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BEFORE YOUR VISIT

Patients are required to have a referral for assessment.

Please remember to bring your valid OHIP card and a list of medications to each appointment.

If you are scheduled for testing, please review and follow the provided preparation instructions to ensure accurate test results and optimal care.

To ensure a smooth check-in process, please arrive 15 minutes early for your appointment.

<span data-metadata=""><span data-buffer="">ABOUT OUR TESTS

An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a test that looks at the electrical activity of your heart.  It gives information about your heart rhythm and can also give clues about the heart chamber sizes. The test takes approximately 15 minutes

BEFORE

To prepare for your test, ensure your skin is clean and free of lotions.

DURING

An electrocardiogram (ECG) is safe and painless. You will need to undress from the waist up for the test. A drape sheet will be provided to ensure your privacy. While lying face-up, a technician will place Electrodes on your chest, arms, and legs, connecting to our ECG reading machine. For better adhesion, some areas may be shaved. If you prefer, you can shave your chest before coming to the clinic. 

AFTER

You can return to work or other activities immediately after the ECG. Results will be available in 1-5 business days. The technologist is not allowed to discuss findings with you. 

The purpose of the test is to assess the blood flow to your heart muscle, and to see if there are blockages in the arteries of your heart (coronary artery disease). This test allows us to take pictures of your heart after an injection of a radioactive tracer.  The radioactive tracer is given through an intravenous (IV) a needle that is inserted into a vein, in the arm or back of the hand. You will be stressed by walking on a treadmill or by getting an injection called Persantine (different from the radioactive material). Pictures are taken of your heart using a special camera.

Any medical procedures have risks associated with them but the radioactive material has been shown to be safe with a low chance of side effects. Radiation exposure is low. Exercise and Persantine both stress your heart and have some risks associated with them but a doctor will be present to ensure safety.

The test is divided into two parts, rest scan and stress scan. The duration of the test is approximately  3-4 hours. 

BEFORE

1) Wear comfortable clothing and shoes that you can exercise in.

2) You may have a light breakfast.

3) Do not take anything that may contain caffeine for 24 hours before the test. These include coffee, tea,

cola, chocolate, mountain dew, red bull, etc. It will interfere with the test.

4) If you do not speak English well enough to understand instructions please take a family member or

someone else who can translate for you.

5) Take a list of your medications with you when you go for the test.

6) Take a fatty snack (such as a cheese sandwich) and something with bubbles to drink (such as carbonated

water ex. Perrier, or pop) to the test. You will be instructed to have it some time during the test as this

helps decrease your gut interference with the pictures of your heart.

7) You may have to stop some medications (beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, nitrates or medications for erectile dysfunction such as Viagra, Cialis and Levitra before the test. For a full list of medications click here.

DURING

An IV is started by inserting a needle into the vein of your arm or back of the hand. A small amount of the radioactive tracer is injected and  you will be asked to sit for several minutes as the medicine takes effect. Next we will begin part one of the scan, for which a special camera is used to take pictures of your heart. 

Part One (Rest Scan) 

For resting scans, in which you do not exercise, electrodes are attached to your chest to keep track of your heartbeats.  The camera is acquiring images of where the previously injected radioactive tracer has gone in your heart. You will lie on your back or sit with a camera above your chest. You will be asked to remain very still during each scan. The camera will move to take more pictures at different angles.

Part Two (Stress Scan Treadmill) 

You will be asked to exercise using a treadmill. At the beginning, the treadmill starts at a walking pace. Every three minutes, the treadmill gets faster and the incline gets steeper. While you are exercising, another injection containing a small amount of radioactive tracer will be given through the IV.  When you are finished exercising, additional images will be taken in comparison to the first set of images taken.

