Cardiology 101

01 Jan 2020

Cardiology is a branch of medicine that deals with the heart. A cardiologist, therefore, is a specialist trained to diagnose and treat heart problems such as hypertension, heart attack, congestive heart failure, or stroke. Here are a few questions to give you an idea of what cardiology is and what to expect.

Is There a Specific Age I Should See a Cardiologist?

We have pediatricians, gynecologists, dentists and other medical specialists trained to handle different health conditions. However, unlike these health professionals, you aren’t supposed to see a cardiologist for a routine checkup. 

Yes, it’s reasonable and highly recommended to get annual health checkups to monitor your health status. However, having routine cardiology or cardiac testing is cumbersome, unless you have chest pain or other heart-related symptoms. You will only subject yourself to unnecessary testing and procedures.

Routine blood sugar, cholesterol, and pressure levels test are the only tests recommended for healthy people. These tests will then indicate if you need a cardiologist to conduct further tests or not. 

When Should I See Cardiologist?

Your primary health care physician may recommend a cardiologist if they notice something amiss. However, you should not wait until they recommend the services. You can visit our cardiology clinic if you have any of the following:

  • Chest discomfort. Although several factors can cause chest pain, you need to seek cardiac care near you if you have sudden and severe pain. 
  • Family history of heart-related problems. According to research, genetics play a role in the development of heart diseases. If you have a first-degree relative with heart diseases, you are at a higher risk of getting the diseases. Working with a cardiologist will help to reduce the odds and prevent the onset or progression of the disease.
  • High blood cholesterol. Having high levels of low-density lipoproteins and total cholesterol increases the risk of plaque buildup in the arteries and lead to heart complications 
  • Diabetes. Elevated blood sugar can damage your blood vessels and nerves that control the heart. High blood sugar also increases your risk of getting other health conditions such as eye and kidney failure.
  • Preeclampsia. This occurs when an expectant mother develops blood pressure and it increases the risk of heart failure.
  • Leg and foot swelling can be a sign of peripheral artery disease which causes blockage in the legs. Peripheral artery disease is associated with amputations as well as heart attack and stroke. Swelling in the legs can also impair blood circulation in the veins and over time it could cause blood clots or leg ulcers. 

My Cardiologist Recommended a Cardiothoracic Surgeon; What Does That Mean?

It means you need further diagnosis and surgery, and a cardiothoracic surgeon will carry out the procedure. A cardiologist is trained to diagnose heart disorders and treat them with mediation, but they don’t perform open-heart surgery. They can also give information on how to prevent heart diseases. 

A Cardiothoracic surgeon specializes in the surgical procedures involving the heart, esophagus, lungs and other organs in the chest.

What Can I Expect During My Visit to The Cardiologist?

Your cardiology appoint will last up to an hour and a comprehensive medical assessment will be done. The cardiologist will ask you general questions about your health and the reason for your visit. Several tests including blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar will be done. They will measure your weight, your lungs, and heart. An ECG/ EKG or Electrocardiogram will be done to record the electoral activity of the heart. 

On your first visit, you should carry a list of medicines that you are taking or have taken within the past year. Plus, talk to the cardiologist about your family’s medical history.

Get Personalized Care 

A routine visit to the cardiology isn’t recommended for people without any heart-related symptoms. However, if you are a smoker, come from a family with a history of heart-related diseases, have high blood cholesterol or diabetes, you need a cardiologist. At Memorial Village ER we offer cardiology care in Houston to cater to your medical needs. 

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