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A guide to tests and treatments at Spire Norwich Hospital
Chest pain and heart problems can affect anyone at almost any age. So if you're experiencing chest pain, have had heart problems in your family, or are just thinking about the health of your heart, then we can help.
Spire Norwich Hospital has a dedicated Chest Pain Clinic led by consultant cardiologists. A range of tests and treatments to support the diagnosis of your condition are available and our experienced staff will ensure that your visit to us is as convenient and comfortable as possible.
Symptoms to look out for include pressure or discomfort behind the breast bone - especially if it radiates to the arm or across the shoulder blades, neck and throat. Pressure or discomfort with recent onset, pain occurring when walking - especially in cold or windy weather, Pain occurring after meals or when retiring to bed at night or breathlessness or palpitations occurring with chest pain or discomfort.
The service includes consultant-led care, taking a full patient history and performing a thorough examination, review of current medication and advice regarding new medications and advice regarding required diagnostic options.
Diagnostic options may include electrocardiogram (ECG), exercise ECG testing, stress imaging scans or stress echocardiograms and assessment of coronary anatomy. Following investigations it may be that there is no significant problem that medication is required or that treatment designed to open a narrowed coronary artery or bypassing a narrowing surgically is the best option. During your care, your consultant will provide advise and support at every stage and will explain what tests will be performed and how long they will take so you know what to expect.
The heart is a complex organ and as a result there are a number of areas where you heart can be damaged. Coronary heart disease is caused by the build up of fatty deposits in the arteries of the heart. This means the heart has to work harder to pump blood through your body. Angina is often caused by coronary heart disease, where the arteries are narrower than they should be. It may result in pain in the chest, but it can also radiate down the arm or across the shoulder blades, neck and even the stomach. Heart valve problems occur when one of the heart's four valves does not open and close as it should, causing blood flow to be disturbed. Heart valves regulate the blood flow through the heart. A healthy heart valve opens and closes quickly to ensure blood flows in the right direction. Cardiac arrhythmia describes an abnormal rate of rhythm of heart. There are a wide range of tests and scans for your heart, and sometimes the number of tests can be overwhelming.
We may take your blood pressure during your assessment. Sometimes your blood pressure is only raised when taken in a clinical or medical environment so you may have this monitored regularly to ensure the reading is consistent.
An ECG measures the electrical activity of your heart. Electrodes are placed on your wrists, ankles and chest as you relax. The electrodes are connected to a machine recording all the electrical signals from your heart. Analysis of the results can indicate any damage to the heart muscle. The test may also detect changes in heart rhythm as well as abnormalities in the signals themselves.
This is similar to a normal ECG, except that you will be asked to exercise on a treadmill. This helps to assess the blood supply to the muscle of the heart via the coronary arteries, or assesses the heart’s response to exercise.
Diagnostic angiography is usually a day-case procedure, undertaken under local anaesthetic and allows direct imaging of the coronary arteries with X-ray contrast fluid (dye).
This is when a CT scanner is used to take pictures of your heart from outside your body. It is used to get images of the beating heart and to look at the structure and function of the heart.
This is when an MRI scanner is used to take both still and moving pictures of your heart and major blood vessels. It is used to get images of the heart and to look at the structure and function of the heart.
We understand how important it is to report your results quickly and efficiently. If you have been referred to the Chest Pain Clinic by your GP, a consultant cardiologist will analyse your test results and send them to your GP. If you have been referred to the Chest Pain Clinic by a consultant, they will discuss your results at your next appointment.
We have a leading reputation for the high quality clinical care, a network of 39 immaculate, modern hospitals and world-class specialists who all want the same thing – to help you live your life to the fullest.
A price for this treatment is available on enquiry. You can trust Spire Norwich Hospital to provide you with a single, fixed price so there are no surprises. And, through our carefully chosen partner you can even be considered for interest free finance. We’re here to help you with making these important choices, so you’re then free to concentrate on your treatment and on getting back to being you. Important: Please read Spire Healthcare's terms and conditions for full details of what’s included and excluded in your fixed price when paying for yourself. Finance options are available through our partner Omni Capital Retail Finance Ltd, 10 Norwich Street, London, EC4A 1BD.
The Chest Pain Clinic is open to all, for further information please contact our Private Patient Advisors on 01603 255 614 or complete the form at the top of this page.