amount of a substance or allergen is placed on or below the skin to see if a reaction develops. There are three types of skin tests:

  • Skin prick test: this test is done by placing a drop of a solution containing a possible allergen on the skin. A small needle prick allows the solution to enter the skin. If the skin develops a red, raised, itchy area (called a wheal), it means that the person is allergic to that allergen.
  • Intradermal test: this test is done by injecting a small amount of the allergen solution into the skin. This test may be done if the skin prick test does not cause a reaction but is still suspected as an allergen for that person.
  • Skin patch test: for this test, the allergen solution is placed on a pad that is taped to the skin for 24 to 72 hours. This test is used to detect a skin allergy called contact dermatitis.

Tests and Treatments - Allergy

  • Immunotherapy or Allergy Shots
    Immunotherapy is a series of allergy shots given to reduce your sensitivity to allergens that cause a reaction. Small doses of allergens are injected under the skin and over time can decrease the severity of your reaction to allergens. Immunotherpay can be used to treat allergies to insect stings. 
  • Skin tests
    Skin tests may be used to diagnose allergies to certain substances. The test is done on the back or the arms. The skin is pricked with one or more small doses of allergens that might cause an allergy. The swelling and redness at each site is measured to see which allergens cause a reaction.

Disease Management - Allergy

  • An allergy refers to an over-reaction by the immune system in response to contact with a foreign substance. This foreign substance, or allergen, is usually seen by the body as harmless. Some examples of allergens include pollens, dust mite, molds, danders and foods. When the allergen comes into contact with the body, the immune system develops an allergic reaction in some people. 
  • Certain parts of the body are more prone to react to allergies including the eyes, nose, lungs, skin and stomach. The Allergy Clinic at CHI St. Alexius Health can test and treat many types of allergies including allergies to animals, food, insect stings, medicine, latex and seasonal allergies.

Cardiology is concerned with diagnosing and treating disorders of the heart and blood vessels. Cardiology includes diagnosis and treatment of congenital heart defects, coronary artery disease, heart failure, and valvular heart disease.

Procedures, Treatments and Test

  • Ankle-Brachial Index Test (ABI) - The test is done by measuring blood pressure in the ankle and arm while the person is at rest, and after walking on a treadmill for five minutes. Test results may indicate arterial disease.
  • Echocardiogram - An echocardiogram is a test that uses ultra sound waves to produce pictures of the heart. It is very useful for heart evaluation in a variety of conditions and situations.
  • Electrical Cardioversion - An electrical cardioversion is used to help the heart return to a normal rhythm by stopping the heart for an instant using direct current (DC).
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) - An electrocardiogram is a test that measures the electrical signals that control rhythm. It measures how the electrical impulses move through the heart.
  • Exercise Electrocardiogram (Stress test) - This test checks for abnormalities that occur in your heart while you exercise. The results are compared to your resting electrocardiogram.
  • Nuclear Cardiology - Nuclear cardiology is an imaging technique that uses radioisotopes to measure the blood flow to the different regions of the heart. It can assess the pumping function of the heart and the metabolism of the heart.
  • Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE) - A TEE is performed by inserting a transducer through the mouth and down the throat. Ultrasound waves are sent through the transducer to produce a picture of the heart.

Electrophysiology is the study of the heart's rhythm and used to diagnose rhythm disturbances in the heart and determine the best treatment options for your heart condition. CHI St. Alexius Health Heart & Lung Clinic’s cardiac electrophysiologist performs an array of testing, invasive and non-invasive procedures. CHI St. Alexius Health Heart & Lung team work together to provide the latest in cardiac care.

The cardiovascular surgeons at CHI St. Alexius Health Heart & Lung Clinic work together to provide the latest in cardiac and thoracic care. While coronary artery disease is one of the most common diseases treated by a cardiovascular surgeons, our specialists see patients with blockages in one of the heart valve(s), leaking heart valve(s), abnormal enlargement or aneurysms of the large arteries in the chest, carotid artery stenosis as well as pacemaker and deFibrillator Insertion.

