Cardiology is the field of medicine that focuses on the diseases of the heart and blood vessels, which are collectively known as the cardiovascular system. The heart is a fist-sized muscle located in the chest that pumps oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to every organ and system in the body. Blood vessels allow blood to circulate throughout the body, carrying it to and from the heart, lungs, and other organs.
Physicians who practice in this field are called cardiologists, and have received specialized training and education to diagnose and treat the diseases that affect the functioning of the cardiovascular system. Cardiologists also play an important role in preventative care, as they educate their patients on the risk factors associated with heart disease, and help them adapt long term heart-healthy habits
At BASS Medical Group, our cardiologists are board certified and are qualified to diagnose, manage, and treat a wide range of cardiovascular conditions including:
- Atrial fibrillation
- Congenital heart disease
- Coronary heart disease
- Heart attacks
- Heart failure
- High blood cholesterol and triglycerides
- Other vascular and cardiac conditions
Cardiovascular Risk Factors
There are several risk factors associated with the above conditions, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, obesity, and having a family history of heart disease. While some of these risk factors are out of your control, many are directly connected to diet and lifestyle, meaning you can take steps to lower your risk. Taking care of your heart is incredibly important as your entire body depends on its function. If you are interested in learning more about heart healthy practices that can lower your risk, talk to your primary doctor or make an appointment with one of our BASS Medical Group specialists.
Your primary doctor will most likely refer you to cardiologist if you are showing symptoms typical of a heart condition such as dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pain, high blood pressure, or changes in the rate or rhythm of your heart beat. However, if you suspect that you have a heart condition, we recommend talking to your primary to see if an appointment with a cardiologist is appropriate.
Diagnosing Cardiovascular Conditions
At BASS Medical Group, our experienced cardiologists are ready to help diagnose and treat your heart condition using the most up to date practices and technologies. To help them make their diagnosis, they often use several laboratory and blood tests, and they might ask that you undergo one or more of the following procedures:
- Cardiac catheterization
- Cardiac nuclear scan
- Chest x-ray
- Computerized tomography (CT) scan
- Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)
- Electrophysiological study
- Exercise stress testing
- Holter & event monitoring
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE)
In the event you are diagnosed with a heart condition, your cardiologist will likely prescribe medication and advise lifestyle changes. If your condition is serious and requires further care, they will make recommendations as to what your next steps should be.
Your treatment plan may involve surgery or additional monitoring, and although several specialists and support staff may be a part of your treatment team, your cardiologist will continue to lead and manage your care. Their expertise in all aspects of the cardiovascular system is important when decisions are made about procedures such as heart surgery, balloon angioplasty, or the implantation of a pacemaker or defibrillator.
At BASS Medical Group, our cardiologists are dedicated to providing comprehensive heart care to help their patients live long and healthy lives. To receive quality, professional care please give us a call at (925) 350-4044 to schedule an appointment.