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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What happens at a cardiac referal?

What sort of tests are carried out at cardiac referals? And what sort of questions do they ask? I have an appointment in February and want to feel prepared. Thanks! I have an appointment with a cardiologist in February because I have been having palpitations and I don't drink coffee, alcohol or take anything that could cause them. What sort of tests might they do? Questions might they ask? Thanks. Oops wrote 2 things that basically say the same.
Tue, 15 Dec 2009
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You will NOT be having an angiogram or many of the other tests at the first appointment. I can almost guarantee you will have a physical examination with the doctor listenig to your heart a standard 12 lead ECG a BP recording a blood test You MAY, depending on the hospital and the consultant have a stress test. This is basically an ECG taken while you exercise by walking on a treadmill. For palpitations you will probably be referred for a 24 hour tape (otherwise called a halter monitor). This is an ECG that records constantly for 24 hours onto (depending on the equipment the hospital has) an audio tape or solid state device. You go back to the hospital the following day for it removing and then the recording is analysed. You will not get the results of any tests at the first appointment, except perhaps the ECG, because they need to be analysed and that takes time so you will have to go back in a month or so. Finding what what causes palpitations can be difficult. Basically the medical team has to rule things out one by one. If you are not having palpitations at the time any of your ECGs are recorded it can be difficult to tell which bit of the heart is causing them so don't get down if i takes months to establish the cause. It will really help the team if you have a record of when the palpitations occur. Rg mornings or in cold weather etc. Finally it doesn't always mean there is a problem with your heart if you have palpitations. I get an SVT (very fast heart rate but not dangerous) when my thyroxine is low. I just take thyroxine pills every day.
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