Your doctor may refer you to a cardiologist if you are experiencing a wide range of symptoms. These include chest pain, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeats, or fatigue. These symptoms may be a sign of serious heart problems that need expert care.
At Blackrock Health, we have the expertise and technology to diagnose and treat a broad spectrum of heart and vascular conditions. This ranges from high blood pressure and heart disease to heart attacks and arrhythmias. We understand that heart health is essential to your well-being, and can be a cause of real concern and worry for you. We are committed to providing you with the best possible care to help you live a healthy, active life.
Blackrock Health has some of Ireland's most respected cardiologists, and cardiac & vascular surgeons on our team. No other hospital group in Ireland has as many female cardiologists. The Blackrock Clinic, in particular, has a long history of pioneering the newest heart treatments and procedures. Our three hospitals, the Blackrock, Galway, and Hermitage Clinics, ensure best practice in care. We provide minimally invasive treatments and the latest technology as well as traditional open-heart techniques. Blackrock Health also offers fast access to the five cath labs in our three hospitals. We provide the most accurate diagnostics and effective care plans possible, with the least possible delay. We offer easy access to our teams of consultants and clinical experts and are committed to helping you achieve optimal heart and vascular health.
Our cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons are very focused on international best practices. Their skills and experience match the latest developments in heart procedures. Our technologies allow them to bring cardiac care in a safer, most efficient manner. We are ever improving our patient's experience and recovery times.
Areas of Cardiology
Our expert teams work across four areas of cardiology:
- Cardiac diagnostics, where we assess your heart health.
- Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory (Cath Lab), where our specialists conduct invasive cardiology procedures.
- Structural Procedures - Minimally Invasive Surgical and Transcatheter Techniques
- Cardiothoracic surgical care.
You will find some essential cardiac tests, treatments and services on this page.
Cardiac Diagnostic Tests
Cardiac diagnostic tests are essential in the evaluation of cardiac conditions.
Why You Might be Referred?
Your doctor might refer you if you suffer from:
- High or low blood pressure
- Chest pain
- Shortness of Breath
Some of the tests your GP or consultant may refer you for:
An ECG is a simple and painless procedure used to measure the electrical activity of the heart. This can help us diagnose cardiac conditions and coronary problems. More info here
An Echo is an ultrasound that takes images of your heart, valves and major blood vessels. It will show how they are working and can diagnose structural problems with your heart. More info here
Exercise Stress Test
This type of test measures the heart’s response to physical activity. It can help detect underlying cardiac problems. During the test, you will walk or run on a treadmill while we monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing. The results of this test allow our team to identify any abnormal patterns in your heart. More info here
A Holter Monitor is a continuous recording of your ECG over a period of time. It can diagnose many heart rhythm disorders, including palpitations. The monitor is a wearable device. More info here
24-Hour Blood Pressure (BP) Monitor
This monitor records your BP for 24 hours. It can diagnose patients with hypertension or high blood pressure. The monitor is a wearable device. More info here
CT Coronary Angiogram (Cardiac CT)
A cardiac CT is a test to view your coronary arteries, which are the blood vessels that supply blood to your heart. More info here
Calcium Score Scan
This CT scan detects calcium deposits in the coronary arteries of your heart. More info here
Cardiac MRI images show the parts of your heart and any damage to specific areas. More info here
Interventional Cardiology – the Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory (Cath Lab)
Blackrock Health has an impressive collection of Cath Lab facilities. We have extended our facilities to keep pace with patient requirements. Rapid innovations are taking place in interventional treatment options. Patients are also benefiting from a rising focus on preventive cardiology. This makes the Cath Lab a place cardiology patients are now very likely to visit. Our dedicated Cath Lab clinical teams are ready to help. They interact with the larger cardiology department to ensure complete cardiac patient care.
There are different types of Cath Lab activity, with teams expert in each:
A coronary angiogram is one of the most common procedures in cardiology services. It can help your cardiac team look for blockages in your coronary arteries. X-ray images from your procedure will help your cardiologist make a diagnosis and decide if you need medication, PCI (a stent) or surgery. More info here
Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) & Stenting
Our expert Cardiologists and Cath Lab teams can also perform PCI procedures. These are non-surgical treatments used to open narrowed coronary arteries. This can improve blood flow to the heart. Your cardiologist might perform interventional procedures during a diagnostic cardiac angiogram. A tube (catheter) is inserted into the bloodstream, through your arm or leg. It is then manouvered through your blood vessels to reach the heart. This is also known as cardiac catheterisation. They might also schedule the event having confirmed the presence of coronary artery disease.
