Cardiology is the branch of medicine in which heart diseases are diagnosed and treated by healthcare professionals who are experts in this field of medicine. The healthcare professional who works in the cardiology department and treats the patients with heart diseases is known as a cardiologist. In cardiology, both the diseases of the heart that are present by birth and those that occur in adults or in older age can be treated. Most of the diseases that affect the heart in adults are due to their lifestyle, poor diet habits, smoking and physical inactivity. All of these can be the major risk factor of heart failure which is a life threatening condition. Most of the people nowadays are suffering from heart diseases including arrhythmias that is the abnormal rhythm of heart, hypertension that is high blood pressure and abnormal valve function that is inadequate blood flow. These diseases can be very dangerous if not treated on time. Sometimes doctors have to replace the damaged heart with a new healthy heart that is known as heart transplant. Heart transplant is the treatment for last stage disease of the heart that cannot be treated with other treatment interventions. Heart surgery is one of the major types of surgeries and not every individual is suitable for this.
The heart is the major organ in the human body which is responsible for pumping blood throughout the blood vessels in the body. It is almost the size of a fist and is located on the left side of the chest at the center. The heart consists of four chambers that are two on the upper side and two on the lower side.
Blood flows through the heart in a unique way. Deoxygenated blood from the body enters the right upper part of the heart and then moves to the right lower side, which pumps it to the lungs for oxygenation. Oxygen-rich blood returns to the left upper side of the heart and then moves to the lower side where the blood is pumped into the main artery that distributes oxygenated blood to the rest of the body.
Some of the disorders that are treated in cardiology are as follow:
This is a condition where the blood vessels that supply the blood to the muscles of the heart become blocked or become too narrow. This can produce symptoms of chest pain and tiredness.
When the heart fails to pump blood and to supply the blood to other parts of the body, a condition is known as heart failure. It produces the symptoms of pain, swelling of feet and fatigue.
Arrhythmias are irregular heart rhythms. They can be mild which is not life threatening or they can be severe where a person can also die.
Valvular heart disease involves the problem with the heart valves that control the direction of blood flow. They become damaged such as narrowing or leaking. It can impact blood flow within the heart.
High blood pressure is known as hypertension. In this condition the heart has to work more aggressively than normal which puts extra stress on the heart and can damage its functions permanently.
When the blood supply is blocked for a long period of time, heart tissue can damage permanently and death of tissue occurs. This condition is known as myocardial infarction.
The disease that affects the muscles of the heart and when the muscles of heart does not perform normal function, it is known as cardiomyopathy.
These are heart problems present at birth and can range from mild to severe. Babies born with heart diseases are termed as congenital defects of the heart.
When the outer layer of the heart becomes damaged or swells, it can impair the functioning of the heart. This can cause the symptoms of pain.
Aorta is the major blood vessel in the body that supplies blood from heart to whole body. When the walls of the aorta become damaged, it swells and causes abnormal blood flow. This condition is known as aortic aneurysm.
There are many types of treatment that are used in cardiology such as:
Lifestyle modifications include a healthy lifestyle through changes in diet, exercise, weight management, and stress reduction. Increase in physical activity can be useful to treat conditions of the heart.
Many medications are used to treat different heart conditions. Medicines and rugs that are used in cardiology are specific to the type of disease.
Angioplasty treatment is used to treat conditions of narrow blood vessels. It is used in conditions like coronary artery disease.
This is a procedure in which blood vessels from other parts of the body are used to create a new pathway of the blood flow. This is useful in the conditions that affect the blood vessels of the heart.
This is the treatment where placement of a small device helps to regulate heart rhythms by sending electrical impulses to the heart muscle.
A cardiac rehabilitation is a program that involves the exercise, education, and counseling to help the patient recover after a heart attack, surgery, or other cardiac diseases.
When the heart disease is not curable or at the end stage, a new healthy heart is implanted that takes the function of the damaged heart.
In this treatment, damaged heart valves are treated either with medications or with the help of surgery.
The medications, eating habits and physical activity modifications are used to manage the patient after heart failure. It is useful in returning to normal activities just like before the disease.
When the blood clots form in the blood vessels they can create complications of the heart. To treat these blood clots antiplatelet therapy is used.
In this treatment, a device is implanted which controls the electrical activity of the heart and is used to treat conditions like arrhythmias.
Laser therapy is used in some cases to remove fat buildup from arteries.
Some devices are designed to help the heart pump blood in cases of heart failure as a long-term treatment.
