The specialty of cardiologists is the diagnosis and treatment of conditions that affect the cardiovascular system, including the heart and blood vessels. Among the responsibilities of these specialists is the prevention and treatment of heart-related illnesses, cardiovascular disease, and cardiac emergencies.
The primary care physician and family practitioner refer patients to cardiologists for specialized care and further diagnosis of heart disease. Their examination focuses on blood pressure, weight, heart, lungs, and vessels, in addition to the patient’s medical history. If surgery is required on the heart, blood vessels, or lungs, a cardiologist can refer patients to a cardiovascular surgeon or cardiothoracic surgeon.
Cardiologists handle many conditions affecting the heart and cardiovascular system, including arrhythmia, myocardial infarction, heart failure, congenital heart defects, coronary artery disease, and valvular heart disease, among others. They are also vital in providing information regarding procedures such as cardiac catheterization, balloon angioplasty, and open heart surgery.
Cardiologists perform a variety of tests, including blood pressure checks, echocardiograms (ECGs), X-rays, stress tests and blood tests. Furthermore, they are trained to implement devices which contribute to the maintenance of the heart’s natural rhythms, such as pacemakers and defibrillators.
Physicians who specialize in cardiology may also perform pediatric cardiology, echocardiography, or electrophysiology.
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