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What is Cardiology?
Cardiology is a medical science dealing with disorders of the heart. The field includes diagnosis and treatment of congenital heart defects, coronary artery disease, heart failure and electrophysiology.

Physicians specializing in this field of medicine are called cardiologists.

Cardiologists should not be confused with cardiac surgeons, cardiothoracic and cardiovascular; who are surgeons perform cardiac surgery via sternotomy - open operative procedures on the heart and great vessels.

Cardiology Procedures
  • Blood tests
  • Echocardiogram
  • Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance
  • Cardiac stress test
  • Auscultation (Listening with the Stethoscope)
Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)
  • QT interval
  • Osborn wave
  • Ambulatory Holter monitor
  • Electrophysiology study
    • Programmed electrical stimulation
    • Sphygmomanometer (Blood pressure cuff)
    • Cardiac enzymes
    • Coronary catheterization
      • Myocardial Fractional Flow Reserve (FFRmyo)
      • IVUS (IntraVascular UltraSound)
      • OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography)
What is a Cardiologist?
A cardiologist is a doctor with special training and skill in finding, treating and preventing diseases of the heart and blood vessels.

When Would I See a Cardiologist?

When patient notice symptoms like shortness of breath, chest pains or dizzy spells she/he often call cardiologist and patient require special testing. Cardiologists counsel patients about the risks and prevention of heart disease. This is the time when cardiologists are involved in the treatment of heart attacks, heart failure, and serious heart rhythm disturbances. Their skills and training are required whenever decisions are made about procedures such as cardiac catheterization, balloon angioplasty, or heart surgery.

What Kinds of Tests May the Cardiologist Recommend or Perform?
  • Echocardiogram - a soundwave picture to look at the structure and function of the heart.
  • Ambulatory ECG - a recording during activity to look for abnormal heart rhythms.
  • Exercise test - a study to measure your heart's performance and limitations.
  • Cardiac Catheterization - a test in which a small tube is placed in or near the heart to take pictures, look at how the heart is working, check the electrical system, or help relieve blockage.
Do All Cardiologists Perform Cardiac Catheterizations?
No. Cardiologists specially trained in this technique performance only and do interpretation of echocardiograms, ECGs, and exercise tests. All cardiologists know how and when these tests are needed and how to manage cardiac emergencies.

What Questions Should I Ask My Cardiologist?

You have a right to ask any basic question related to your heart disease to your cardiologist. For instance, if you have had an angiography, you may ask to see the pictures of your heart and have your cardiologist explain what they mean. Your heart and health are, of course, vitally important to you. Remember, your cardiologist wants you to understand your illness and be an active participant in your own care.
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