With heart disease as the second leading cause of death in Singapore, chances are, at some point, you have thought about seeing a cardiologist. Cardiologists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of various diseases and conditions of the cardiovascular system, which includes the heart and blood vessels. If you have concerns related to the cardiovascular system, the first step is to discuss the symptoms with your primary care provider, and they will determine if you need a cardiologist referral. However, finding the right heart specialist in Singapore (https://cadenceheart.sg/service/pacemakers-defibrillators/) is not an easy task since there are a lot of hospitals and clinics that offer the latest technology and top-notch service. But if you are looking for the best technology and top-notch service combined with high quality and heartfelt (no pun intended) care, you should visit Cadence Heart Centre, a heart clinic at Somerset. No heart concern is too small for Cadence doctors so you can be rest assured that you will receive accurate diagnosis and a comprehensive treatment plan.
So, do you really need to visit a cardiologist if you do not have any existing heart issues? The answer is yes! Cardiologists can treat heart-related issues even before they develop into a problem, or if you have a family history of heart diseases, a cardiologist can monitor or address potential risk factors such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol. In other words, a cardiologist is not only responsible for treating people when a problem occurs, but more importantly, they can help mitigate risks and help people make sound decisions about their treatment options and lifestyle changes. For those who have been diagnosed with chronic and acute heart conditions, a cardiologist ensures that they have routine check-ups and access to appropriate medications and treatment plans.
Read below to learn more about the work of a heart specialist in Singapore – the issues they treat, their specializations, symptoms that you may need a referral to a cardiologist, and more!
What are some of the issues that a cardiologist treats?
Some of the common issues that you might see a cardiologist for include heart rhythm disorders, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, coronary heart diseases, heart failure, valve disorders, and post-operative care (after a heart attack, for example).
What are the areas that a cardiologist specializes in?
Cardiology is a very complex field, as there are so many parts that should fit together and so many processes that take place simultaneously to make the heart work properly. As such, there are different specializations that address different components of cardiology:
Cardiovascular disease specialist: This type of cardiologist specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of heart and blood vessel diseases. They also manage complex heart issues like heart attacks, abnormal heartbeat rhythms (arrhythmia), heart failure, strokes, and coronary heart disease.
Adult congenital heart disease specialist: Congenital means that a person inherits something genetically at birth. Congenital heart issues are an example and unfortunately, it is also the most common form of birth defect. The main responsibility of an adult congenital heart disease specialist is to help patients with congenital heart conditions to lead relatively normal and healthy lives. During childhood, these conditions are often repaired, with varying degrees of success and the care (including regular check-ups and follow-up procedures) continues until adulthood.
The most common follow-up procedures for congenital heart disease patients are the insertion of a balloon (stent) and the repair of conduits and valves, both of which are done to prevent the possibility of developing obstructions over time. There are also adults with congenital heart disease who did not undergo treatment as children and these cases usually call for more complicated surgical procedures and complex treatment plans. The sad reality is that the number of people with adult congenital heart disease continues to grow but there are only a few cardiologists who are trained to handle such cases. As a result, the demand for cardiologists who specialize in this unique and challenging area is growing, too.
Electrophysiology: Most people are not aware that the entire circulatory system heavily depends on electrical pulses for regulation and individual function. An electrophysiologist’s job is to treat problems that involve electrical elements of the circulatory system – they test for, find the location, and treat irregular heart rhythms, or as it is called in the medical world, arrhythmia. The results of the test will determine what kind of treatment plan a person needs, whether it is medication, an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), pacemaker, cardiac ablation, or surgery.
Heart rhythm disorders have different types and some of the most common are atrial flutter, atrial fibrillation, ventricular fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia, and supraventricular tachycardia. The electrophysiologist may use Holter monitoring for 24 hours or perform an electrocardiogram (EKG) testing to identify the type and location of the irregular heart rhythm,
Advanced heart failure and transplant specialist: As the name indicates, heart failure refers to a critical (life-threatening) failure of the heart. It can happen slowly or in a blink of an eye but more often than not, it leads to death if left unchecked. Most patients need a transplant following a heart failure and, in this case, they also need a cardiologist who specialize in the management of complicated or extensive heart failure.
How would I know if I need a referral to a cardiologist?
Your primary care physician may refer you to a cardiologist if you are experiencing these symptoms for a continuous period of time:
- Heart palpitations, or the feeling that your heart is beating extremely fast
- Shortness of breath and feeling like you might faint (or fainting)
- Dizziness, nausea, and/or fatigue
- Indigestion-like symptoms
- Mild pain or discomfort in the chest that worsens over time
- Swelling in the legs
- Sudden and unexplainable weight gain.
These symptoms may indicate a worsening heart condition or worse, an impending heart attack, so it is very important to seek medical attention from a cardiologist immediately. Remember two things: one, the symptoms of a heart attack may look different in different people and two, people who suffer unfortunate consequences are usually those who underestimate their symptoms.
Cadence Heart Centre
Mt. Elizabeth Hospital, 3 Mount Elizabeth #14-13
Mt Elizabeth Medical Centre, Singapore 228510
Mobile: (65) 8318 9884
Phone: (65) 6369 8789