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Cardiology

Cardiology

A cardiologist is a doctor who specialises in diseases affecting the heart.

Medical Conditions

  • Ischaemic heart disease (angina, heart attack, myocardial infarction, acute coronary syndrome) - narrowing of the vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart can cause chest pain, shortness of breath and collapse. Reversible chest pain on exertion caused by vessel narrowing is called angina. A heart attack generally occurs where a vessel is completely blocked and heart muscle is damaged.
  • Arrhythmias (like atrial fibrillation (AF), atrial flutter, supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) & ventricular tachycardia (VT)) - The heart normally beats regularly and reliably. Any disturbance to this function is called an arrhythmia. The heart may be going too fast (a tachyarrhythmia) or too slow (a bradyarrhythmia).
  • Heart failure - many different conditions can make the heart not pump as well as it should. This is called heart failure and can cause shortness of breath, lethargy, swelling of ankles and dizziness.
  • Valvular heart disease - there are four major valves in the heart. These may become narrowed meaning forward flow of blood through them is impeded, or they may become leaky meaning the heart pump is less efficient.

Specialty Areas of Interest

  • Interventional cardiology - angioplasty and stenting
  • Arrhythmia management and electrophysiological studies and ablation
  • Heart failure

Associated Tests

Procedures

  • Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI)
  • Angioplasty and stenting
  • Pacemaker insertion
  • Ablation therapy

What to expect

History

Your cardiologist will ask you about your current presentation, particularly any chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness or collapses you may have suffered. They will ask about risk factors for ischaemic heart disease including smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and a family history of heart problems. It is also important they know what medications you are currently taking.

Examination

Your cardiologist will check your pulse and blood pressure, then proceed to examine your heart, lungs and other pulses. The history combined with the examination findings will guide your cardiologist to decide on further appropriate investigations.

Training and Qualifications

Links

 

A: Use HealthEngine to find and book your next GP appointment. Click on the following locations to find a GP clinic in your state or territory.

 

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. If in doubt, HealthEngine recommends consulting with a registered health practitioner.


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