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Tests & Treatments

Here you’ll find information about the tests and treatments we offer including ECGs, pacemakers and ICDs. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have. Just call on 0161 726 5100.

 

Driving and pilot tests Pacemakers ICDs Cardiac Re-synchronisation Therapy Cardioversion

Tests and investigations

We can carry out a range of tests and investigations to assess your heart, including ECGs, echos, exercise tolerance tests, and 24-hour heart and blood pressure monitoring.

 

ECG Echo Exercise tolerance test 24-hour heart monitor 24-hour blood pressure monitor LINQ recorder Driving and pilot tests

Electrocardiogram (ECG)

During your initial consultation, we’d usually arrange an ECG. An ECG can give lots of information about the structure of your heart along with any potential electrical abnormalities.

For the test, we simply place sticky sensors on your skin. These detect electrical signals produced by your heart. The sensors are attached by wires to an ECG machine which records the data for your cardiologist to assess. If you’ve recently had an ECG, we’ll ask you to bring a copy to your first appointment.

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Electrocardiogram (ECG)
Dr Matthew Kahn, consultant cardiologist with echo, or echocardiogram, machine.

Echocardiogram (echo)

An echocardiogram, often referred to as an ‘echo’ is an ultrasound scan of the heart. It allows your cardiologist to see a moving image of your heart on a monitor, meaning they can quickly identify any problems with its physical structure.

An echo also allows your cardiologist to assess how blood is flowing through the chambers of the heart and the surrounding blood vessels.

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Exercise tolerance test

An exercise tolerance test allows a cardiologist to see how a patient’s ECG changes when they exercise.

As with a normal ECG, sticky sensors will be placed on your skin to monitor electrical signals produced by your heart when it beats. You’ll then be asked to either walk on a treadmill or pedal on an exercise bike. The exercise will be easy to start with, and then gradually become more intense as the speed or the resistance of the treadmill or bike are increased.

The test usually lasts about 15 minutes and if you experience pain or become breathless at any point the test will be stopped.

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Exercise tolerance test
24-hour heart monitor (tape)

24-hour heart monitor (tape)

Many patients describe experiencing palpitations, or a feeling of ‘missed’ or ‘extra’ beats. A 24-hour tape allows us to monitor the heart rhythm over a prolonged period and hopefully ‘catch’ some of these symptoms helping us to diagnose the cause.

For the test, we attach 3 sticky sensors to your chest. These are connected to a small ECG recording machine which you wear on a belt. You wear the recorder for 24 hours while you carry on with everyday life. The only thing you can’t do is have a bath or a shower.

After 24 hours, your results can be analysed.

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24-hour blood pressure monitor

Blood pressure varies throughout the day and can be difficult to monitor. Monitoring blood pressure over a 24 hour period can give doctors a better understanding of your health.

For the test, you simply wear a cuff on one arm, which is attached to a small device worn on your waist. The device will trigger the cuff to measure your blood pressure every 30 minutes. You can carry on with your everyday life, as long as you don’t get the equipment wet.

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24-hour blood pressure monitor
Close-up of an implantable LINQ recorder, a device that monitors heart conditions.

LINQ recorder

Blood pressure varies throughout the day and can be difficult to monitor. Monitoring blood pressure over a 24 hour period can give doctors a better understanding of your health.

LINQ recorders allow us to monitor a patient’s heart remotely at all times. They’re ideal for tracking infrequent symptoms like intermittent dizzy spells, palpitations or black-outs. The Reveal LINQ cardiac monitor is a small, wireless device that is implanted under the skin. It’s a quick procedure and once fitted, the device constantly monitors your heart. It records this information and can send it remotely to your cardiologist.

LINQ recorders can help us to diagnose conditions accurately. To see how a LINQ monitor helped one of our patients read Antoinette’s story >

Heart tests for driving and pilot licences

If you have a heart condition like angina or arrhythmias, you may need to complete a cardiac assessment before you can obtain a driving or pilot licence. I can organise the appropriate tests for DVLA and Civil Aviation Authority licences at short notice, and I can interpret the results quickly too, so you’ll have the documents you need to get going. To find out more or to book an appointment, please call us on 0161 726 5100

Fitness for surgery cardiac assessments available in Liverpool, Cheshire and Manchester
Consultant cardiologist provides cardioversion in private hospitals in Liverpool, Cheshire and Manchester

Fitness for surgery assessments

You may need to have your heart checked before you have an operation. Some operations require a full cardiac assessment before surgery. These assessments can involve a range of specialist tests and investigations but we can make this easy for you by arranging all the necessary tests. I can interpret the results quickly too and talk directly with your surgeon.

To find out more or to book an appointment, please call us on 0161 726 5100

What other investigations are available?

We can also organise a variety of other important cardiac investigations including:

Cardiac MRI

This allows us to take a very detailed look at the structure and function of your heart.

CT coronary angiogram

This is a non-invasive way of looking for blocked arteries.

Diagnostic Angiogram

This allows us to look for blocked arteries

Stress echo

This allows us to look at how the heart responds to exercise

If you have any questions, get in touch. We’ll be happy to talk you through the services we offer.

 

Call us on 0161 726 5100 Book appointment

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Pacemakers

I’m the current Heart Failure & Device Lead for The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust where I’ve worked with some of the best cardiologists in Manchester on developing better ways to identify, monitor and treat heart failure. As the Senior Complex Operator, I have particular expertise in this advanced therapy.

What is a pacemaker?

A pacemaker is a device that monitors the heart and stops it beating too slowly. It takes about 45 minutes to fit a pacemaker, and once it’s in place, you won’t be able to feel when it’s ‘pacing’ the heart.

Pacemaker
Cardiology team at a Manchester or Cheshire private hospital smile in front of cardiac equipment.

