Cardiology clinic FAQs

General FAQs
Stress Test FAQs
Echocardiogram FAQs

General FAQs

Do I need blood tests before my appointment with the doctor?

If you have had recent blood tests (within 6 months) through your primary care provider, bring a copy of your results to your appointment. If you have not had recent blood tests, contact our office, leave a message on our nurses line and someone will call you back with your physician’s order.

Do I stop my medication if there are no refills?

Absolutely not. When you are getting low on your medication and there are no refills, contact your pharmacy. The pharmacy will forward your request to our office. The medication will be refilled if you are to continue taking the medication. You will receive a call from our office if you are to discontinue the medication.

Do I need a referral from my primary care physician to see the cardiologist?

You do not need a referral. We accept self-referred patients with cardio-vascular concerns. To enhance your appointment time with the physician, we require you to obtain your past medical records and bring them to your appointment.

What do I do when I need my cardiac medications refilled?

Contact your pharmacy and allow 72 hours to obtain the refill. Your pharmacy has all your refill information and will fax or electronically send the request to our office. Even if you have no refills remaining, your pharmacy will send us a request. Our clinical staff process prescription refills throughout the workday.

What if I utilize a mail away pharmacy for my prescriptions?

Mail away pharmacies require a new prescription annually. Don't wait until you are out of your mediation to request a refill. Allow 2 weeks for the pharmacy to process and mail your prescription. Request this prescription at your visit to the provider or contact our office and leave a detailed message for the nurse (name of medication, strength of tablet and directions for use). Many, but not all, mail away pharmacies are in our electronic system which allows the physician to electronically transmit your prescription to the pharmacy. If your pharmacy is not in our electronic system, you will be notified and given options for picking up your written prescription or having it mailed to you.

What if I am changing pharmacies?

Take your prescription bottles to the new pharmacy. The pharmacy will send us the new request. Don't wait until last minute.

What if I run out of my cardiac medications over the weekend or holiday?

Contact your pharmacy. They will send a request to our office and often give you enough medication to get you through until the next business day when our clinical staff will process the refill.

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Stress Test FAQs

I am having a nuclear medicine stress test. Will I be radioactive and is this safe?

Yes to both. You will receive a small amount of a radioactive isotope in order to assess the blood flow in the muscle of the heart. You will be radioactive for a short period of time but this is a safe procedure.

How long will it take to complete a nuclear medicine stress test and why?

The entire procedure takes approximately 4 hours. The test is in two phases, rest and stress. The rest portion includes intake and preparation time including obtaining IV access followed by administration of isotope and a subsequent waiting period and imaging. The stress portion includes stress test preparation; the stress test itself followed by recovery time, imaging and proofing time.

Why do I need an IV for my nuclear medicine stress test?

You will receive two doses of radioactive isotopes, one a rest and the other with stress. In some cases the stress test is completed with a pharmacologic stress agent which will be administered via IV access too.

Why can’t I have caffeine for 24 hours prior to my nuclear medicine stress test?

Caffeine is a stimulant and may skew your treadmill stress test results. Caffeine also blocks the pharmacologic stress agents used in nuclear medicine and not allowing them to work, therefore skewing the results of your test.

When will my Doctor know the results of my test?

The tests are resulted within 24 hours of completion of the exam. A copy of the results will be forwarded to your physician within 7-10 business days. In the event that your test results are abnormal requiring additional followup, your physician would be notified immediately.

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Echocardiogram FAQs

What is an echocardiogram?

An echocardiogram (also called Echo) is a cardiac ultrasound. The test uses sound waves to image cardiac structures. There is no radiation exposure.

How long will the test take?

Approximately 40 minutes

Do I need to do anything to prepare for the test?

No, you can eat, drink and take your medications as you normally would.

What's the difference between EKG (electrocardiogram) and an Echo (echocardiogram)?

An EKG uses electrodes (stickers) and wires to assess the electrical conduction of the heart. An echo uses sound waves to image the heart structures and blood flow.

When will I get results?

The test is interpreted within 24-48 hours, you should receive notification within one week. Urgent findings will be addressed by interpreting cardiologist. All results are sent to your primary care physician.

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