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The Difference Between Cardiologists and Vascular Specialists

June 1, 2022

Learning the difference between a cardiologist, and a vascular specialist, and the conditions they can treat will help you learn which medical professional you should see for your condition. Since the two are often confused with one another and used interchangeably, it can be challenging to understand which specialist you should visit.

This guide from Champion Heart and Vascular in Raleigh will help.

What is a Cardiologist?

A cardiologist is commonly referred to as a “heart doctor.” Cardiologists are medical professionals who specialize in diagnosing and treating heart diseases, along with other conditions associated with the cardiovascular system. The cardiovascular system refers to the major vessels, arteries, and veins that go into and out of the heart itself.

Cardiologists can prescribe medications, as well as offer dietary and wellness suggestions to both prevent and treat heart and vascular conditions. Should a cardiologist suspect that a patient has heart disease, the cardiologist will conduct various tests such as angiograms and catheterization to help understand a patient’s condition.

A cardiologist does not perform extensive surgery if surgery is necessary, however. This role is taken on by a cardiovascular surgeon. So, if non-invasive remedies will not resolve an issue, the cardiologist will then recommend that a patient see a cardiovascular surgeon to treat their condition.

The Cardiovascular System

The cardiovascular system is made up of the heart, blood vessels, and blood. The cardiovascular system is responsible for transporting nutrients, as well as oxygen-rich blood to all other parts of the body. It also carries deoxygenated blood back to the lungs.

Health complications that arise when the cardiovascular system is damaged or injured, include coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.

The Role of a Vascular Surgeon

A vascular surgeon is a specialist who is clinically trained to perform surgery on veins outside of the cardiovascular system. This means that any operations performed on the veins or arteries away from the heart are completed by a vascular surgeon. Most often, vascular surgery is less invasive than cardiovascular surgery because the veins and arteries are closer to the surface.

A vascular surgeon can help with the removal of blood clots, can treat complications from diabetes, and resolve blockages in arteries or veins. They can also treat varicose or spider veins, and a wide variety of other vascular diseases.

Vascular System

Our vascular system (or circulatory system) is important for transporting blood throughout our whole body. Made up of vessels like arteries and veins, the vascular system transports oxygen and nutrients to peripheral tissue as well as helps remove waste from important tissue.

Even if the heart is healthy and working well, if veins or arteries become clogged or blocked, the body can develop serious health issues that will need to be addressed by a vascular surgeon.

Endovascular Surgery versus Cardiovascular Surgery

Endovascular surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that is used to treat issues affecting the blood vessels. Complications like varicose veins, leg pain, and swelling, as well as pelvic congestion syndrome and varicocele, are all conditions we can treat here at Champion Heart.

Cardiovascular surgery involves a more invasive procedure that treats conditions like heart disease or is commonly performed when someone experiences a stroke. Someone may need cardiovascular surgery if they are considered to have a high risk of developing these conditions.

Champion Heart and Vascular Center: Helping Patients in Raleigh Begin Treating Their Heart Complications

If you’re concerned that you might have a problem with your heart, don’t wait for the condition to get worse. Schedule an appointment with Champion Heart and Vascular Center to receive expert cardiovascular care that’s tailored to your needs and situation.