Invasive Cardiology

A healthy heart is essential to a long and healthy lifestyle. There are many things that can go wrong with the heart, and sometimes the symptoms that something is wrong are not always obvious. A cardiologist is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing problems with the heart and surrounding arteries.

Cardiology is a branch of medicine which deals the study, diagnosis, and care of the cardiovascular system. Since there are so many aspects of your heart’s function, your cardiologist has to consider many variables when identifying what may be wrong with your heart. Some of these variables include your heart, arteries, or blood vessels.

What is Invasive Cardiology?

Invasive cardiology uses open or minimally-invasive surgery to identify or treat structural or electrical abnormalities within the heart structure.

Common types of invasive cardiology:

  • Angioplasty
    : When plaque clogs your arteries, it becomes difficult for blood to flow normally. Angioplasty inserts a tiny balloon into your clogged vein and pushes plaque against the walls, allowing for increased blood flow.

  • Stenting
    : Stenting is usually done in conjunction with angioplasty. A cardiac stent is a small metal coil which permanently holds a clogged vein open.

Procedures Involving Cardiac Catheterization

In a cardiac catheterization procedure, a cardiologist guides a catheter (a catheter is a medical-grade thin tube used for a broad range of functions in the medical field) to the heart to complete diagnostic tests and conduct treatment procedures as follows.

  • Balloon angioplasty: A catheter is guided by the cardiologist with a tiny balloon at its tip to the affected artery. The plaque is pushed against the artery wall by inflating the balloon against it helping restore blood flow in the artery.

  • Catheter ablation: Here, a catheter to deliver radiofrequency energy (It is comparable to microwave energy) to eradicate a tiny part of heart tissue that is causing accelerated and irregular heartbeats. Destroying this tissue helps heal your heart’s regular rhythm. This procedure solves the issue that originates in the pulmonary veins.

  • Coronary stents: A catheter is employed to inject a little, net-shaped metal tube at the area of the constricted coronary artery. Medications can also be carried into the heart via the stents that can reduce the risk of the blockage of the artery.

Electrophysiology Studies

Utilizing a catheter with electrodes on its tip, a cardiologist measures the heart’s electrical impulses, pinpoints the injured heart muscle’s precise location, and administers tiny electric impulses to affect heart rhythm problems to learn more about them.

Electrical Cardioversion Procedure

Utilizing a low-voltage electric current delivered to the chest by patches or paddles, a cardiologist can reset the heart rhythm to an average pace. The procedure is used in conjunction with a short-acting anesthetic.

What is Non-Invasive Cardiology?

Non-invasive cardiology identifies heart problems without using any needles, fluids, or other instruments which are inserted into the body.

Non-invasive cardiologists utilize techniques such as:

  • Nuclear cardiology
    : A non-invasive study of cardiovascular disorders by means of various types of imaging which may use radioactive elements.

  • Echocardiography
    : The usage of ultrasound waves to create images of the heart and surrounding structures in order to identify how well the heart pumps blood, infections, and structural abnormalities.

  • Cardiac electrophysiology
    : Study and testing of the electrical currents which generate heartbeats.

  • Stress tests
    : Stress testing usually involves exercise which is monitored by your cardiologist. These exercises provide your cardiologist information about how your heart performs under physical stress.

  • Heart monitors
    : Heart monitors may also be called a Holter monitor or cardiac event recorder. Heart monitors are essentially tape recorders for your heart’s electrical activity over a set amount of time.

  • CT scans
    : CT scans produce images which your cardiologist can examine for heart disease and atherosclerosis.

The advantage of non- invasive cardiology over the latter is the avoidance of scar and Post-operative recovery. Additionally, non- invasive cardiology procedure of primary angioplasty is now the standard of excellence of care for acute myocardial infarction.

Once your specialist has identified risk factors or existing conditions, they may recommend medication and lifestyle changes to improve your heart’s health.

Non-Invasive Cardiology Tests

Here are some of the tests a non-invasive cardiologist employs to identify issues.

  • Chest X-Ray
    An X-ray test can help doctors diagnose and monitor conditions such as heart failure, pneumonia, lung cancer, sarcoidosis, tuberculosis, and fibrosis. Doctors also use chest X-rays to see how treatments are working and to check for any complications after a patient has undergone surgeries or specific procedures.

  • Electrocardiogram (EKG/ECG)
    Electrocardiogram test records the electrical activity of your heart to conclude if you’ve had a heart attack or if one is developing to have one. It also detects changes in your heart’s rhythm, which helps doctors identify intricacies.

  • Computer Imaging
    Computer Imaging could be in the form of a CT or CAT scan or an MRI. The computer generates a three-dimensional image that can help show blockages in the heart caused by a heart condition or by calcium deposits you may have in your arteries. It can also detect pulmonary embolism or other heart ailments or cardiovascular diseases.

  • Exercise Stress Test

  • Treadmill Test

  • Exercise Cardiac Stress Test

  • General Exercise Test

These tests are performed to check aspects such as:

  1. Breathing

  2. Blood pressure

  3. Heart rate

  4. Endurance

The test can diagnose several heart problems, including coronary artery disease or the possible cause of chest pain. It could also merely determine your safe level of exercise, especially if you have already had heart surgery


Invasive cardiology is a field of cardiology in which heart’s abnormalities are treated. It includes various types including angioplasty and stenting. Several procedures are performed by a cardiologist to diagnose the heart and perform treatements if required. Non-invasive cardiology is identifying heart problems without inserting anything into the body. It has techniques like nuclear cardiology, echocardiography, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. What is nuclear cardiology?

A. Nuclear cardiology studies use noninvasive techniques to assess myocardial blood flow, evaluate the pumping function of the heart as well as visualize the size and location of a heart attack. Among the techniques of nuclear cardiology, myocardial perfusion imaging is the most widely used.

Q. What is pediatric cardiology?

A. Pediatric cardiology involves diseases that are rare, and increasingly studies must be collaborative within and between institutions, yet a limited history exists of collaborative efforts in a technical field in which innovation is more highly valued.

Q. How do you become an invasive cardiologist?

A. Educational commitment to become a cardiologist

  • Bachelor’s degree (four years)

  • Medical school (four years- two academic, two clinical training)

  • Residency in internal medicine (three years)

  • Cardiology fellowship (three to four years)

Q. How long does it take to become a invasive cardiologist?

A. Cardiology is one of the most competitive internal medicine fellowships and requires another 3 years of training to complete. In total, you’ll be spending 6 years in addition to medical school to become a cardiologist.

Q. What does non invasive cardiologist do?

A. Non-invasive cardiologists focus on the detection and treatment of heart disease, using external tests—rather than instruments inserted into the body—to evaluate and diagnose cardiac disorders.

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