Cardiology Medical Services Questions and Answers
What does a cardiologist treat?
Cardiologists are doctors who specialize in the study and treatment of any cardiovascular disorders of the cardiovascular system which includes the heart, arteries and veins. Our cardiologists at Family First Medical treat many conditions including:
- Atrial Fibrillation
Also known as abnormal heart rhythm, this happens when the blood flow from the upper chambers to the bottom varies with each beat; in turn, the heart has problems pumping blood efficiently to the rest of the body.
- Ventricular Fibrillation
One of the most dangerous types as it happens when the heart quivers instead of pumping blood. The patients’ blood pressure plummets because the heart is not properly pumping blood.
- Congenital Heart Disease
Malformation in the structure of the heart.
- Coronary Heart Disease
Narrowing of the coronary arteries which supplies oxygen and blood to the heart. The signs this disease commonly causes are shortness of breath, angina, myocardial infarction and heart attacks.
- Congestive Heart Disease
Also often referred to as “heart failure”. This happens when the ventricles of the heart cannot pump enough blood to the rest of the body and eventually leads to blood filling up the lungs, abdomen, liver and lower part of the body.
- Hypertension or High Blood Pressure
- High cholesterol
Wax-like substance found in the blood. Certain amount of cholesterol is good, but once the levels get too high you end up being at an increased risk of heart disease.
Swelling and irritation of the pericardium which is a thin membrane that forms the sac around the muscle of the heart. Some signs it can cause is sharp, acute pain when the irritation portions of the pericardium run against one another.
Cardiologists treat these conditions through a variety of different treatments including medications, lifestyle changes, weight loss recommendations, diet management, therapies and many more.
If damage is severe, they may refer the patient to a heart surgeon for surgical procedures.
What procedures does a cardiologist perform?
The main role a cardiologists will perform is to evaluate and treat heart problems medically without surgery. Cardiologists have the ability to perform procedures like heart catheterizations, angioplasty (which is inserting balloons into the arteries to clear them) and placing stents to keep arteries open.
The duties and responsibilities of a cardiologist include:
- Diagnose and treat disorders and diseases of the cardiovascular system
- Perform exams on patients and order or conduct diagnostic testing
- Develop ongoing treatments and disease-management plans
- Prescribe medicine and send out referrals as necessary
- Conduct early detection screenings on patients
- Maintain patient records and charts
- Communicate with patients, physicians, staff and the administration team
How can heart diseases be treated?
There are a few interventions and treatments that can be used to help when a patient has been diagnosed with heart disease, they will depend on the condition and what your doctor thinks you might have, they include:
- ECG or EKG (Electrocardiogram)
Quick and painless test that records electrical signals in your heart.
- Holter monitoring
Portable ECG device that you wear continuously to record your heart rhythm. Usually, you only need to wear this for 24-72 hours. This helps to detect any heart rhythm problems that may not be found on a regular ECG exam.
- Stress test
This test involves raising your heart rate with exercise or medicine while performing heart tests and imaging to check how your heart responds.
- Cardiac catheterization
A sheath (short tube) is inserted into a vein or artery. Then a guide catheter (hollow, flexible and longer tube) will be inserted into the sheath. Once this is completed, an Xray will be performed so the cardiologist can carefully thread the catheter through the artery until it reaches your heart. During this, your heart chambers can be measured and dye can be injected. The dye will be seen on the Xray machine so your cardiologist can see the blood flow through your heart, blood vessels and valves which check for any problems.
- CT Scan (Cardiac Computerized Tomography scan
While you lie on a table an X Ray tube inside the Xray machine rotates around your body and collects important images of your heart and chest.
- MRI (Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
MRI uses a magnetic field and computer-generated radio waves to create and collect detailed images of your heart.
How do cardiologists check your heart?
If your doctor has detected you might have heart issues, they will send you to a heart specialist or a cardiologist to continue further testing. The cardiologist will check your heart by ordering different tests depending on the condition and issues you are having.
- Transesophageal echocardiography
- Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
- CT Scan
- Stress Test
- Tilt Test
- Ambulatory Rhythm Monitoring Test
- Coronary Angiogram
If you or someone you know is having issues with their chest or heart, and you think it could be related to heart disease or something else of that nature, call Family First Medical Group. We offer experienced and knowledgeable cardiologists that are available to help you get the diagnosis and treatment you need. We have 2 locations to serve you in Evergreen Park and Mokena. Our hours are Monday to Saturday from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM. We serve patients from Evergreen Park IL, Mokena IL, Hickory Hills IL, Oak Lawn IL, Chicago Ridge IL, Bridgeview IL, Bedford Park IL as well as many other areas in the Chicagoland Region.