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Cardiology

Private treatment to improve your heart health

The cardiology practice at Bury St Edmunds is an outpatient service. Our Consultant Cardiologists can offer all necessary advice and organise for any necessary treatments to be carried out in Cambridge or London.

Cardiology deals with the heart, and patients present with symptoms including:

  • Chest pain
  • Breathlessness
  • Palpitations
  • High blood pressure
  • Dizziness
  • Black-outs

Chest Pain

In those experiencing chest pain, our Consultant Cardiologist would work out if the pain is cardiac in origin; that is, if it comes from the heart (called angina), as this could potentially be a serious problem.

However, many kinds of chest pain, while troubling to the patient, are not a threat to life. The first thing is to distinguish cardiac pain (heart pain) from other sorts of pain. This is done by:

  • Taking a full medical history
  • Examining the patient
  • An echocardiogram test, which is a heart scan that looks at the heart’s structure and function
  • A CT coronary angiogram, which looks directly at the heart arteries to see if there is a problem.

If the scans (performed either in Cambridge or London) are fine, we can offer early and prompt reassurance that there isn’t a cardiac issue. With the CT scan, even if there isn’t any major problem, we are able to see early signs of fatty build up in the arteries, which might require treatment, with an increased adherence to a healthy lifestyle or medication with statins.

If there is a problem (angina), we can discuss with the patient the right approach, which might be medication to help treat the angina, which will probably involve an aspirin, a statin and possibly beta-blocker pills. We would then discuss whether further treatments, such as an intracoronary stent or even a bypass operation at specialist hospitals.

Breathlessness

Breathlessness can be a feature of heart problems or chest problems, so patients might have to see a respiratory specialist and a heart specialist. We diagnose the condition in the same way as we would with chest pain, by taking a full medical history, examining the patient, and performing an electrocardiogram here at BMI St Edmunds.

The patient may also need a chest X-ray, which can also be performed here.

If all the scans are satisfactory, the chances of a cardiac cause are low, and we would suggest a respiratory opinion.

If the echocardiogram shows that there is a problem with a weakened heart muscle, which is causing the breathlessness, then further tests would be needed, but we would immediately be able to offer appropriate treatment.

Medication would be the mainstay of the treatment; this would be with beta-blockers, angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, and possibly diuretic medication.

Palpitations

Most palpitations are not serious and not usually a sign of anything being wrong, but they can cause a patient distress. They may often, to some extent, be stress related – as you release adrenaline into the system with stress, the heart will speed up and this can often be the cause of palpitations.

Our Consultant Cardiologist will determine whether the patient’s symptoms of the heart beating funnily, are a primary cardiac problem, because the heart is going into an abnormal rhythm, or whether the patient is getting stressed, and the heart is just ‘doing as it’s told’.

To determine the cause, the patient would be fitted with the Zio Patch heart rate monitor, which can be performed at BMI Bury St Edmunds. This is a relatively new, easy-to-wear heart monitor, which the patient can wear up to 14 days. When the patient experiences any symptoms, the monitor triggers an alert, which shows what is happening to the heart, in terms of speed and rhythm – and at the exact time of the symptom.

The monitor analyses your heart data to generate a report for your cardiologist here at BMI, who can then make a diagnosis and create a plan of action for you.

The patient would also need:

We have touched on what happens during a cardiology consultation here at BMI St Edmunds already, but it generally includes:

  • Taking a full medical history of the patient
  • Asking about symptoms
  • Examining the patient
  • Giving expert advice
  • An investigation* and treatment plan.

* Most of those investigations, apart from the heart rate monitor, would be done elsewhere. Most patients go to Cambridge or London for further investigations.

Medical treatment can be provided after the diagnosis has been confirmed.

If you are concerned about possible heart-related symptoms, the consultants at BMI St Edmunds will offer quick expert advice and organise the appropriate tests to offer reassurance if all is well.

If a problem is identified, then appropriate investigations and treatment can be organised promptly at our partner hospitals.

 Every specialist working at BMI is also a substantive NHS-practicing Consultant.

This means that the services provided by our Consultant undergo a rigorous process of appraisal and recommendation.

Here at the hospital, there is a drop-off bay and disabled spaces directly opposite the entrance to the main hospital entrance, for your convenience.

Using the latest in technology and on-site support services, our Consultants can undertake a wide range of procedures, including routine investigations.

The team here at BMI St Edmunds is also working hard to gain investment to provide other services for patients here in clinic, including echocardiogram.

Here are some more reasons why you might choose BMI St Edmunds for your consultation:

  • Reduced waiting times – Patients who visit BMI St Edmunds Hospital can, of course, benefit from shorter waiting times for cardiology appointments.
  • Flexible appointments at a time to suit you – You can choose an appointment time to suit you and your schedule – and in some cases, remote cardiology consultations may be offered.
  • Consultant-led appointments – Your appointment at BMI St Edmunds will always be Consultant-led, and you’ll see the same person every time.
  • Patient satisfaction and personalised care – In an independent survey* in 2020, 99% of our patients said they would recommend BMI St Edmunds Hospital, and the hospital has a CQC overall rating of ‘Good’. *Results compiled by healthcare agency, Quality Health.         

BMI St Edmunds Hospital covers a wide catchment area for cardiology conditions.

Patients visit from a range of nearby towns and cities, including Bury St Edmunds itself, Denham, Cockfield, Woolpit, Gazeley, and further afield within Suffolk and just outside the county.

If you are looking for a cardiologist in Suffolk itself, BMI St Edmunds is a great choice.

Want to book a consultation with our cardiologist at BMI St Edmunds Hospital? You can get in touch with our team by calling 01284 844636.

You can also use our handy online booking system to make your appointment.

Specialists Offering Cardiology

Dr Cameron Densem

Consultant Cardiologist

BSc (hons) MB ChB MRCP MD

BMI St Edmunds Hospital

View profile Book online

Professor Charles Knight

Consultant Cardiologist

MA, BM, BCh, MD, FRCP, FESC

BMI The London Independent Hospital 1 more BMI St Edmunds Hospital

View profile Book online

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