The five top questions to ask your cardiologist.
January 17, 2017
Perhaps you’re going to the cardiologist because your physician recommended it. Or maybe you have a family history of heart disease, and you want to stay on top of it. Or you have high blood pressure, or high cholesterol, or both. Whatever your reasons — and there are many — the experts at St. Luke’s University Health Network provide you with some questions to ask. Bring them, along with any others, to have an informative visit.
- What are the best treatments available for me, and which are recommended? Depending on the situation that brought you in, your cardiologist may have a few courses of action to suggest. Find out the positives and negatives of each, and see which one fits into your lifestyle best, if all are equally effective.
- How long will the treatment continue? It’s good to find out if the treatment is one that has a short course or one that you’ll continue for the rest of your life. Surgery may be a one-shot deal; medicine may be maintenance. When you’re prepared, it’s easier to face your situation.
- If I need an operation, how long will it take, and what is the recovery time? Sometimes there are options even with surgery: open heart, cardiac catheterization, robotic, minimally invasive. Find out what choices you have, if any, and which one your doctor recommends for you.
- Is my condition genetic? Knowing if your condition is genetic may make you look back at your family and remember certain symptoms or behaviors that now make sense to you. It will also be helpful for your children to know what’s in their genes, and it may have a positive influence on their lifestyle choices.
- What can I do to keep my condition from coming back? If there are preventive measures you can take to keep yourself healthy, of course you want to know them and act on them. Similarly, if your condition will require ongoing treatment, it’s good to know that going in so you can figure out what changes, if any, you need to make.