Cardiology is the study of the heart and blood vessels, and a cardiologist makes sure they are functioning well. Patients see cardiologists for many issues affecting the circulatory system, including:
After performing a physical exam, a cardiologist may order a number of imaging tests in order to get a better understanding of what disease or complication might be causing problems in the heart and blood vessels. Some of these might include:
Although some cardiologists provide primary care, cardiologists more typically work as consultants to primary care physicians when a heart issue comes up. Cardiologists do not perform surgery, but they can perform 'interventional' procedures, such as balloon angioplasty (where a balloon is used to stretch open narrowed veins) or stent placement to keep blood flowing.