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Shahmeen Irshad

My Future Career - Cardiologist

By: Shahmeen Irshad
College Now Course - SD 11

What Is A Cardiologist & What Do They Do?
A cardiologist is a medical doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases or conditions of the heart and blood vessels. Cardiologists can treat people who have conditions or diseases such as chest pain (angina), irregular heart rhythms, heart failure, high blood pressure, or heart attacks. Cardiologists often perform tests or procedures that indicate how well a person's heart is working. These tests or procedures may include a treadmill test (exercise electrocardiogram) and/or angioplasty. Cardiologists can further specialize in interventional cardiology or electrophysiology. Cardiologists may also specialize in treating specific age groups, such as a pediatric cardiologist, who only treats children.

Interventional Cardiology (Invasive):
I want to specialize in interventional cardiology (invasive), interventional cardiologists are medical doctors who specialize in performing procedures to diagnose and treat heart disease. Interventional cardiologists may perform procedures such as cardiac angioplasty. Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA), or angioplasty, is an invasive procedure performed to reduce or eliminate blockages in coronary arteries. The goal of PTCA is to restore blood flow to blood-deprived heart tissue, reduce the need for medication, and eliminate or reduce the number of episodes of angina (chest pain). Opening a blockage, or a plaque, in a coronary artery typically involves the use of an angioplasty balloon. When the blockage is calcified or so dense that a balloon cannot be placed, other devices are used. Plaque can be cut out, ablated with a laser, or bored out using a surgical drill bit. Often, a stent is implanted after angioplasty to keep the artery open and prevent restenosis (regrowth of plaque). More than one blockage can be treated during a single session, depending on the location of the blockages and the patient's condition. The procedure can take 30 minutes to several hours, depending on the number of blockages being treated.