In response to increased risk factors for cardiovascular disease or symptoms indicating it may already be present, cardiologist consultations are typically recommended by a patient’s primary care physician. Since heart disease is number one killer in Singapore– affecting more than 30 million people – doctors are keenly aware of the stakes in detecting or diagnosing it.
Significant risk factors for heart disease, such as one or more immediate family members and high blood pressure or cholesterol levels, may cause your primary doctor to refer you to a cardiologist in Singapore. Depending on the outcome, this referral will result in either one-time visits or continuing treatment.
For example, a strong family history of heart disease may be the cause for an assessment or low-level tests to verify heart function. If findings are good, your primary care physician will continue to track you. However, more alarming results may prompt further research which can contribute to long-term cardiological treatment. You should predict your own risk of developing heart disease.
More commonly, some symptoms cause patients to seek cardiovascular treatment which includes:
- Chest pain or discomfort is called angina, frequently suggesting narrowed arteries that supply blood to the heart.
- Rhythm irregularities, or arrhythmias, can include palpitations as well as missed heartbeat.
- Shortness of breath which may indicate congestive heart failure or problems with the valve
- A heart attack which needs continuous cardiological monitoring after the ambulance passes.
4 Types of Cardiologists
The cardiology profession has many subspecialties where the cardiologist works on individual heart issues. The specific heart condition of a patient determines the type of cardiologist needed. Some cardiology subspecialties include:
- Interventional cardiologists, who use tubes called catheters to perform angiograms that may suggest narrow arteries around the heart.
- Echocardiographers evaluate the images which are produced by using sound waves. Echocardiographers are a branch of the cardiology subspecialty known as specialist cardiac imaging. In addition to echocardiography, these include experts in nuclear cardiology, cardiac MRI, and cardiac CT.
- Electrophysiologists are trained cardiologists in the diagnosis and treatment of arrhythmias.
- Preventive cardiologists concentrate on cardiac risk and strategies for reducing the risk of first or subsequent heart attack or stroke. Many hospitals open outpatient clinics to reduce heart attacks by assisting patients with health conditions such as weight, exercise, or smoking.