Heart specialist, Dr James Shand MD, FRCP, MBBS is a consultant cardiologist based in Northern Ireland. He graduated from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in 2003 with distinction and subsequently began his specialised Cardiology training in the North East of England. Following his move to Northern Ireland he completed a 2 year research fellowship into the early diagnosis of heart attacks and was awarded a postgraduate Doctorate by Queens University Belfast.
Heart disease can be suspected due to the presence of a variety of symptoms, including:
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Blackout (loss of consciousness)
- Dizziness / lightheadedness
- Unexplained falls
- Fluid retention (leg swelling)
What James Shand Heart Health can provide
After referral you will be invited to attend an initial consultation, to include a 12 lead ECG to investigate the baseline electrical activity of the heart. Further diagnostic tests can be performed and interpreted on the same day as your initial consultation, including:
- Ultrasound scan of the heart (Echo)
- Exercise Stress Test (an ECG while walking on a treadmill)
- Monitoring of heart rhythm (24hr or 1-2 week monitor)*
- 24hr blood pressure monitor*
*For these tests you will be sent home with a monitor and asked to return one to two weeks later for analysis and explanation of the results.
Further Investigation and Treatment
For many patients, no further investigation or treatment is required after the initial comprehensive assessment. However, where necessary, Dr Shand can personally provide additional advanced diagnostic tests and treatment in Altnagelvin Hospital or Belfast Trust (currently Belfast City Hospital). Investigations and treatment that can be provided include:
- Coronary Angiogram (Dye test to investigate heart artery narrowing)
- Coronary Angiogram and pressure wire assessment (determine the exact significance of any coronary artery narrowing)
- Coronary Stent insertion (Percutaneous Coronary Intervention – PCI)
- Insertion of a subcutaneous Loop Recorder (Up to 3 years continuous heart rhythm monitoring)
As a Consultant Cardiologist my patients often ask me what can they do to improve their heart health? Although this may come as a surprise, exercise is one of the most effective ways in reducing the risk of developing heart disease. If you already have heart disease, exercise dramatically reduces the risk of further problems.