An Echocardiogram is an ultra-sound scan that allows you to see the heart. It works in a similar way to a scan of a baby in the womb. The test is used to take pictures of your heart. This allows us to see whether the heart is pumping properly, a valve is faulty or highlight evidence of previous heart damage. The procedure is very simple – the patient lies on their back or their side and the doctor places a special jelly on to a probe which is the instrument which delivers and records the sound waves used to picture your heart. The probe is then placed on the patient’s chest and moved around until a good quality image of the heart is recorded. The procedure lasts no more than 30 minutes.
A Resting ECG (Electrocardiogram) tells the Doctor how well the electrical system of the heart is working. It can pick up irregular rhythms, early signs of a heart attack, blood pressure problems and some inherited heart conditions. The patient is connected to a recording device by a series of fine cables which are attached to the chest wall using sticky electrodes. A cardiac technician performs the test, which takes approximately five minutes.
A Stress Test is used to to tell how safe a heart is and about how the heart responds to exertion. It also helps us guage your risk of a possible heart attack. The test involves walking on a treadmill at increasing levels of difficulty, while your electrocardiogram, heart rate, and blood pressure are monitored. As the heart works harder it requires more oxygen. Oxygen is delivered to the heart and these arteries are called the coronary arteries. If there is a narrowing in the coronary arteries, this may be picked up as a change in the ECG signal.The entire procedure lasts no more than 30 minutes. You are hooked up to the heart monitor. You start off by walking slowly on a treadmill. The speed and resistance are increased every three minutes. You can ask that the test be stopped at any time. You may be pushed quite hard on the treadmill, probably to the extremes of your comfort level. Don’t worry though; there is very little risk in taking the test, no more than walking or jogging. You will be supervised by a qualified medical professional at all times.
We have an on-sight laboratory which enables us to perform point of care testing.
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It is recommended that people aged 14 years or older who are involved in high intensity sports should undergo a cardiac screening. Treatment and prevention of complications may be possible when cardiovascular disease is identified at an early age. The screening process is very straightforward. Screening usually takes the form of a questionnaire which is filled in, in consultation with a health professional, followed by an Echocariogram and a Resting ECG. In the event that any abnormalities are detected, you will be seen by our Consultant Cardiologist who will discuss your options and recommend the appropriate treatment.
We now offer a new blood test that is an indicator of how well your diabetes is controlled. This test is called a HbA1c test. It is carried out in-house and will deliver results in 10 minutes. A sample of blood from your finger is all that is required.
Another in-house blood test we offer is the lipid panel which looks at the “good and bad” cholesterol levels in your blood. A test that usually takes 1-2 days is now available in 10-15 minutes. A quick and pain free blood sample is taken from the finger, placed into our specialised machine and gives out accurate cholesterol readings including total cholesterol, Triglyceride, HDL and LDL.