A patient with a general, nonspecific complaint such as fatigue, chest discomfort, or shortness of breath may be examined by a heart doctor. Singapore has a pretty good reputation when it comes to specialty doctors so you really shouldn’t find it overly complicated finding a good heart doctor in Singapore.
During the physical exam, and depending on their findings, they may order:
- A Chest X-ray: Chest X-rays can help determine any abnormalities in the size, shape, and position of the heart. They reveal fluid in the lungs (a condition known as pulmonary edema); enlarged chambers or vessels within the heart, blood clots, or other anatomical abnormalities that might help identify the location of a coronary obstruction causing symptoms.
- An Electrocardiogram (EKG): This is a quick and painless test that records electrical impulses transmitted through the heart muscle tissue for diagnostic purposes. EKGs can show abnormal rhythms of the heart (arrhythmias) or problems with the conduction system, causing it to send irregular electrical signals to contract cardiac muscle. The doctor may also use an EKG to measure how well your heart is pumping.
- Blood Tests: These tests include a blood serum test to detect heart muscle damage or enzymes released when the heart is damaged. They also have a complete blood count (CBC) to determine if there is an infection, inflammation, or other problems in the body that might be causing symptoms.
- An Angiogram: This test uses X-rays to produce images of blood vessels to observe blockages in the coronary arteries and assess how severe they are. The doctor can use this information along with EKG results, arterial blood gas tests, and chest imaging studies such as an angiogram, CT scan, or MRI to determine whether you have coronary artery disease (CAD), need surgery, or require other treatment options.
- Card MRI: This noninvasive test allows physicians to obtain high-quality images of the heart and coronary arteries to determine whether there is significant narrowing of these vessels. An MRI can also be used to detect myocardial infarction, identify the location of an infection in the heart or measure the size of a ventricular septal defect (VSD), which is a hole between the lower chambers of your heart.
- Cardiac Catheterization: This test involves inserting a thin, flexible tube called a catheter into one of your blood vessels. Then, after inflating a small balloon at its tip, it will then be guided through your blood vessel until it reaches your heart. A dye may then be injected into your artery, highlighting red blockages on an X-ray image. A physician can then use a guidewire to open up the blocked artery and insert a permanent stent (mesh tube) into the vessel if needed.
- Other Tests: Your doctor may recommend other cardiac diagnostic procedures such as an electrophysiology study (EPS). If you are experiencing problems with your heart rhythm, this test may also be used to diagnose arrhythmias by mapping how electrical impulses travel through the heart’s chambers, valves, and vessels. An EPS is sometimes performed after other tests indicate that you might have heart rhythm disturbances due to scarring in your heart muscle tissue.
What Happens when you Visit a Heart Doctor for an Annual Physical?
During your annual physical, your heart doctor in Singapore may perform a number of tests and exams to identify any medical problems. They may include:
- A Blood Pressure Check: The doctor will check your blood pressure by taking measurements at each arm while you are resting comfortably seated in a chair with your feet on the floor. Getting your blood pressure checked is one of the most important things you can do for yourself because knowing where you stand can save your life! High blood pressure or hypertension occurs when too much force from the blood against artery walls; over time, this increased force could damage arteries and lead to more serious conditions.
- A Pulse Check: The doctor will check your heart rate or pulse. If you have a high or low pulse, it may indicate that you could be at risk for developing other medical conditions.
- A Heart Auscultation: The doctor will listen to your heart with a stethoscope to identify abnormal rhythms (arrhythmias) and other possible warning signs of health problems such as clogged arteries (atherosclerosis), cardiomyopathy (diseased heart muscles), pericarditis (inflammation of the lining around the outside of the heart), endocarditis (inflammation of the inner layer of the heart) and valvular disease (problems with one’s valves).
How do you prepare for a Trip to the Heart Doctor?
If you have a heart condition, your physician may recommend that you carry some form of medical identification when visiting your heart doctor in Singapore. The medical identification may take the form of a bracelet or wallet card, which describes your condition and stipulates what medications you are taking.
Be sure to bring this with you since it will help emergency personnel provide prompt and appropriate care if an emergency arises. You should also notify all of your doctors about any new medical conditions so they can update your chart accordingly. Remember to take along the contact numbers for all of your physicians’ offices in case there’s a mix-up during check-in at the hospital. Here are a few more basics to know when visiting your heart doctor in Singapore:
- Write down any questions that you may have so that you won’t forget to ask them during your exam! It’s also helpful to jot down notes regarding any symptoms you’re experiencing so that the doctor can get a clear picture of what’s happening when they examine you.
- Dress comfortably. If possible, wear loose or stretchy clothing since tight garments can impede circulation and cause discomfort while lying on your back for extended periods of time. Have a light jacket or sweater handy in case of a chill since some stress tests and echocardiograms can be performed using cold liquid to cause your coronary arteries to constrict.
- Relax, and don’t be afraid to speak up if you’re feeling anxious or nervous! Most offices have TVs on the ceiling for distraction purposes but ask if you’d prefer to bring music or a tape of your favorite TV show to watch while you wait for the test.
- If possible, don’t eat anything at least 4 hours before an exam. Not eating beforehand can help prevent unnecessary discomfort and nausea during the appointment.
The Bottom Line
A Heart Doctor diagnoses heart conditions such as high blood pressure, weak heartbeats, and blocked arteries. The doctor will also look at the patient’s medical history to find out if there is a genetic cause for their condition or if it could’ve been caused by environmental factors. Depending on the diagnosis, the doctor may prescribe medication and/or recommend lifestyle changes.
At Cadence Heart Center, we employ a variety of tests and exams to determine the best course of treatment for each patient. Heart disease is an extremely complicated condition, so it’s important that we use as many diagnostic tools as possible to ensure accurate results. To learn more about our services or book an appointment, call: (65) 6369 8789.
Cadence Heart Centre (Dr Devinder Singh) | Heart Screening, Heart Check Up
3 Mount Elizabeth, Medical Centre, 14-13, Singapore 228510
+65 6369 8789