1. What does a Heart specialist do?
Heart specialists or cardiologists diagnose and treat diseses related to heart and blood vessels. They are trained to assess heart health and read electrocardiogram, etc.
2. When do you need to see a cardiologist?
You can visit a heart specialist if your physician refers you for symptoms like shortness of breath, dizziness, chest pain, changes in heart beat or high blood pressure
3. What to expect at your first visit to heart specialist?
A heart specialist will evaluate your medical history and risk factors for major blood vesel disease. Your heart rate, blood pressure and electrocardiogram will be obtained. You will also go through complete cardiovascular examination.
4. How do heart-specialist check for blocked arteries?
Heart specialists check for blocked arteries with tests like chloesterol screening, electrocardiogram (ECG) chest X-Ray, coronary CT Scan, ultrasound, echocardiogram, and angiogram.
5. Can you see a heart-specilist directly?
You can go to a heart specialist directly if you suspect there is a risk of genetically related heart disease in your family which means any of your blood relative had an early onset (below age of 55 for men and 65 for women). A heart specialist can help you to assess the risk factor of you getting that disease and give you treatment regarding the same.
Cardiology deals with issues of the heart. Cardiologists are not the same as cardiac surgeons. A cardiologist’s main function is to identify symptoms and make a diagnosis. Cardiologists usually work from hospitals. Some of the conditions they can help diagnose include cardiac arrest, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, congenital heart disease and strokes.
If you have a family history of heart trouble, you should get regular check-ups. Other reasons to consult a cardiologist include
Radiating pain in the chest
Shortness of breath
Sudden appearance of bluish tinge in your skin tone
These could be signs of heart disease and should be addressed as soon as possible.
Cardiologists can be categorized as paediatric and adult cardiologists. Paediatric cardiologists may further specialize in:
Transposition of Great Arteries
Tetralogy of Fallot
Double Outlet Right Ventricle (DORV)
Persistent Truncus Arteriosis
Adult cardiology specialties include:
To become a cardiologist, a candidate must first complete an MBBS degree. This must be followed by a post graduate degree and further specialized training.
If a person does not have a family history of heart disease, he or she should begin heart screening examinations every 4-5 years after the age of 20 years.
To confirm a diagnosis, a cardiologist may perform a number of tests such as an Electrocardiogram, CT scans, PET imaging, Myocardial perfusion imaging, Real-time catheter tracking and a Coronary imaging system
Cardiologists can advise the patient on lifestyle changes that can reduce the risk of heart diseases, strokes etc.
Many cardiologists offer heart packages to check the functioning of the heart. These packages may start from Rs 5,000
Bypass Surgery Rs 70,000-8,00,000
Angioplasty Surgery Rs 1,00,000- 3,60,000O
Open Heart Surgery Rs 1,50,000- 2,25,000
Coronary Angiography Rs 24,000-34,000
Cardiologists do not perform open surgery but they may perform procedures on arteries through puncture sites in the groin. Some of the procedures that they may perform include:
This is a diagnostic procedure that involves inserting a catheter into blood vessel in the patient’s arm or leg and guiding it towards the heart to allow the doctor to evaluate heart functioning.
This is a minimally invasive procedure used to clear obstructions in or widen veins and arteries.
Inserting a pacemaker
A pacemaker is a device that is implanted under the skin to regulate heartbeats. Inserting this device is not a major surgery and may be performed under local anaesthesia.
Stenting is an emergency procedure wherein a plastic or metal tube is inserted into an artery to keep it open.
This is a procedure to remove a clot from the arteries. A thrombectomy is usually advised only if other forms of treatment do not work.
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