What is heart disease?

The heart is the centre of the cardiovascular system. Through the body’s blood vessels, the heart pumps blood to all of the body’s cells. The blood carries oxygen, which the cells need. Cardiovascular disease is a group of problems that occur when the heart and blood vessels aren’t working the way they should. Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a narrowing of the small blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart and is also called coronary artery disease.

How do you get heart disease?

Certain things increase a person’s chances of getting cardiovascular disease. Some of these risk factors you are predisposed to: like being older and having another member in the family who has had the same problems. There are some risks factors you do have control over including smoking, having high blood pressure, being overweight, and not exercising.

What are the symptoms of heart disease?

Please contact your GP or one of our specialists if you have any concerns or any symptoms, which are causing you concern.

Chest pain or discomfort is the most common symptom. It may feel heavy or like someone is squeezing the middle of your chest. You may feel the discomfort under your breast bone (sternum) and it can also spread elsewhere such as one or both arms, the neck or jaw. It can range from mild to severe.

This pain usually occurs with activity or emotion and goes away with rest or medication. Additionally, you may have shortness of breath and fatigue with activity. Symptoms may be very noticeable, but sometimes you can have coronary artery disease and not have any symptoms.

Women, elderly people, and people with diabetes are more likely to have symptoms other than chest pain, such as:

• Fatigue
• Shortness of breath
• Weakness

At Ascot Angiography our specialists both diagnose and treat your condition, within our facilities, ranging from an electrocardiogram to an angiogram and angioplasty. Most tests are available on site and can be performed within one consultation.

Cardiac catheterisation

An angiogram us performed using local anesthetic and conscious/”twilight” sedation.  It is a diagnostic test used for accurately imaging any narrowing or blockages within your coronary arteries.  The procedure involves inserting a narrow tube (catheter) into an artery, usually your wrist or groin.

The catheter is threaded up to the heart where a special dye/contrast is injected into the coronary arteries and imaged using x-rays.  This series of pictures will be recorded, and the cardiologist will view these with you after the test and discuss treatment options.

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Ascot Hospital, Level 3
90 Greenlane East
Remuera, Auckland 1051
PO Box 17264,
Greenlane, Auckland 1546

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