If you are unable to walk

If you are unable to exercise, a medication called Persantine can be used to stress the heart. Persantine works by opening up the blood vessels. You will be asked to lay down on the examining table. Then you will be given the persantine. Some people develop side effects from persantine including flushing, headache, nausea, shortness of breath, chest or abdominal pain.  If any of these symptoms develop, there is an antidote (called Aminophylline) that will be given at the end of the test to quickly take away the side effects. After the persantine takes effect, a small amount of radioactive tracer is given through your IV. Once the stress test is finished, you will wait a short period of time before taking additional images in comparison to the first set of images acquired.  

AFTER

You may feel tired after this test. Drink plenty of fluids to keep hydrated and help the medicines leave the body quicker.  Call your family doctor if you have any concerns or questions.

If you are planning to travel within 3 days of this test, please tell the Nuclear Medicine staff. We will give you a letter that says you have been given a small amount of radioactive tracer.

Results are available in 1-5 business days. The technologist is not allowed to discuss findings with you. 

A holter monitor is used to diagnose abnormal heart rhythms.  It records every heart beat during the period of monitoring. Monitoring periods range from 24 hrs -14 days, the duration you will wear the monitor is specified by your doctor. The holter monitor is a small and portable water resistant (not water proof) device. The test takes approximately 15 minutes.

BEFORE

Preparation

1) Ensure your skin is clean and free of lotions.

2) You can shave your chest before coming to the clinic.

DURING

A technician will prepare the skin on your chest by shaving your chest if necessary, then wiping gently with a non abrasive alcohol swab, next an adhesive patch is placed on your chest. The monitor is attached to the patch. The technician will provide you with a diary where you write down your symptoms if you had any. 

For better adhesion, some areas of your chest may be shaved. If you prefer, you can shave your chest before coming to the clinic. 

AFTER

You can return to work or other activities immediately after the ECG.

An ECHO is an ultrasound of the heart.  It uses sound waves to create pictures of your heart, so your heart’s function can be assessed. An ECHO also looks at the heart valves to see if they are functioning normally. The test takes approximately 45 minutes.

BEFORE

Ensure your skin is clean and free of lotions.

DURING

You will be asked to remove your clothing from the waste up. A gown or drape sheet will be provided to maintain privacy. You will lie on your side on a bed. An ECG monitor will be connected to record and monitor your heart’s electrical activity with small adhesive electrodes. The room will be darkened for the technologist to view the echo monitor. The technologist will place gel on the probe and move a transducer across different areas of your chest, applying varying amounts of pressure to obtain multiple views of your heart.

AFTER

You can return to work or other activities immediately after. Results will be available in 1-5 business days. The technologist is not allowed to discuss findings with you. 

An exercise stress test has been ordered by your physician. This test is most commonly done to evaluate the blood flow and circulation to your heart. Other reasons to perform this test include an evaluation of exercise capacity, rhythm problems and blood pressure response during exercise. For this test, your heart rate, heart rhythm and blood pressure will be monitored before, during and after exercise on a treadmill. The test takes approximately 30 minutes.

BEFORE

1) Ensure your skin is clean and free of lotions.

2) We recommend shaving your chest before coming to the clinic. This allows for better adhesion of electrodes.

3) Wear comfortable clothing and running shoes.  We recommend bringing a water bottle.

4) Bring a list of all your medications. Your physicians may ask you to hold some of your medications prior to the test. Common medications that are held include beta-blockers (metoprolol, bisoprolol, carvediolol, atenolol) and calcium channel blockers (diltiazem, verapamil).

DURING

The technician will explain the test to you. Then proceed to shave shave your chest if necessary, followed by gently cleansing your skin with an alcohol wipe. Electrodes will be placed on your chest and a belt around your waist.  The test will begin with you walking on the treadmill the speed and incline of the treadmill will steadily increase until an appropriate level of exercise is achieved. The test may also be stopped if you experience significant shortness of breath, chest pain, changes in blood pressure or certain heart rhythm problems. If you experience significant symptoms while on the treadmill, let the technologist know immediately. You will be monitored for around 1 minute afterwards and then your test will be completed.

