What you can expect
If you choose to pursue genetic testing, it’s important to do so through a credentialed laboratory with trained genetic counseling and experienced cardiovascular physicians who can explain the results and place them in the context of your future cardiovascular care.
The actual genetic test is like any other blood test and typically only takes a few minutes. Genetic testing involves the following process:
- Before you have your blood drawn and sent to a lab for analysis, you’ll meet with a counselor or other medical professional who specializes in genetic testing.
- During this meeting, you’ll review your personal and family health histories. This meeting will help determine if, based on the condition you’re seeking information about, you’re a good candidate for a genetic test. You’ll also be advised of any limitations of the test.
- Once your blood is ready to be drawn, the medical professional will swab the area where the needle will be inserted with an alcohol wipe. A rubber tube may be tied around the upper part of your arm, or you may be asked to make a fist, to make the veins stand out more and easier to access.
- A needle attached to a small test tube will be inserted into your vein, and blood will begin to flow into the tube.
- When a sample appropriate for the test has been gathered, the needle will be removed, and you may be asked to press on a piece of gauze placed over the insertion site. This pressure will help stop any bleeding from the tiny puncture site. A bandage will then be placed over the site where the needle was inserted.
- Your blood sample will then be sent to lab technicians for analysis. You’ll receive information when you have the blood test about when you can expect results.