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Clyde

Anyone know any triathlete Cardiologists around Sydney (or anywhere)?

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So I finally got around to seeing a Cardiologist for screening before I do my first Ironman in a few months. I've done numerous 70.3s and marathons and 6-foot track, but I was mindful of the full day nature of ironman so thought I should be careful.

Never had any problems, apart from slightly elevated BP which I take meds for. Resting HR, like most of you, is usually 40. ECGs, cholesterol etc etc all normal. I've always been told I had a big heart on chest xrays, or cardiomegaly, which was first picked up when I joined the RAAF, but was always told that this was because I was running 80-100ks a week regualrly.

Have developed a noticeable shortness of breath over past few months, which I thought was a slow recovery from bronchitis.

 

Any way, after being sent to a respiratory physician, and back to the cardiologist, and CT scans and breathing tests, they are now worried that I have increased wall thickness of my left ventricle and, coupled with the respiratory symptoms, might indicate I have Hypertrophic Obstructive Cardiomyopathy. No other symptoms, though, other than shortness of breath.

Have been lined up for an MRI and further tests, including a referral to a cardiologist at RPA in Sydney.

Needless to say I have been told to stop racing and strenuous sport until this is investigated.

 

I don't feel anything is wrong, but am mindful of the risk of sudden cardiac death from HOCM, so as a result I am happy to stop racing for a while given I have three young children who would prefer I stayed around.

 

I can't imagine the feeling of being told I can no longer race triathlons or run, which I know several trannies have faced in the past and a lot of famous athletes have also had to contend with.

 

What I don't want, however, is to be 'retired' by a Cardiologist that hates endurance sport, and there are a few of those around.

 

So (to cut to the chase) what I am trying to find is if anyone has a recommendation for a Cardiologist in NSW or ACT who is actually triathlon and running friendly and who will understand what we go through and won't just consign me to golf and cricket (which was the recommendation of my current cardiologist, even though I still don't have a diagnosis!!!)

 

I'm also happy to travel interstate if someone knows someone outside of NSW.

 

Thanks for your help.

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In the absense of other ideas, try Suresh Singarayer on 95886636. Works out of Prince of Wales Heart Clinic and St George. My wife works in this specialty as a Reg Nurse and her mother (my MIL) used him for AF problems. He is a cyclist at least which is better than nothing. He specializes in electrical wiring issues etc and gets referrals from "regular" cardiologists but I suppose you can ring the clinic and see how you go.

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Andre La Gerche is a cardiologist at St Vincent's Melbourne (google). He gave a talk on his research on heart problems from endurance sport a couple of years ago. He also said he is an endurance athlete himself and likes it even though his research was about heart problems attributable to endurance training. Others in the triathlon community know a lot more about him than I do and participated in one of his studies. Vic and a bit far south, but at least he is one 'local' cardiogist (at least somewhat) pro endurance (my view from his talk).

 

Interesting that cardiologists as a group or majority thereof might be thought to be anti endurance sport. Just medico-legal risk?

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I was treated for my AF issues by Dr Gopal Sivagangabalan who works out of Westmead Hospital as well as his private consultation rooms. Although not a triathlete or runner (to my knowledge), he has always encouraged me to return to normal levels of training (including IM) as soon as possible.

 

Dr Gopal Sivagangabalan

Speciality: Cardiology

Suite 94, 9 Norbrik Drive

Bella Vista, NSW, 2153

Phone: 02 9858 9899

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He's in Brisbane but an option if you come up short down south - Sean mulhearn, Wesley hospital.

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What I don't want, however, is to be 'retired' by a Cardiologist that hates endurance sport, and there are a few of those around.

 

So (to cut to the chase) what I am trying to find is if anyone has a recommendation for a Cardiologist in NSW or ACT who is actually triathlon and running friendly and who will understand what we go through and won't just consign me to golf and cricket (which was the recommendation of my current cardiologist, even though I still don't have a diagnosis!!!)

Be careful that you are not looking to doctor shop to find someone that will tell you what you want to hear, or worse you hear what they didn't say.............

 

My experience with cardiologists over the last month has been >10 and each one of them has been very similar in their comments to me including triathlete Andre (mentioned above). I have not found "cardiologist's who hate endurance sport". I have found some that tell me not what I want to hear though.

 

I am sitting on the couch this morning rather than being about 100km through a long ride for IM and preparing for a 70.3 tomorrow. I have pulled out of a Two Bays trail run, Alpine Classic, 70.3, Big Bay swim and IM. I have no showing signs of ill health, but I have a "potential" and need further tests. I was advised by experts to moderate exercise to basically walking pace until I am told I have nothing wrong with me.

 

Why am I following these instructions? They have 15+ years of training to become a cardiologist and I only have one life.... Seems like following their instructions to potentially keep that one life is the right thing to do for me, my family and my kids.

Edited by Steno
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I have a ultra marathoner mate who has a lot of the symptoms you are describing. He's under watch but still training heaps and planning a 7 day race. Will get the Drs details.

(Note. I think he's crazy and should back off. Addicted. ).

 

His response

Goes to "Sydney Cardiology in Bligh St. My current guy is Stephen Fenton. Nice enough. Knows nothing about endurance athletes but was aware of the issues. Did a good job with me.

