If we pause for a moment to consider how ingenious and hard-working the heart is, there is a huge certainty that we will be more inclined to take better care of it! This little organ – that is just about the size of an adult fist – can pump up to 2,000 gallons of nutrient and oxygen-rich blood daily to keep us alive. And here we are, who cannot even set aside an hour or two for a quick trip to a heart doctor, just once a year! Oh, if only the heart could complain!
Well, it does so, sometimes. It may come in the form of shortness of breathing, discomfort or painful sensation in the chest, or heart palpitations (that feeling when your heart beats very fast). In more serious cases, the symptoms manifest in other parts of the body, like a swelling of the feet and legs, a sharp pain that reaches the arm, or (believe it or not) even gum disease. Determining the time when the heart stops being efficient is an extremely tricky affair – one day it is working fine, the next day blood vessels are blocked, the valves do not close or open properly, or the heart itself is beating too slow or too fast. The truth is, you cannot tell if your heart is healthy or not; that is the job of a cardiologist!
Seeking expert advice from a heart doctor in Mount Elizabeth is a great option, and Cadence Heart Centre is your best bet. This top-notch medical facility offers a heart screening package that includes a pre-screening consultation with a cardiologist. If you want to make sure that no heart problem goes undetected, you can book an appointment at Cadence Heart Center in Singapore via email, phone, or their website.
To help you prepare for your appointment, this article will discuss salient details such as:
- What is a cardiologist?
- What does a cardiologist do?
- What are the tests that a cardiologist can perform?
- What I should I expect on my first visit to a cardiologist?
Let us start with the most basic question: what is a cardiologist?
Cardiology is the branch of medicine that deals with treatment of conditions of the cardiovascular system. We call a doctor who specializes in this field a cardiologist. Heart disease is rampant not just in Singapore but in most countries around the globe as well, so this makes a cardiologist an essential part of the entire healthcare system.
But what does a cardiologist do exactly?
A cardiologist, or heart doctor, is responsible for conducting check-ups and screenings and treating symptoms and complications of different heart diseases and conditions. A heart doctor in Singapore may also play a part in educating people about how to take care of the heart properly! You can find them in hospitals, private clinics like the Cadence Heart Centre, or the academe where they teach at universities and conduct research to develop innovative and more effective treatments.
To become a cardiologist, a person is required to undergo at least a decade of education and training in medicine. They also have to pass compulsory courses, eligibility criteria, and various assessment, as well as present advanced specialty requirements before they can practice cardiology. Tough, right?
You will also be surprised to know that aside from general cardiology, heart doctors in Singapore can focus in other areas such as:
- Cardiovascular health – specializes on delaying or stopping the progression of cardiovascular problems
- Interventional cardiology – specializes on blockages that affect the valves and arteries
- Vascular medicine – specializes on issues that affect the veins and arteries
- Pediatric cardiology – specializes on managing and treating cardiovascular problems of kids and teenagers
If your condition requires surgery, your cardiologist may refer you to a cardiovascular surgeon whose medical expertise is in the operation of lungs, heart, and blood vessels, and once you recover, you will have to return to your general cardiologist for post-operative care and monitoring.
What are some of the tests that a cardiologist can perform?
One of the most common tests that a cardiologist may carry out is electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG), which creates a recording of the heart’s electrical activity. There is a stress test or exercise test that a patient may undergo to determine changes in the rhythm of his/her heart when it is exercising or resting. And since the heart is not visible to the naked eye, an ultrasound image may be produced using a test called echocardiogram to show the inner structure of the heart as well as the way it is currently working (could be normal or not).
Cardiologists may also perform or order other tests such as blood tests, chest x-ray, cardiac MRI or (magnetic resonance imaging), if a patient’s condition warrants it.
What should I expect during my first appointment with a cardiologist?
On your first visit, the cardiologist will conduct a physical exam. They will focus on the heart to hear if blood if flowing well throughout and to determine if your heart has a regular or irregular rhythm. The heart doctor will also ask detailed questions about your personal health history as well as your family members. This information will help identify your risks and possible types of heart problems that you could acquire. If you notice anything out-of-ordinary, (e.g., chest pain, breathlessness, palpitations, etc.), you will be asked how long you have been having the symptoms and the doctor will ask you to describe how it like when you have the symptoms.
If you have had heart surgery or procedure in the past, or is currently taking medications for the heart, it would be a good idea to discuss them with your cardiologist. You can also bring past records or scans during your visit so that the doctor can have a look at them. Depending on your condition, your cardiologist may schedule a separate session for tests, or refer you to another cardiologist who specializes in a different area.
Some Final Thoughts
Getting routine check-ups with a trusted cardiologist is important, whether or not you have experienced symptoms of a cardiac issue. Do not wait until it is too late! Your heart will not tell you that it is ill, so you should make it a point to seek medical treatment if you are in doubt. A heart doctor in Singapore has the knowledge and experience in dealing with matters of the heart, and who knows, it may just change (or save) your life!
Cadence Heart Centre (Dr Devinder Singh) | Heart Screening, Heart Check Up
3 Mount Elizabeth, Medical Centre, 14-13, Singapore 228510
+65 6369 8789