Your Cardiologist: The Heart Doctor
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A cardiologist is a doctor who is certified to treat problems of the cardiovascular system, namely the heart, arteries, and veins. Cardiologists specialize in treating people who have conditions or diseases such as chest pain, irregular heartbeat, heart failure, high blood pressure, or heart attacks. Knowledge of internal medicine and other specialties is required to obtain certification as a cardiologist.
Cardiologists perform tests or examinations in order to determine how a person's heart is functioning. These tests or procedures may include an exercise electrocardiogram, cardiac catheterization, or angioplasty. Some cardiologists specialize in treating specific age groups, such as a pediatric cardiologist, who only treats children. Cardiologists are in demand especially these days as obesity is on the rise and heart related conditions as a result of obesity proliferate.
How do you find a cardiologist? Many people who require the expertise of a cardiologist are referred to a cardiologist by their family doctor or general practitioner. If you are referred to a cardiologist, you can meet with the doctor in his or her office or while you are in the hospital as a patient. Refer to your health plan to ensure that you are covered for any visits to a specialist such as a cardiologist. Once you have been referred by your family doctor to a cardiologist, you can
When should you see a cardiologist? If your family medical history includes heart conditions or heart-related illnesses, a visit to a cardiologist can be an excellent preventative measure. Sudden onset of mild chest pains or a tight feeling in the chest either after being stationary or after physical exercise could signal heart complications, another excellent time to seek advice and possibly treatment from a cardiologist.
When you visit a cardiologist, he or she will require testing to diagnose any heart conditions or irregularities. A cardiologist will often recommend a change in diet or an increase in exercise depending on the severity and scope of your condition. A cardiologist will give you information about your heartbeat, heart rate, blood pressure and may want to perform more invasive tests to have a close look at your heart. In the event that your arteries are partially blocked or your heart is weakened, a cardiologist can recommend surgical procedures such as bypass surgery or open heart surgery to repair the heart and have it function normally once again. A cardiologist can recommend a heart surgeon to perform any surgery that may be required. In the event that surgery is required, you will continue visiting your cardiologist after the surgical procedure to ensure that your heart is working effectively.