Your First Cardiology Visit
The better prepared you are to meet with your cardiologist, the better equipped you’ll be to manage your heart condition. Here are some ways you can prepare for your first visit.
You can make the most of your time with the cardiologist by preparing in advance. Here are some things you’ll want to have ready when you meet with your provider.
- Write a list of all current medications, including over-the-counter medicines and supplements. Also list any medication allergies.
- Create a record of your health care providers, your primary care doctor and any other specialists you see.
- Write down events from your health history, including surgeries, past or ongoing health issues.
- Compile a family health history of close relatives, including incidence of heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or aneurysm.
- Bring copies of recent lab or test results, if you have them, especially if they were performed by another health care provider.
- Write a list of questions you have, focusing on the top three to five concerns you have about living with your condition and staying healthy.
Don’t stress over tests
Your cardiac nurse or cardiologist will check your vital signs and perform a physical exam. They may also order a number of tests and diagnostic procedures, depending on your symptoms, risk factors and health history. One test you may be asked to take is a stress test, used to measure your heart’s response to stress in a controlled environment.
Additional tests may include a lipid panel, angiogram (also called arteriogram), electrocardiogram (EKG) and ultrasounds. If you have questions about the tests your provider's orders, be sure to ask. We want you to understand what’s next before you leave the office.
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