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What to Bring to Your Appointment with Your Cardiovascular Doctor

Going to a cardiovascular doctor can be intimidating if it is your first time, however, you do increase your chances of living a healthier, longer life by having a problem detected early and getting it treated. Before you show up you your appointment, there are some things that you will need to bring with you.

Medications

Bring a list of all your medications. Write or type them down including the dose, frequency, and name. Jot down any allergies you have to medications as well. Having this written down will help ensure your medical record is updated accurately.

Healthcare Providers

Write down a list of the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all healthcare providers you have and the condition you are being treated for. This will allow the cardiologist to communicate with the other care providers if needed.

Family Medical History

Bring along your family history. Include any information regarding heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, or other important medical history you have in your family.

Your Medical History

Bring along your medical history as well. Be sure to include any information on surgeries or medical procedures you might have including lab reports, MRIs and other diagnostic work-ups.

Other things to bring include:

  • Your referral, identification, and insurance card.
  • Your coinsurance or copayment for your diagnostic test or visit.
  • Your physician's written order for any diagnostic testing you are having done.
  • A copy of any lab results or cardiovascular test results that you obtained from your physician if they haven't already faxed that information to the cardiologist.
  • A list of all questions you might have for the doctor concerning your cardiac care.
  • A list of any current symptoms you are experiencing, even if you don’t think they are related to your heart.

You can also consider bringing a friend or family member who can be a “second set of ears and eyes”, when having your consultation with your San Luis Obispo, CA cardiovascular doctor.

You can consider your cardiologist to be a detrimental part of your health team. Utilize the time spent with him wisely and develop a good relationship with him. Keep in mind that any information you have that could be beneficial for your appointment is important. You never know if it could be the key to a diagnosis and treatment.

Don't leave anything out. Even though communication and information systems are improving, you are the most reliable contributor of your healthcare records. Make sure all information you provide is up-to-date and accurate. This will help the cardiologist give you the best care possible.

It is also a good idea to download patient forms, and have them completed before your appointment.

Make An Appointment With Your Local Vein Clinic

Make an appointment with your local heart and vein clinic today for preventative and diagnostic cardiovascular care, as well as treatment.  Cardiologists use state-of-the-art medical equipment and technology to accurately evaluate, diagnose, and  treat cardiovascular problems. Prepare to talk to a cardiovascular doctor and get the most out of your visit.

 

What to Expect from an Electrocardiogram at a Cardiovascular Center

One of the tests most often administered at a cardiovascular center is an electrocardiogram.  It provides lots of useful information in sports cardiology.  Many patients find an appointment less stressful when they understand the basics of this test and what to expect from it.

What an Electrocardiogram Does

Sometimes patients first hear about this procedure under one of its nicknames:  EKG or ECG.  The American Heart Association describes it as a test to measure electrical activity of a patient’s heartbeat.  This outpatient test is noninvasive and gives quick results.

Each time the heart beats, an electrical impulse, or wave, moves through the organ.  This triggers the heart muscle to squeeze and start pumping blood from the heart.

A physician utilizes an electrocardiogram to identify patterns among rhythms and heartbeats in order to diagnose various heart disorders.  A sports cardiology practice uses it as one tool to make sure potentially serious vascular and cardiac issues are identified as early as possible.

According to the Mayo Clinic, doctors most commonly use an EKG to find:

  • Arrhythmias (heart rhythm irregularities)
  • A link between coronary artery disease and a heart attack or chest pain
  • Problems with the structure of heart chambers
  • Evidence of a prior heart attack
  • How well current treatments like pacemakers are working

What to Expect at the Cardiovascular Center

EKGs require no special preparation.  Since some supplements and medications affect the outcome of the test, it is important for patients to disclose any they are taking.

After changing into an exam gown, a patient lies on a special table or bed.  The staff attaches 12 to 15 electrodes to the chest, legs, and arms.  These are sticky patches that adhere with tape or gel in order to conduct the electrical current of the heart.

A standard electrocardiogram takes only a few minutes.  During the test, a patient needs to avoid moving, shivering, or talking, any of which can distort results.  The equipment records as waves the impulses that cause the heart to beat.  The physician overseeing the test evaluates a printed version of these waves.

Since some heartbeat irregularities occur only periodically, a physician might not see them on a standard EKG and could recommend a specialized type of electrocardiogram:

  • Holter monitor.  An ambulatory monitor, it records rhythms for 24 hours.  While wearing a recording device operated by a battery, the patient keeps a symptom and activity diary.  The physician reviews it along with the recordings.
  • Event recorder.  This device allows patients to forward readings to a physician over a telephone line.  Similar to a Holter, it permits recording heart rhythm when symptoms actually occur.
  • Stress tests.  They involve riding a stationary bike or walking on a treadmill during an EKG.  They are particularly useful for heart problems that most frequently occur while exercising.

 

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