Who is a Cardiologist?
A cardiologist is a medical professional who is specialized in evaluating, diagnosing, treating, and preventing diseases, disorders, and medical conditions related to the heart. They treat diseases like atrial fibrillation, atherosclerosis, arrhythmias, and coronary heart disease, etc.
What are the qualifications of a Cardiologist?
A 5-year medical degree [MBBS] that is recognized by the General Medical Council and a 2-year foundation course of general training are the basic requirements for an individual to be a doctor. However, following are the specialties or extra qualifications required to be a Cardiologist:
- Diploma in Cardiology
- Diplomate in Cardiovascular Disease
- Diplomate, American Board of Endovascular Medicine
- Diplomate, American Board of Cardiology
- DNB - Cardiology
- FRCS - Cardiothoracic Surgery
- CCT - Cardiology
- MCh - Cardio-Thoracic Surgery
- PhD - Cardiology
- MCh - Cardio Thoracic and Vascular Surgery
- MNAMS - Cardiology
- DM - Cardiology
Is Cardiologist a surgeon?
No, Cardiologists cannot perform surgeries. They mainly deal with diagnosing heart-related conditions and treat them through therapeutic ways and lifestyle modifications. Cardiovascular surgeons or Cardiothoracic surgeons can perform cardiac related surgeries. However, Cardiologists can perform tests such as cardiac catheterization that requires small skin incisions.
What are the risk factors for cardiac disease?
Cardiac diseases include both heart and blood vessel disorders. Following are few of the risk factors for cardiac diseases:
- High blood cholesterol
- Cigarette smoking
- High blood pressure
- Lack of exercise
- Old age
- Family history of heart disease
- Uncontrolled diabetics
What are the signs and symptoms that indicate heart disease?
If an individual is experiencing any of the following, then he/she should consult a Cardiologist.
- Difficulty in breathing
- Swelling of foot
- Easy fatigue
- Chest pain
- Abnormalities in pulse
- Ecg abnormality
Is swelling of feet a sign of heart disease?
The swelling of feet indicates many organ systems failures like liver failure, kidney failure, heart failure. But the time of onset indicates particular organ failure. The initial onset of swelling from legs then progressing to the body and face with difficulty in breathing most frequently indicates heart failure.
What are the procedures/tests performed by a Cardiologist?
Following are tests performed by cardiologists:
- Chest x-rays
- Electrophysiology study
- Transthoracic echocardiogram
- Positron emission tomography(PET)
- Coronary angiogram
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Cardiac catheterization
- Computerized tomography
How often should an individual consult a Cardiologist?
One should consult a Cardiologist twice in a year if he/she is suffering from any of the heart diseases like irregular heartbeats, myocardial fibrillation, atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, and hypertension, etc. However, a healthy individual should consult a Cardiologist once in a year to check for any underlying heart conditions.