What should I do if I am experiencing chest pain?

Call 000.  If you have private health insurance you can ask the QAS to contact the Cardiologist oncall at the Mater and if accepted by the Cardiologist then you will be taken to the Mater Hospital.

Present to your GP and he can call the oncall Cardiologist. If you have private health insurance – arrangements can be made to have you admitted directly to the Mater Hospital.

Should I stop taking my medications?

Only under advisement from your Cardiologist.

Should I list any health supplements I am taking with my medications?

Yes; preferably also bring them your appointment.

What do I bring with me to the consultation?

You should bring –      Your current referral from your GP.

 Your actual current medications including drug name, milligram dosage and frequency

Recent x-rays/films/cd

If you have been seen by a Cardiologist before, then a copy of your previous correspondence/tests from that Doctor if you have this information.

What should I wear for my tests?

You should always wear a two piece outfit. This will allow for the removal of the top half of your clothing.

For the Exercise Stress test –Two piece outfit - i.e. - comfortable clothing for exercising and comfortable closed in shoes suitable for walking on the treadmill.

For the Holter monitor - Two piece outfit to allow placement of ECG leads to the chest region for a 24 hour period.

For the Echocardiogram - You should wear a two piece outfit. This will allow for the removal of the top half of your clothing for the test.

Am I required to fast for tests in the rooms?

No - avoid heavy meals or alcohol before an exercise stress test

Do you arrange patient travel to appointments?

Travelling to appointments is the patient’s responsibility.  Staff do not arrange transport.  If you are required to travel from out of town you can contact your local travel department at the local hospital and obtain travel and accommodation assistance through this source.  This is also the patient’s responsibility.

Do you arrange acommodation for patients in Townsville?

Accommodation arrangements in Townsville are the patient’s responsibility.  If you are required to travel to Townsville to attend an inpatient treatment,  the Mater hospital has accommodation across the road from the hospital for  use by carers/relatives – but only whilst an inpatient.   This is not available for attendances at outpatient appointments.

Do I need a referral?

Referrals are obtained from your General Practitioner. This will outline the medical difficulties you are experiencing and gives the specialist an idea as to what has been happening with your Cardiac status.

How long does a referral remain current?

A  Specialist to Specialist referral remains current for 3 months only.

A General Practitioner referral remains current for 12 months only, unless specified by your GP.

It is necessary to have a valid referral for your appointment to allow you to claim from Medicare for your clinic visit.  This is the responsibility of the patient.

Does my Cardiologist need to see the referral first?

All referrals must be received at the rooms BEFORE an appointment can be made.  Staff will contact you after the Cardiologist has viewed the referral to make any appointments.

Can I see the Cardiologist privately if I don’t have private health insurance?

Yes.  You can see the Private Cardiologist even if you don’t have private health insurance.  You will be given an appointment and cost will be advised.  Payment is required on the day of the consultation.

What are the costs of consult and tests?

We are a private cardiology practice and in turn you will be required to pay on consultation/test.  Costs will be advised on booking of all appointments. You will usually be able to claim a Medicare rebate for an outpatient test and Doctor’s consultation.  Health fund claiming is only applicable to inpatient services.

Can I have a procedure performed by a TCVA Cardiologist if I don’t have private health insurance?

Yes - An uninsured patient can be treated in a private hospital by a TCVA Cardiologist.  There will be a cost involved for the Doctor, the Hospital and Anaesthetist (if required).  Full payment for Doctor’s procedure and the hospital/anaesthetist costs must be paid in advance prior to admission.   Part of the Cardiologist invoice will be paid by Medicare.  Costs will be advised by TCVA.  Hospital and other expenses will need to be checked with the hospital directly.

What is the Cost for inpatient services?

Your health fund and Medicare may not fully cover our fees and consequently you may be required to make an out of pocket / known gap payment for inpatient services.

Other FAQ's

Angiograms

Will I require an Anaesthetic?

No, generally local anaesthetic only plus or minus sedation

When can I resume working after angiogram?

Sedentary duties:  12 Hours
Manual duties:  5 days

How long will I be in hospital?

It is usually a day case (Admit and Discharge the same day).  Sometimes an overnight stay is necessary.

Am I required to fast for Angiogram?

Yes, no food for 6 hours prior to procedure.  You can usually drink clear fluids.

What should I bring with me to hospital?

For a day admission procedure: No special requirements.

For an overnight procedure:  Bring toiletries, overnight clothes, medications, cardigan (as it can become quite cool sitting around waiting)

When can I resume driving after angiogram?

 24 hours post procedure

Can I fly home, if so, when?

