Your physician has referred you to the Lipid Clinic for management of your cholesterol and risk for cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke. Our goal is to help you lower your risk through nutrition and exercise strategies, and use of medications when necessary. We will help to manage your medication safely and maximize the benefits of treatment for you.
A nurse practitioner or pharmacist supervised by the physician medical directors will meet with you each visit to access your cardiovascular risk and help you set and achieve individual goals. Your primary/referring physician will be kept informed of your therapy and will continue to manage your health care needs.
At your appointments in the Lipid Clinic, the nurse practitioner or pharmacist will perform a test called a lipid profile. This test includes levels of total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) and triglycerides (dietary fats) and calculates LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol). Sometimes a liver function test will be performed as needed to assess safety of certain medications. Most tests will be done by obtaining a small drop of blood from a finger stick. Additional tests may be needed through a blood sample drawn from a vein in your arm.
Laboratory tests will be done at regular intervals to measure the achievement of individual goals. Most of these will be performed with clinic visits for immediate review with the clinician. Therefore, the nurse practitioner or pharmacist will make any adjustments in your medications and recommendations for changes in nutrition and exercise while you are in the clinic. You will receive a new "plan" and an appointment for your next clinic visit. The frequency of your appointments will depend on your individual risk and treatment plan.
Like other medications, cholesterol medications may be potentially harmful if not carefully monitored. When starting these medications, it is important to obtain frequent blood testing in order maximize effectiveness and safety. As the individual goals are achieved, and safety is established, testing may be done less often.
Prior to your first visit, we will send you a welcome letter along with several forms and questionnaires to complete before your appointment. On your first visit to the Lipid Clinic, the clinician will spend time talking with you about cardiovascular disease, diet, exercise, general health and medical history. Your spouse, other family member or support person is encouraged to come with you.
If you have questions or need information about the Lipid Clinic or your care there, please call (206) 860-4669.