When it comes to matters of heart-health, generally the public knows that a cardiologist is the best doctor to receive care from. That statement is accurate, however, a cardiologist doesn’t fit all situations when it comes to various heart issues and scenarios. CT Cardio is a leading local expert in Lafayette, when it comes to understanding, prevention and managing all things related to your heart. This article is going to take a deep-dive on what it actually means to need a cardiologist as opposed to interventional cardiologist. This knowledge can help patients learn when it is time to find a cardiologist with more specialized training.

What is a Cardiologist in Contrast to an Interventional Cardiologist?

The easiest way to distinguish the two doctors is that a cardiologist treats patients in more general care related to the heart. They usually practice the following procedures and care: hypertension, high cholesterol, elevated risk of heart attack or stroke. They will also conduct tests such as stress tests, echocardiograms, and monitoring heart rates and rhythm problems. They are trained to diagnose common cardiovascular problems. They typically will also work with surgeons for cardiovascular care.

An interventional cardiologist is slightly different in the way that they have had more extensive training and education, typically two years or longer. Their specialty lies in treating and diagnosing cardiovascular disease. They also can diagnose congenital problems, which means diseases or issues present since birth, as well as structural heart conditions, and have the skill-set to use procedures such as stenting and angioplasty.

Samin K. Sharma, MD, an interventional cardiologist and Professor of Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, describes the difference between both doctors best: ”The major difference between interventional cardiology and general cardiology is that interventional cardiologists are trained to perform specific catheter-based treatments for heart disease, whereas general cardiologists are not trained in those procedures.”

How will I Know When I Need to see an Interventional Cardiologist or Regular Cardiologist?
Many patients begin seeing a regular cardiologist when they first detect heart issues. From there, that is when an additional referral to an interventional cardiologist may occur.
Some patients may even start first with an interventional cardiologist, since they are able to provide care all regular cardiologists typically provide such as weight management and treatment of heart and vascular diseases.

What Kind of Procedures Can I Expect with an Interventional Cardiologist?

Due to an interventional cardiologist’s extended training and expertise, you would visit them for any reason you would see a regular cardiologist, and also if you would need minor invasive (but non-surgical) heart procedures, such as an angiogram, catheterization (most common procedure performed), angioplasty or stenting. For many of these instances, procedures are typically performed in a cardiac catheterization laboratory (cath lab).

What are the Benefits of Using an Interventional Cardiologist?
There are many benefits to using an interventional cardiologist, since many of the procedures are used to avoid invasive heart surgery. Because of this, patients experience less pain and scarring, faster recovery time, less expensive medical costs, and of course can have a decreased risk of a heart attack. This is also especially true with using an interventional cardiologist for treating infants and children with heart issues.

I’m Ready to See an Interventional Cardiologist. Where Do I Start Looking?

For patients based in Lafayette, Louisiana and the surrounding Acadiana area, Dr. Corwin Thomas is a local interventional cardiologist with more than 15 years of experience. Some of his specialties include the treatment of heart and vascular diseases, incorporating electrocardiography, nuclear cardiology, echocardiography, preventive cardiovascular services, lipid management, weight management, electrophysiology and interventional cardiovascular procedures. With his expert knowledge and care, Dr. Thomas will ensure that you are provided with every tool and resource to guide you to recovery. To schedule an initial consultation, contact his team to start your specialized care.