Preparing for your appointment

Whether you start by seeing your primary care provider or get emergency care, you'll likely be referred to a doctor trained in heart conditions (cardiologist) for a diagnostic assessment.

What you can do

Make a list of:

  • Your symptoms, including those that seem unrelated to your heart, and when they began
  • Key personal information, including major stresses or recent life changes and your and your family medical history
  • Medications, including vitamins and other supplements you take, including doses
  • Questions to ask your doctor

If possible, take along a family member or friend to help you keep track of the information you receive.

For bradycardia, basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What is likely causing my slow heart rate?
  • What tests do I need?
  • What's the most appropriate treatment?
  • What risks does my heart condition create?
  • How will we monitor my heart?
  • How often will I need follow-up appointments?
  • How will other conditions I have or medications I take affect my heart problem?
  • Do I need to restrict my activities?
  • Are there brochures or other printed material I can have? What websites do you recommend?

Don't hesitate to ask other questions.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you questions, such as:

  • Have you had fainting spells?
  • Does anything, such as exercise, worsen your symptoms?
  • Do you smoke?
  • Are you being treated for heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or other conditions that can affect your heart?
Aug. 23, 2017
References
  1. Homoud MK. Sinus bradycardia. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 28, 2016.
  2. Bradycardia — Slow heart rate. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Arrhythmia/AboutArrhythmia/Bradycardia-Slow-Heart-Rate_UCM_302016_Article.jsp. Accessed Dec. 28, 2016.
  3. Arrhythmia. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/arr/. Accessed Dec. 28, 2016.
  4. Slow heartbeat. Heart Rhythm Society. http://www.hrsonline.org/Patient-Resources/Heart-Diseases-Disorders/Sick-Sinus-Syndrome. Accessed Dec. 29, 2016.
  5. Heart block. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hb. Accessed Dec. 29, 2016.
  6. Hayes DL. Permanent cardiac pacing: An overview of devices and indications. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 28, 2016.
  7. Riggin EA. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 3, 2016.