About Your Office Visit
The cardiac work-up involves two parts – a history and a physical (H & P). Your history will determine whether or not you need to have further testing for specific illnesses and how urgent the need for testing is. After taking your history, your cardiologist will perform pulse and blood pressure examination, will listen to your heart beat, lungs and blood vessels of the neck and groin; take your pulse rate; check your extremities for edema; and feel your abdomen for tenderness or swelling.
Our normal business hours are from 8:00am – 4:30pm Monday thru Friday. Phone calls are answered during those hours. Messages taken by our staff will be returned as promptly as possible. After normal business hours you may call our answering service at (732) 458-7575 and have them contact the on-call physician.
You should bring your current insurance card(s), your driver’s license or other ID and your medications including any over-the-counter medications you may be taking.
First time patients are usually referred to our office by their primary care physicians and an appointment is set-up at the time the referral is received. Patients may call and speak with our office staff who will assist you in scheduling an appointment.
When we schedule an appointment for you, we will do our best to see you promptly. If an emergency occurs with another patient, you may be asked to wait beyond your appointment time. If this is inconvenient, please let us know and we will re-schedule your appointment.
If there is time before your appointment we will send patient information forms to you in the mail asking that you have them filled out. Forms are available online on our website to fill as well. Otherwise we ask that you come to our office 15-20 minutes before your scheduled visit in order to fill out these forms. This is to ensure that we have a complete medical and family history. We will also use your forms to screen for any symptoms or problems. The physician will use these forms to evaluate your risk factors and symptoms you have been experiencing.
In the event of an emergency during or after office hours, contact your local rescue service (911) or go to the nearest emergency room.
It is very important for us to be aware of any medications that you may be taking either by prescription or over the counter. Some medications combined with other medicines can cause an adverse reaction in the patient. Knowing your medications helps us reduce that risk.
We strive to have all tests analyzed and interpreted in a timely manner. Results from most tests are usually given the same day. If for some reason we are unable to give the results that day we will have them interpreted within three days. Laboratory work usually takes 24-48 hours for us to get back depending on what is drawn.
Most forms are non-urgent in nature. We make every effort to have your paper work completed with-in 7-10 business days. This time lag is due to the large volume of requests. We do understand the importance of these forms and will make an effort to have them completed as soon as possible.
Cardiologists are physicians who have specialized education and training in cardiology. They identify and treat cardiovascular problems. They review the patient’s medical, family and social history to determine cardiovascular risk. They may order diagnostic testing to determine if symptoms are due to a cardiovascular cause.
During the physical examination the cardiologist will closely evaluate your cardio vascular system to identify any abnormalities. A cardiologist advises patients on heart disease prevention. Some of this advice will include smoking cessation, exercise, and eating right. The cardiologist does not take the place of your primary care physician; rather they work together with you and your primary care to ensure optimal cardiovascular health.
About Testing & Procedures
In a pacemaker clinic we check your pacemaker/defibrillator with a computer (called interrogation). We check the battery and general working of the pacemaker. We like to see patients in the office instead of remote monitoring so that we can provide total cardiovascular care with proper procedure.
An electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) is a common test that is done in the office. An EKG measures electrical activity of the heart to identify signs of arrhythmia or heart conduction problems. This test takes approximately 5 minutes and is painless.
Echocardiography, also called an echo test, is an ultrasound test that takes “moving pictures” of the heart with sound waves. This test is done to help your doctor find out if you have problems with your heart or how it is functioning. An echocardiogram takes approximately 30-45 minutes to complete. Ultra high frequency sound waves pick up images of your heart and valves, and your heart movements can be seen on the video screen.
A heart catheterization – otherwise known as heart cath, coronary angiogram or coronary arteriograms – is an invasive test to identify blockages in the coronary arteries or valvular heart disease. This information enables your cardiologist to appropriately treat you either with invasive therapy or with medications.
Angioplasty or coronary intervention involves clearing a blockage in your coronary artery either with a balloon or some other device. Usually a stent is placed after the angioplasty.
A stent is a circular spring-like device. It is placed inside a blockage after a balloon procedure to prevent the blockage from collapsing and blocking the artery again.
It depends on the findings of the cath procedure and the extent of disease/blockage in the heart. The physician may let you go home and ask that you follow up with an office visit. There may be further intervention required by the cardiologist requiring you to stay overnight. Additionally you may have a consultation with a cardiac surgeon for a surgical procedure such as coronary bypass surgery.
This will depend on a few variables, one being, if you have been seen in our office previously and two, if you have had current cardiac testing performed. We do ask that we get at least two weeks to complete any non-emergent surgical clearances. This allows us time to call the patient if any additional testing is needed. If the patient has not seen the cardiologist in quite a while then an office visit might be necessary.
Families are informed immediately after the cath procedure. As soon as your medication has worn off the physician will speak with you directly about the results of the procedure, usually while you are in the holding area or in your room. Families will be informed after the procedure ends. They will be able to see you within an hour after they talk with the surgeon.
Patient records are confidential. If you need a copy to be sent to another party, you must sign a written approval to release the information. We ask that you please keep us informed of any changes in your address, phone, or insurance coverage.
We prefer to refill only those medications having to do with your heart. Medications for conditions such as elevated blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, blood thinners or other medications which our doctors prescribe will also be refilled. Medications having to do with other conditions which have been prescribed by your primary care doctor should be refilled by that doctor.
Our doctors have privileges at four hospitals. Hospital will be chosen depending on your preference, physician’s preference and scheduling convenience.