Diagnosing Heart Problems

Diagnosing Heart ProblemsThe first time that you feel a chest pain can be scary, and the trip to the cardiologist’s office to diagnose a heart problem can be even scarier. Most people do not know what to expect when they enter the office of a heart doctor, but generally there is a very set path that the doctor will follow unless you have already been admitted into a hospital.

First they will listen to your complaints and then listen to your heart. This is just to see if there any underlying issues that can be easily heard such as palpitations or a heart murmur. Next they will tell you that you need an EKG. The EKG records the electrical activity of the heart and allows the doctor to see if you have had a heart attack or if there are any irregular heart rhythms that need to be looked at closer. At this point the doctor might have enough to diagnose a heart condition or problem, but if they are skeptical and need a better look they might order a heart cath.

A cardiac catherization, also known as a heart catheter for short in many medical facilities, involves placing a catheter into the heart to produce images so that a doctor can see the heart up close. These images allow them to see any progression of heart disease, blockage, or any other heart issues. At this point depending on if damage is evident or blockage is evident you might have a few more options in front of you.

During the catherization if any minor blockage is seen a balloon may be placed up the catheter to help break up the blockage. However, if blockage is more severe then minimally invasive heart surgery might be another option. This type of heart surgery comes in several different forms and is required if heart disease is noted that is moderate to severe. However, there have been so many advances in modern cardiology that it is no longer quite as risky as it once was to have heart surgery.

If you are over 80% blocked the cardiologist is most likely going to recommend that you have open heart surgery to replace or repair the valve. Open heart surgery can now be performed both robotically and invasively, but you will have to talk to your doctor about whether or not you would be a good candidate for minimally invasive heart surgery.

Speak Your Mind