Services › Cardiology Services
Worried about your heart, or due for a check-up?
At St. Andrews we’re getting more and more geared up to take care of your heart.
Whether you are concerned about your blood pressure, chest pains, shortness of breath or perhaps an irregular heartbeat, a visit to one of our general practitioners is a good start.
An initial encounter will involve taking the medical history, family history and discussing other risk factors like smoking, inactive lifestyle, and excess weight. An examination will detect the heart rate, measure the blood pressure, assess the heart sounds, and look for fluid retention in the lungs or the legs. Your height and weight will be measured thus calculating the BMI. Depending on symptoms, risk factors or examination findings you will be offered further investigations:
Blood tests – blood tests include tests for lipid profile, that is, cholesterol and the balance between the bad and good cholesterol. Other important tests include that for diabetes. Cardiac enzymes can detect signs of angina or heart attack, while other tests show up heart failure.
ECG – electrocardiogram, detecting the electrical signals travelling through a functioning heart, looking for changes that may indicate ischaemia, angina, heart attack, swollen or stiff heart and irregular heartbeat.
Echocardiograms – specialised ultrasound of the heart to assess its size structure and function. Things to look out for here are valvular heart disease, heart failure and cardiomyopathies. Click here for more information.
ABP – 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitor, continuous measuring of one’s blood pressure over 24 hours, to monitor the fluctuations in the course of the day and night.
Holter – a ‘take home’ machine that monitors the heart rate and carries out a continuous ECG for varying durations of time, usually 24, 48, 72 hours or even one week. This is important, among others reasons, in the diagnosis of palpitations or irregular heartbeat.
Specialist consultation – at St. Andrews we have both a Specialist Cardiologist as well as a Consultant Cardiac Surgeon offering their expertise and experience to help in your management.
Any of the above may be requested by one of our GPs, and referrals are also welcome from colleagues outside the clinics. These tests may also be booked directly. However, it is always good practice to discuss one’s symptoms and requirements with a GP first. This is also important for insurance purposes should one want to claim.