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What is a cardiologist and what do they do?

Campbell County Clinic, Cardiology and Drs. Sairav B. Shah and Nicholas J. Stamato are excited to begin seeing patients on the third floor north of the hospital.

What is a cardiologist and what do they do?
Cardiology is the specialty that deals with disorders of the heart, and a subspecialty of internal medicine. To be a cardiologist in the United States, a three-year residency in internal medicine is followed by a three year residency in cardiology. It is possible to specialize further in a sub-specialty such as Cardiac electrophysiology, echocardiography or interventional cardiology.

An experienced physician can help determine what kind of testing is recommended to diagnose and treat potential heart problems, depending on symptoms and risk factors.

Obtaining the patient’s medical history and performing a physical exam are the first tests used to detect possible heart disease. This can help the physician determine what other tests may be necessary. Other testing may include:

  • Blood tests to assess the development of coronary artery disease
  • An exercise stress test to measure heart rate when performing physical activity on a treadmill. This can determine the heart’s ability to do work and if symptoms are related to a medical problem or something else, such as poor fitness.
  • An electrocardiogram to monitor the electrical activity of the heart and can evaluate heart rhythm, poor blood flow to the heart or other abnormalities
  • An echocardiogram, which is similar to the electrocardiogram, but uses ultrasound waves to create graphic images of the heart. It allows the physician to evaluate the heart’s structures, pumping ability and blood flow.

Cardiologists also perform procedures like cardiac catheterization, which will be available when the new Cardiac Cath Lab opens in April. During a cardiac catheterization, a narrow tube called a catheter is inserted into a large artery and guided through the blood vessels into the heart. The physician can then see and evaluate the heart’s health.

Dr. Shah and Dr. Stamato will use these and other tools to diagnose and treat heart problems as the first cardiologists living and working in Gillette. Appointments can be made by calling 307-688-3700.