Echo test

I am due to see my cardiologist , March  28 for my yearly checkup.  Had an Echo last May should i ask her for one for this year.  Nothing had changed from the previous year.  This past year have not been contacted at all about any A-fib or other high epsiodes.

Should i ask for anything else.?

Pretty sure she will again suggest a prescription drug, am prepared to say the side effects scare me, espically the one about "could cause problems with my unborn child".  Well one never knows.

new to pace


10 Comments

tests

by Tracey_E - 2024-02-19 16:55:45

Mine does an echo every year, previous doc did every other or third year. He does an xray to see if my leads are still in good shape. Every other year he does a 48 hour monitor to make sure we're not missing anything. This is the most thorough ep I've ever had. 

Prescriptions, no one wants them and they all have risks, but it's important to hear them out to decide if the benefits outweigh the side effects/risks.

One never knows

by Beni - 2024-02-19 17:05:39

Apparently, the oldest woman in the world to give birth was a lady in 2019 who was 74 when she had her first children, twin girls.

So, I suppose it is "conceivable"  the drug could be a problem.. ;)

BTW, I have an echo every year ordered by the cardio guy. I think mostly because of the heart failure thing in order to check EF.

thanks

by new to pace.... - 2024-02-19 17:34:21

thanks Tracey-E and Beni.  So far have avoided prescription blood thinners.  Been using a Turmeric Supplement.

I have never seen the EP after he  did the pacemaker implant in Aug.2019

Weather here in Fl. today Monday 19th, finally sunny not warm.  Was 57 at 9am this morning.

new to pace

 

General cardiologist

by JaneJ - 2024-02-20 02:10:37

Do most people have a general cardiologist in addition to an EP cardiologist?  I guess it maybe depends on if you have additional problems besides your pacemaker/icd.....Just curious, as I only see my EP physician once a year and don't have a general cardiologist.  Best of luck at your yearly appt!

 

Do you need a frequent echocardiogram?

by Gemita - 2024-02-20 04:07:42

New to Pace, thank you for your post.  When you say nothing has changed, are you saying you do not have any worsening symptoms in the way of breathlessness, chest pain, dizziness that might suggest a change in your condition?  

You don’t appear to be symptomatic when in AF, but that doesn’t mean that AF won’t be quietly damaging your heart.   AF can cause scarring and enlargement of chambers and a lot more and therefore in my opinion your cardiologist will very much want to keep an eye on you and one way of doing this is to have regular echocardiograms to look for any structural changes.  

We are not routinely offered an echocardiogram in the UK without there being a strong indication for one - heart failure symptoms (breathlessness, chest pain, fatigue, fluid retention, inability to exercise, or worsening arrhythmias for example).  

You are clearly having more in the way of AF than I am and yet you are not on any recommended prescription meds, so the potential for harm from your AF is most definitely present, particularly as you are not “fully” protected from AF stroke risk (prescription anticoagulation) or AF atrial high rate episodes (rate control medication) which are two of the most important meds for AF. 

However on the plus side I know you are free from the potential side effects of both these meds which can be considerable for many of us particularly when we are older with multiple complex health problems.  It is most definitely a fine balancing act to stay well, isn’t it dear New to Pace and I still feel you are doing a pretty good job.

Since you are not on the two most important AF protective meds, in your shoes I would most definitely want an extra eye kept on the structure of the heart, to look at valves, sizes of chambers, pumping action.  My cardiologist/EP is doing this approximately every two years or if there is a sudden change in my condition, he may order additional tests, like a stress test, angiogram, cardiac MRI.  You want to catch any problems early, so that you can make changes to your lifestyle and/or treatments.

Jane, you ask:  "Do most people have a general cardiologist in addition to an EP cardiologist?

This question would make a good new post!  In my hospital many consultant cardiologists are also Consultant EPs.  My current and retired EP are both excellent cardiologists too.  They have the title of Consultant Cardiologist/Electrophysiologist.  But of course an EP specialises in the electrical system of the heart and treats arrhythmias, while the cardiologist looks at our arteries for blockages, treats leaky valves, enlarged chambers and things like this.  Both are vast specialist areas and our doctors may decide to “specialise”.

EP

by piglet22 - 2024-02-20 05:56:52

Gemita has explained the cardiologist/physiologist set up in the UK.

In my experience, especially in the wording in letters, they always prefer to cardiologists or physiologists (electro-physiologist EP).

I have always routinely seen the physiologists and rarely a consultant cardiologist.

With all due respect to the physiologists, they do the routine investigations and report back to the consultants. They cannot for instance prescribe or change medication 

I wouldn't expect to get a diagnosis or course of treatment from the EPs, or indeed have a PM fitted.

There's a more sinister aspect to this and my health trust has recently been accused of having a toxic culture and bullying in some departments. Cardiology wasn't mentioned but general surgery was.

It's all too easy for a pecking order to spread.

no change in the way i feel

by new to pace.... - 2024-02-20 07:17:58

Most of my afib episodes are caused from my food sensitivities.  As i check my quartely remote transmission times.

Gemita , I have not noticed any dizziness for a while when laying down.

Thanks to everyone I will ask for an Echo just to be sure there are no hidden issues with my heart.

Am eating more ice cream(calcium) to help strengthen  my bones.      Finally able to get outside and do some cutting back of shrubs, been nearly 3 months for that project.  As my finger joints do not hurt like they have been.

new to pace

 

Jane

by Tracey_E - 2024-02-20 11:21:58

We can see either, some see both. I saw a cardiologist for years and only saw the EP when it was time for replacement.  I see an EP now who specializes in adult congenital so haven't had a need to go back to the cardiologist. I love that he has other patients like me.

EP's are more specialized cardiologists and only do electrical issues. If you have only electrical problems, you can see an EP. If you have both types of problems, you can see just a cardiologist or both. 

 

Thanks!

by JaneJ - 2024-02-20 21:58:29

Good to know!  Thanks for the informative posts!  I'll stick with just my EP for now, as I only have electrical issues.  

EP and cardiologist

by islandgirl - 2024-03-06 22:30:02

My former EP would tell his patients he's the electrician, not the plumber!

I don not see or need a regular cardiologist.

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