Diagnosis of general medical illnesses

As your physician, Dr Mothilal can assist in diagnosing and screening various conditions that affect the body. From mental health and cognitive disorder evaluations to infectious diseases such as TB and HIV, and gastrointestinal conditions, he has the expertise and experience to diagnose and treat various acute and chronic conditions.

Dr Mothilal can assist in the diagnosis and workup required to diagnose:

  • Colds, flu, sinusitis and other more complex respiratory and pulmonary conditions such as COPD and interstitial lung disease
  • Endocrine disorders such as hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism as well as diabetes
  • Cardiac conditions and cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure, coronary artery disease and peripheral artery disease
  • Diseases of the excretory system, including recurrent urinary tract infections and kidney stones
  • Musculoskeletal conditions such as arthritis, gout and tendinitis
  • Infectious diseases including TB, HIV and AIDS

What tests can be used to make a diagnosis?

For diagnosis, your physician may do a comprehensive physical exam as well as collect any information regarding your medical history. Often, one or more diagnostic procedures are also done to investigate a wide range of illnesses and conditions. These may include one or more of the following diagnostic procedures:

  • Blood tests & laboratory testing

    A blood test may be done to test and measure the number of various types of blood cells in a sample of your blood. With a blood sample, your physician can detect the presence of various cells or pathogens within the blood in order to make an accurate diagnosis targeting your specific symptom or problem.

  • ECG, stress ECG & 24-hour Holter ECG

    The electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) is a diagnostic tool used to assess the electrical and muscular functions of the heart. It is used to record the electrical activity of the heart using electrodes placed on the skin. An electrocardiogram can indicate the heart's rate and rhythm. The rate is how fast the heart beats, while the rhythm is the type of heartbeat. Too fast, too slow, or irregularities in the rhythm of the heartbeat may be an indication of a cardiac condition.

    An electrocardiogram can be done while on a treadmill - this is known as a stress ECG or stress test. A stress test is useful in determining if you have heart disease and may be used to assess symptoms like chest pain, heart palpitations, and shortness of breath. An electrocardiogram can even be done over a period of 24 hours while wearing a Holter ECG monitor. This cardiac monitoring generally refers to continuous or intermittent monitoring of heart activity through a Holter monitor.

  • Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring

    Your doctor may advise wearing a digital blood pressure monitor for 24 hours to get an accurate blood pressure reading. This is called Ambulatory Blood pressure monitoring (ABPM). While you continue with daily life, the small, portable monitor is usually attached to your body and connected to a cuff around your upper arm and will read and measure your blood pressure, providing your physician with 24hours worth of data for a comprehensive diagnosis to be made.

  • Echocardiography

    To test heart function, structure and size. An echocardiogram makes use of sound waves to produce an image of your heart, which will allow one to visualise it and identify any signs of heart disease.

  • Lung function testing

    A lung function test, otherwise known as a pulmonary function test (PFT), is a non-invasive diagnostic procedure done to test how well the lungs work by measuring lung volume, capacity, rates of flow, and gas exchange. This procedure may diagnose or screen for respiratory conditions such as asthma, allergies, chronic bronchitis and respiratory infections.

  • Bronchoscopy including endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS)

    A bronchoscopy is a form of endoscopy (camera study) which uses a flexible scope attached to a camera at the end. It can visualise the inside of the lungs and allow for washings, brushings, or biopsies to be taken. It can help in the diagnosis of chest infections, lung cancer and interstitial lung disease. An endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) is a revolutionary diagnostic procedure done for the lungs to diagnose different types of lung disorders, using ultrasound and bronchoscopy to visualise the airway wall and structures adjacent to it and may be used to take a sample of the lung tissue with a small needle. These are usually well-tolerated, painless procedures that are done under general anaesthetic with an anaesthetist present.

  • A sleep study (polysomnography)

    Polysomnography is a type of sleep study done for diagnostic purposes. Dr Mothilal may suggest this sleep study record your night-time sleep patterns in terms of periods of apnoea (stopping breathing) measured by the oxygen level in your blood, brain waves, heart rate and breathing, as well as eye and leg movements. These results should indicate the quality of your sleep and help diagnose sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnoea, central sleep apnoea, unexplained chronic insomnia and other sleep-related breathing disorders.

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Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital

Suite 1613, 16th floor, Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital, Cnr DF Malan Street and Rua Bartholemeu Dias Plain, Foreshore, Cape Town, 8001