If your family doctor suspects that you are having heart problems, you are going to need to find a heart doctor as soon as possible. Heart problems can be extremely serious, and your health can be at serious risk even though you might not feel very sick. Dizzy spells, chest pains, and shortness of breath could all be signs of a serious underlying heart condition. Heart doctors are referred to professionally as cardiologists, and they help patients suffering from heart disease to lead full and active lives. If your report these symptoms to your doctor or your test results show an abnormality, then your doctor will refer you to a cardiologist for further examination and treatment.
Your visit to the cardiologist will begin with a review of your medical history. A physical examination will be conducted that includes checkingyour weight, blood pressure, pulse rate, and breathing. If this examination gives the doctor cause for concern about your heart health, then further testing will be conducted. These tests might include blood testing, X-rays, and an ECG.
If there are indications that you are having heart trouble, then your general practitioner will probably find a heart doctor for you. Make sure that the heart doctor is a member of your insurance network. You are not bound to follow the recommendation of your doctor. If you know of a heart doctor in your area that you trust, then you can choose to go to their office instead. Whatever you do, do not wait. Prevention of serious heart problems is much easier than fixing the damage they cause. The earlier a problem is found, the quicker that it can be treated and fixed.
The field of cardiology is complex, and you will find a heart specialist can further specialize within the field. All cardiologists know how to diagnose heart problems, manage them with medication, and prevent the onset of serious cardiovascular diseases. Some specialize in areas like pediatric cardiology, where they focus their practice on treating children with heart problems. Other will specialize in certain procedures such as stent placement and balloon angioplasty.
When testing indicates that there is an artery blockage or a weakening of the heart, you heart doctor will likely recommend surgery. General cardiologists do not usually perform these surgeries. Instead, they are performed by a Cardiovascular Surgeon or, if the lungs are involved, a Cardiothoracic Surgeon. Typical procedures include open heart surgery or bypass surgery, depending on the problem to be fixed. After the surgery, you will have follow up visits to the heart doctor to monitor your recovery and make sure that your heart is working properly.
There are five indicators that most doctors consider to determine if you have a heart problem. Your family history is important, as heart disease has a genetic basis. High blood pressure is an indication that your heart and arteries are undue stress. High bad cholesterol numbers can indicate a build-up of plaque on the walls of the arteries, causing a dangerous blockage. Excessive weight also puts undue strain on the heart. Also, high blood sugar levels can indicate the presence of Type II diabetes, which can double the risk of a fatal heart attack.
Most likely, you will not need to find a heart doctor on your own. Your family doctor will refer you to the best specialist in your area. You can take that referral, or ask to be referred to a different heart doctor that you trust or have visited previously. Once you choose a heart doctor, it is a good idea to stick with your choice so that they can monitor the progression of your heart condition and track improvements to gauge whether treatments are effective.