PCI is also known as "angioplasty with stent". A stent is a small device inserted into a coronary artery, to widen the artery and improve the blood flow to the heart. It is often recommended for patients who have a blockage in one or two coronary arteries. If there are blockages in more than two coronary arteries, coronary artery bypass graft surgery may be preferred. More info here
Electrophysiology (EP) & Pacing
Blackrock Health's EP and Pacing specialists treat heart rhythm (Arrhythmia) problems. The procedures they use can diagnose a heart problem or treat it. The most appropriate treatment of an arrhythmia depends on the nature and severity of the problem.
Blackrock Health launched a brand new dedicated EP Cath Lab in Blackrock Clinic, Dublin last year. We now provide patients with even more access to the latest technologies. More info here
Pacemakers are devices that can be placed in your body to support the electrical system in your heart. They can stabilise abnormal heart rhythms and prevent problems that can disrupt or endanger your life. More info here
Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator (ICD)
An ICD is a medical device that constantly tracks your heart rate and rhythm. Its pulse generator delivers an electric shock when needed to correct arrhythmia. More info here
A loop recorder, also known as an implantable loop recorder, is another type of cardiac device. It is used to monitor the heart's electrical activity over long periods of time. It is a small, battery-powered device that continuously records the patient's heart rhythm. More info here
An EP study is an invasive test your cardiologist uses to examine the electrical activity in your heart. This helps your team diagnose your arrhythmia, or abnormal heart rhythm, and decide which is the most appropriate treatment. More info here
Cardiac Catheter Ablation
Heart arrhythmias are usually treated with medication. However, some patients may benefit from cardiac catheter ablation. There are many types and modern advancements in ablation techniques. An ablation is a minimally-invasive procedure. Its purpose is to stop the electrical impulses that cause irregular heart rhythms. More info here
Structural Procedures - Minimally Invasive Surgical and Transcatheter Techniques
As an alternative to open-heart surgery, sometimes heart valves can be treated with less invasive methods. This includes using a catheter (tube) inserted through an arm or leg vein. This means that more patients can be helped. Some examples available to patients at Blackrock Health are:
Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI)
TAVI is a minimally-invasive heart valve replacement procedure performed via a catheter. It helps restore blood flow by replacing an impaired aortic valve. Your cardiology team might determine that this is the best treatment for you if you are at high risk of complications from open-heart surgery. More info here
Transcatheter Mitral Valve Repair - MitraClip
The MitraClip procedure is a minimally-invasive catheter-based therapy performed by multidisciplinary heart teams. It is designed for patients with leaking of the mitral valve or mitral regurgitation (MR). It can be offered to patients for whom open-heart surgery is not an option. More info here
Pulmonary Vein Isolation
This is an invasive procedure used to treat an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia). It is performed in the Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory (Cath Lab) by a Cardiologist and cardiac team specialising in Electrophysiology. It takes 2 to 4 hours. The patient is able to go home the following day.
An IV (intravenous line) is inserted into the arm or hand and the patient is given either sedation or general anaesthetic. Several catheters are inserted into the patient’s groin and guided with the aid of x-ray equipment to the heart. The doctor is able to view the structure inside the heart and the position of the catheters using ultrasound technology. The sites around the abnormal pulmonary veins areas are detected and energy is transmitted there through the catheters. Scar tissue can form in time around the area, which may block the electrical signals from the veins. The pulmonary veins are therefore “isolated”. In specific cases other ablations are also performed to help increase the success of the procedure.
Cardiothoracic surgical care
Our cardiothoracic surgeons diagnose and treat diseases of the heart and lungs. Surgeries at Blackrock Health include:
- Coronary artery bypass surgery,
- Valve repair, and
- Valve replacement.
Blackrock Health offers the newest surgical techniques, equipment, and devices. Our range includes minimally invasive surgery, robotically assisted, and percutaneous procedures. Vast experience, coupled with the latest technologies, allows us to perform complex operations. We can treat conditions previously deemed inoperable.
The team includes specialist cardiothoracic physiotherapists. They work with the patient before and after surgery. Our holistic, multi-disciplinary patient care helps towards a speedy and smooth recovery.
Blackrock Health Cardiology
We are committed to providing our patients with the best possible care and remain passionate about improving all aspects of heart health. Our commitment to quality and safety is paramount, and we strive to make sure our patients get the best outcome. We are constantly researching and implementing the latest developments in cardiac care, so that we can continue to improve our patient's experience.
How do I get this?
You will need a referral letter from your GP or consultant before you make an appointment.
Is this insured?
Not all services are covered by health insurance. To find out if you're covered, please check your health insurance before your visit. You can do this on our health insurance Cover Check page, or by contacting your health insurer.
How do I pay?
If you do not have health insurance or your health plan does not cover the full cost, you will need to pay the balance due before your treatment or procedure. You may be able to claim back some fees on your insurance. To pay an excess not covered by your insurance or any other inpatient fees, please visit our payment page. If you have any queries about paying for your care, please contact the finance team in your hospital.