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Tests and Treatments

Diagnostic Tests
___ What tests have I been given?
___ What further tests do you recommend and why?
___ Will these tests cause discomfort or hurt?
___ Are there any risks to these tests?
___ How will these tests affect treatment decisions?
___ When will I get the results and who will explain them to me?

Diagnostic Catheterization Test Results
___ Do I have Coronary Artery Disease?
___ How many blockages do I have?
___ Where are the blockages located?
___ Is my left ventricular ejection fraction normal?

Treatment Options
___ What treatments are available?
___ What medical treatment or lifestyle changes would be helpful?
___ Why are you recommending a catheter-based treatment?
___ What might happen if I don't choose angioplasty?
___ What are the risks of the procedure?
___ What are the expected results?
___ If you are planning a diagnostic catheterization, will you doing an angioplasty in the same session if appropriate?
___ Might you be implanting a stent?
___ Are you considering a drug-eluting stent?

About The Cardiologist
___ Do you specialize in certain procedures?
___ Who will be doing my procedure?
___ How many of these procedures does this operator do each year? (The American College of Cardiology guidelines recommend a threshold of at least 150 angioplasties annually per operator.)


The Angioplasty Procedure

Before the Procedure
___ Can I eat/drink before the procedure?
___ How best can I prepare?
___ What medications should I take?
___ Any medications/activities I should avoid?
___ Are there allergies, sensitivities, or other medical conditions I may have that you need to know about
? (If you know of any, especially allergies to stainless steel, nickel or other metals, make sure your physician knows this.)

About the Day of the Procedure
___ Where should I check in?
___ Who can I bring with me?
___ How long will I be waiting?
___ Who will answer my questions while I am being prepped and waiting?
___ Where can my family wait for me?

During the Procedure
___ What anesthesia choices do I have?
___ What if I feel more pain than I expected?
___ What if I become anxious?
___ What will I need to do during the procedure?
___ What is the room like, what will happen?
___ How many people will be there?
___ How long will the procedure take?

___ Will you use manual compression and a clamp or a vascular closure device such as a seal?
___ How long will I be immobilized?
___ Will there be tubes/monitors?
___ Who will be with me?
___ What do I do if I have a problem, such as pain, bleeding or anxiety?
___ When can I go home?


After Angioplasty

At Home
___ What symptoms or problems should I watch for?
___ Who do I call, or where can I go, if I experience symptoms?
___ When can I resume normal activities?
___ When will I come back for a follow-up exam?
___ Will I need rehabilitation?
___ How will my coronary disease be monitored?
___ What medications will I need to take?
___ Are there side effects to these medications?

___ Am I likely to need additional procedures?
___ What can I do to prevent future blockages or advancement of coronary artery disease?
___ Do you offer post-procedure support; help with lifestyle changes such as exercise, diet or disease management programs?

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