When to Make an Appointment with a Cardiologist
You may have noticed a change in your lifestyle in which you are experiencing:
- Shortness of breath (can’t breathe the way you way you use to breathe)
- Chest pressure/pain upon exertion or a rest
- Chest pressure/pain that may travel to: your left arm, neck/throat, middle of your back, in your teeth
- Rapid heartbeat that may be accompanied by light-headedness and near fainting
- Reduced ability to perform your daily activities
- Roncern about family history of heart disease
- Weight gain that is unexplained
If you experience the above signs or symptoms then you should immediately seek care from your primary care physician or emergency physician (calling 911 for onset of chest pressure/pain or shortness of breath lasting 5 continuous minutes).
The primary care physician or emergency medicine physician may find something concerning in your physical assessment, test, or blood work and will advise you to be seen by a cardiologist.
A cardiologist is a doctor with special training and skill in finding, treating and preventing heart disease, heart attack, heart failure and heart rhythm disturbances. Cardiologists counsel patients about the risks factors and prevention of heart disease. Cardiologists help manage the heart attacks, heart failure and heart rhythm disturbances with the hope of allowing the patient to continue a productive lifestyle.
Your primary care physician or emergency physician may refer you to see a cardiologist. The cardiologist will determine the frequency of your cardiac follow up. You may self-refer yourself to see a cardiologist; however, the cardiologist will request to receive medical records from your previous cardiologist and primary care physician.
What Does a Cardiologist Do?
Whether the cardiologist sees you in the office or in the hospital, he or she will review your medical history and perform a physical examination which may include checking your blood pressure, weight, heart, lungs, and blood vessels.
Some problems may be diagnosed by your symptoms and the doctor’s findings when you are examined. You may need additional tests such as an EKG, x-ray, or blood test. Other problems will require more specialized testing. Your cardiologist may recommend lifestyle changes or medicine. Each patient’s case is unique.
Request an Appointment with a with your Primary Care Physician today for a referral to a Wake Forest Baptist Cardiologist.