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A cardiologist is a doctor who specializes in the cardiovascular system - which includes the heart and blood vessels. Cardiologists are experts in the anatomy and health of the heart, the cardiovascular system, and a wide range of heart diseases. They are sometimes referred to as heart doctors.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US, and cardiologists are on the frontlines of the fight against this condition. They treat heart disease as well as many other related issues, like high blood pressure, blocked arteries, heart attacks, heart valve disease, arrhythmia, and heart failure. They also promote heart-healthy habits with their patients.

Board-certified cardiologists must complete undergraduate training, medical school, a residency in internal medicine, and a cardiology fellowship. Once they have completed their education (which takes about 15 years!), cardiologists earn certification from the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM).

Connect directly with a real, qualified cardiologist on Sesame who can assess your conditions and craft a treatment plan that works for you - all for one affordable, upfront price.

Cardiologists treat a wide spectrum of heart diseases and vascular diseases, which include:

- Heart and blood vessel disease (Cardiovascular disease): The term "heart disease" encompasses several conditions that include heart attack, stroke, heart failure, arrhythmia, and heart valve problems.

- Heart attack: Heart attacks occur when fat, cholesterol and other substances block arteries. Heart attacks can be fatal. Signs of a heart attack include pressure, pain or aching in your chest and arms, nausea, cold sweat, fatigue, shortness of breath, sudden dizziness, and/or feeling lightheaded. If you think you are having a heart attack you need to act immediately.

- Stroke: A blockage of blood supply to the brain that can cause major bodily damage and may result in death.

- Congestive heart failure: A gradual weakening of the heart muscle that can get worse over time and may lead to a heart attack.

- Arrhythmia: When the electrical impulses that regulate heart rhythm don’t work properly. It can feel like a racing heart, or a fluttering and can happen in addition to palpitations.

- Heart palpitations: Skipping heartbeats, pounding, rapid heartbeats, or beating too fast.

- Coronary artery disease: When the blood vessels that supply blood, oxygen, and nutrients to your heart become damaged or diseased.

- Hypertension: High blood pressure.

- Atrial fibrillation: An irregular heartbeat that may increase your chances of getting a stroke.

Cardiologists can perform a wide range of procedures, including:

- Ablation: A heart that beats too quickly, palpitates, or has arrhythmia can benefit from ablation. This procedure involves ablating the troubled area, causing scar tissue to develop which helps prevent short-circuiting. If you suffer from tachycardia, a condition that causes your heart to beat around 100 beats per minute or higher, you may also benefit from ablation.

- Electrocardiogram (EKG): An EKG machine records the electrical signals in your heart. It may be used to check for abnormal heart rhythms, detect heart attack, or check up on heart disease treatments including pacemakers and stents.

- Echocardiogram (ECG): A machine that uses sound waves to create an image of your heart.

- Angioplasty: A procedure that threads a thin tube through a blood vessel in the groin or arm to restore blood flow to an artery.

Heart disease (cardiovascular disease) is an umbrella term that describes many types of heart problems including atrial fibrillation and arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats), high blood pressure, and coronary artery disease. Heart conditions are treatable by a cardiologist, a doctor who specializes in heart and cardiovascular health care.

Heart disease symptoms can vary from patient to patient.

If you feel any chest pain, faint, or have shortness of breath call 911. These may be symptoms of a heart attack.

Common types of heart disease and their related symptoms include:

  • Heart disease in your blood vessels: Pain, pressure, tightness, or general discomfort in the chest.

  • Heart defect: Bluish or pale gray skin color, swollen legs, eyes, or abdomen.

  • Heart disease caused by abnormal heartbeats: Fainting, dizziness, chest pain or discomfort, fast heartbeat, slow heartbeat, feeling lightheaded, and/or a fluttering in your chest.

  • A diseased heart muscle (cardiomyopathy): Feeling breathless even at rest, swollen legs, ankles, and feet, fatigue, fluttering or pounding heartbeats, dizziness, fainting, and/or feeling lightheaded.

  • Heart infection: Fever, skin rash, changes in your heartbeat, shortness of breath, fatigue or weakness, swelling of the legs or abdomen, and/or a dry persistent cough.

  • Valvular heart disease: pain in the chest, fatigue, shortness of breath, unusual heartbeat, swollen feet or ankles, and/or fainting.

It is important to maintain your cardiovascular health. Speak today with a real, quality heart specialist on Sesame for one affordable, upfront price.

The risk of heart disease varies based on your family history, lifestyle, age, and race. Risk factors include:

Obesity: Those with a high body mass index (BMI) are at greater risk of developing heart disease.

High blood pressure (hypertension): This can often be treated with calcium channel blockers, beta-blockers, and diuretics.

High cholesterol: Treatment for high cholesterol includes statins.

