Nuclear Medicine provides prompt diagnosis and care

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Every morning for three months, Greg Robinson, 42, experienced a cramping chest pain. The pain usually subsided after relaxing for 10 minutes, but he knew something just wasn’t right. He visited his family physician who referred him to a community clinic for a stress test, which showed no results. His pain persisted and his family physician then referred him to a cardiologist at Hamilton Health Sciences, who in turn recommended a myocardial perfusion stress test.

Greg arrived early in the morning for his stress test. After walking on a treadmill for 12 minutes and heart imaging, his test results were reviewed in consultation with a team of physicians. It was determined that 98 per cent of one of Greg’s arteries was blocked, limiting blood flow to his heart, and he required surgery immediately.

Fortunately, Greg’s stress test was performed at Hamilton General Hospital, a regional cardiac center and home to the Dofasco Heart Investigation Unit. By early afternoon that same day, Greg received an angiogram, an angioplasty, and a stent was inserted to keep the vessel open.

“It happened so fast, but I was so impressed with the thorough care I received. The tests, analysis and consultations were very in-depth. I was definitely in the right place at the right time,” says Greg. “I was later told that if I had not had this procedure, I could have had a massive heart attack within a couple of months,” he added.

Nuclear Medicine at Hamilton Health Sciences uses state-of-the-art technology to examine how a patient’s heart is beating and determine if the heart muscles can be saved, identifying what care is required. Leading-edge cameras provide more accurate, sharper and clearer images, which reduces imaging time and makes the experience more comfortable for patients.

“Performing a stress test in hospital is a huge advantage to patients. We’re able to identify abnormalities and see that our patients receive the best diagnosis and patient care as soon as possible,” says Dr. Karen Gulenchyn, Chief of Nuclear Medicine, Hamilton Health Sciences.

Greg was home again with his wife and two children, ages six and three, within two days, and back to operating his business within 10 days.