Cardiology is the branch of medicine that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of conditions and diseases of the heart. It is a highly specialized field that requires many years of training to master. Cardiologists must complete four years of undergraduate study, followed by four years of medical school. Afterward, they spend three to eight years in residency training before becoming board-certified cardiologists.
Most cardiologists complete a fellowship in cardiovascular disease, which is an addition to three years of specialized training. Cardiovascular fellowships provide advanced education and training in areas such as interventional cardiology, which focuses on procedures that involve the use of catheters to treat heart disease.
Continue reading to find out what cardiology involves, such as conditions a cardiologist treats and what treatments they provide.
Cardiology: It’s About the Heart
The heart is a complex organ, and its function is essential to our survival. It pumps blood through the circulatory system. The right side of the heart pumps blood to the lungs, while the left side of the heart pumps oxygenated blood to the rest of the body. For many different reasons, the heart’s function could be impaired, affecting the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the body, as well as the elimination of toxins.
Cardiologists are heart experts, and they use their knowledge and training to diagnose and treat cardiac conditions. Some of the most common cardiac conditions they treat include heart attack, arrhythmias (abnormal heartbeat), coronary artery disease (narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to the heart), congestive heart failure (when the heart can’t pump enough blood throughout the body), and valvular heart disease (affecting one or more valves in the heart).
How Do Cardiologists Diagnose Heart Conditions?
Cardiologists use a variety of diagnostic tools to assess their patient’s cardiac health. These tools include things like electrocardiograms (EKGs/ECGs) which measure electrical activity in the heart, echocardiograms which create an image of the heart using sound waves, stress tests which evaluate how well the heart functions during physical activity, and coronary angiography which uses X-rays and dye injected into the arteries to visualize any blockages that may be present. They can also use catheterization procedures to visualize the heart muscles, valves, and blood vessels.
What Treatments Do Cardiologists Provide?
After making a diagnosis, cardiologists will work with their patients to develop a treatment plan that meets their individual needs and goals. Treatment plans for cardiac conditions vary depending on the severity of the condition and can range from lifestyle changes and medications to surgery.
Some of the most common cardiac procedures that cardiologists perform are:
- Removal of plaque from an artery or atherectomy
- Coronary or peripheral artery stenting
- Aortic aneurysm repair
- Installation of watchman implant
Living with a cardiovascular condition can be challenging, but with proper management, it is possible to lead a full and active life, which also benefits your overall health. If you have been diagnosed with a cardiovascular condition or are experiencing symptoms such as chest pain or shortness of breath, it is important to see a cardiologist for a proper evaluation.
Skilled Cardiologist in Boca Raton, FL
At Advanced Heart and Vascular Institute, our board-certified and fellowship-trained cardiologists can provide comprehensive treatment, including advanced procedures and preventive care, for your heart condition.
When it comes to the heart, your choice of the doctor matters a lot. Our cardiologists, Dr. Eli S. Levine and Dr. Michael A. Schechter are well-trained, highly qualified, and experienced in the full range of cardiac procedures, including interventional procedures, and they do so with great compassion for our patients.