Are all cardiologists the same?
For some, a family history of heart disease may trigger an appointment with a cardiologist. For others, random chest pain or other symptoms may cause you to seek care.
In the world of cardiology, there are many types of cardiologists and understanding what each does can sometimes be a bit overwhelming.
- General/non-invasive cardiologist
A general cardiologist is your first line to cardiology, your go-to when your primary care physician recommends you see one. A non-invasive cardiologist helps patients manage and prevent cardiovascular disease such as high blood pressure,coronary artery disease, carotid disease, peripheral arterial disease, congestive heart failure, hypertension and hyperlipidemia. They can also develop a risk strategy through diagnostic tests such as ECHOs, stress tests and EKGs.
“These tests help identify heart conditions, and whether the problem can be treated with diet and medication. If a surgical procedure is recommended, then your cardiologist will refer you to another physician,” Dr. Hussain says.
- Interventional Cardiologist
Interventional cardiologists work specifically with catheter-based treatments and heart diseases. They perform procedures such as heart catheterization, angioplasty, stenting, and relieving clogged arteries. Think of them as the ‘plumbers’ of cardiology.
Electrophysiologists diagnose and treat electrical activities of the heart by going into the heart through the vein. They perform catheter ablations (a common treatment for atrial fibrillation) and implant and manage cardiac devices such as pacemakers and defibrillators. So, you can think of them as the ‘electricians’ of cardiology.
- Pediatric cardiologist
Pediatric cardiologists specialize in children ages 18 and under, and treat abnormalities of the heart and circulatory system. They most commonly treat congenital heart disease, a condition that is found at birth.
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