Heart Health

The Difference Between Cardiology Specialists

February 7, 2019

The Difference Between Cardiology Specialists

Hi, my name is Eric Van De Graaff and I am a General Cardiologist with CHI Health. I work mainly out of CUMC Bergan Mercy and several other campuses.

I do general cardiology, which covers the spectrum of cardiac disease. Among my patients I spend a lot of time in the clinics and hospitals as well as spending time on pacemakers, defibrillator, and troubleshooting electrical issues.

General Cardiology

This used to be easy to define 30-40 years ago because there wasn’t much we did. If someone came in with a heart attack back then we would put them on bed rest for 3 weeks. Thankful that has changed, your chance of surviving has greatly increase with advancements in technology, medication, and medical procedures. We are now able to fix electrical issues, valve issues, and blocked arteries without opening the chest.

As a General Cardiologist I spend a lot of my time diagnosing patients, using EKG (Electrocardiography), stress testing, and then treating mostly with medications.

Electrophysiology Specialists

Electrophysiologists deal with the electrical problems of the heart. This could entail finding an area that is a problem and zapping it to keep it from being a problem in the future. We can also fix slow heart rhythm and correct the risk of sudden cardiac death by using implanted devices.

Interventional Cardiology Specialists

These cardiologists specialize in stents, heart catheterization as well as balloon angioplasty. These are the doctors that usually handle patients that come in with heart attacks. They will take them into the cath lab and find out what artery is being blocked.

Structural Cardiology Specialists

Structural cardiologist training allows them to fix more complex structural problems in the heart such as holes in the heart and valve problems. We have an amazing array of new technologies at our disposal to help fix problems that used to require open heart surgery that no longer do.

Heart Failure Specialists

Congestive heart failure is becoming a huge problem in the United States and that these doctors help fix this issue. They focus on keeping people’s hearts healthy, helping them avoid the problems with congestive heart failure, swelling in the legs, and difficult breathing.

One Comment
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    Howard J Bachman

    Thank you. This was very informative. My cardiologist is Dr Randy Pritza. I am incredibly satisfied with him. He treats me like a brother. I feel very fortunate that I am his patient at CUCHIBMH (or whatever the appropriate alpha designation may be). Thank you.

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