When should we attend a heart consultation?
It depends on what age we have, what family we come from (history of heart disease) and of course what symptom we have.
If you are experiencing symptoms specific to a cardiovascular disease (for example angina pain, dyspnoea – difficult breathing, palpitations, syncope, constantly increased values + 140 / 90mmHg of TA) the recommendation is to have a consultation as soon as possible.
If there are no specific symptoms and no family inheritance, then a first cardiological evaluation becomes necessary in men over 55 and in women over 60.
A particular category are those diagnosed with diseases that can influence the cardiovascular system over time, such as diabetes. All patients diagnosed with diabetes should receive the recommendation to perform a cardiologic evaluation consultation with their diagnosis and record as a diabetic. A cardiological consultation at Emerald lasts approximately one hour. During this time, the cardiologist first performs an anamnesis, a kind of interview with the patient, detailing the main symptoms of the patient, their history (when they started, their frequency, duration, what triggers them and what triggers them. improves, etc.). It then goes through the history of the diseases the patient was already diagnosed (including their age, any specific treatment) as well as the heredocolateral history of early cardiovascular disease, in other words the history of the cardiovascular diseases of the first-degree relatives (parents, siblings or sisters) diagnosed at young ages (under 55 for male relatives and under 60 for female relatives respectively).
Next is the complete clinical examination of the patient which includes the examination of the cardiovascular system with the evaluation of the size of the heart, the measurement of the pulse, the heart rate, the blood pressure, the auscultation of the heart and the blood vessels, the evaluation of the pulse in the peripheral arteries (both hands and feet). ). It is important to perform a complete clinical examination and not just a cardiovascular examination, because the human body is a unitary one and we cannot ignore the other organs and systems in the cardiovascular evaluation, in order to have an overview of our patient. .
Last but not least, during a routine cardiological consultation, an ECG pathway is performed in 12 derivatives, which provides information on the electrical activity of the heart (heart rate) and also provides data on a possible heart condition. The data of the anamnesis, the clinical examination and the appearance of the ECG are then integrated by the examining doctor, who on their basis can make a clinical diagnosis.
Depending on the pathological elements discovered in the cardiological consultation, a number of other ingestions may be recommended, laboratory and / or paraclinical, in order to specify the positive diagnosis of the patient’s disease and to establish a specific treatment.
The total duration of a complete and correct cardiological consultation cannot be in any way shorter than 30 minutes.
In our clinic you can benefit from the doctor’s recommendation, after a cardiological consultation + ECG of:
- Cardiac ultrasound
- Holter ECG monitoring
- ECG stress test
- Measurement of arterial stiffness
- Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (MRI)
- Stress Cardio-MR
It is a very well known and widely used investigation. It has the advantage of providing important information about the structure and function of the heart, without using radiation. It is painless, can be repeated as often as needed and does not have any negative effect on the body.
The cardiac ultrasound takes about 30 minutes, during which time you will lie comfortably on a couch, and the doctor will apply a probe to your chest in the heart area (transthoracic echocardiography) and will record images with your heart moving. You can see your heart beating on the screen of the device.
What information can the heart ultrasound provide?
- About the size and shape of the heart
- How well the heart works as a whole
- If a wall or part of the heart muscle is weak and not functioning properly
- If you have heart valve problems
- If you have blood clots inside your heart
- If you have fluid around your heart
- If you have problems with the aorta, the main vessel that starts from the heart
In some cases, transthoracic cardiac ultrasound may not provide all the information needed to establish a complete diagnosis, conditions in which the doctor will recommend you to continue investigations with a transesophageal heart ultrasound.
There are also situations where the images of cardiac ultrasound are blurred, due to the conformation of the chest wall. In these situations the doctor may recommend you to perform a cardiovascular magnetic resonance (MRI) examination, which is a very advanced technique, which can provide detailed images of your heart, of very good quality regardless of the conformation of the chest wall. Cardiac MRI is also painless, harmless, does not radiate and can provide details about the structure and function of your heart, which cannot be viewed on cardiac ultrasound.