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Often asked: When to see a cardiologist?

What does a cardiologist do on your first visit?

Your cardiac nurse or cardiologist will check your vital signs and perform a physical exam. They may also order a number of tests and diagnostic procedures, depending on your symptoms, risk factors and health history.

What conditions does a cardiologist treat?

Heart diseases that a cardiologist can help with include:

  • atherosclerosis.
  • atrial fibrillation.
  • arrhythmias.
  • congenital heart disease.
  • coronary heart disease.
  • congestive heart disease.
  • high blood cholesterol and triglycerides.
  • hypertension.

Why would you be referred to a cardiologist?

A cardiologist is a heart doctor. They specialize in treating heart conditions and diseases as well as helping patients manage their heart conditions as much as possible. A cardiologist will treat any symptoms of heart conditions that you have and diagnose any possible conditions.

How can you tell if you have heart problems?


  • Chest pain, chest tightness, chest pressure and chest discomfort (angina)
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Pain, numbness, weakness or coldness in your legs or arms if the blood vessels in those parts of your body are narrowed.
  • Pain in the neck, jaw, throat, upper abdomen or back.

What does a blockage in the heart feel like?

Impacts of a complete blockage

The symptoms – chest pain, tightness and shortness of breath – can be similar, though. Sometimes, when arteries become completely blocked, a new blood supply develops around the blockage. This new blood supply, called collaterals, won’t deliver as much blood to your heart.

Will an EKG show heart problems?

Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) to assess the heart rate and rhythm. This test can often detect heart disease, heart attack, an enlarged heart, or abnormal heart rhythms that may cause heart failure.

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What do you wear to a cardiologist appointment?

If the reason for your visit is for a specific test, in general, you should wear a two-piece loose fitting clothing. Please see the link Pre-Test Instructions for specific clothing instructions for particular tests. If the reason for your appointment is a consultation only, any outfit is appropriate.

Why do cardiologists look at your neck?

Your provider may listen to the blood flow in the carotids with a stethoscope. This can tell them if you may be in danger of suffering a stroke. A clear carotid makes a “thump, THUMP” noise like a heartbeat. But a carotid can be dangerously clogged by cholesterol plaque.

What is involved in a cardiac evaluation?

The initial evaluation of a cardiac patient consists of performing a physical examination and obtaining a medical history. During the physical examination, we look for an underlying cause for symptoms that have presented – such as chest pain or shortness of breath – and assess heart function.

What tests do cardiologists run?

Common tests for heart function include:

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)
  • Chest X-rays.
  • Echocardiogram.
  • Cardiac Catheterization and Angiogram.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • CT (Computerized Tomography) of the Heart.
  • Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE)
  • Holter Monitor.

How do I prepare for a cardiologist appointment?

Compile a personal health history and a health history of your family. Gather together any recent test results and a list of medications you are taking. Jot down notes about symptoms you have been experiencing. Make a list of questions you want to ask your doctor.

What are three common reasons for a referral?

Of nonmedical reasons for referral, meeting perceived community standards of care, patient requests, and self-education were cited most commonly, followed by patient education, reassurance, and motivation. Enhancing patient trust, insufficient time, trainee education, and reducing liability risk were cited least often.

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What are the 4 signs your heart is quietly failing?

Heart failure signs and symptoms may include:

  • Shortness of breath (dyspnea) when you exert yourself or when you lie down.
  • Fatigue and weakness.
  • Swelling (edema) in your legs, ankles and feet.
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat.
  • Reduced ability to exercise.
  • Persistent cough or wheezing with white or pink blood-tinged phlegm.

Can you have a mild heart attack and not know it?

Can you have a heart attack and not know it? Yes. A heart attack can actually happen without a person knowing it. You can understand why it is called a “silent” heart attack.

What are the warning signs of clogged arteries?


  • Chest pain (angina). You may feel pressure or tightness in your chest, as if someone were standing on your chest.
  • Shortness of breath. If your heart can’t pump enough blood to meet your body’s needs, you may develop shortness of breath or extreme fatigue with activity.
  • Heart attack.

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