In addition, our specialists provides advanced surgical treatment of a wide variety of diseases of the chest region including thoracic oncology (cancer of the chest area), thoracic outlet syndrome, severe emphysema, recurrent pleural effusions, gastroesophageal reflux disease, hiatal hernias, and swallowing disorders such as achalasia.

Procedures, Treatments and Test

  • Ankle-Brachial Index Test (ABI) - The test is done by measuring blood pressure in the ankle and arm while the person is at rest, and after walking on a treadmill for five minutes. Test results may indicate arterial disease.
  • Carotid Artery Ultrasound - An ultrasound test that shows the structure and movement of blood through the carotid arteries to the testing portion. 
  • Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery - Coronary artery bypass graft surgery is a treatment for coronary artery disease. The blocked portion of the artery is bypassed using a blood vessel that is taken from elsewhere in the body. Blood is then redirected through the new blood vessel.
  • Fluoroscopy - A fluoroscopy test uses a steady beam of x-ray to look at different parts of the body. It can be done to see blood moving through a blood vessel, find a foreign object in the body, position a needle for a medical procedure or realign a broken bone.

Interventional cardiologists perform minimally invasive and catheter-based procedures for the treatment of heart disease. Our interventional cardiologists are specially trained to perform balloon angioplasty and stent procedures. CHI St. Alexius Health Heart & Lung team provide the latest in cardiac care.

Procedures, Treatments and Test

  • Angiogram - An angiogram is an x-ray dye test to take pictures of your blood flow in the body. It can show narrowing of the blood vessel, or aneurysms.
  • Angioplasty - This procedure is done to open a partially blocked artery by compressing the fat and calcium buildup against the artery walls. A stent is often used. When done for the heart, it is called coronary angioplasty.
  • Ankle-Brachial Index Test (ABI) - The test is done by measuring blood pressure in the ankle and arm while the person is at rest, and after walking on a treadmill for five minutes. Test results may indicate arterial disease.
  • Atherectomy - An atherectomy is a cutting drill method used to open a partially blocked blood vessel to the heart by removing fat and calcium buildup in the artery. This is used in special situations in coronary angioplasty.
  • Cardiac Catheterization and Coronary Angiogram - This is a test to check your heart and coronary arteries. It is done to find if you have disease in your coronary arteries and if you will need heart bypass surgery or angioplasty.
  • Drug-Eluting Stent - See "stent" below.
  • Echocardiogram - An echocardiogram is a test that uses ultra sound waves to produce pictures of the heart. It is very useful for heart evaluation in a variety of conditions and situations.
  • Electrical Cardioversion - An electrical cardioversion is used to help the heart return to a normal rhythm by stopping the heart for an instant using direct current (DC).
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) - An electrocardiogram is a test that measures the electrical signals that control rhythm. It measures how the electrical impulses move through the heart.
  • Exercise Electrocardiogram - This test checks for abnormalities that occur in your heart while you exercise. The results are compared to your resting electrocardiogram.
  • Fluoroscopy - A fluoroscopy test uses a steady beam of x-ray to look at different parts of the body. It can be done to see blood moving through a blood vessel, find a foreign object in the body, position a needle for a medical procedure or realign a broken bone.
  • Nuclear Cardiology - Nuclear cardiology is an imaging technique that uses radioisotopes to measure the blood flow to the different regions of the heart. It can assess the pumping function of the heart and the metabolism of the heart.
  • Stent - A stent is a small, coiled wire-mesh tube used to hold open a narrowed or clotted blood vessel. Drug-eluting stents are coated with medicine to prevent return of the narrowing (restenosis).
  • Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE) - A TEE is performed by inserting a transducer through the mouth and down the throat. Ultrasound waves are sent through the transducer to produce a picture of the heart.
  • Ventriculogram - A ventriculogram is done by taking x-ray dye images of your heart to show the movement of your heart, size of left ventricle, how your left ventricle pumps blood and how well blood flows through your heart valves. It is done at the time of cardiac catheterization.

