This is usually the initial contact with Drs. Szto and Gupta. You are referred to Greg or Vivek for a consultation about your cardiac problems, or symptoms that may suggest cardiac problems. Oftentimes, symptoms that may suggest heart problems may turn out to be something different altogether. For example, breathlessness may be due to cardiac, lung, sleep apnoea, anaemia or asthma problems.
Trying to determine if a person has heart problems often is the first port of call, as missing serious heart disease may have drastic consequences. For example, heartburn hardly leads to any major complications, but a heart attack presumed to be heartburn can be disastrous. That’s why in many instances, the cardiologist has “first pick” to make sure that the problems you complain of are not due to heart problems.
During the consultation, your symptoms will be explored with you, and questions will be asked about the characteristics of your presenting problem. Previous evaluations will also be explored, as previous investigations can help determine whether you need to undergo repeat investigations.
What you might like to bring to your initial consultation:
- Your personal and health insurance details.
- A list of your current medications.
- Any allergies.
- A list of prior cardiac investigations or procedures like echo, stress test, angiogram, stent, bypass surgery, nuclear scan etc.
- A diary of your blood pressure, cholesterol, HbA1c readings etc.
- Pictures or even CDs of your prior angiogram procedures.
- ECG of any heart rhythm disturbances that may be relevant.
- A list of questions you would like answered about your situation.