How will my pacemaker be fitted?

On the day of the procedure, you’ll be met by me and my team, and I’ll go through the procedure with you again, to make sure you understand everything.

We’ll take you to the cardiac catheter laboratory for the procedure, which takes around 45 minutes. You’ll be given sedation and local anaesthetic during the procedure but for the most part, you’ll be awake. I’ll communicate with you throughout.

How long is the recovery after a pacemaker?

We aim to get you home on the same day and you should feel better very quickly. You’ll need to take care lifting or reaching up on the left side for a few weeks. But you should be back to normal by your first pacemaker check, 4-6 weeks after the procedure.

Waiting are at BMI The Alexandra, private hospital in Cheshire offering cardiology treatment.
Dr Kahn outside the cardiac catheter lab, ready for pacemaker or complex device implantation.

How long does a pacemaker battery last?

Depending on how reliant your heart is on the pacemaker, the battery normally lasts between 6-10 years.

How do you change a pacemaker battery?

This is a simple procedure. The pacemaker leads remain in place and the pacemaker box is replaced with a new unit. The procedure normally takes about 20 minutes.

How often should my pacemaker be checked?

Your pacemaker is initially checked 6 weeks after you have it fitted. It’s then monitored once every 6 months.

After this, we may be able to monitor your pacemaker remotely, allowing you to avoid hospital visits. Certain types of ‘complex’ devices allow us to monitor your heart remotely, so we can keep an eye on your health.

Cath lab physiologist at BMI The Alexandra Hospital Cheshire analysing ECG and cardiac data.

If you’d like to find out more about having a pacemaker fitted, or have concerns about the health of your heart, get in touch.

 

Call us on 0161 726 5100 Book appointment

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Implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD)

I’m the Senior Complex Operator for The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and one of the largest volume implanting cardiologists. As the Heart Failure and Device Lead for the Trust, I work with some of the best cardiologists in the North West to further improve outcomes for heart failure patients.

What is an ICD?

An implantable cardiac defibrillator is a device that monitors the heart throughout the patient’s life. It constantly looks for any evidence of dangerous rhythm disturbances. If the ICD detects dangerous changes to the heart’s rhythm, it delivers a controlled electric shock to the heart that can save the patient’s life.

What’s the difference between a pacemaker and ICD?

A pacemaker simply prevents the heart from beating too slowly. An ICD constantly watches for life threatening disturbances to the heart’s rhythm, and can treat these instantly by delivering a controlled electric shock to the heart. An ICD can also act as a pacemaker for slow heart rhythms if necessary.

Implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD)

If you’d like to talk to someone about having an ICD fitted, or if you have concerns about the health of your heart, get in touch.

 

Call us on 0161 726 5100 Book appointment

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Cardiac resynchronisation therapy

A biventricular pacemaker, also known as cardiac resynchronisation therapy, improves symptoms as well as the long term outlook for patients with significant heart failure. We specialise in this type of procedure procedure and are one of the leading providers of CRT in the Manchester and Cheshire areas.

Close-up of a Medtronic biventricular pacemaker for cardiac resynchronisation therapy (CRT).

How does cardiac resynchronisation therapy work?

Cardiac resynchronisation therapy involves placing three pacemaker leads in the heart. This allows the two sides of the heart to ‘re-synchronise’ and beat together, which improves the ability of the heart to pump blood around the body effectively.

Biventricular Pacemaker / CRT

Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT) is a beneficial way to manage heart failure. CRT can:

  • Improve cardiac function
  • Improve quality of life
  • Reduce mortality
  • Reduce heart failure hospitalizations

Matt has particular expertise in this advanced therapy and is the senior operator at his hospital. After your treatment we will complete a pacemaker check and chest X-ray and, providing all is well, we expect you to be home the same day as treatment.

Waiting area, BMI Alexandra, private hospital, Cheshire where biventricular pacemakers are implanted.

Remote Monitoring

Once a patient receives an implanted cardiac device, our care doesn’t stop there. This is only the beginning of a long-term relationship that we establish with our patients.

The technology that is built into the implanted cardiac device allows us to monitor our patients’ hearts and wellbeing long term. Staying connected to our cardiac device patients is critical. Matt continues to monitor patients remotely. If data sent from a patient’s device worries him, he gives them a call to check up on them or arranges an urgent appointment.

Read about Beryl’s experience of having a biventricular pacemaker fitted by Matt.

Learn more

Cardioversion

A cardioversion can be used to treat some types of abnormal heart rhythms. Abnormal heart rhythms can also be known as arrhythmias. Atrial fibrillation and tachycardia are examples of arrhythmias.

Cardioversion is a low-risk procedure and you’ll usually be treated as an outpatient. You’ll be given a general anaesthetic, so you’ll be asleep through the whole procedure which only takes about 10 minutes.

While you are under the general anaesthetic, I’ll place pads on your chest which are attached to electrodes. I’ll then deliver one or more quick and controlled electric shocks to your heart. This should restore your regular heartbeat.

You’ll be monitored closely throughout the procedure and for a short period of time afterwards, but you should be able to go home the same day.

If you’d like to talk to someone about any of these investigations or treatments, or if you are concerned about your heart, please get in touch.

 

Call us on 0161 726 5100 Book appointment

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Other areas that might interest you

Where I practise

Find clinic times and information about the hospitals where I practise.

Symptoms & Conditions

I treat breathlessness, palpitations, chest pain, angina, heart failure and other heart conditions in Liverpool, Manchester and Cheshire. Call to book

Treatments

See treatments I offer including pacemakers, ICDs (implantable cardiac defibrillators) and biventricular pacemakers.

Case studies

Read about our patients’ experiences of diagnosis, treatment and recovery.