Pediatric Cardiology provides a range of outpatient and inpatient services for infants, children, and adolescents and young adults with congenital and acquired cardiac problems. Initial diagnostic consultation includes physical assessment, EKG interpretation, echocardiography, autonomic testing and Holter monitoring.

According to the American Lung Association, pulmonary disease is the third leading cause of death in the United States and the number one killer of infants under the age of one. The pulmonary specialists with CHI St. Alexius Health Heart & Lung Clinic are trained to treat diseases and conditions of the chest, particularly pneumonia, asthma, tuberculosis, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis.

That is why the Heart & Lung Clinic is dedicated to providing the very latest in lung disease detection and treatment. Here you will see a highly experienced team of pulmonologists who deliver personalized care to all who experience respiratory disorders and pulmonary diseases to help patients breathe easier and enjoy a better quality of life.

Tests and Treatments - Pulmonology - Lung

  • Arterial blood gas (ABG) - An ABG test measures the acidity (pH) and the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood to find out how well the lungs are moving oxygen into the blood and removing carbon dioxide from the blood.
  • Lung function tests - Lung function tests (or pulmonary function tests, or PFTs) determine how much air your lungs can hold, how quickly you can move the air in and out of your lungs, and how well your lungs put oxygen into and remove carbon dioxide from your blood.
  • Peak expiratory flow (PEF) - A PEF test measures how fast a person can exhale while breathing out as hard and fast as possible. It is used to evaluate the condition of the airways in asthma patients.

Disease Management - Pulmonology and Lung

  • Asthma - Asthma is a chronic disease of the respiratory system that causes inflammation and tightening of the bronchial tubes. This causes episodes of difficulty breathing, wheezing, chest tightness and coughing. 
  • Black lung disease - Black lung disease is any lung disease developed by inhaling coal dust. The lungs look black instead of the normal pink color. 
  • Bronchitis - Bronchitis is an inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes. It may be hard for air to pass in and out of the lungs and more mucus is produced. A cough is the most common symptom of bronchitis. 
  • Chronic bronchitis - Chronic bronchitis is an inflammation in the bronchial tubes which causes a cough and brings up mucus. 
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) - COPD is a group of irreversible diseases that make it difficult to breathe. Chronic bronchitis and emphysema are two diseases that cause COPD. 
  • Cystic fibrosis - Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder that affects the lungs. Mucus in the lungs gets trapped and causes repeated infections.
  • Emphysema - Emphysema is a chronic, irreversible lung disease that occurs when tiny air sacs and blood vessels in the lungs are damaged, usually as a result of long-term smoking. 
  • Lung cancer - Lung cancers occurs when cells start to grow rapidly and in an uncontrolled manner in the lungs, usually as a result of tobacco smoke. 
  • Pneumoconiosis - Pneumoconiosis is an accumulation of dust in the lung causing shortness of breath and coughing. 
  • Pneumonia - Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs caused by infection with bacteria. 
  • Pneumothorax (collapsed lung) - Collapsed lung is a buildup of air in the space between the lung and the chest wall. Therefore the lung cannot expand properly when a person tries to breathe.
  • Pulmonary edema - Pulmonary edema is the buildup of fluid in the lungs, resulting from the heart's inability to pump blood through the body effectively. It may be caused by heart or kidney failure, poisoning, widespread infection or near-drowning.
  • Pulmonary embolism - Pulmonary embolism is a sudden blockage of blood flow in an artery in the lung cause by a blood clot, tumor, amniotic fluid or fat in the artery. 
  • Pulmonary fibrosis - Pulmonary fibrosis occurs by an infection or injury, or by breathing certain material, such as asbestos. This can lead to difficulty breathing. 
  • Sarcoidosis - Sarcoidosis causes inflammation and scar tissue throughout the body, especially the lungs, lymph nodes, liver, skin and eyes. 
  • Sleep apnea - Sleep apnea is when an adult regularly stops breathing or has slowed breathing during sleep.