AFTER

You can return to work or other activities immediately after. Results will be available in 1-5 business days. The technologist is not allowed to discuss findings with you.

An ABPM is a portable digital blood pressure monitor that you wear for 24 hours. There is a standard blood pressure cuff that is fitted to your arm and a small machine you wear on a belt or over the shoulder. It will check your blood pressure multiple times throughout the day and will store these blood pressure readings on the machine. By measuring your blood pressure multiple times throughout the day your physicians are able to assess how your blood pressure changes throughout the day and what your average blood pressure is during a 24-hour period. It can be used to verify if you have high blood pressure or to assess how well your blood pressure is controlled on the medications that you are taking.

BEFORE 

Ensure your skin is clean and free of lotions and perfumes. 

Note: You will not be able to shower or take a bath while the cuff is on your arm. 

DURING 

The blood pressure cuff will be fitted and put on your arm at the office. The cuff will remain on your arm for the 24- hour period. You will not be able to shower or take a bath while the cuff is on your arm. The machine is small enough that you can continue to do your usual daily activities while you are wearing it. This allows your physicians to assess what your average blood pressure is on a normal day. The cuff will inflate every 15-30 minutes during the day and every 30-60 minutes at night. When the machine beeps it is about to take a reading. When this happens please sit down if possible. Keep the cuff at the level of your heart. Keep your arm steady until it is finished. After the 24-hour period you will return the cuff and the blood pressure machine to the clinic.

AFTER

You can return to work or other activities immediately after. Results will be available in 1-5 business days. The technologist is not allowed to discuss findings with you. 

Cardiology primarily focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of various diseases and disorders that affect the heart. A cardiology consultation is usually requested by your family doctor, general internist or sometimes another specialist or surgeon when he or she wishes to have a heart specialist (cardiologist) use his/her expertise to evaluate your heart.

Cardiology consultations also aid in the early detection of health conditions that would likely lead to heart problems. Not all patients who schedule consultations have heart conditions –  Some consult a cardiologist as a preventive measure because we become more prone to cardiovascular diseases as we age. By undergoing periodic cardiology consultations, the heart can be monitored for any changes that may endanger a person’s health.

Many cardiovascular diseases can be prevented. It’s possible to know if you’re at risk of developing the condition simply by consulting a cardiologist and undergoing a few tests. Those whose condition has already progressed need to undergo a cardiology consultation so that treatment can begin immediately.

The results of a cardiology consultation vary from person to person. Some people may find out that they require immediate treatment, while others may have a healthy heart and only need to continue living a healthy lifestyle.

BEFORE 

The procedures of a cardiology consultation may vary, but will typically include an interview, physical examination, other examinations as required, and a diagnosis of the patient’s condition. However, preparation for the consultation is also an important step. To maximize the benefits that this procedure can offer, patients are encouraged to:

  • Prepare a list of any medications being taken
  • Bring results of other medical exams and tests
  • Prepare a list of questions to ask the cardiologist
  • Create a complete list of symptoms including their severity and when they started to show
  • Compile a personal health history and a health history of your family.

DURING 

During the consultation, the patient’s blood pressure, weight, and height measurements will be taken. An ECG or ECHO may also be performed.

Following the interpretation of the ECG/ECHO results, the cardiologist may provide an initial or final diagnosis. However, if more information is required, the patient will undergo more tests and the schedule of these tests, as well as the follow-up consultation, will be provided. Additional tests can include blood tests, x-rays or stress tests.

AFTER 

Once the cardiologist has collected all the necessary information, the patient will be informed of the diagnosis and treatment options, which can include:

  • Lifestyle changes, which may include smoking cessation, eating a healthy diet, and physically activity.
  • Medications, which may include those that lower cholesterol, blood pressure and other risk factors.
  • Certain procedures such as angioplasty and coronary artery bypass grafting.
  • Cardiac rehabilitation

DURING YOUR VISIT

WHAT TO EXPECT

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AFTERCARE & FOLLOW UP

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See what past patients think

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– Patients Name