Cardiologists founded South Denver Cardiology Associates in 1973 with the goal of providing patients with the highest quality heart care available along the Front Range. Our cardiologists work together at the South Denver Heart Center and four other offices to provide a state-of-the-art multidisciplinary approach to heart health, which includes preventive care, lifestyle support, diagnostic testing, and a full range of cardiology procedures.

If you are looking for an award-winning team of cardiologists to provide comprehensive care for your heart, South Denver Cardiology Associates is ready to welcome you to our medical family of doctors, nurses, and patients. Please call 303-744-1065 or use our online form to request an appointment.

What Is a Cardiologist?

cardiologistA cardiologist is a heart doctor. Cardiology is a medical specialty, and in order to become a heart specialist, a cardiologist has to complete ten years of additional training after college. A cardiologist learns extensively about the heart and the blood vessels. This includes four years of medical school, then three years as a resident, followed by three more years specifically studying the heart and blood vessels.

Although a cardiologist is a specialist, there are also specialties within cardiology. Some of the specialties within cardiology include:

With all these specialties among cardiologists, we feel it’s important to have access to a large team that includes as many of these specialties as possible. It helps us to provide the comprehensive care patients need while maintaining the good working relationships and communications that being a team facilitates.

What Does a Cardiologist Do?

A cardiologist can provide you with specialized care for conditions that threaten your heart, including long-term health conditions. A cardiologist will start by looking at your medical history as provided by your general physician or other doctor.

Your cardiologist will talk to you about your symptoms and your medical history, including your family medical history. They will likely perform a medical examination. If necessary, they may order additional tests to ensure they fully understand your heart’s condition.

Some of the common tests a heart doctor may recommend include:

These tests help cardiologists identify problems with your heart and decide on the best treatments.

Meet Our Cardiology Team

Is a Cardiologist a Surgeon?

Cardiologists are not generally considered surgeons. If you have heart surgery, it will usually be performed by a cardiothoracic surgeon.

However, modern technology and techniques allow cardiologists to perform more procedures without surgery than in the past. Some of these procedures achieve effects that in the past required surgery.

For example, cardiologists can now use a catheter to perform many structural heart procedures to mitigate diseases of the valves and walls of the heart. Our cardiologists at South Denver Cardiology Associates can use a catheter to replace a heart valve or patch a hole in the heart. In the past, these procedures required open heart surgery.

When to See a Cardiologist

A cardiologist is a heart doctor, which means that you should see them when you have concerns about the health of your heart.

However, a cardiologist is not a primary care physician (PCP). Normally, you will want to get a referral from your PCP before going to a cardiologist. It’s not impossible to see a cardiologist without first getting a referral from your PCP. However, your insurance company is likely to refuse to pay for a visit to a cardiologist without a referral from some type of physician. Sometimes, the physician might be an emergency department or urgent care clinic doctor.

Some common reasons why a physician may refer you to a cardiologist include:

cardiologist at workSome of these are symptoms that indicate you might already have some type of heart condition. Chest discomfort, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and dizziness or fainting may all be harmless. Or they might be signs that you’re suffering from a serious heart condition.

Other reasons to see a cardiologist are risk factors that mean you are more likely to develop heart conditions. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, a family history of heart problems, and diabetes are all associated with an elevated risk of heart conditions. Seeing a cardiologist can help you work to reduce your risk.

Preeclampsia is a cardiovascular complication related to pregnancy. Although preeclampsia can be managed without a cardiologist, a doctor might recommend seeing a cardiologist later, as it increases risks of heart disease down the road.

Finally, if you are talking about starting a new healthy lifestyle, your doctor might want you to see a cardiologist first to make sure your heart is healthy. Your cardiologist might provide guidelines for starting your routine slowly to avoid overstressing your heart.

Why Would You See a Cardiologist?

A cardiologist is unlikely to be a doctor you see regularly without good reason. So what are the common reasons to see a cardiologist? Normally people see a cardiologist if they:

Some people see a cardiologist to determine whether symptoms like heart palpitations, chest pain, shortness of breath, or dizziness are linked to cardiovascular problems.

Others know they have risk factors for heart disease and want to monitor their heart health. This may include regular physical exams as well as diagnostic testing.

Other times people might visit a cardiologist while recovering from a heart attack or after a heart procedure. Our Cardiac Rehabilitation Clinic is specially designed to help people in this situation.

Finally, people can see a cardiologist for help pro-actively managing their heart health. A cardiologist can recommend diagnostic tests to assess a person’s heart health and help them develop an exercise and diet plan to help them maintain and improve their heart health.

South Denver Cardiology Associates Can Help

No matter the reason why you are considering seeing a cardiologist, South Denver Cardiology Associates is here for you. From diagnostic testing and lifestyle support to interventional cardiology, we offer a full range of procedures. Our award-winning cardiologists are recognized experts in the field. We are prepared to help you achieve and maintain a heart that lets you not just live your life, but love your life.

To learn how South Denver Cardiology Associates can help you at our South Denver Heart Center or one of our other locations, please call 303-744-1065 or use our online form to request an appointment today.