Cardiology is a branch of medicine that concerns diseases and disorders of the heart and blood vessels. Our experienced cardiologists are responsible for the medical management of various heart diseases. They offer expert care for the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of many heart conditions.
We offer a wide range of diagnostic tests and investigations to assess the health of your heart including: 24-hour ECG recording, stress ECG, echocardiogram and stress echo’s, coronary ultrasound and coronary angiography. We offer lifestyle advice, heart medicines and stents.
At Ashtead Hospital we offer our patients convenient appointments and private patients will see a consultant cardiologist within 72 hours.
Cardiac imaging technologies use ultrasound, x-rays, MRI and CT to create detailed images of the internal structures of your heart and cardiovascular system. Your cardiologist will request cardiac imaging to diagnose and manage many cardiac and vascular disorders to see how effectively your heart is pumping or blood is circulating through your arteries and body.
Cardiac imaging procedures offer safe, accurate, non-invasive and relatively painless diagnoses and are often performed in an outpatient facility. We offer coronary angiography (specialised x-ray test to obtain detailed information about your heart (coronary) arteries), echocardiograms, stress echocardiograms, ECG and stress electrocardiograms.
Some imaging techniques may require a contrast agent that’s similar to a dye and allows structures inside your heart and body to be more clearly visible on a computer screen.
We also offer preventive screening and heart tests.
A stress echocardiogram, also known as a stress echo or exercise echo, is an imaging test that uses ultrasound to look at how well your heart works whilst it’s working harder or under the stress of exercise.
It produces moving images of your heart so that your cardiologist can see how well your heart is working, your heart’s structure including the size and shape of your heart, if your heart muscle is weak and not working correctly, if you’ve problems with your heart’s valves or, if you’ve a blood clot. It’s widely used to diagnose heart disease and valve problems.
An echocardiography normally takes between 30 to 40 minutes and is performed by a sonographer or your consultant. An echocardiogram is performed at rest and then under differing levels of stress through either exercise, such as walking on a treadmill, or taking medicines that make your heart beat faster and harder.
An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a simple and painless test that measures and records the electrical activity and rhythm of your heart. During an ECG you will have sensors, called electrodes, attached to your skin to detect the electrical signals produced by your heart each time it beats.
A stress ECG is a test performed when your heart is under the stress of exercise either on a treadmill or exercise bike. It may be requested if symptoms such as abnormal heart beats, chest pain, dizziness and shortness of breath are triggered by physical activity.
Many heart conditions including arrhythmias (the heart beats too quickly or slowly or irregularly), coronary heart disease (build-up of fatty substances that block or interrupt your heart's blood supply), heart attacks (your heart’s blood supply is suddenly blocked) and cardiomyopathy (thickened or enlarged heart walls) can cause changes or disruptions in the electrical activity of your heart.
At Ashtead Hospital we specialise in the diagnosis and management of adult cardiology conditions including angina (chest pain due to restriction of the blood supply to the muscles of your heart), heart failure (your heart can’t pump blood around your body properly), valvular heart disease (damage or defect of one of your four heart valves) and cardiomyopathy (disease of your heart muscle so it can’t pump normally) and arrhythmias.
Hypertension is when you have high blood pressure. It’s diagnosed if your blood pressure is regularly higher than recommended healthy levels. Your blood pressure is a measure of the force of the blood flowing in your arteries.
Frequently people don’t realise they have hypertension as it often doesn’t have any noticeable symptoms but if it’s untreated, your risk of serious problems such as heart attacks and strokes are increased.
The only way to check for hypertension is to have your blood pressure checked using a device called a sphygmomanometer.
Treatment of hypertension includes lifestyle changes that may reduce your blood pressure, such as reducing your salt, alcohol and caffeine intake, losing weight, exercising, stopping smoking and getting enough sleep (minimum of six hours per night). Medical treatment may also be recommended to keep you blood pressure under control.
Your consultant will consider how high your blood pressure is and your risk of developing heart disease and stroke when deciding on the best course of treatment for you.