Understanding the Stages of Physical Examination of the Heart

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Understanding the Stages of Physical Examination of the Heart
Understanding the Stages of Physical Examination of the Heart

The physical examination of the heart is one form of examination carried out to be able to find out the overall he alth of your heart. This examination should be done regularly, especially when you often experience conditions that are suspected of being symptoms of heart disease

Physical examination of the heart is very important, especially for someone who has symptoms of chest pain or a history of or risk factors for heart and blood vessel disorders, such as coronary heart disease and high blood pressure.

Understanding the Stages of a Heart Physical Examination - Alodokter

Heart Physical Examination Process

Before performing a physical examination of the heart, the doctor will first ask the symptoms you are experiencing. In addition to chest pain, complaints that usually also occur are irregular heartbeat, swelling of the limbs (edema), difficulty breathing when lying down, or loss of consciousness (fainting).

The doctor will also ask for your medical history, including daily activities, smoking and alcohol consumption habits, as well as a family history of diseases, such as hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart attack, or heart failure.

After receiving information about the symptoms and medical history, the doctor will perform a physical examination of the heart in the following way:

1. Inspection

A simple visual examination or inspection is carried out to assess the condition of the heart, namely by paying attention to the shape and condition of the chest, examining the blood vessels in the neck, and detecting the presence or absence of swelling in the legs or other body organs.

2. Palpation

Palpation is a physical examination of the heart to assess the performance and condition of the heart, and detect possible abnormalities in the heart. This examination is done by checking the heartbeat on the surface of the chest wall. Palpation can also be done to assess whether swelling in the legs is caused by fluid buildup or not.

3. Percussion

Percussion in the physical examination of the heart is done by tapping the surface of the chest with the fingers. The resulting knocking sound will be used as an indicator of the condition of the heart and surrounding organs, especially the lungs.

4. Auscultation

Auscultation is an examination method performed with a stethoscope to listen to the patient's heart sound. Next, the doctor will assess whether the heart sounds are normal or indicate an abnormality or disorder in the heart.

Auscultation can also assess changes in breath sounds in the lungs, if there is accumulation of fluid due to heart problems. From the four components of the examination, the doctor can determine whether you have symptoms of heart disease or not.

If the results of the cardiac examination indicate a condition suspected to be a symptom of heart disease, the doctor will usually recommend further examination.

Advanced Examination Recommendation

A follow-up examination is carried out as a confirmation step of the findings on a physical examination of the heart. The doctor will use the results of the examination to confirm the diagnosis and determine the treatment needed.

The follow-up checks that are usually carried out are:

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Echocardiogram
  • MRI or CT Scan
  • Blood test
  • X-ray
  • Coronary Angiography

The doctor will determine the type of further examination that needs to be carried out according to the results of the physical examination of the heart and the suspected disorder. If deemed necessary, the doctor may refer you to a heart and blood vessel specialist so that you can get the right and more specific treatment.

For those of you who have a history or risk factors for heart disease, you should start living a he althy lifestyle. This lifestyle can be done by quitting smoking, adopting a he althy diet, maintaining a balanced weight, exercising regularly, maintaining blood pressure, and managing stress well.

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