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Cardiology is the branch of medicine that deals with the diseases of the heart and the circulatory system. The circulatory system includes the coronary arteries and veins. Physicians who specialize in this field of internal medicine, and give medical treatment for diseases affecting the heart are called cardiologists. Subspecialties of cardiology include cardiac electrophysiology, interventional cardiology, and nuclear cardiology.
Cardiologist treat diseases affecting the heart like congenital heart defects, coronary artery disease, heart failure, and valvular heart diseases. Other heart disorders that a cardiologist treats are angina, atherosclerosis, disorders of the myocardium, various cardiomyopathies, pericarditis, disorders of the heart valves, atrial septal defect, and ventricular septal defect. They also help in managing diseases of the blood vessels or vascular diseases like aneurysms, deep vein thrombosis, varicose veins, vasculitis, and other conditions of the blood vessel.
If you suffer from symptoms like shortness of breath, tightness in chest, chest pain, dizziness, etc., consult a cardiologist right away. Some heart problem might cause these symptoms and might need urgent medical help. Some of the tests that a cardiologist might order are electrocardiogram (ECG), echocardiogram, cardiac catheterization, X-ray, and blood tests. Depending on your heart condition, a cardiologist might prescribe medicines, recommend lifestyle changes, or recommend surgery. If you have a busy schedule and do not have time to go to a hospital, you can try consulting a cardiologist online from your office or home.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does a cardiologist do during the first visit?
On your first visit, the cardiologist will make a note of your personal history, take a complete family history, and will ask you questions about your symptoms. He or she will ask you if any of your family members has a heart condition, hypertension, or diabetes. After looking at your test results and list of medications, he or she might suggest you get some additional tests done.
What are the early signs of a heart problem?
Signs and symptoms like chest tightness, chest pain, indigestion, heartburn, nausea, lightheadedness, profuse sweating, breathlessness, fatigue, palpitation, and vomiting are early signs of a heart problem.
What are the tests that a cardiologist suggests?
Some of the common tests that a cardiologist might suggest you get to assess your heart health are electrocardiogram (ECG), chest x-rays, echocardiogram, angiogram, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), CT (computerized tomography) scan, and Holter monitor.
Is it necessary to see a cardiologist for heart palpitations?
Apart from emotional stress, depression, exercise, fever, and hormonal imbalance, heart palpitations can be caused due to abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia). So consult a cardiologist for heart palpitations to rule out any heart problems.
What is the role of a cardiologist?
A physician who specializes in cardiology, which is the study of the heart, arteries, and veins (cardiovascular system), is called a cardiologist. A cardiologist works to prevent and diagnose heart and circulatory problems and provides medical treatment for them.
Can a cardiologist perform surgery?
No, a cardiologist does not perform heart surgeries. They help diagnose heart problems and prescribe medicines. They might perform some invasive tests to diagnose problems in the artery or vein, but do not operate on the heart. A cardiothoracic surgeon performs surgeries.
At what age should you first visit a cardiologist?
If you are experiencing symptoms like chest pain, breathlessness, nausea, heartburn indigestion, chest tightness, lightheadedness, palpitations, etc., it is best to consult a cardiologist. Or if you have a family history of early-onset cardiac disease, or diabetes and hypertension, consult a cardiologist regularly.
What is the difference between a cardiologist and an interventional cardiologist?
A cardiologist is trained to identify heart and cardiovascular problems, interpret EKG and other tests, and provide medical treatment. An interventional cardiologist is trained to perform interventional procedures like inserting stents and repairing valves.
Are there different types of heart doctors?
The different types of heart doctors are:
- Cardiothoracic surgeon.
- Interventional cardiologist.
- Pediatric cardiologist.
What are the most commonly occurring cardiovascular diseases?
The most common cardiovascular diseases are atherosclerosis, heart attack, coronary artery disease, heart arrhythmias, heart failure, and congenital heart disease.