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Cardiologists (دل کا ڈاکٹر) are medical practitioners who deal with the diseases of the cardiovascular system—heart and blood vessels.
They diagnose, treat, and manage the diseases of the heart, and also help people lower their risk factors for heart diseases, especially for the South Asian population in whom the rates of cardiovascular diseases are quite high. Cardiologists also educate their patients about adopting habits that promote heart health.
People who have a positive family history of cardiac issues may start experiencing symptoms earlier in their life than the general population. Additionally, people who smoke, have high blood pressure or unhealthy lifestyle practices that can have an earlier onset of heart disease.
Such at-risk populations should get regular check-ups from general physicians and if their doctors feel the need, they should be referred to the best cardiologist in Karachi
The common symptoms that warrant a visit to the cardiologist include shortness of breath, especially while lying down or on minimal exertion. Shortness of breath can be a sign of heart disease and should be addressed imminently.
In certain cases, patients get dizzy or unsteady on exertion or on standing from a sitting or lying position. This could indicate unsteady blood pressure and warrants a complete check-up. Dizziness can be described by the patient as a swirling sensation, or spinning of the head. If the patient faints and loses consciousness following the dizzy spell, they should be addressed immediately by your primary healthcare provider.
When the heart muscle doesn’t get enough oxygen, due to blocked coronary vessels—the blood vessels that supply blood to the muscles of the heart are affected—there is chest pain. This pain is known as angina. Angina often occurs on exertion, along with shortness of breath. The degree of severity of angina is signified by the amount of exertion that brings it about.
If mild activity is accompanied by angina, then this heralds a more serious disorder. Untreated angina is often followed by myocardial infarction or heart attack. Angina often radiates to the arm or the jaw or can present as sudden chest tightness or pressure. Diabetics often have silent chest pain and should have regular check-ups to rule out heart disease.
Sudden flutters in the chest, known as palpitations, is another symptom for which people should visit their cardiac specialists. Palpitations are erratic heartbeats that produce sudden discomfort in the chest. In some people, palpitation can lead to an irregular rhythm, known as arrhythmias. Arrhythmias can lead to fainting spells if not treated timely.
Cardiologists (دل کا ڈاکٹر) deal with congenital heart defects, or birth disorder related to heart, such as tetralogy of Fallot (TOF), atrial septal defects, ventral septal defects, and valvular heart diseases. Additionally, cardiologists deal with new-onset heart disorders, coronary artery diseases, vascular diseases, acute and chronic heart infections, abnormal rhythms of heart, heart attack, and heart failure.
An interventional cardiologist can also perform cardiac catheterization and PCI—percutaneous coronary intervention. This technique is also known as coronary angioplasty. It involves putting in a drug-eluting stent through the non-surgical technique for the treatment of obstructive coronary vessels. This type of intervention is the recommended treatment for unstable angina, multivessel coronary artery disease (CAD), and acute myocardial infarction (heart attack).
The incidence of cardiac diseases in Pakistan is rising exponentially. In 2015, data showed that the death rate related to heart diseases per hour was 12. However, in 2018, this number had risen four-fold, with 46 people dying every hour due to heart attacks, according to Prof. Khawar Kazmi, the head of the Preventive Cardiology Department of NICVD—National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases.
This data has astounded the World Health Organization (WHO) and urged the cardiologists in Pakistan to work more on prevention and educating the masses about the risks of cardiovascular disorders due to lack of physical activities. Of the total deaths in Pakistan, cardiovascular diseases account for 58 percent of them.
Research shows that 17.5 percent of the population is affected by cardiovascular diseases, of which 16.6 percent are males and 18.3 percent are females. The cardiovascular diseases in question include coronary artery disease, hypertensive disorders, valvular heart disease, and rhythm disorders.
Following the five years of graduation in medicine and surgery (MBBS), and the mandatory house job, cardiologists enroll in a four-year residency program in cardiology, where they also have rotations in general medicine. This can be followed by further training in fellowship programs and post-graduation.
Following are the different types of cardiologists:
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Cardiologists (دل کا ڈاکٹر) are qualified to diagnose, manage and treat the diseases of the heart and blood vessels. Primary physicians refer patients to cardiologists when they suspect a cardiac disorder. To diagnose a condition, cardiologists order tests like an electrocardiogram, exercise stress tests, serum markers, cholesterol levels, cardiac ultrasound, cardiac biopsy, and cardiac catheterization.
The investigations help cardiologists evaluate the health of the heart and make a plan accordingly. The treatment plans are based on medication, intervention or just changes in diet and lifestyle. For more serious heart conditions, surgery may be needed.
Finding a good doctor is vital for proper diagnosis & treatment of your underlying concern. Before you make the decision of picking out a Cardiologist, consider the following: