Tips & Advice
Do children need a referral from their pediatrician to see a pediatric cardiologist?
Yes, children will generally need a referral to see a specialist such as a pediatric cardiologist.
Are cardiologists required to be board-certified?
As with any doctor practicing in the United States , cardiologists are only required to be licensed to practice medicine in the state in which they reside. Being certified by a medical board is a separate process, however approximately 85 percent of U.S. physicians are certified by at least one specialized medical association.
What types of diagnostic tests do pediatric cardiologists perform?
Pediatric cardiologists can perform or recommend imaging of the heart and tests for its function, which may include:
- Ultrasound, CT or PET scans.
- Electrocardiogram (EKG)
- Exercise study
- Blood tests
- General physical exam
What is the difference between a pediatric cardiologist and a pediatric cardiac surgeon?
A pediatric cardiologist helps diagnose and treat cardiovascular diseases through noninvasive means, but may recommend a patient for surgery. The pediatric cardiac surgeon is the doctor who performs these surgeries when needed.
What type of special training does a pediatric cardiologist receive?
In the United States, pediatric cardiologists must first complete the same training as all medical doctors, including four years of undergraduate study and four years of medical school. Next, students will begin their three-year residency, during which they might choose to specialize in pediatrics. To specialize in cardiology, students will usually need to undergo additional years of training.
How much does it cost to see a pediatric cardiologist?
Prices vary depending on insurance copays, location, and other factors. However, parents of patients can usually expect to pay more to see a pediatric cardiologist because they are considered a specialist. Since most heart conditions are chronic, patients should also expect to make multiple visits over time.
What are the most common conditions treated by pediatric cardiologists?
Pediatric cardiologists can treat a number of cardiovascular conditions in children, including:
- Congenital heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Coronary artery disease
How can parents know if their child needs to see a cardiologist?
Sometimes, congenital heart disease can be diagnosed prior to birth with an ultrasound. Even after birth, children with certain heart problems may not present any noticeable symptoms. Congenital heart diseases diagnosed after birth are usually found when a pediatrician listens to a child’s heart through a stethoscope. Other symptoms include chest pains or fainting spells.
What is congenital heart disease?
A congenital disease of any kind is one that is present from birth. Therefore a congenital heart disease is a defect of the heart that develops in the womb. Congenital heart diseases are seen in many forms, and may involve defects in the organ’s interior walls, its valves, or in the arteries and veins that carry blood throughout the body.
What is a pediatric cardiologist?
A pediatric cardiologist is a physician who specializes in the study of heart function and heart diseases seen in children and infants.