When you first meet with your Consultant Cardiologist here at The Park, they will discuss your symptoms with you. They will want to learn:
- What symptoms you have?
- When the symptoms first started?
- Whether they’ve been getting worse over time?
- What triggers your symptoms?
Some of the symptoms people commonly complain of due to a cardiovascular problem include:
- Chest pain
- Loss of Consciousness (syncope)
There are a number of useful diagnostic tests that can be carried out to investigate cardiovascular problems. As your cardiovascular system is spread throughout your body, diagnosis can sometimes be complex and may involve a number of investigations and tests.
Some of the tests that may be used to help confirm a diagnosis are:
- ECG - to measure the electrical activity of your heart
- Holter monitor/ Patch Monitor - an ECG carried out over a longer period of time (usually between 1 – 7 days)
- Exercise/Stress Test – used to assess how well your heart functions at different activity levels
- Blood pressure monitoring – usually carried out over a 24-hour period
- Tilt test - to assess how your heart rate and blood pressure are affected by a change in posture
- Echocardiography - an ultrasound scan of the heart that shows the structure and function of the heart
- Transoesophageal echocardiogram – an ultrasound probe is passed down your oesophagus (food pipe) to provide a clearer view of the heart than is possible from a standard echocardiogram, which is carried out from the front of the chest
- Coronary angiography and CT coronary angiography - specialised imaging of the blood vessels that supply the heart (the coronary arteries) using X-rays
- Cardiac MRI – specialised imaging of the heart with an MRI scan
- Coronary calcium score assessment – to measure the calcium level in the walls of your arteries. Can help show early signs of coronary artery diseases
Your consultant will be able to arrange any tests needed to ensure a thorough investigation and an accurate diagnosis. Once they know precisely what is causing your symptoms, they will be able to discuss suitable treatment options with you.
Treatment may involve watchful waiting, medication or surgery, all of which can be arranged for you at The Park. Surgical treatments available include:
Regular follow-up with your consultant will help ensure your condition continues to be well managed. If your symptoms re-occur, or if you have any questions or concerns at any time, it is easy to arrange a time to see your consultant again for help and advice.