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Which Tests

How many and what types of tests you have will depend on a number of factors, including the severity of your symptoms, your age and general health and whether you have other conditions. It will also depend on how well a certain test or procedure works to provide the information your doctors require. If one test doesn’t give them the detailed results they need, they may suggest another.

There are a number of tests you may encounter and that your doctors may discuss with you. Such tests may include blood pressure, cholesterol, a chest X-ray, an ECG and perhaps even an exercise stress ECG. If your doctor thinks you have problems with your heart valves or muscle, they may also order an ultrasound of the heart (an echocardiogram).

The tests you have are an important aid to your medical team to understand how best to help you, but they’re also an opportunity for you to understand your condition and the options available to you. If you don’t feel you have an understanding of how a test might affect your treatment or risk then take the time to talk to your doctor or doctors so you do understand. You have more stake than anyone else in making sure that the treatment is right for you.

Although many people prefer to leave the treatment decisions to the doctors, nurses and other clinicians, you have an important role to play in determining what’s right for you, what risk you’re prepared to accept and what risks (or even what treatments) you’d prefer to avoid.

Next: Questions to ask your doctor

Last published: 31 October 2011

This information has been developed and reviewed for Bupa by health professionals. To the best of their knowledge it is current and based on reputable sources of medical research. It should be used as a guide only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional medical or other health professional advice.

Bupa Australia Pty Ltd makes no warranties or representations regarding the completeness or accuracy of the information. Bupa Australia is not liable for any loss or damage you suffer arising out of the use of or reliance on the information. Except that which cannot be excluded by law. We recommend that you consult your doctor or other qualified health professional if you have questions or concerns about your health. For more details on how we produce our health content, visit the About our health information page.

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