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When to See a Cardiologist

When to See a Cardiologist

February 01, 2023 Posted in: Heart & Vascular Care  2 minute read time


There are many reasons to visit with a cardiologist, but which type of cardiologist to see depends on your specific condition.

“There are many subspecialties in the field of cardiology,” said Ali Elfandi, MD, FACC, interventional cardiologist at CHI Saint Joseph Health. “There are general cardiologists who don’t do surgical procedures, and interventional cardiologists, like myself, who specialize in cardiovascular procedures. There are also electrophysiologists who specialize in the heart’s electrical system, imaging cardiologists and cardiologists who specialize in heart failure.” 

Symptoms and Family History

“Patients are referred to a cardiologist anytime they start experiencing symptoms that may be concerning for heart disease,” Dr. Elfandi said, adding that having a family history of heart disease is another reason to visit a provider.

“We look for first degree relatives with heart disease that started early in their life. Usually that’s heart disease before 55 in men, and in women, it’s usually heart disease before age 65.”

Some signs and symptoms that may indicate you need to see a cardiologist include:         

  • Chest pain
  • Chest discomfort during physical activity
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Heart palpitations/irregular heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling in the legs or ankles


“People sometimes think symptoms have to be clear indicators of heart problems, but early signs can be very subtle,” Dr. Elfandi said. “Be proactive about your health and any new symptoms that arise.”

Our heart specialists offer the highest quality cardiovascular care to meet your individual needs. Find a provider today.

A version of this article originally appeared in the Summer 2022 print edition of Spirit of Health.

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