A Healthy Heart

Before you give your heart away this Valentine’s day, it might be a good idea to have a healthy heart check, especially if you have any heart concerns or family history.

There is heart disease in my family, my dad had his first heart attack in his thirties so when I was offered a review of my heart from Dr Bokhari at Harley Street Consulting Clinic in the village of Great Denham, Bedfordshire (he also has clinics in Harley Street, London and Dubai) I eagerly accepted. The clinics philosophy is to try for early detection, early intervention and prevention, where heart health is at the forefront of their care, with the majority of appointments available within 24hours.

The ethos of The Harley Street Consulting Clinic is to make sure,that not only are you treated in a warm caring environment but that you are made to relax as soon as you enter the clinic. Walking into reception, you are greeted with calm music (think zen spa) and offered a hot drink whilst you wait in an atmosphere of tranquillity and calm.

After a few minutes you are taken into the treatment room where Dr Bokhari introduces himself and continues to make you feel at ease as he explains the procedures that are going to take place. He then asks you a series of questions relating to your lifestyle, history and any concerns you may have.

Once all the background checks have been done, it’s time to head over to the couch, put a gown on and begin the tests (little tip: wear separates, so you only have to remove your top half)– all the tests are carried out whilst you are sitting up, apart from the last one.

Deep breaths in and out as your heart is listened to, oxygen levels measured, and blood pressure taken, whilst these tests are being carried out you are made to feel at ease the whole time with everything being explained every step of the way.

All the data is uploaded in front of you onto an iPadand duplicated on a large TV screen on the wall next to you, you are constantly able to see what is happening, nothingis hidden and everything is explained as you go along.

Next is an ECG, this measures the electrical activity of the heart while you are at rest. It can help identify problems with the heart such as coronary artery disease, an enlarged heart or disturbances in the electrical control of the heart (arrhythmia). The test literally takes a couple of minutes and is again carried out as you remain in a sitting position, sensors are attached with sticky pads to the chest and the electrical signals send them back to the ECG machine, simple yet so effective.

The final test is an echocardiogram (a scan that is similar to an ultrasound)which is used to look at the heart and nearby blood vessels.

This is the only time I have to lie down on the couch, starting off lying on my left side before swapping onto my back – Again, you are able to constantly watch what is going on, on the large TV screen, Dr Bokhari explains each step, as the small probe is used to send out high-frequency sound waves that create echoes when they bounce off different parts of the body. This takes approx. ten minutes and then it’s time to sit up, get dressed and go through the results with Dr Bokhari.

I was lucky and all my tests point to me having a healthy heart, if however, something had been found that needed further investigation, Dr Bokhari would go through this with you and what the next step would need to be.

All the tests were painless and easy, a small price to pay for peace of mind.

The Harley Street Clinic offers an affordable “Harley Street” standard of care to Bedfordshire residents, investigations for cardiac problems in adults are carried out inhouse at the clinic.

As well as heart monitoring the clinic also specialises in many other health related matters and have recently added ‘Genetic Screening’ to their long list making it even more of a one stop shop for all your health needs.

For further information or to book an appointment, visit www.harleystreetconsultingclinics.com

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