 

There is another guy in the practice who is an athlete. I saw him 2yrs ago and he was relaxed about my enlarged heart. I have his name at work. Will check it out on Monday.

"

Edited by Mjainoz

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Have developed a noticeable shortness of breath over past few months, which I thought was a slow recovery from bronchitis.

 

I had minor shortness of breath when I was running a couple of years ago. Went to the GP who referred my to respiratory guy thinking it might have been mild asthma or allergy. Breezed through the flow and capacity tests and had zero indication of asthma. On a whim he sent me for a VQ scan which showed Pulmonary Embolism - 3 areas of blood clots in the lungs. Straight into ambulatory care, Clexane injections, then Warfarin for 6 months.

 

I had no other symptoms other than *slight* shortness of breath - the doc said my good lung function was helping mask the problem. I have no idea if this has any relevance to your case other then suggesting if you haven't had a VQ scan it might be worth asking the docs if they think it worthwhile.

 

And FWIW, I think Steno makes a lot of sense in what he says.

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Have developed a noticeable shortness of breath over past few months, which I thought was a slow recovery from bronchitis.

 

I don't feel anything is wrong, but am mindful of the risk of sudden cardiac death from HOCM, so as a result I am happy to stop racing for a while given I have three young children who would prefer I stayed around.

 

But something is wrong. If you are short of breath how can you be training or considering racing at all?

 

Steno made sense and trinube's experience sent chills down my spine.

 

Sorry, I don't know any Cardiologists. But not training or racing until you can breath normally sounds like a really good plan to me. Best of luck with it all, it must be very frustrating.

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I bumped into Jabbs and asked him who he was seeing , Prof Mark McGuire is his and welchys Dr.

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I bumped into Jabbs and asked him who he was seeing , Prof Mark McGuire is his and welchys Dr.

Hey. It just crossed my mind. is Jabbs a secret moderator ;). Lol that would be funny.

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Thanks for all your responses. Greatly appreciated.

I'm not trying to Dr shop - I just want a second opinion.

Being in the medical field myself I appreciate that just because someone has medical qualifications doesnt mean they are a God and all-knowing. I just want a second opinion.

My main problem is all the tests have come up okay so far, apart from the enlarged heart, which I suspect I have always had.

Happy to take the advice of specialists but just want to verify it.

Thanks for the feedback regarding VQ scan, Trinube. This was discussed as a possibility if they can't find anything wrong, so i will follow that up.

I just want to make sure I get the right advice. I think I saw my cardiologist on a bad day - he was stressed and spent most of the time telling me how stressed and busy he was????

For now, I will do what Steno and others recommend. I have pulled out of my upcoming 70.3s and IMs and have gone back to easy paced exercise.

Thanks again for taking the time to respond.

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Being in the medical field myself I appreciate that just because someone has medical qualifications doesnt mean they are a God and all-knowing. I just want a second opinion.

My main problem is all the tests have come up okay so far, apart from the enlarged heart, which I suspect I have always had.

Following a chest Xray about 4 years ago my Dr said I had a large heart as well so he sent me off for an ultrasound. That came back with a confirmation of a large heart but also confirmation that the internal chambers were normal sized. As they explained it to me the problem is when the heart is large and the walls have thickened both ways to reduce the volume of the heart chambers. Steroid and drug users apparently get that problem. No drugs ever for me (other than alcohol) so I knew I was okay in that area.

 

You are doing the right thing by checking it all out before returning to hard training. Plenty of time to get back to training etc if you get the all clear. If you're dead you'll never get back to it in this lifetime.

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Clyde, I was getting lots of skipped beats almost 2yrs ago now, had an echo-cardiogram done and was told I had same as you - thickened heart walls or 'athletes heart'. I was told it was not a problem, but was a minor electrical issue due to thickened walls.

 

6 mths later, another injury stopped me doing tris and limited me to swim, gym and walk. Within 6mths, the skipped beats were entirely gone.

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I bumped into Jabbs and asked him who he was seeing , Prof Mark McGuire is his and welchys Dr.

 

I went to a local cardiologist. They think is was a small electrical issue (not the heart or blockages). It only happened twice - at hte 3 hour training/racing mark. Just a couple of heart rate surges. Felt OK but no other symptoms. At the same time, I booked into see Prf McGuire last Oct. Am only seeing him this Wed. He has a very long waiting list.

 

FM

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Was going to PM you Clyde but given others may be interested.... From my ultra running mate (with heart issues) - suggests these two who are "into" sports cardiology

 

http://sydneycardiology.com.au/meet-our-cardiologists/dr-fiona-foo

 

and

 

http://sydneycardiology.com.au/meet-our-cardiologists/dr-jason-kaplan

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Well there is a relief,

I've been given the all clear by the cardiac team at SCHU on the Sunny Coast (subject to annual review) after ECG/Ultrasound/Stress test/ Holter/ CMRI.  Especially in the light of two of our four children having HCM diagnosis (aged 20 & 22 at time if determination) - the younger having had an ECD for 12 months now and the elder on the waiting list.

Now to loose that weight I gained while "taking it easy" (and self medicating with chocolate).

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Dr Anthony Freeman. Based in Randwick. My understanding is that he is a pretty good cyclist. Saw me and after some tests said all is well and I have a big heart

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