CARDIOLOGY AT THE BIOMEDIC CLINIC & RESEARCH
At our facility, the doctor, in addition to performing the specialist medical examination, can directly carry out diagnostic tests, such as electrocardiogram and echocardiogram, as well as prescribe further or different diagnostic investigations.
FREE MEDICAL EVALUATION
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Our team will meet to evaluate your clinical case, taking into account also any exams already in your possession that will have to be attached
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COST OF MEDICAL SERVICES
Cardiological specialist examination + ECG: € 150
Cardiological specialist examination + ECG + ECHOCARDIOGRAM: € 250
Cardiology is a medical specialty and a branch of internal medicine dealing with heart disorders. It diagnoses and treats conditions such as congenital heart defects, coronary artery disease, electrophysiology, heart failure and valvular heart disease.
THE DISORDERS OF THE CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM
The basic functioning of the cardiovascular system includes the way the heart processes oxygen and nutrients in the blood, which is called coronary circulation. The circulation system consists of coronary arteries and coronary veins.
There are numerous disorders of the cardiovascular system that are treated and studied in the field of cardiology.
Among these are:
- Acute Coronary Syndrome ( which is the consequence of an acute coronary artery obstruction)
- Angina Pectoris (a chest pain that occurs when the blood supply to the heart is reduced due to the narrowing, or hardening, of the coronary arteries that supply it)
- Atherosclerosis (or atherosis - is a hardening and loss of elasticity of the artery walls due to the formation of plaques)
- Coronary artery disease (coronary arteries are damaged with the deposition of cholesterol-containing plaques, reducing blood flow to the heart)
- Restenosis (the tendency of the dilated vessel to close again)
The categories of cardiology disorders include:
- Cardiac arrest
- Myocardial disorders (the myocardium is the muscular component of the heart that forms the walls and makes it function as a pump) or of the heart muscle, which include various types of cardiomyopathies
- Disorders of the pericardium (the membrane that surrounds, supports and protects the heart) or of the outer lining of the heart, which include various types of pericarditis
- Heart valve disorders, including the aortic valve, mitral valve, pulmonary valve and tricuspid valve - congenital heart defects, ranging from atrial septal defect to ventricular septal defect,
- Blood vessel diseases or vascular diseases, which include aneurysm, deep vein thrombosis, varicose veins, vasculitis (inflammatory process of blood vessels) and diseases of other blood vessels.
THE CARDIOLOGY SPECIALIST
The Cardiology specialist is called the Cardiologist. Some of the strategies used by the cardiologist to combat cardiovascular diseases include:
- Coronary artery bypass surgery
- Percutaneous coronary intervention (performed through the skin)
- Percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (a method that allows the arteries that spread blood to the heart structures to expand without a real surgical intervention)
- Stenting (a minimally invasive method to permanently keep the artery open) The cardiologist can also diagnose cardiovascular disorders using blood tests, cardiac stress tests, echocardiograms, electrocardiograms or computerized tomography and magnetic resonance imaging techniques.
An electrocardiogram (abbreviated as ECG) is a test that measures the electrical activity of the heartbeat. With each beat, an electrical impulse (or "wave") travels through the heart. This wave causes the compression of the muscle and the pumping of blood from the heart.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE ELECTROCARDIOGRAM
- Sensors connected to the skin are used to detect the electrical signals produced by the heart every time it beats.
- These signals are recorded by a machine that visually shows them through a track and are checked by a doctor to see if they are unusual.
- There is no pain or risk associated with an electrocardiogram. When the sensors are removed, there may be slight discomfort (the sensation is similar to removing a plaster).
- The electrocardiogram is not harmful. The machine only records, does not send electricity into the body.
WHEN AN ELECTROCARDIOGRAM SHOULD BE DONE
An ECG provides two main types of information:
- First, the doctor can determine how long it takes to the electric wave to pass through the heart. Finding out how long it takes for the wave to travel from one part of the heart to the next, it shows if the electrical activity is normal or low, fast or irregular.
- Second, by measuring the amount of electrical activity that passes through the heart muscle, a cardiologist may be able to find out if parts of the heart are too large or overloaded.