Yes – 24 hours post procedure

When can I resume normal lifestyle after angiogram? (Housework/mowing/sex etc)

You can resume LIGHT DUTIES – after 2 days
You can resume HEAVIER DUTIES after 5 days

I have a lump/ oozing / bruising in my groin, what should I do?

(1)   If suddenly painful/enlarging lump – exert pressure on the site and call an ambulance.
(2)   Call our rooms – if unavailable – call your GP

Medications:

Usually all medications except Warfarin, Pradaxa, Apixaban or Xarelto and Diabetic agents are taken up to the procedure and including the day of the procedure.  Cardiologist to advise.

Angioplasty

Will I require an Anaesthetic?

No - generally only local anaesthetic, plus or minus sedation

When can I resume working after angioplasty?

Sedentary duties:   24 hour
Manual duties:   1-2 weeks

How long will I be in hospital?

Definitely overnight stay - 1-2 days depending on recovery.

Am I required to fast for Angioplasty?

Yes, no food for 6 hours prior to procedure.  You can usually drink clear fluids.

What should I bring with me to hospital?

Day procedure:  No special requirements.

Overnight procedure:  Bring toiletries, overnight clothes, medications, cardigan (as it can become quite cool sitting around waiting)

When can I resume driving after angioplasty?

48 hours

Can I fly home, if so, when?

Airline requirement: 2 days post stent placement 
7 days after a myocardial infarction

When can I resume normal lifestyle after angioplasty? (Housework/mowing/sex etc)

You can resume LIGHT DUTIES – after 2 days
You can resume HEAVIER DUTIES after 5 days

I have a lump/ oozing / bruising in my groin, what should I do?

(1)   If suddenly painful/enlarging lump – exert pressure on the site and call an ambulance.
(2)   Call our rooms – if unavailable – call your GP

Medications:

Usually all medications except Warfarin, Pradaxa, Apixaban or Xarelto and Diabetic agents are taken up to the procedure and including the day of the procedure.  Cardiologist to advise.

Electrophysiology Study

Will I require an Anaesthetic?

Yes

How long will I be in hospital?

Definitely overnight stay - 1-2 days

When can I resume working after Electrophysiology Study?

Sedentary duties: 2 – 3 days        Manual duties: 1 week

Am I required to fast for inpatient investigations?

Yes – Some Medications are stopped 5 days before the procedure.

What should I bring with me to hospital?

For a day admission procedure: No special requirements.  Check with Doctor about taking medications after the procedure.

For An overnight procedure:  Bring toiletries, overnight clothes, medications, cardigan (as it can become quite cool sitting around waiting)

When can I resume driving after EPS?

48 hours, if no complications

Can I fly home, if so, when?

72 hours

When can I resume normal lifestyle after EP study? (Housework/mowing/sex etc)

3 days

Permanent Pacemaker / ICD Implants

Will I require an Anaesthetic?

Pacemaker - local anaesthetic only
ICD - general anaesthetic

When can I resume working after ppm implantation?

Sedentary duties: 1 week        Manual duties: 6 weeks

When can I resume working after ICD implantation?

Sedentary duties: 1 week         Manual duties: 6 weeks

How long will I be in hospital?

Definitely overnight stay - 1-2 days depending on recovery

Am I required to fast for inpatient investigations?

Yes

What should I bring with me to hospital?

For a day admission procedure: No special requirements.  Check with Doctor about taking medications after the procedure.

For An overnight procedure:  Bring toiletries, overnight clothes, medications, and a cardigan (as It can become quite cool sitting around waiting)

When can I resume driving after implantation?

Pacemaker – 2 weeks

ICD – 2 weeks or 6 months, depending on whether it is primary or secondary prevention

Can I fly home, if so, when?

72 hours

When can I resume normal lifestyle after Implantation? (Housework/mowing/sex etc)

1 week, but need to watch shoulder movements for 6 weeks

I have an oozing / bruising at the insertion site, what should I do?

See GP as soon as possible

Medications

Not relevant

What  devices to  avoid after pacemaker implant?

  • Magnetic devices – mattress underlay’s or blankets
  • Hands free phones - on side of implant
  • Vibrating chairs/mattresses
  • Remote devices/car
  • Welding
  • Chainsaw
  • MRI
  • Medical, Surgical and Dental Issues

What should I do if my device makes a persistent noise/beeping?

Contact our pacemaker clinic as soon as possible

How often do I need to have my pacemaker/ICD checked?

After several initial checks, usually every 6 months

What is the time frame on the life of the pacemaker/ ICD?

Pacemaker 8 – 10 years
ICD – 6 - 8 years

 

If you have any further enquiries, please don't hesitate to call reception.