What is cardiology?
Cardiology is the branch of internal medicine dealing with disorders of the heart and blood vessels.
Significant developments have been made in the last decade to improve investigation, treatment and the long term outlook in patients with heart disease and also in the prevention of heart disease and its complication. Preventative approaches include the management of risk factors, which are predispositions to cardiovascular disease. These risk factors include high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes. All of these can be addressed by a combination of drug treatments and lifestyle changes.
Patients come to see Professor McEwan with such symptoms as chest pain (angina), shortness of breath and ankle swelling (possible heart failure), unexplained heart ‘murmurs’ (indicating valve disease), and an awareness of the heart racing, skipping or being irregular (sometimes called palpitations). In addition she sees patients with dizzy spells and blackouts, and also advises on the management of high blood pressure.
NHS patients should discuss this with their GP and a referral can be sent to The Heart Hospital.
Professor McEwan sees both UK and international private patients. She is available for private consultations at Nuffield Health Brentwood, Essex.
A letter of referral from a GP or specialist prior to their appointment is very useful. Some insurance companies will also require this in order to process a claim.
What is meant by a consultation?
Private consultations are scheduled at 40 minutes for first consultations or those more than a year since the last review, and 20 minutes for follow up appointments. The appointment will include the discussion of your symptoms, clinical examination, and recommendations regarding any further investigation or treatments. A letter summarising the consultation will usually be sent to the referring GP with copy to you.
What tests might I need?
Sometimes Professor McEwan requests tests to confirm a diagnosis or monitor a condition. Such tests might include an electrocardiogram (ECG) to record the heart rhythm, an ultrasound scan of the heart structure and function (2 dimensional echocardiogram) and longer term monitoring of the heat rhythm or blood pressure. More information about these tests can be found here.
More invasive tests such as coronary angiograms and CT scans may also be requested, and the reason for these and what is involved will be explained carefully to you.
For private patients, these tests will incur a charge in addition to the consultation fee.