A Cardiologist is a physician who specialized in finding, treating, and preventing diseases that affect the heart, the arteries, and the veins. In detail, they examine, diagnose and treat health conditions such as blockages, heart injuries, diseases, and also look for factors such as cholesterol, blood sugar, and high blood pressure.
A cardiologist is not the same as a cardiac surgeon. A cardiac surgeon opens the chest and performs heart surgery.
The cardiologist studies for risk factors that can damage the heart such as obesity, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, poor eating habits, or a family history of heart disease.
The cardiologist goes over their medical history, check their current physical condition, check their heart for any irregularities, and discuss any relevant symptoms with the new patient. They will also prescribe a series of tests for a more precise diagnosis, like EKGs, x-rays, stress tests, biopsies, and blood tests.
After the test results are received, the cardiologist can then diagnose any abnormalities, congenital heart defects, or heart and coronary artery conditions that they find. Many of these conditions are treated with medication, diet, and/or specific procedures.
There are several types of cardiologists, each specializing in a different field of heart treatment.
- Non-invasive Cardiologists – these will examine patients, perform cardiology consultations, order and interpret tests. They will decide the best way to treat patients, either with medication, lifestyle changes, or a combination of both. Patients are referred to a cardiac surgeon if necessary.
- Interventional Cardiologists – they treat patients who are dealing with coronary artery disease, heart valve disease, and peripheral vascular disease. They do angioplasty and stent placements, embolic protection, atherectomy procedures, and mitral valve repairs.
- Non-interventional Cardiologists – these perform the same tests and exams as a non-invasive cardiologist, but can also perform minor operations, such as cardiac catheterization.
- Electrophysiology Cardiologists – Also famously known as heart-rhythm specialists, will place pacemakers, defibrillators, and cardiac resynchronization devices under the skin for sensing, pacing, and shock delivery.