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How your doctor will decide to give your tests

There will probably be times during your care that you wonder, "Why are they doing this test or procedure to me?" That's an understandable and common question.


Ask your health care team:

  • How will I benefit by having this test or procedure?
  • What if I don't have it?
  • What are the risks if I have this test or procedure?
  • What are my alternatives?
  • If the person you ask doesn't know the answer, ask him or her to tell you who does.

Ask your health care team questions. You'll notice that they ask you questions, too.

Though it may seem like it should be easy to know exactly what is wrong with your heart, it isn't always that simple.

Many heart problems have similar symptoms — one can "disguise" itself as another. It can take time and some detective work to learn what is happening to you.

Your health care team will begin diagnosing how well your heart and blood vessels are working by asking you questions about how you feel.

Based on your initial (first) symptoms, specific tests may be ordered. Depending on the results from those interviews and tests, your doctor may order more tests.

Once your team has made a diagnosis, they will discuss with you the options for treatment. These may include surgery, medicine, an eating plan, cardiac rehabilitation and ways to live a healthy life.



Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Helping Your Heart, fourth edition, cvs-ahc-90648

First published: 10/04/2002
Last updated: 06/01/2007

Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts