Additional Diagnostic Tests

Our medical programmes are very comprehensive but on occassion and based on clinical indication, your consulting doctor may suggest that you undertake an additional diagnostic test based on your risk factors and / or the results of the tests carried out on the day of your medical. These may include those listed below.

1. The Well Cardiovascular Screening Programme

Based on your personal and / or family risk factors for coronary artery disease and on the discussion and consultation you have had with our Doctor, he / she may recommend that you could benefit from a more in-depth screening examination to exclude specific types of cardiovascular diseases.   

Cardiovascular diseases are diseases of the arteries to the heart and the other main arteries throughout the body such as to the brain and the legs etc. Visitors who are at a higher risk or coronary artery disease include those with a strong family or personal history of heart disease, those who are / have been heavy smokers, have high blood pressure or raised cholesterol, are over 40 years of age, overweight or suffer from diabetes.  

We provide the following examinations for the screening of cardiovascular and coronary artery disease and peripheral vascular disease and your consulting doctor will advise you as to which examination will be the more appropriate for you depending on your clinical indications.

CT Cardiac Angiogram 

Nearly 15% of all deaths each year in Ireland are caused by coronary artery disease, many of which could have been prevented if diagnosed earlier. The 64 slice CT scanning technology used in this test brings the early diagnosis of coronary artery disease to an entirely new level, allowing for it to be identified and measured more acurately while also minimising the number of false positive or unclear results which may have occured with previous technologies.

The test is divided into two parts

  1. A baseline coronary calcium score
  2. A CT Coronary Angiogram requires a contrast injection into a vein in the hand. You will be required to fast for four hours before the test and may be instructed to take a beta-blocker the night before and on the morning of the scan to slow your heart rate to enable better quality of images to be captured. The test is virtually risk free and radiation exposure is kept to an absolute minimum.

The images produced gives a 3-D visualisation of the blood flowing through the coronary arteries identifying the evidence of hard and soft plaque as blockages or any narrowing of the arteries. If identified, the presence of plaque could increase the possibility of a coronary event including a heart attack.

The detail produced by a CT Coronary Angiogram could only previously have been produced by catheter angiography in a cardiac cath lab but this technology is a non invasive procedure, does not require sedation and is carried out in the radiology department. The actual scan takes 35 seconds to complete. The resulting images are reviewed by a radiologist and cardiologist. In the case of a positive scan, a referral will be made to a cardiologist to discuss further management.

Because of the required preparation and for observation afterwards, the examination cannot be carried out on the day of the medical and will be scheduled for a convenient and timely date

(Please note that this service is provided in association with the Beacon Hospital)

Vascular Ultrasound Imaging 

This is a special type of ultrasound study that examines the blood flow to organs and tissues around the body to identify blockages and abnormalities. Included in the study is:

  • Ultrasound of the carotid arteries to detect any narrowing of the arteries that bring blood to the brain which is one of the most common causes of stroke
  • Ultrasound of the abdominal aorta to detect any weakening or ballooning in the artery wall in the abdomen
  • ABI to detect peripheral artery disease that affects the blood flow to the limbs particularly the legs

(Please note that this service is provided in association with our sister company - Global Diagnostics - www.globaldiagnostics.ie)

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2. Mammograms

The general recommendation is that from the age of 40, all ladies should complete a mammogram every two years. We have developed a strategic partnership with the specialists at Beacon Hospital to deliver this particular element of our service.

This service is intended specifically for ladies who are between the ages of 40 and 50 or over 65 who fall outside the criteria for the National Breast Check Programme. All ladies between the ages of 50 - 65 will be included automatically in the programme and will be invited by Breast check to complete a mammogram. If you are between these ages and have not yet been contacted by Breast check, please check their web-site - www.breastcheck.ie  and register on-line or contact them directly on Free Phone 1800 45 45 55.

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3. CT Scan of the Lungs

This scan is particularly relevant for visitors who have smoked for a number of years. Cancer of the lungs often shows no symptoms until it is well advanced and not treatable but if detected early, survival rates improve dramatically. The CT scan gives an excellent image of the anatomy and pathology of the lungs allowing for diseases to be detected at a much earlier stage.

(Please note that this service is provided in association with the Beacon Hospital)

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4. Mole Mapping

Our Mole Mapping service involves the examination and individual screening of any suspicious moles or lesions through digital imaging to assess their specific structural features including size, shape and structure. The process of Mole Mapping significantly helps in the diagnosis of melanoma. Images taken are stored and can be used for the accurate comparison of images going forward and to identify any changes (including very small ones) in the mole.

5. Ultrasound

Ultrasound imaging is a non-invasive diagnostic modality  used for visualizing subcutaneous body structures including tendons, muscles, joints, blood vessels and internal organs for possible pathology or other lesions

The test is performed by our clinical partners, Global Diagnostics – www.globaldiagnostics.ie -  with the test results  available within 48 hours.

An ultrasound is ordered based on a  clinical decision made by our clinical team at  The Well , and appointments can be scheduled for Friday mornings. Depending on the type of scan it may be required to arrive fasting and possibly with a full bladder!

The advantage is that the test is not exposing the patient to any radiation and the quality of the images with modern machines has created sensitivity and specificity that is clinically significant.

Examples of common presentations for which ultrasonography is a most useful modality include musculo-skeletal injuries, abdominal and pelvic discomfort, investigation of various organs including the liver, kidneys, thyroid, uterus, ovaries. It is also of great assistance in diagnosing vascular system problems including peripheral vascular disease and deep venous thrombosis.

 

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