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Cardiology

Improving your heart health through our Cardiology services.

Our cardiologists at Albyn Hospital deal with most cardiology issues affecting adults. This includes patients with chest pain, palpitations (awareness of your heart beating), and breathlessness.

Our cardiologist will, first of all, have an in depth chat with the patient and take a full medical history in order to establish whether the symptoms could be due to a cardiovascular problem. A full physical examination is also carried out to assess the cardiovascular system.

Diagnostic tests performed usually include an ECG, which is a measurement of the electricity going through heart. This relatively straightforward test can offer important insights to any potential underlying heart issue.

Another diagnostic test that might be required is an ECHO, which is an ultrasound scan of the heart. This allows the cardiologist to look at the heart’s function, including assessing the main pumping chambers as well as the function of the valves of the heart.

Our cardiologist may go on to perform other tests on the day, which could include a treadmill test (also known as a ‘stress test’). This is where the patient is asked to walk on an incline, which gets progressively steeper and faster. This is a good way of stressing the heart to find out if there are any signs of problems that may not be apparent at rest.

If there are suspicions of heart rhythm problems, the team can arrange for appropriate monitoring of the heart. These monitors can be fitted for anything between 24 hours up to two weeks.

Sometimes, patients need other, more specialist cardiac investigations such as a CT coronary angiogram. This is a way of non-invasively looking at the coronary arteries around the heart by using a CT scanner.

Some patients may need a cardiac MRI scan. This is a very sophisticated way of looking at the heart function. We can arrange for those to be performed off-site at the nearby University of Aberdeen, which Albyn has close links with. These tests are available very quickly too.

Many other diagnostic tests can be performed here at Albyn, such as blood tests, chest x-rays, blood pressure monitoring, ultrasound scans and CT scans, and will be organised if necessary.

The health and wellbeing of patients is of greatest importance to us; the team will talk them through a tailored treatment process to give them complete reassurance that they will receive the best possible treatment outcome.

Patients identified with having valve problems, for example, can be offered surveillance to keep an eye on the issue over time, if that’s all that is required.

If the cardiologist suspects the patient has coronary artery disease, or if they have a positive exercise test, he may recommend they have a CT coronary angiogram to assess things further.

For those with rhythm abnormalities causing palpitations, picking up any rhythm abnormality on a monitor is key, as this will help determine ongoing treatment, whether it be with medications of sometime more invasive procedures called catheter ablation. These more complex procedures might be performed elsewhere but whether this is necessary would be discussed in depth at the consultation.

Albyn Hospital provides a ‘one-stop’ clinic, offering all of the initial cardiology tests on the same day as the consultation. This gives a lot of reassurance for patients; they can go home on the day knowing the results of their cardiac tests, rather than waiting for tests and/or follow-up appointments on another date.

One of the main benefits is the timeliness of consultations and the readily available investigations; many patients are anxious, and it is very useful to be able perform the relevant tests and to reassure them, suggest treatment, or consider onward procedures if that is appropriate.

Patients visit the hospital from a range of towns and cities, including Aberdeen, and from as far away as Perthshire, Inverness and the Highlands. The majority of patients are local, but because of the prevalence of the oil and gas industry, we see a lot of people coming in for occupational medicals and/or treadmill tests, which are a requirement to work offshore.

At a glance, here are some reasons why you might wish to choose Albyn Hospital for cardiology conditions:

  • Flexible appointments and shorter waiting times – At Albyn Hospital, waiting times for cardiology consultations are short and appointment times are flexible.
  • Consultant-delivered appointments – Your in-clinic appointment will be consultant-delivered, and you will see the same person each time you visit us for an appointment – from your consultation, right through to any treatment needed.
  • Patient satisfaction and personalised care – Albyn Hospital has been awarded a 98.1% patient satisfaction score, with the results compiled by independent agency, Quality Health.
  • Remote consultations – You may have the opportunity to have a telephone consultation or use a platform like Microsoft Teams to chat to a consultant from the comfort of your own home. This is generally only suitable for follow-up appointments.
  • Access to various clinics for further advice and treatment – Patients visiting our cardiology clinic Albyn may also be directed to other departments for further advice and treatment.

Want to make an appointment with an Aberdeen cardiologist here at Albyn Hospital? Simply call our friendly team on 01224 595993. Alternatively, you can use our handy online booking system to book a consultation with one of our consultants at a time and date to suit you.

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Dr Malcolm Metcalfe

Consultant Cardiologist and Deputy Medical Director NHSG

MD, FRCPE

Albyn Hospital

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