Cardiology is the science and study of the heart, its functions and all the disorders that can affect this organ and impair its normal function. The cardiologist's area of expertise encompasses conditions such as a heart attack, heart failure and arrhythmia (heart rhythm disturbance).
To find out how well the heart is working the cardiologist uses specialised methods of testing, such as use of the electrocardiograph (the ECG measures the heart's electrical impulses) or a chest x-ray.
The cardiologist works closely with the thoracic and cardiovascular surgeon. Under certain circumstances he can carry out specific types of operation, such as implanting a heart pacemaker.
After a patient's illness or operation, the cardiologist suggests courses of action to help restore him back to health. This can include a stay in a special rehabilitation clinic, a specially tailored keep-fit programme, or taking appropriate medicines.