Genetics: Heart disease can run in the family.

Alcohol and tobacco use: can raise blood pressure, and damage the heart and blood vessels

Poor diet: A diet rich in saturated fats, cholesterol, and trans fats is linked to heart disease.

Heart defects: congenital heart defects put you at a higher risk for coronary heart disease.

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Sesame makes it easier than ever to find a real, quality cardiologist in Zephyrhills, FL. Simply enter "cardiologist" in our search bar, and browse results in your area.

Sesame works directly with cardiologists - not insurance companies - to get you upfront, cash prices for the heart care you need. No insurance copays or surprise billings, just simple, quality care. Connect today with a cardiologist in Zephyrhills, FL to get your questions answered and symptoms addressed!

Right here!

Sesame makes it easier than ever to find a real, quality cardiologist in Zephyrhills, FL. Simply enter "cardiologist" in our search bar, and browse results in your area.

Sesame works directly with cardiologists - not insurance companies - to get you upfront, cash prices for the heart care you need. No insurance copays or surprise billings, just simple, quality care. Connect today with a cardiologist in Zephyrhills, FL to get your questions answered and symptoms addressed!

The best thing you can do if you are concerned about heart failure is to speak to a cardiologist who can provide treatment options and create a treatment plan that meets your needs.

To understand the extent of your heart failure, your doctor may use diagnostic treatments such as an x-ray or an echocardiogram, or have you perform a stress test to test your heart rate during activity. A treatment plan may involve lifestyle changes including a heart-healthy diet, or medication such as beta-blockers or statins

An echocardiogram is a type of ultrasound imaging that uses sound waves to create an image of the heart. An echocardiogram is a non-invasive procedure that allows doctors to see the heart muscle beating and blood pumping. Using these live images, doctors can monitor and diagnose heart conditions. Echocardiogram imaging uses no radiation and is not known to cause any side effects.

Echocardiograms are noninvasive diagnostic tests that use high-frequency sound waves to create images of the heart, the heart’s structures, and blood flow through the heart.

Doctors use these images to help monitor and diagnose heart conditions such as:

  • Arrhythmias (abnormal heart rate)
  • Heart disease (like congenital heart defects)
  • Heart failure (weak or abnormal pumping of the heart muscle)
  • Cardiomyopathy (thickened heart muscle)
  • Heart attack
  • Coronary artery disease (plaque build-up on the arterial walls leading to the heart)
  • Pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the arteries leading to the lungs)
  • Narrowing or blockage of the heart valves
  • Leaky heart valves
  • Endocarditis (infection in the heart valves)
  • Blood clots and tumors

Echocardiograms are painless, effective procedures that can help detect the risk or effects of heart disease and conditions of the heart. According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. If you are experiencing symptoms related to heart disease or a heart condition, talk to a doctor right away.

There are several different types of echocardiograms that are used by cardiologists; they all use sound waves to create pictures of your heart but are applied in slightly different ways. The most common types of echocardiograms are:

- Transthoracic echocardiograms (TTE):

This is the most common form of echocardiogram test used by cardiologists. The sonographer (the person who operates the imaging machine) places a transducer on the chest over the heart. The transducer sends high-frequency sound waves (ultrasound beam) through the chest to the heart. As the sound waves bounce off the heart, the transducer records these echoes. A computer then interprets the sound waves into a moving image that can be seen on a monitor. This image shows the heart beating, and blood vessels flowing through the heart.

- Transesophageal echocardiogram:

If doctors need a more detailed image of the heart, they may ask to do this type of test. During the test, the throat will be numbed, and the patient will be given sedation drugs to help relaxation. A tiny transducer will be guided through the mouth and down the throat to the stomach via the esophagus (the tube that connects the throat to the stomach). By doing this, the transducer is put behind the heart. The transducer then records sound wave echoes from the heart. These sound waves are interpreted by a computer into a moving image of the heart which can be seen on a monitor. This helps the sonographer get a better look at some of the heart’s chambers that are hard to see in a TTE test.

- Stress echocardiogram:

This test is the same as a TTE test (transducer placed on the chest over the heart) but is performed after a cardiac stress test. This stress is usually created by running or walking on a treadmill, or with medication that makes blood pump as if the body is exercising. By creating ultrasound images after activity, doctors can see how well the blood is pumping blood to the body. This helps detect narrowing of the arteries, a condition that can lead to heart failure and heart attack.

- Doppler echocardiography: This is done with TTE and Transesophageal tests using the Doppler effect. The pitch of sound waves change as they echo off blood cells moving through blood vessels and the heart muscle, and these signals are used to determine the speed and direction of blood flow. This helps doctors measure blockage in the arteries, and check for leakage in the heart valves. Doppler ultrasounds are useful in catching coronary artery disease and heart disease in children.

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