If your doctor thinks you have Brugada syndrome, you'll likely need several appointments to confirm the diagnosis and figure out how serious your condition is. Your doctor should give you instructions before each appointment on specific preparations.
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and to know what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
- Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions. At the time you make the appointment, be sure to ask if there's anything you need to do in advance. For example, if you're having a test to look at your heart's structure (electrophysiology study), you'll need to fast for eight to 12 hours before your test.
- Write down any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to Brugada syndrome.
- Write down key personal information, especially any family history of sudden cardiac arrest or heart conditions, and any personal history of fainting or heart arrhythmias.
- Make a list of all medications, vitamins or supplements you're taking.
- Take a family member or friend along, if possible. Someone who accompanies you may remember something that you missed or forgot.
- Write down questions for your doctor.
Preparing a list of questions will help you make the most of your time with your doctor. For Brugada syndrome, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What is likely causing my symptoms or condition?
- What are other possible causes for my symptoms or condition?
- What kinds of tests will I need?
- Will I need treatment for Brugada syndrome?
- What's the best treatment?
- What's an appropriate level of physical activity?
- How often do I need follow-up visits to monitor my condition?
- I have other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
- Are there any restrictions that I need to follow?
- Should I see a specialist?
- Are there brochures or other printed material I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend?
- Should my family be screened?
Don't hesitate to ask any other questions you have.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, such as:
May. 25, 2011
- Do you have a family history of Brugada syndrome or other heart rhythm problems?
- When did your symptoms start?
- Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
- How often do you have symptoms, such as fainting?
- Wylie JV, et al. Brugada syndrome and sudden cardiac arrest. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Jan. 25, 2011.
- Brugada syndrome. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/print/sec07/ch075/ch075l.html. Accessed Feb. 16, 2011.
- What is Brugada syndrome? Genetics Home Reference. http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/brugada-syndrome. Accessed Feb. 16, 2011.
- Probst V, et al. Long-term prognosis of patients diagnosed with Brugada syndrome: Results from the FINGER Brugada syndrome registry. Circulation. 2010;121:635.
- Macedo PG, et al. Sleep-disordered breathing in patients with Brugada syndrome. American Journal of Cardiology. 2011;107:709.