All roads lead to Rome.
There is usually more than one way to solve a problem and the same applies to your health concern too.
For someone who is previously fit and healthy, the diagnosis of heart disease is often associated with disbelief, anxiety and confusion. Some of the treatment options like medication or surgery may not be appealing to say the least. It is natural to seek advice from family and friends to share their experience and concern. You may find it helpful to consult another specialist for a second opinion.
An experienced cardiologist will go through the history, test results and reassess the clinical picture. This may provide that much needed confidence to stay with the existing treatment plan. It is also an opportunity to explore alternative therapies too.
Always remember the successful management of an important health issue involves you and your family so always bring them along to help ask questions and lend an extra pair of ears.
Some of the frequently asked questions on Heart Condition & Disease are
- I have been asked to go for bypass surgery, can I be treated with balloon and stent instead?
- In more than half of the cases complex angioplasty can be performed instead of surgery. The keyword here is complex. This may involve the implantation of multiple stents and special techniques and niche devices may be used to achieve good outcome. A candid discussion to explore the risk and benefits of an alternative approach is vital.
- The newspaper highlighted a new treatment, is that suitable for me?
- One should feel free to bring the article or the researched topic to discuss with the specialist. Do bear in mind some of these seemingly great ideas may or may not be applicable to your specific condition.
- Everything was very rushed when I was admitted to hospital. I did not have time to find out more about my heart attack.
- In a very busy general hospital where you are cared for by multiple doctors of different seniority, it is sometimes harder to get a full picture of what is at stake. A second opinion to re-look at the entire case may yield much needed information and may advance the management plan without repeating previously performed investigations.
Dr. Paul Ong
Senior Consultant Cardiologist
MB BChir (Cambridge)
CCST Cardiology (UK)