If you’re worried about heart disease symptoms or your risk of heart attack, it may be time to see a cardiologist.
We offer comprehensive cardiovascular evaluations to confirm or rule out heart problems. Depending on your diagnosis, we may:
- Continue to monitor your symptoms
- Prescribe medication or lifestyle changes
- Refer you to a specialist for more advanced treatments
Who Should See a Cardiologist?
Your cardiologist is the doctor you turn to for help coordinating all your heart care needs. In collaboration with other cardiovascular specialists, they help prevent, diagnose or treat all types of heart and vascular disease, including:
- Angina (chest pain)
- Arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat)
- Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
- Atrial fibrillation (Afib)
- Atrial septal defect and other types of congenital heart disease
- Cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart)
- Coronary artery disease
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
- Heart valve disease, including mitral valve prolapse
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- High cholesterol
- Vascular disease, including carotid artery stenosis
- Vein disease, including varicose veins
Whether you have a known heart condition or a high risk of developing one, you can count on our team. We’ll help you manage conditions or behaviors that increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, such as high blood pressure and weight gain. We make sure you get the care you need to stay healthy and out of the hospital. And if you ever need to have an operation, we provide preoperative evaluations to make sure your heart is healthy enough for surgery.
How Our Cardiologists Manage Your Care
Your cardiologist plays a key role in managing your ongoing tests, treatments and follow-up care. Whenever possible, we also help you prevent heart disease.
We use the latest tools and technology to ensure a precise diagnosis and tailored treatments. We may refer you for one or more of the following diagnostic tests and procedures:
- Cardiac imaging tests such as echocardiograms, stress tests and cardiac CT or MRI
- Cardiac catheterization to diagnose certain heart and blood vessel problems
- Cardiac monitors to detect and record abnormal heart rhythms. These wearable or implantable devices include Holter monitors, cardiac event recorders, the Zio patch and the Linq insertable cardiac monitor.
- Pharmacogenomic testing to see how your genetics may influence your response to blood thinners or other medications
Routine Cardiology Care
Your cardiologist can recommend or prescribe various nonsurgical treatments, including:
- Lifestyle changes. If you need help losing weight, quitting smoking or getting your Type 2 diabetes under control, we’ll help you create a healthy lifestyle plan or refer you to providers who specialize in these areas.
- Heart medications. Prescription drugs such as beta blockers, ACE inhibitors and blood thinners can help you manage high blood pressure or reduce your risk of stroke.
Sometimes, lifestyle changes and medication aren’t enough to control your symptoms. In this case, your cardiologist may refer you to other Centra cardiovascular specialists for additional medical or surgical treatments.
Ongoing Follow-up Care
Some people with cardiovascular conditions need long-term monitoring or regular follow-up visits. If you need this type of care, we’ll make sure you’re referred to one of our specialty clinics. These include:
- Device clinic. We routinely monitor patients with pacemakers and defibrillators to make sure their device works properly.
- Protime clinic. Patients who use blood thinners such as Coumadin (warfarin) must undergo periodic testing to make sure they’re taking the right dose. Prothombin time testing — also known as protime testing — is a simple blood test that only takes a few minutes.
Preventing Heart Disease
Cardiologists in our Preventive Cardiology Center care for people who are high-risk for heart disease due to family history and other factors. We’ll help you achieve optimal heart health by improving your controllable risk factors (including smoking, weight and diet) and screening you for problems that are out of your control (such as genetics).
A Team Approach
Our cardiologists are part of a large, integrated team that cares for people throughout central Virginia. It includes cardiovascular subspecialists and other doctors who treat medical problems that often go hand-in-hand with heart disease.
You and your cardiologist may work with one or more of these specialists, including:
- Cardiac rehabilitation providers who help you improve your heart health after a heart attack or heart surgery
- Electrophysiologists who help manage implantable devices such as pacemakers and defibrillators
- Endocrinologists (diabetes specialists)
- Heart failure specialists
- Heart surgeons who perform traditional surgical treatments such as coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG)
- Interventional cardiologists who perform cardiac catheterization (nonsurgical procedures that use thin, hollow tubes called catheters to treat certain heart and vascular problems)
- Structural heart disease experts who help treat heart valve problems
- Vascular surgeons who treat blood vessel disorders
- Wound care specialists who help treat venous ulcers and other chronic wounds
- Bariatric (weight loss) surgeons or nonsurgical weight loss specialists
Together we offer the care you need to improve your heart health and quality of life.
No matter where you live or work in central Virginia, you’ll find outstanding cardiology care nearby. We offer outpatient cardiology services at six convenient locations:
Why Choose Centra for Cardiology Care?
With proper diagnosis and treatment, many people with cardiovascular disease live a full, active life. Learn why so many Virginians trust their hearts to Centra’s cardiology team:
- We’re nationally recognized for the quality of our care. Lynchburg General Hospital has been named one of the 50 best cardiovascular hospitals in the country by IBM Watson Health. This independent ranking confirms that our performance — including complication rates and average length of stay following a procedure — is better than most.
- We’re leaders in prenatal diagnosis. Several of our cardiologists offer an advanced imaging test called a fetal echocardiogram. It helps us detect even the most subtle heart problems before a baby is born. By diagnosing congenital heart disease early, we can have detailed treatment plans in place at birth.
- Our team includes women’s heart specialists. Women have a higher risk of certain heart problems caused by pregnancy complications, declining estrogen levels or chronic inflammation associated with autoimmune disorders. And in many cases, women experience different heart attack symptoms than men. To that end, we help women understand their unique heart disease risks and heart attack warning signs. We also diagnose and treat heart conditions that disproportionately affect women.