As a result of new information regarding the relationship between the cardiovascular system and COVID-19, there’s a lot of discussion around considering a heart scan after recovery. Answers vary depending on the individual and the severity of their COVID-19 infection.
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. However, for individuals who had a severe case of COVID-19, or for those who were hospitalized with the virus, it’s advised that you do 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 still being studied, but research suggests there may be lasting effects on the heart muscle and tissue due to the heart’s involvement in fighting off the disease. Additional stress and strain on the heart may cause further damage as the heart tries to maintain oxygenaton 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.
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 and seek medical attention if chest pain or trouble breathing occurs.
If you have questions, please contact your cardiologist. If you would like to make an appointment with an Oklahoma Heart Institute cardiologist, please call 918-592-0999.