Should you consider a heart scan after having COVID-19?

February 25, 2021

As a result of new information regarding the relationship between the cardiovascular system and COVID-19, there’s been a lot of chatter around this question: Should you consider a heart scan after recovering? The appropriate answer varies depending on the individual and the severity of their bout with the virus.

If you had a mild case, or you were asymptomatic, experts do not believe it’s necessary to get a heart scan before resuming activity.

Severe cases of COVID-19

However, individuals who had a severe case of COVID-19 or were hospitalized with the virus should take a longer approach. Medical experts advise that you should not return to normal activity, especially strenuous activity, until you’ve had a heart scan to determine if there’s any residual damage to your heart or surrounding tissue.

The long-term effects of COVID-19 are continuing to be studied. Current research suggests that there may be lasting effects on the heart muscle and tissue due to the heart’s involvement in fighting off the disease. If additional stress and strain are inflicted on the heart after the damage has occurred, the heart may further damage itself as it tries to maintain oxygenation and blood flow to other organs. For these reasons, it’s imperative to obtain a heart scan before resuming normal activities, such as exercising, to reduce the risk of further damage.

Increase exercise slowly

Although experts say people who have recovered from mild cases of COVID-19 don’t necessarily need medical clearance, they should take it slow when jumping back into their workout regimens. Be sure to seek medical attention if chest pain or trouble breathing occurs.

Knowing your Coronary Artery Calcium Score can help you detect potential heart issues before they occur. The test is quick and painless, but a physician referral is required. To schedule an appointment, please call 806-212-8888.