ANNOUNCER: If you've been diagnosed with angina, follow-up visits with your doctor will be necessary. How often you need to be evaluated will depend on the severity of the angina.
SPENCER B. KING, MD, MACC: You monitor the patient in several ways. One is from a symptom point of view, the patient must be their own physician in some respects. If the angina is becoming more severe, if it's coming with less effort, this is a reason to have additional evaluation.
In the absence of any of that, periodical evaluation, usually with stress testing, help us understand whether the patient's lack of blood supply is remaining stable.
GEORGE A. BELLER, MD, MACC: Once someone has diagnosis of angina, there are two approaches that are often taken. One is medical treatment, and the other is getting a stent put in or even having bypass surgery after the full evaluation is done, even catheterization. If either one of those are done, medical therapy or revascularization, it's called, like a stent or bypass surgery, patients will have to be followed up fairly frequently.
The first visit might be at six weeks after the institution of therapy, or several months. But then after that most patients will have to be followed every six months to make sure that the risk factors that caused the angina are under control, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and so forth.