cardiology consultation, Chest Pain, Coronary Circulation, Coronary CT Angiography

What is Cardiology Consultation: Process and Test

Cardiology consultation primarily focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of various diseases and disorders that affect the human heart. It is one of the most critical aspects of medical treatment that provides an opportunity for patients to discuss their cardiac problems and understand the potential risks associated with them. 

Process:

The procedure of a cardiology consultation may vary according to the patient’s condition. However, it will typically include a one-to-one discussion, physical examination, and other examinations required to understand the patient’s disease and its prevalent causes.

It is a complete examination of the patient’s condition by an expert cardiologist that plays a vital role in diagnosing and treating heart disease. Moreover, it also aids in changing and improving the patient’s lifestyle to prevent further infection that can endanger the patient’s health. 

An expert surgeon or cardiologist will explain the treatment methods, surgery procedures, operative preparation, risks, and complication associated with it. During a cardiac consultation, the doctor will evaluate your past medical history and perform many physical and medical tests to assess your risk of developing heart disease.

Early diagnosis of disease increases the chance of recovery and minimizes the related complications. In this case, you should immediately consult your cardiologist and undergo a few tests to begin the treatment immediately and reduce the chances of complications.

Reasons for having a cardiac consultation:

If you are feeling restless or uncomfortable all the time caused by blood pressure or heart pain, a visit to a cardiologist is a wise decision that will help you prevent further risks or complications.

These are the following reasons that will compel you to book a consultation with your cardiologist;

Chest Pain:

Chest pain is one of the most common symptoms of heart disease that might be caused by indigestion. Moreover, chest pain is also a sign of an impending heart attack that can cause death, so do not ignore them and immediately consult with your cardiologist.

High cholesterol level:

High cholesterol level is a significant risk factor associated with heart disease. It is essential to conduct regular visits to your doctor and follow a healthy balanced diet to keep the cholesterol at a normal level.

High blood pressure:

High blood pressure is another significant sign of heart issues that are immediately required for examination and control. It is also a symptom of stroke, so you must visit your doctor once a week.

Smoking habit:

Smoking is a dangerous habit that can lead to heart disease, blood pressure, or cancer. You have to take an immediate consultation with a cardiologist.

Diabetes:

Heart disease and diabetes are strongly interconnected. It is due to high or low blood sugar levels having a disastrous effect on your heart and blood vessels, increasing your chance of having cardiovascular disease.

Unexpected exercise:

Although exercise offers many benefits to physical and mental health, irregular or random exercise can adversely affect your heart. Suppose you are doing a high-intensity workout while having the risk factor of heart disease.

So, it is essential to take immediate suggestions from a healthcare expert before trying anything like this.

Kidney disease:

Kidney problem is also closely linked with heart disease. If you already have kidney disease, high blood pressure, or chest problems, it will increase the chances of suffering from heart disease.

Related symptoms:

Apart from chest pain, there are various other symptoms of heart disease that you need to know, for example, extreme fatigue, difficulty in breathing, dizziness, fainting, feeling heaviness within the heart, and intense digestion.

If you observe any of these symptoms in your body, immediately book an appointment with a cardiologist.

  • Family History: Sometimes, heart disease may also be caused by genetics. If you are confident to investigate your heart disease, you must gather some information regarding your family members having a history of heart disease. 

Before your cardiac consultation:

Consultation with an expert physician is a golden opportunity to reduce disease provision. Following are the most important things that you have to prepare for your cardiac consultation:

  • Carry all necessary medical records for the discussion to better understand your heart condition and avoid repetition in your tests.
  • Make sure to discuss with your doctor all the medication that you are currently using. It will help them prescribe further treatment to cure your disease.
  • Discuss your medical history, surgical history, and family history with your doctor.
  • Prepare a list of questions need to ask your cardiologist.
  • Discuss your lifestyle, habits, dietary habits, and your profession that might be associated with the risk of cardiac disease.

Cardiac Diagnostic tests:

Some of the cardiac diagnostic tests that are performed to determine heart disease are listed below:

  •  Cardiac angiography: This test is commonly done with patients who have signs of coronary artery disease. This test is conducted using X-ray images to examine the blood vessels and chamber of the heart for the plague deposition or other problems related to it. During this test, a catheter is inserted in the patient’s blood vessel in the upper thigh arm and pushed towards the heart. A contrast dye will be further injected into the blood to make the arteries visible, and when it flows in the blood, an X-ray image will be captured to detect the disease.
  • Echocardiography: As the name indicated, echocardiography is the process in which sound waves are used to create an image of the heart. This image will determine the size of the heart, the strength of heart muscles, the presence of heart disease, and heart valve malfunction. The image will be shown on a large screen monitor so that both doctor and patient can observe the heart functioning during the test.
  • Stress testing: It is a diagnostic test to examine the functioning of the heart and its ability to resist disease. During the test, you will be asked to perform treadmill or cycling, and your physician will observe your blood pressure and heartbeat. It is mainly done to detect the cause of chest pain, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, or fluttering in the chest.
  • Electrocardiogram: Electrocardiogram is also known as ECG or EKG. During this process, the electrodes are placed on the patient’s upper body and legs to capture the electrical signals of the patient’s heart. In this test, the doctor diagnoses the heart’s functioning, rate of heartbeat, irregularities in heart rhythm, heart size, and any other damage in the heart. It will be done with those patients who complain about chest pain, palpitation, shortness of breath, and dizziness.

However, if more information is required regarding the disease, the patient will undergo more tests and follow-up consultations. Additional tests include blood tests, X-rays, or stress tests.

After the Tests:

Once your cardiologist has collected all the required information, the patient will be informed of the diagnosis and further treatment options that may include:

  • Changes in a patient’s lifestyle may consist of stopping smoking, having a healthy diet, and physical activities.
  • Medication can vary from disease to disease, but it may include medicine for controlling high cholesterol, blood pressure, and other risk factors.
  • Cardiac rehabilitation for the improvement of heart health.
  • Specific procedures according to the disease like angiography and coronary artery bypass grafting.

Risks and complications:

A cardiology consultation is very helpful in the diagnosis and treatment of disease timely and effectively. However, tests will not create any trouble and difficulty for the patients, such as an X-ray, which is typically safe for any age except for pregnant women.

Reference List: 

  1. https://myhealthcentre.ca/patients/diagnostic-tests/cardiology consultation/  retrieved on February 23, 2022. 
  2. https://www.heartplace.com/services-cardiology-consultation retrieved on February 23, 2022. 
  3. https://www.docdoc.com/medical-information/procedures/cardiology-consultation retrieved on February 23, 2022. 
  4. https://vishwarajhospital.com/12-reasons-you-may-want-to-see-a-cardiologist/ retrieved on February 23, 2022. 
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