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Are There Tests To Determine if I Need Heart Surgery

Are There Tests To Determine if I Need Heart Surgery

Almost every heart patient knows to watch out for the telltale signs of heart trouble:   nyc-heart-doctor

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pains
  • Tightness or numbness in the upper extremities
  • Nausea
  • Profuse sweating
  • Increased chest pain during normal activities or at rest
  • Dizziness

What you may not know is that for a lot of patients with coronary artery disease (CAD), a heart attack is the first indication that they have any form of heart disease.

Now What?

A heart attack can be minor or it can be severe, it all depends on what condition your heart muscle is in.

Patients who suffer a minor heart attack might not recognize that it has occurred. Chances are they will go to their general practitioner and complain of chest discomfort and difficulty breathing or dizziness. The general practitioner will immediately refer them to a cardiologist.

When you have a heart attack, your heart releases an enzyme that signals a cardiac event has affected your heart muscle. Heart specialists know to look for this enzyme in patients who complain of certain symptoms. If the tests prove that you have suffered a heart attack, the next step is to evaluate the health and damage done to your heart.

There are invasive and non-invasive measures that can indicate whether or not you need heart surgery. The non-invasive measures include things like:

  • Cardiac ultrasound
  • Stress test
  • EKG
  • Heart scan

The invasive tests include:

  • Cardiac catheterization
  • Angioplasty
  • Evaluation for assistive devices

The goal is to evaluate what condition your heart is in before deciding on a long-term plan. That long-term plan may include heart surgery and it may not.

In case of Surgery

If heart surgery is put on the table as a distinct possibility, you will talk to a heart surgeon several times prior to surgery.

During these exams, it is likely that lab work and other tests will be run to evaluate your candidacy for heart surgery. There are less invasive alternatives if surgery isn’t recommended. There are two options for restoring function to your heart surgically:

  1. Stents to open blocked arteries
  2. Coronary bypass to reroute the circulation of the heart through healthier pathways

The surgeon’s findings will dictate the approach taken.

Regardless of how well the surgery goes, you will be expected to actively participate in bettering your own cardiac health. This means completing your cardiac rehab course post-surgery.

It also means making some lifestyle and activity changes that promote better heart function. Patients who do not make these efforts sacrifice the effectiveness of their heart surgery and an improved quality of life.

Dr. Seldon, a Heart Doctor and Cardiologist in New York City, offers same day appointments and all testing is done on site. Call us at (212) 367-8000.



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