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Our cardiology consultants

Clare Park Cardiology offer a range of diagnostic tests and investigations including:

Blood pressure monitors

We may take your blood pressure during your assessment or you may be given a 24 hour blood pressure monitor. This records the changes in your blood pressure by measuring it at intervals over a period of time.

Cardiac MRI

A safe non-invasive test that provides clear visions of heart function and anatomy. It can highlight heart problems such as congenital heart defects, heart valve problems or coronary heart disease.

Echocardiogram

A very detailed ultrasound scan of the heart which is used to assess the structure and function of the heart chambers and valves

Electrocardiogram (ECG)

A heart electrical tracing enabling an assessment of heart rate, heart rhythm and the electrical activity of the heart at rest

Event Recorders

If symptoms are infrequent then this type of monitor is provided for longer periods of time to enable the recording of an ECG during an event

Exercise test

Allows the assessment of the heart rhythm during rest, exercise and recovery

Stress Echocardiogram

An echocardiogram is performed before and after the intake of a drug to make your heart work harder. The two sets of images are then compared.

24 hour Holter Monitoring

A portable ECG monitor enabling the recording of the heart’s rhythm and electrical activity over a 24 hour period.

 

Other investigations which are not currently carried out at Clare Park Cardiology but can be arranged by your cardiologist include:

Coronary angiogram

A tube is passed into a blood vessel at the top of the leg or wrist, under local anaesthetic. The tube is advanced in to the heart, where an X-ray dye is injected into the heart arteries. X-ray images are taken which give a clear picture of the anatomy of the coronary arteries.

Angina

There are many causes of chest pain, but one of the most common is angina. This is discomfort which is usually (though not always) felt in the chest or arm(s) and is frequently brought on by exertion or emotion. It is caused by the build up of fatty deposits in the arteries that supply the heart, limiting the flow of blood to the heart muscle.


Methods of investigation

Coronary angiogram

Echocardiogram

Exercise ECG

MRI

Stress Echocardiogram


Treatment options

Treatment options for angina may include:

Non-invasive

Lifestyle changes

Medication  

Invasive

Coronary angioplasty and stenting

Heart bypass (in severe cases)


If you are diagnosed with angina, your consultant will discuss these options in detail to ensure you receive the most appropriate treatment plan for you 

 

Arrhythmias and palpitations

Palpitations are a common problem and consist of an awareness of an irregular and/or rapid and/or forceful heart beat. Some individuals with frequent palpitations have no underlying heart disease and the cause of their symptoms in unclear. In the many cases however the palpitation is due to an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia – an electrical disturbance to the normal rhythm of the heart).

Arrhythmias can cause the heart to beats too fast (tachycardia), too slowly (bradycardia), irregularly (fibrillation) or too early and prematurely (ectopic beats). Arrhythmias can occur due to some form of cardiovascular disease although in some cases there is no known cause. It is therefore important to not only diagnose the nature of the arrhythmia, but to look for any underlying heart or circulatory condition.


Methods of investigation

Echocardiogram

Electrocardiogram

Event recorer

24 hour/48 hours ECG monitoring

 

Treatment options

Treatment options for palpitations and arrhythmias may include:

Non-invasive

Lifestyle changes

Medication
 

Invasive

Pacemaker

Cardiac ablation

If you are diagnosed with arrhythmias or palpitations, your consultant will discuss these options in detail to ensure you receive the most appropriate treatment plan for you.

Coronary artery disease

Coronary artery disease is a condition where plaques build up in the arteries, which can reduce the flow of blood to the heart muscle. These deposits are more likely if you have diabetes, smoke, or have had arterial narrowing elsewhere in the body. Breathlessness may be a presenting complaint.


Methods of investigation

Blood tests

Breathing test (where you will be asked to blow through a tube)

Echocardiogram

Electrocardiogram

Exercise ECG

 

Treatment options

Treatment of coronary artery disease may involve:

Non-invasive

Lifestyle changes

Medication

Invasive

Coronary angioplasty and stenting

Coronary artery bypass

If you are diagnosed with coronary artery disease, your consultant will discuss these options in detail to ensure you receive the most appropriate treatment plan for you.

Heart failure

Heart failure is a condition where the heart fails to pump sufficient blood around the body. A common cause of heart failure is coronary artery disease.

Methods of investigation

Blood tests

Breathing test

Coronary angiogram

Echocardiogram

Electrocardiogram

Exercise ECG

 

Treatment options

Treatment of heart failure may include:

Lifestyle changes

Medication

If you are diagnosed with heart failure, your consultant will discuss these options in detail to ensure you receive the most appropriate treatment plan for you. 

Shortness of breath

Shortness of breath is a common presenting complaint and making the correct diagnosis early can be a challenge. Both heart and lung disease can lead to breathlessness. A detailed description of your symptoms will help your doctor decide whether the heart might be involved. For example, breathlessness caused by activity could be a result of coronary artery disease. Breathlessness associated with lying flat and ankle swelling can be due to heart failure. It can also be caused by a slow or very fast heart rate.


Methods of investigation

Blood tests

Breathing test (where you will be asked to blow through a tube)

Coronary angiogram

Echocardiogram

Electrocardiogram

Exercise ECG

 

Treatment options

Dependent on diagnosis, treatment options may include:

Non-invasive:

Lifestyle changes

Medication

Invasive:

Coronary angioplasty and stenting

Pacemaker


Your consultant would discuss the options in detail to ensure you receive the most appropriate treatment plan.

Other conditions investigated

  • Hypertension
  • Valvular heart disease

How to arrange treatment at Clare Park cardiology

  • You visit your GP 

  • Your GP refers you to a specialist at Clare Park Cardiology

  • If you’ve got medical insurance, you contact your insurer to check if the test or treatment is covered – and to get authorisation

  • If you’re paying for your own treatment, please call Spire Clare Park Hospital on 01252 895 490 to get a guide price

  • Your GP gives you a referral letter

  • You see a consultant at Clare Park Cardiology, who confirms what tests or treatment you need

  • Your GP is kept informed of your progress

Non-Invasive

Lifestyle changes

Changes in your lifestyle, such as the reduction of caffeine and healthy eating can help to ease symptoms of some conditions. Your cardiologist will discuss suggestions with you.

Medication

A wide variety of drugs can be used to treat various cardiac conditions. Some of these drugs must be initiated and managed under the supervision of cardiologists.

 

Invasive

Invasive cardiac procedures are not available at Clare Park Hospital, however, if after discussion with you consultant, it is agreed that this is the most suitable treatment plan, your cardiologists will make arrangements for you.

Pacemakers

An implantable device used to treat cases of arrhythmias where the heart beat is excessively slow. This involves the delivery of pacemaker wires into the heart via large veins at the top of the chest under local anaesthesia. The wires are then connected to a pacemaker device which is implanted over the chest wall.

Cardiac ablation

An invasive catheter based technique where a particular arrhythmic focus within the heart is identified and ablated by means of delivering radiofrequency energy or by freezing (cryotherapy)

Coronary angioplasty and stenting

A tube is passed into a blood vessel at the top of the leg or in the wrist and passed into the heart. The affected artery is stretched using a balloon (angioplasty). A stent (a meshwork tube) is then passed into the artery which will hold the narrowing open and will eventually become incorporated into the wall of the artery.