The term “cardiology” comes from the Greek words “cardia,” which means “heart,” and “logy,” which means “study of.” Cardiology is the study and practice of treating heart and blood vessel conditions. Congenital heart defects, coronary artery disease, heart failure, valvular heart disease, and electrophysiology are all included in the field’s scope of medical diagnosis and treatment. A cardiologist is typically consulted when a patient has heart disease or another cardiovascular condition. The cardiology team has years of experience in both the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases. To accurately diagnose the issue, the cardiologist may recommend certain tests and perform certain procedures, such as heart catheterizations, angioplasty, or pacemaker insertion.
The three main cardiology procedures are as follows: Invasive, Non-invasive, and Interventional.
1) Invasive cardiology uses open or minimally-invasive surgery techniques to identify and treat structural or electrical abnormalities within the heart structure.
Common types of invasive cardiology include:
• Angioplasty: When plaque blocks the arteries, it becomes difficult for blood to flow normally. Angioplasty insert a tiny balloon into the clogged vein and push plaque against the walls, allowing for increased blood flow.
• Stenting: This procedure is frequently combined with angioplasty. A cardiac stent is a tiny metal coil which permanently holds a clogged vein open.
2) Non-invasive cardiology identifies heart problems without using any needles, fluids, or other instruments inserted into the body.
Non-invasive cardiologists use methods such as:
• Nuclear cardiology: Is a non-invasive method of studying cardiovascular disorders that may involve the use of radioactive elements in various imaging techniques.
• Echocardiography: The use of ultrasound waves to produce images of the heart and surrounding structures in order to detect infections, structural abnormalities, and how well the heart pumps blood.
• Cardiac electrophysiology: Study and testing of the electrical currents which generate heartbeats.
• Stress tests: Stress testing usually involves exercise which is monitored closely by a cardiologist. These exercises share information about a person’s heart perform under physical stress.
• Heart monitors: Heart monitors also called a Holter monitor or cardiac event recorder. The electrical activity of your heart is essentially recorded on a tape by heart monitors for a specific duration.
• CT scans: CT scans produce images of the affected area examined by the cardiologist for any heart diseases and atherosclerosis.
3) Interventional cardiology is a non-surgical procedure which uses a catheter – a small, flexible tube – to repair damaged or weakened vessels, narrowed arteries, or other affected parts of the heart structure.
Common conditions treated by interventional cardiology include:
• Coronary artery disease: Narrowing of the arteries which supply the heart muscles with blood and oxygen.
• Heart Valve Disease: Occurs when the valves that regulate blood flow into the heart’s chambers are not working correctly.
• Peripheral vascular disease: Heart can also be affected by clogged or hardened veins and arteries in the other parts of your body.