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General Cardiology

Coordinating your total heart care.

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Experience the difference when it comes to heart care.

If you compare your heart to a house, general cardiologists are the general contractors. They are responsible for your heart overall, are involved with your diagnosis, provide treatment and coordinate care and communication among your entire cardiac team. In health systems that provide comprehensive care, like St. Luke’s, general cardiologists confer with cardiac specialists, and as needed, refer you to them. General cardiologists often stay with you for years or decades, helping you to achieve your longest and best life.


General cardiologists provide outstanding care for patients, from those at immediate risk to those with multiple, complex and chronic conditions. They educate you about your condition and help prevent, reverse or slow the progression of the disease. Among the conditions they treat are congenital heart defects, angina, coronary artery disease, heart failure, valvular heart disease, heart attacks and electrophysiology.

Look out for these symptoms

Angina (chest pain)

Chest pain can be a scary symptom, but it doesn't always mean something serious. If you're experiencing chest pain, it's important to pay attention to the location and severity of the pain, as well as any other symptoms you may be having.


When is chest pain an emergency?

The time to call for help and go to the hospital is when your chest pain continues to worsen, or is accompanied by:

  • Pain that spreads to your arm, shoulder, neck, or jaw
  • Pressure on your left side
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sweating
Man holding his chest

Dyspnea (shortness of breath)

Dyspnea is a healthcare term for shortness of breath, the sensation when you can’t get enough air into your lung.  Signs of dyspnea include chest tightness, rapid breathing or heart rate or wheezing. Shortness of breath is often a symptom of heart and lung diseases, such as heart failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).  If you experience dyspnea, see your doctor. Common treatments include exercise to strengthen your heart and lungs, relaxation techniques, medications to relax airways. If you smoke, stop.


Heart palpitations are a fluttering or racing sensation in your chest. They can be caused by stress, anxiety, exercise, or certain medications. While usually harmless, they can sometimes be a sign of an underlying heart condition. If you experience them frequently or along with other concerning symptoms, see a doctor.

Light headedness & dizziness

Lightheadedness/dizziness is not a disease. Instead, it is a symptom of another health condition, such as vertigo. However, dizziness may be a symptom of an underlying heart condition, such as an irregular heartbeat, heart attack, cardiomyopathy, or stroke. If your dizzy spells are becoming more frequent, severe, or prolonged, talk to your doctor, who may order testing to determine their cause.

Doctor speaking with a patient


The top five questions to ask your cardiologist

Perhaps you’re going to the cardiologist because your physician recommended it. Or maybe you have a family history of heart disease, and you want to stay on top of it. Or you have high blood pressure, or high cholesterol, or both. Whatever your reasons — and there are many — the experts at St. Luke’s University Health Network provide you with some questions to ask. Bring them, along with any others, to have an informative visit.


General adult cardiologists perform physical exams and order blood work and other tests to evaluate the heart’s health and function. These may include electrocardiograms, echocardiograms, stress tests, and heart MRIs. They can also help you make lifestyle changes, prescribe medications (such as cholesterol-lowering statins), recommend procedures, and refer you to specialists.

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Your recovery starts here.

If you’re experiencing heart concerns, let us help. Connect with a St. Luke’s cardiac specialist and start your path to recovery.