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What is cardiology?
Cardiology is the médical science concerning heart and vascular diseases.
The diseases specificaly of the heart such as myocardial infarction ; angina pectoris, valve dysfunctions, septic (myocarditis, pericarditis,endocarditis), rythm disturbances, congenital malfunctions...
Arterial diseases concern the aorta and its secundary banches : coronaries, cervical branches, the thoracic and abdominal branches and the arteries to your limbs and to your brain.
The vein pathologies such as phlébitis, thrombosis , insufficiencies ..
Secondary diseases stemming from risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes,hypercholesterolemia, hypertriglyceridemia,obsity , tabaco abuse, ...
How does a consultation progress?
The patient comes with complaints of chest pain,pain in the arms, breathing difficulty, dizziness, loss of consciousness, heart palpitaions , unexplained fatigue, swelling of the feet , headaches... After a first analysis the general practitioner will request further cardiological assessment
Once he has explained the symptoms, the cardiologist will make the physical examination : listen to their heart,lungs,arteries and examines the abdomen , legs and take the blood pressure.
According to the needs several different technical examens are proposed :
- The Electrocardiogram(ECG)=recording of the electrical impulses of the heart at rest and under exertion
- The EchoDoppler ultrasound of the heart , arteries, veins, ( sometime with exertion)- if it's necassery via a transoesophageal approche is performed
- Bicycle test
- Holter (recording of the heart rythm during several days with a portable device)
- Blood pressure monitoring (recording of the blood pressure with à portable device)
- Minipolysomnography, sleepstudy (monitoring of breathing and oxygen level during the night to detect sleep apneas).
- Pace Maker follow-up
Which technics must be done in a hospital environment?
Outpatient : nuclear like myocardial scintigraphy, scanner , Magnetic resonnance
Short stay for cardiac catheterization, coronary angiography, coronary angioplasty and stent placement, electrophysiological study (study of the electrical properties and treatment of the abnormalities like Wolf Parkinson White, Atrial Flutter , Atrial Fibrillation, Accessory pathway , ventricular arythmias..by radiofrequency or cryoablation and pace maker or defibrillator implantation.
Inpatient for all the diseases of the heart and lining around the heart that do not respond adequately to medication or require special techniques , intensice care or surgery .
what are the treatments?
Treatments begin with lifestyle and dietary changes , followed by medication.
After different techniques may help like percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI)which means balloon angioplasty,stent insertion , laser , ..for coronary diseases-The surgeon can Bypass graft perform.
For valve dysfunctions we can percutaneouly open them ( valve implantion) or close them (clip) but the most efficient is surgery ( repear like aorta or mitral valvuloplasty, replacement with a prothesis.
For heart rythm abnormalities we treat with a rodio or a cryoablation and we can also implant a pace maker or a defibrillator.
For the muscle or the congenital disease surgery will correct the defect .
After hospitalization a training program is proposed.