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Waitemata DHB Cardiology Services

Public Service

Description

What is Cardiology?

Cardiology is the specialty within medicine that looks at the heart and blood vessels.  Your heart consists of four chambers which are responsible for pumping blood to your lungs and then the rest of your body.

The study of the heart includes the heart muscle (the myocardium), the valves within the heart between the chambers, the blood vessels that supply blood (and hence oxygen and nutrients) to the heart muscle, the pericardium that envelops the heart and the electrical system of the heart which is what controls the heart rate.

Consultants

Referral Expectations

Your General Practitioner (GP) will refer you to one of our clinics if they are concerned about your heart and want a specialist opinion.

If you have an urgent problem requiring immediate cardiological assessment, you are referred to the acute General Medical Services where you will initially be seen by the Registrar (trainee specialist) who will decide whether you need to be admitted to hospital. Investigations will be performed as required, and the more senior members of the team involved where necessary.

If the problem is non-urgent, the GP will write a letter to the Cardiology Department requesting an appointment in the outpatient clinic. Each month the Department receives more referrals than can be seen in clinic. One of the consultant cardiologists working in the Department reviews these letters to determine who should be seen first, based on the information provided by the GP. Very urgent cases are usually seen within two weeks, but other cases may have to wait longer. Once you receive your appointment you will need to stay in touch with your GP and any change in your symptoms or concerns in regards to your heart condition should be promptly relayed to them.

At your clinic appointment you need to bring:
  1. Any letters or reports from your doctor or another hospital.
  2. Any X-Rays, CT or MRI films and reports.
  3. All medicines you are currently taking including herbal and natural remedies.
  4. Your pharmaceutical entitlement card.

You will be seen by a member of the cardiology team who will ask questions about your illness and examine you to try to determine or confirm the diagnosis. This process may also require a number of tests (e.g. blood tests, x-rays, scans etc). Sometimes this can all be done during one clinic visit, but for some conditions this will take several follow-up appointments. In many cases the requested investigations will be arranged and you will be called by our departments accordingly.  Your specialist will follow-up on your results and contact you or your GP.

 
Once a diagnosis is made, you will be invited to attend the clinic and a member of the medical staff will discuss treatment options and plan for follow-up. They will write to your GP with advice and may or may not arrange for you to attend a follow-up clinic.

Common Conditions / Procedures / Treatments

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)

    An ECG is a recording of your heart's electrical activity.… More

  • Exercise ECG

    An ECG done when you are resting may be normal even when you have cardiovascular disease.  During an exercise ECG the heart is made to work harder so that if there is any narrowing of the blood vessels resulting in poor blood supply it is more likely to be picked… More

  • Blood Tests

    You are likely to have blood tests done before coming to clinic to check your cholesterol level and looking for evidence of diabetes.  These blood tests are done "fasting" which means you have the blood taken in the morning on an empty stomach before breakfast.… More

  • Echocardiogram

    Echocardiography is also referred to as cardiac ultrasound. This test is performed by a specially trained technician.… More

  • Coronary Angiography (Cardiac Catheterisation)

    This test is performed by a cardiologist in a sterile catheter laboratory.… More

  • Coronary Artery Disease

    The heart is a muscle that pumps the blood to the body.… More

  • Heart Failure

    Heart failure refers to the heart failing to pump efficiently to meet the demands of the body. There are many diseases that cause this including: coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, viral infections, alcohol, and diseases affecting the valves of the heart. In rare cases it can be familial. … More

  • Cardiac Arrhythmias

    Your heart rate is controlled by a complex electrical system within the heart muscle which drives it to go faster when you exert yourself and slower when you rest.  A number of conditions can affect the heart rate or rhythm.  Heart rate simply refers to how fast your heart is… More

  • Valve Disease

    Your heart consists of 4 chambers that receive and send blood to the lungs and body. … More

  • Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

    Cardiac MRI provides excellent images of the heart using standard MRI scanning equipment, which relies on powerful magnetic fields.… More

  • Cardiac Nuclear Testing

    This test examines blood flow to the heart muscle using stress testing and a chemical known as a “tracer”, which is a short-lived radioactive agent.… More

  • CT Coronary Angiography (CTCA)

    CTCA is a CT scan of the arteries of the heart.  By injecting contrast dye into a line in your arm, the scan can provide high definition, 3 dimensional images of your arteries.  It is one of the best ways to detect signs of coronary atherosclerosis, (narrowing of the arteries),… More

Contact Details

North Shore Hospital

North Auckland

Freephone 0800 80 93 42 - Waitemata DHB residential areas only
Patient enquiries:
(09) 486 8930

Emergency Department: Open 24 hours / 7 days, Phone (09) 486 8900

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Shakespeare Road
Takapuna
Auckland 0620

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Street Address

Shakespeare Road
Takapuna
Auckland 0620

Postal Address

North Shore Hospital
Private Bag 93 503
Takapuna
North Shore City 0740

This page was last updated at 12:36PM on April 4, 2019. This information is reviewed and edited by Waitemata DHB Cardiology Services.