General Cardiology

Dr Somani is an experienced consultant cardiologist. He provides expert care to patients with a wide range of symptoms associated with heart problems. He provides high-quality, evidence-based care for conditions such as angina, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, coronary heart disease and valvular heart disease.

If you’re experiencing any symptoms that may be caused by a heart condition, Dr Somani can provide a complete assessment of your heart function, a range of diagnostic tests and a series of effective treatments to help get you back to living life with a more healthy heart.

Common Heart Conditions

Angina and Coronary Heart Disease

Angina is chest pain that happens because of reduced blood flow to your heart. Patients often describe the feeling as pain, tightness or aching across the chest, and it may spread to your neck, jaw, back or into the arms.

Angina is a symptom of coronary heart disease (CHD) caused by narrowing of your heart arteries and could be a sign that you may be at risk of a future heart attack.

Angina could be triggered during physical activity or stress and usually stops within a few minutes. If the symptoms occur without a trigger, this is potentially more serious and should be investigated as soon as possible.

If you’re experiencing chest pain like this or if your GP suspects you may have CHD, you can book an appointment with Dr Somani for a thorough assessment. Dr Somani will take a complete history of your symptoms and a full medical examination at your initial consultation before recommending appropriate investigations to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment for angina is usually long-term and includes medication to treat angina attacks, to prevent them and also to reduce the risk of a heart attack in the future.

Sometimes, an interventional procedure may be required to help improve blood flow to the heart. Dr Somani may also refer you to a cardiologist specialising in interventional procedures to treat blocked arteries or potentially a cardiothoracic surgeon should you need an operation on your heart.

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

High blood pressure is a condition that usually doesn’t have any apparent symptoms. The only way to know if you have high blood pressure is to measure it.

There are lots of different things that may contribute to high blood pressure.

Common risk factors include:

  • Being overweight
  • Eating too much salt
  • A lack of exercise
  • Drinking too much alcohol and smoking

Long-term high blood pressure can increase your risk of a heart attack or stroke, so regular monitoring is important to ensure it can be treated if necessary. It’s quite straightforward to get a blood pressure check, and you can ask your GP or some pharmacists to check it for you.

If you know you have high blood pressure or suspect you might, you can book an appointment to see Dr Somani, who is happy to measure your blood pressure and talk to you about any lifestyle factors that might be contributing and offer treatment if required.

High Cholesterol

Raised cholesterol means there is too much cholesterol in the blood. Over time this can block blood vessels (veins and arteries) and lead to heart attack or stroke if left untreated.

There are usually no symptoms until it causes a more severe problem, and the only way to tell is with a blood test. It’s usually picked up as part of a set of blood tests for other conditions or as part of another heart condition diagnosis.

High cholesterol is usually caused by poor diet, lack of exercise, being overweight as well as smoking and alcohol. Having high cholesterol can also run in families.

Cholesterol can often be lowered with simple lifestyle changes like exercising regularly, cutting back on certain foods and alcohol.
Sometimes you might need medication to help reduce your cholesterol.

If you’re worried you might have high cholesterol, you can book an appointment to see Dr Somani, who will be able to arrange a test and discuss any risk factors you might have and how to ensure you lower your risk for heart problems in the future.

Valvular Heart Disease

The blood flow inside the heart is managed by one-way valves that allow blood to pass from the upper chambers to the lower chambers. In a healthy heart, these valves stop blood from travelling back the other way, which is important for a steady heartbeat and healthy blood flow.

If these valves become damaged or diseased, it can cause restricting blood flow or allowing blood to leak backwards. This can put extra strain on the heart and cause the heart to work harder to pump the right amount of blood around the body. This can lead to heart failure in the future.

If you have a problem with your heart valves, you might not have any symptoms at all, or you might feel breathless, very tired, or you might have swollen ankles or feet.

Treatment often involves regular review with a cardiologist as well as medications. Sometimes patients need a procedure to treat the valves. If that’s the case, Dr Somani will refer to a specialist cardiothoracic surgeon that specialises in surgical procedures on the heart.

Heart Failure

Many of the above conditions may lead to heart failure. Heart failure occurs when the heart isn’t able to pump blood as well as it should do.

Many conditions can lead to heart failure, and finding a specific cause requires specialist assessment and investigation by a cardiologist.

Symptoms of Heart Failure

Symptoms will vary in each individual and will depend on the exact cause of heart failure, but may include one or more of the following:

Chest pain, particularly when carrying out physical activity

Chest tightness or a dull aching feeling in the chest that might spread to the shoulders, arms, neck or jaw

  • Breathlessness
  • Fatigue and tiredness
  • Swollen ankles – caused by a build-up of fluid in your legs
  • Inability to lie flat on your back – you might feel more comfortable lying at an angle in bed
  • Heart failure is usually a long-term condition and means you’ll be under the care of a cardiologist, on medication and having some form of treatment for the rest of your life.

To help manage your condition, Dr Somani may also refer you for longer-term care from a Heart Failure colleague or Nurse Specialist, who will help you manage your condition, medication and lifestyle for a healthy heart in the long term.