The electrocardiogram is very useful in the diagnosis of:
- Cardiac arrhythmias
- Acute and previous myocardial strokes (heart attacks: remember that the myocardium is the muscular part of the heart, the part that makes it work like a pump)
- Pericardial disease (a disease that affects the pericardium,which is the membrane that surrounds the heart)
- Atrial cardiac enlargement (affecting the atria, or the two upper cavities of the heart)
- Ventricular cardiac enlargement (affecting the ventricles, that are the lower chambers of the heart)
The presence of hypertension (arterial hypertension), thyroid disease and some types of malnutrition can also be revealed by an electrocardiogram. It can also be used to determine if a slow heart rate is physiological or is caused by heart block.
HOW THE ELECTROCARDIOGRAM IS CARRIED OUT
The electrocardiogram is done by applying electrodes to various parts of the body, connected, through wires, to the device. Before connecting the electrodes, it is usually necessary to remove the upper clothes and it may be necessary to shave or clean the chest. The electrodes that record the electrical activity of the heart are positioned in 10 different positions: one on each of the four limbs and six in different positions on the front surface of the chest. The patient is lying on a cot in a supine position. After the electrodes have been positioned, a millivolt is introduced from an external source to the body so that the instrument can be calibrated from person to person and from time to time on the same person. The electrocardiogram is also called a 12-lead ECG as it collects information from 12 different areas of the heart. The electrical activity is recorded as waves on a graph, with different patterns, corresponding to each electrical phase of the heartbeat. The test usually lasts only a few minutes.
Echocardiogram (echo) is a test that uses high-frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to make images of the heart. The test is also called echocardiography or cardiac diagnostic ultrasound.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE ECHOCARDIOGRAM
- The echocardiogram uses sound waves to create images of the chambers, valves, walls and blood vessels of the heart (aorta, arteries, veins) attached to the heart.
- A probe called a transducer is passed over the chest. The probe produces sound waves that bounce off the heart and "echo" on the probe. These waves are transformed into images displayed on a video monitor.
- Echocardiogram is not painful and has no side effects. No special precautions are necessary and can be performed on any patient countless times (even in pregnant women).
WHEN TO DO AN ECOCARDIOGRAM
Your doctor can use an echocardiogram to examine the structure of your heart and monitor its functioning, helping you discover:
- The size and shape of the heart and the size, thickness and movement of the walls of the heart.
- How the heart moves
- The pulsating force of the heart
- If the heart valves are functioning properly
- If blood flows back through the heart valves (regurgitation)
- If the heart valves are too narrow (stenosis)
- If there is a tumor or infectious growth around the heart valves
- Problems with the outer lining of the heart (pericardium)
- Problems with the large blood vessels entering and leaving the heart
- Blood clots in the chambers of the heart
- Abnormal holes between the chambers of the heart
HOW THE ECHOCARDIOGRAM IS PERFORMED
The test takes about an hour. The patient is lying on his back or left side on a couch and the doctor places small metal disks (electrodes) on his chest. The disks are equipped with wires that hook onto the echocardiographic device. An echocardiogram (ECG) also keeps track of the heart rate during the test.
The doctor will apply the gel to the patient's chest (the gel helps the sound waves reach the heart). A wand-like device, called a transducer, will then be moved over the chest. The transducer transmits ultrasonic waves to the chest.
Sound waves are transformed into images and displayed on a video monitor. The images on the video monitor are recorded so that the doctor can consult them later.
During the test, the lights in the room will be dimmed so that the computer screen is easier to see.
The doctor may ask the patient to move or hold his breath briefly for better images.
Sometimes, the doctor may apply some pressure to the chest with the transducer. The patient may find this pressure a little annoying, but it helps to get the best possible image of the heart. The patient should tell the doctor if he feels too uncomfortable.
For some types of echo, the doctor will need to inject a saline solution or a special dye into one of the veins. The substance makes the heart appear more clearly in the images of the echo. The dye used for the echo is different from the dye used during angiography (a test used to examine the body's blood vessels).
For most types of ultrasound, the patient will remove the clothes from the waist up.