Your cardiologist can explain what happened and why
Patients who have a cardiac event are at high risk of another one. Second events can be prevented by taking prescribed medications, quitting smoking, being physically active, and eating healthily.
Having heart disease affects the body and the mind. Engaging in open and honest discussions with your doctor will go a long way towards helping you successfully manage your treatment plan and health status following a heart attack. Your cardiologist can explain what has happened and why, what has been done so far, and what needs to be done now. Learning the causes of the cardiac event and how it was treated will help you understand what you can do to avoid another event. Questions to ask your cardiologist include:
1. Why did I have a heart attack?
2. Could I have prevented it?
3. Will I be able to do all the things I did before?
4. Is it possible that the blocked artery will narrow again and cause another event?
5. If a stent is placed in an artery, how long should I take “blood-thinning” medication? Will the artery stay open for the rest of my life?
6. Which medication is essential and how long do I have to take it?
7. Which medication should not be skipped even once?
8. How often should I see a doctor following a heart attack?
9. What can I do in my daily life to prevent another heart attack?
10. How important is losing weight? Should I change my diet?
11. When can I start exercising?
12. Should I enrol in cardiac rehabilitation?
13. How often should I check my blood pressure?
14. When can I resume sexual activity and when can I go back to work?
15. Am I allowed to travel? Can I go to the mountains?
16. What symptoms should prompt an immediate visit to the emergency department?