What is Cardiology?
Cardiology is a specialty branch of medicine dedicated to the treatment and prevention of heart disease. Cardiologists help patients learn how to manage heart disease and better prevent future complications. Cardiologists also play an important role in the treatment of heart attacks and other cardiologic conditions like heart failure and heart rhythm disruptions. A cardiologist makes important decisions about patient care, including when to conduct heart surgery, catheterization, or other intervention. They work closely with other doctors to ensure patients are receiving optimal treatment and disease management.
Did you know…
that heart disease is the number one cause of death in the U.S.? In fact, cardiovascular diseases account for approximately one in every four total deaths in America. The disease is not a discriminator of gender or ethnicity. Cardiologists help patients learn how to avoid becoming a statistic by reducing risk factors. A combination of medications, weight loss, and exercise can significantly reduce a patient’s chances of developing heart disease. Patients also benefit when they quit smoking, avoid excessive consumption of alcohol, and work to achieve lower LDL cholesterol levels.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I be seeing a cardiologist?
You may be referred to a cardiologist if your doctor believes that you have a heart or cardiovascular condition that requires specialty care. Many patients are referred to cardiologists after experiencing symptoms like shortness of breath or chest pains. Others are referred to heart specialists for further evaluation of abnormal examinations. However, if you begin experiencing chest pains, shortness of breath, or any of the other major signs of heart attack, bypass your doctor’s office and dial 9-1-1.
What should I expect during a visit to a cardiologist?
The nature of your visit with a cardiologist will depend on your reason for being there. Initial visits usually consist of a review of medical history, followed by an analysis of physical symptoms. You’ll probably have your blood pressure checked, and your cardiologist will most likely examine your breathing and heartbeat. If further evaluation is necessary, your cardiologist may suggest x-rays, lab work, an ECG, or some other type of specialized testing.
What types of changes will I need to make after consulting with a cardiologist?
Your cardiologist may instruct you to make changes following your visit. However, your specific situation will be unique to you. Some patients are advised to make lifestyle changes, such as more balanced nutrition and increased activity levels. Others are prescribed medication to help prevent complications of cardiovascular diseases, such as hypertension.