Our mission at Clear Lake Cardiology is to be a comprehensive cardiovascular practice, committed to serving the community by providing a superior standard of care to our patients. We will maintain a warm and caring office atmosphere that promotes compassionate patient care. We will use innovative and sophisticated thinking in how we organize, implement, and deliver our services.
What is a cardiologist?
A cardiologist is a doctor with special training and skill in diagnosing, treating, and preventing diseases of the heart and blood vessels.
What does a cardiologist do?
Conditions treated by a cardiologist include heart attacks, heart murmurs, coronary heart disease, and hypertension.
An anticoagulant is a drug (blood thinner) that treats, prevents, and reduces the risk of blood clots breaking off and traveling to vital organs of the body, which can lead to life-threatening situations.
Interventional cardiologists are trained in general cardiology, and then continue on for additional specialized training in interventional cardiology. This extra training allows them to perform minimally invasive procedures involving small incisions and catheters instead of traditional surgery. These procedures are used to diagnose and treat diseases such as heart valve disorders, coronary artery disease, congenital heart disease, endocarditis, and peripheral artery disease.
When the heart experiences a cardiac rhythm disturbance, an electrophysiology study (ESP) can be done to locate the source of the irregularity. An ESP is done in an EP lab by a specialist. You will receive an IV and a sedative, then the doctor will insert a catheter that is guided through the blood vessels to the heart chambers. The catheters are attached to a device that measures the electrical impulses inside your heart.
Congestive heart failure happens when the heart muscle fails to supply enough blood flow to vital organs. Factors that can cause heart failure include coronary artery disease, hypertension, diabetes, aging, alcohol abuse, viral infections, heart valve disorders, and thyroid disorders.
Many people are unaware of the effects sleep disorders can have on the cardiovascular system. Sleep Apnea is the most common type of Sleep Disordered Breathing. It can occur when the upper airway becomes blocked repeatedly during sleep, thus reducing or completely stopping airflow.
Many different factors determine the answer to this. These factors include:
If you are taking it for a blood clot, atrial fibrillation or an artificial valve
If you have a blood disorder
If you are tolerating the blood thinner
Many of the risk factors as described previously determine when you should get evaluated by a cardiologist. Age 40-50 is a good timeframe to establish a baseline. Earlier, if you start to experience any of the symptoms below:
shortness of breath
palpitations (fluttering/pounding of the heart)
Varicose veins are a progress disease called Venous Insufficiency. Venous insufficiency develops when the valves in the veins are not closing properly, causing the blood flow to return to the foot. A special ultrasound called a reflux study will be used to determine the severity of the disease. This condition can cause varicose veins, skin discoloration, swelling and possible ulceration to the legs.
Your cardiologist can prescribe medications that can assist in lowering or raising your blood pressure. There are lifestyle changes, such as decreasing salt intake, can improve blood pressure, but consult your cardiologist to determine what is best for you.
Caffeine is a drug that stimulates the nervous system making people more alert. It is known to increase heart contractions and increase blood pressure in some patients. Caffeine can be the cause of rapid or irregular heartbeats and high blood pressure in certain patients. This may lead to palpitations and possible weakening of the heart muscle due to making your heart over work. Caffeine has the ability to hurt your heart if overused.
Your cardiologist does consider immediate family history of heart disease when doing an evaluation. Having a family history of myocardial infarction, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes is important in determining your cardiac care.
Patients who have diabetes have an increased chance in developing heart disease and prone to have a myocardial infarction and/or stroke. It is good to consult your cardiologist to determine your risk factors with diabetes.
Many things can cause this feeling from gas pains to a myocardial infarction. If you are experiencing these symptoms, please contact 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. From there, you may follow up with a cardiologist.
This can be multifactorial depending on the patient. If a patient is able to change their lifestyle and their blood pressure responds appropriately, then the medications may be altered or discontinued. Following up with a cardiologist is recommended.
A cardiac clearance is something you may need if you are going to undergo surgery. Depending on the type of surgery and the surgeon, they may require additional testing such as EKG, echocardiogram and/or nuclear tress test as well as an evaluation from a cardiologist to clear someone for surgery. It’s important to determine if your heart is healthy enough to sustain you through surgery.
An EKG (also known as electrocardiogram or ECG) shows the electricity pattern of your heart. It can give insight to the electrical signals of your heart and if you possibly have had, or are currently having, a myocardial infarction. Certain EKG changes could indicate blockage in your heart. This would warrant further testing, such as a nuclear stress test.