It is used to treat arrhythmias by destroying the abnormal tissue that is causing the irregular heartbeat.
In this treatment of cardiology, medications are used to dissolve blood clots in specific situations, such as heart attacks.
Some of the diagnostic tools that are used in cardiology are as follow:
Electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG): An examination that records the electrical activity of the heart and helps in the identification of irregular heart rhythms and other abnormalities.
Echocardiography: This test utilizes sound waves and generates images of the structure of heart and function.
Stress Test: This evaluation detects the response of the heart to physical exertion. It is often executed on a treadmill or stationary bicycle, to assess its performance during stress conditions.
Cardiac Catheterization: It involves guiding a catheter through blood vessels to access the heart. It is used to observe the blood flow patterns and measurements of pressure.
Coronary Angiography: A cardiac catheterization utilizes contrast dye and X-rays to visualize the coronary arteries and evaluate blood flow.
Cardiac MRI: By using magnetic fields and radio waves, this technique produces clear images of the heart's structure and function.
CT Angiography: A specialized CT scan that describes the detailed function of the heart's blood vessels and internal structure.
Holter Monitor: It is a portable device worn by the patient to continuously record the heart's activities for a span of 24 hours or more.
Event Monitor: Similar to a Holter monitor, this apparatus is worn for an extended duration and is activated by the patient at the time of symptoms.
Nuclear Stress Test: This test involves introducing a small quantity of radioactive substance into the bloodstream to assess blood circulation within the heart muscle.
Blood Tests: The blood tests include assessments of lipid profiles, troponin levels that indicate heart damage and other markers relevant to heart health.
Electrophysiology Study (EPS): This test requires the insertion of catheters into the heart to analyze its electrical system and identify abnormal rhythms.
Tilt Table Test: This test evaluates the cause of fainting episodes by monitoring the changes in blood pressure and heart rate during positional changes.
PET Scan: By using positron emission tomography, this method offers visual representations of blood flow and activity within the heart.
Myocardial Perfusion Imaging: This is a nuclear imaging technique that visualizes blood flow within the heart muscle.
Cardiac rehabilitation is an important part of the recovery process after cardiac disease. This helps in improving the quality of life of patients and helps them to return to normal activities of daily living. Cardiac rehabilitation key factors are:
Purpose: Cardiac rehab helps in recovery after heart surgery or heart disease.
Elements: It involves the combination of exercise, education, and counseling.
Personalized: Treatment plans are provided according to each patient's needs.
Benefits: Cardiac rehab helps to Improves fitness, risk factor control and overall well-being of a patient.
Long-Term: Cardiac rehabilitation Promotes heart health and quality of life for a long period of time.
Some of the cardiology treatments in India range from 1600 USD to 36,000 USD. The cost can vary according to the condition of the patient and the types of heart disease of the heart. The cost can also vary according to the experience of the cardiologist.
|Treatment Costs in India||Min in USD||Max in USD|
|Heart Transplant||26640 USD||35520 USD|
|VSD Closure (Adult) Surgery||2610 USD||3480 USD|
|Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm Treatment||1758 USD||2344 USD|
|ASD (Atrial Septal Defect) Closure||2610 USD||3480 USD|
Some of the systems that are associated with cardiology are as follow:
Some of the risk factors that are associated with cardiac diseases are as follow:
High levels of cholesterol can accumulate fat in the blood vessels and can lead to many heart and blood vessels disease.
Smoking is the major cause of heart diseases. It can lead to the development of heart failure and narrow blood vessels.
People with diabetes are at higher risk for heart disease due to blood vessel damage and other heart related factors.
Excess of body weight can increase the workload on the heart that may lead to other risk factors like high blood pressure and diabetes.
A positive family history of heart disease can increase the risk of developing heart diseases.
There is a positive correlation between the older age and developing heart diseases.
Men are at higher risk of developing heart diseases than women of the same age.
A poor inactive lifestyle can lead to obesity which is a major risk factor of developing heart disease.
Diet that is rich in fats and salty food and low in vegetables and fibers can lead to heart diseases.
Stress can increase the risk of heart diseases. High stress activities are the major risk factor in heart failure.
Excessive alcohol intake can increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart failure, and other heart-related problems.
Problems of sleep and inadequate sleep can put extra stress on the heart that can also increase the risk of heart failure.
Kidneys excrete waste and fluids from the body. Due to inadequate kidney function of the kidney, fluid and waste can accumulate in the body that can be a problem for the heart. In this way, kidney problems can increase the risk of heart disease.
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