What does a cardiologist do?
What is a cardiologist?
A cardiology consultant is a doctor specialised in the prevention and treatment of heart disease.
The cardiologist can treat patients suffering from arrhythmias, cardiomyopathy, angina, oedema, arteries’ diseases, hypertension and lots of other conditions.
You are usually referred to a cardiologist by your GP, if there is a suspicion of a heart-related disorder.
The cardiologist will first carry out some tests to assess your general heart condition such as:
- - An electrocardiogram (ECG) that records the electrical activity of the heart.
- - An ambulatory ECG recording the electrical activity of the heart during either exercise or regular activities (the electrodes stuch on the chest are connected to a small monitor called Holter, that the patient can carry around).
- - An exercise test that shows the changes of heart rhythm according to the level of activity.
- - An echocardiogram that provides an ultrasound picture showing the structure of the heart and how well it works.
- - An echocardiography measuring how well the heart is pumping blood and useful to detect inflammation, infection or structural abnormalities.
- - A cardiac catheterisation collecting data thanks to a small tube near the heart that takes pictures and check how the heart functions.
- - A nuclear cardiology using radioactive materials to study cardiovascular disorders in a noninvasive way.
After carrying out those tests, the cardiology consultant will decide of an appropriate treatment if you need one or will refer you to a cardiac surgeon if you need a surgery. The cardiologist will be the one following up on the treatments or after the surgery during regular check-ups.
How to choose a cardiologist
The choice of your cardiologist consultant is important, as heart disorders are a sensible topic. As for most specialists, you will have the choice between NHS and private cardiologists.
You should of course take in consideration the advise of your GP but also do your researches by yourself to find the best cardiologist in London, or at least the one that suits you best.
Although you would pay less, you would also probably have to wait quite long before getting an appointment with a cardiologist through the NHS while you could book very quickly with a private cardiologist, although you would have to pay more.