Cardiologist: When to Visit and What to Expect

Definition & Overview

Cardiology is a branch of medicine that involves the study and treatment of heart disorders and blood vessels. A person with heart disease or cardiovascular disease is required to visit a cardiologist. A cardiologist is trained and specializes in diagnosing and treating heart-related diseases; he/she may carry out a series of cardiology tests, and may also perform certain procedures like heart catheterizations, angioplasty, or inserting a pacemaker if the need arises.

What Does a Cardiologist Do?

A cardiologist starts by reviewing the patient’s medical history and then performs a series of physical examinations that includes checking the blood pressure, heart rate, weight, and breathing. Some of the issues may be diagnosed by the symptoms and the doctor’s findings during the examination; for others, he/she might carry out additional cardiology tests such as an ECG, X-ray, or even a blood test. A cardiologist can suggest some lifestyle and medicinal changes, depending on each case.

When to See a Cardiologist?

Most people keep putting off a visit to the cardiologist in fear that the cardiologist might discover some serious health concerns or cardiology diseases. But, if one feels they are at the risk of possible cardiology diseases or you have a family history of heart diseases, a routine check-up with a specialist can help prevent a catastrophe.

Here are some reasons to visit a cardiologist TODAY:-

  • The general physician has suggested a visit to a cardiologist
  • Family history of heart problems
  • High Blood pressure
  • History of preeclampsia
  • Chain-smoking
  • Diagnosed with diabetes
  • Congenital heart disease since birth

Apart from these, if you feel any of the below symptoms, you should look for a “cardiologist near me” without any delay:-

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness

What Kinds of Cardiology Tests are Recommend or Performed by a Cardiologist?

  • Echocardiogram:
    A soundwave device takes a picture of the heart to determine the structure and function of the heart.
  • Ambulatory ECG:
    A test performed to record heart activity to look for abnormal heart rhythms.
  • Exercise test:
    A test performed to measure the heart’s performance and limitations.
  • Cardiac Catheterization:
    A test in which a small tube is placed in or near the heart to take pictures and look at how the heart is working. It is also carried out to check the electrical system or help relieve the blockage if any.

What are the Diseases treated by Cardiologists?

  • Heart attack (Myocardial infarction)
  • Conduction heart block
  • Arrhythmias eg. Atrial fibrillation, Ventricular tachycardia
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Heart failure
  • High blood cholesterol and triglycerides
  • Pericarditis
  • Cardiac cancers
  • Holiday Heart Syndrome
  • Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy
  • Endocarditis

What Kinds of Procedure does a Cardiologist Perform?

  • Coronary Angiography
  • Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty (PTCA)
  • Balloon Coronary Angioplasty
  • Automated Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (AICD) Implantation
  • Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) Device Closure
  • Carotid (Cerebral) Angiography
  • Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) Device Closure
  • Pericardiocentesis
  • Permanent Pacemaker Implantation
  • Ventricular septal defect (VSD) Device Closure
  • Coiling -Pseudoaneurysm of Abdomen

How Does a Cardiologist Become Certified?

To become a certified cardiologist, a doctor has to undergo five & a half years of training in M.B.B.S from a medical college. After completing the graduation, they have to take a post-graduation course in internal medicine that is for three years followed by a super specialization degree in cardiology. During the training phase, a cardiologist receives intensive and specialized training on how to accurately evaluate, diagnose and treat a variety of acute and chronic heart conditions.

Dr. Divaanshu Gupta

Dr. Divaanshu Gupta is a cardiac anaesthesiologist in Manipal Hospital, Jaipur. He has done his M.B.B.S. as well as M.D. Anaesthesia from S.M.S. Medical College. He has a vast experience of working in various critical care units of government as well as corporate hospitals.

More Resources