What is a clinical cardiologist?
A clinical cardiologist is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases or situations of the heart and blood vessels – the cardiovascular system. You can also visit a cardiologist to learn about your risk factors for heart disease and what steps you can take to improve your heart health.
The department of clinical cardiology is an area where patients often have access to specialized inpatient and anti-patent cardiac care and long-term management of their conditions. We offer the latest innovations in cardiac care and clinical therapies for patients of all ages.
We offer state-of-the-art tests and procedures to help make an accurate diagnosis and formulate a treatment plan. We see patients with very common heart problems such as angina, arterial problems, valvular heart disease, and heart failure. We also treat patients with very rare heart conditions, including those who have been told by other doctors that their condition cannot be treated.
When would I need a cardiologist?
Clinical cardiologists also spend a lot of time helping patients manage their heart disease symptoms through lifestyle changes and medication. Many people visit a general cardiologist because they have one of the following symptoms or conditions.
If a person has symptoms of a heart condition, their physician may refer them to a cardiologist.
Reasons to visit clinical cardiologists
The specific reasons to visit a clinical cardiologist are:
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Diabetes & High blood sugar
- Overweight or Obesity
- Inactivity/lack of exercise
- Smoking/tobacco use
- Unhealthy diet
- Irregular heartbeat, palpitations (fluttering)
- Shortness of breath
- Family history of heart disease
- Congestive heart failure
- Heart murmur or suspected valve problem
What does a cardiologist do?
The patient is generally known as a cardiologist because their primary care physician has identified a potential problem. The cardiologist will sit down with the new patient and look at their medical history, check their current physical condition, listen to their heart for any tampering, and discuss related symptoms. They also perform several tests for a more accurate diagnosis, such as ECGs, X-rays, stress tests, biopsies, and blood tests.
Upon receiving the test results, the clinical cardiologists can diagnose any abnormalities you may have, such as congenital heart defects or heart and coronary artery conditions. Most of these conditions are treated with specific medications, diets, and/or approaches.
Types of clinical cardiologist
Types of clinical cardiologists are:
Non-invasive cardiology is used to describe procedures that do not involve the insertion of needles, fluids, or anything else into the body. The most common non-invasive cardiology procedures include:
- Nuclear cardiology: Study of cardiovascular disorders by various means of imaging
- Echocardiography: Also known as EKG, ultrasound is used to create images of the heart and surrounding anatomy to detect abnormalities
- Cardiac electrophysiology: A term used to describe the study of the electrical currents that produce a person’s heartbeat
- Stress test: Your doctor will monitor your exercise to provide vital information about your heart function during physical stress
- Heart monitoring: Heart monitors are recorders that record the electrical activity of the heart over time
- CT scan: Images used by your cardiologist to examine your heart for abnormalities, such as disease and atherosclerosis
These clinical cardiologists perform the same tests and examinations as a non-invasive cardiologist, except that she can also perform minor operations. An example is catheterization, which finds blocked arteries in the heart. The non-interventional cardiologist is limited to these operations. Some of these surgeries are done in the office, others in the hospital. If the cardiologist finds an obstruction, she will refer the patient to an interjected cardiologist.
Interventional cardiology is a subdivision of the cardiology of medicine that uses specialized imaging and other diagnostic methods to assess blood flow and pressure in the arteries and chambers of the heart, as well as techniques and medications to treat abnormalities that affect the function of the heart.
Cardiothoracic surgery treats conditions of the heart, lungs, and chest. Our surgeons perform a wide variety of cardiothoracic surgeries ranging from minimally invasive to heart transplants.
Pediatric cardiologists are doctors who diagnose and treat children with heart conditions. They work with patients before (before birth), during childhood, and adolescence.
What type of procedures does a clinical cardiologist do?
There are many diagnostic and therapeutic approaches in cardiology. Procedures which are followed by clinical cardiologists are:
- Palpation and oscillation of the pulse: A palpation test is used to detect the pulse and a stethoscope is used to listen to breathing and sounds in the chest (oscillation).
- Sphygmomanometer: A sphygmomanometer is used to measure blood pressure.
- Electrocardiogram: This is done to measure the electrical activity of the heart. The ECG records the electrical impulses generated by the heart over some time and creates a pattern of the heart rate and rhythm. ECG monitoring can be continued throughout the day by a device called a Holter monitor, which is worn around the neck and can support cardiac recording electrical activity for more than 24 hours. It reveals occasional abnormalities of heart function that are difficult to detect in a short period.
- Echocardiogram: The echocardiogram uses high-frequency sound waves to create an image of the heart as an ultrasound procedure.
- Cardiovascular magnetic resonance: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provides a detailed image of the heart that can be used to examine the anatomy of the heart and its function. It can help diagnose specific diseases such as cardiomyopathy (diseases of the heart muscle) or diseases of the outer layer of the heart (pericardium).
- A cardiac stress test is used to check the heart’s response to external stress, which can be triggered by medications or exercise.
- Blood levels of certain cardiac enzymes such as creatine phosphokinase and troponin T increase in the event of a heart attack because these enzymes leak into the bloodstream from the damaged heart muscle.
- Cardiac catheterization is a procedure done to collect important information about the heart. X-rays of the heart can be taken through a procedure called coronary angiography. A partial flow reserve test can be performed to assess pressure differences across the narrow artery, or an intravascular ultrasound can be used to visualize the vascular endothelium.