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The basic structure unit of the human body is the cells. The cells come together to form tissues, tissues form the organs and organs form the body systems that allow the body to regulate various physical and chemical events. All systems in the body work in harmony with each other to keep us alive and stay healthy. The body has 7 systems as digestion, excretion, circulation, nerve, respiration, skeleton and reproduction.  The skeletal system and muscles form the movement system of the body to stand and move. Respiratory system provides intake of oxygen needed by the cells and removal of carbon dioxide; the digestive system makes the food available for use of the body and presents them to the circulatory system; the circulatory system provides transport of nutrients and oxygen to the cells and the waste of the cells to the excretory system; the excretory system removes waste from the body; and the reproductive system provides a healthy reproduction.

What is Cardiology?

The branch of medicine that examines diseases related to the heart and circulatory system is called cardiology. Cardiology, which is a sub-branch of internal medicine (internal medicine) department, is now a separate department. A doctor receiving medical education in the field of cardiology takes the title of cardiologist. Persons having symptoms such as fast fatigue, cyanosis, palpitations, fainting, night urination, edema, shortness of breath, chest pain are treated in the cardiology department.  

What are the diseases included in the cardiology?

The main task of the heart is to pump blood into the body.  If the heart cannot pump sufficient amount blood for various reasons, heart failure occurs. Cardiology covers the following hearth and circulatory system diseases, especially heart failure;

What are the symptoms of heart diseases?

Chest Pain: Chest pain due to coronary heart disease is a pain which is usually exerted by effort, emotional stress, or by the increase of the workload of the heart, may last for minutes or is described as compressive, overwhelming, pressure feeling, jamming, or burning which starts at the chest bone or left of the chest, and it is also called angina pectoris. Pain that lasts longer than 5 minutes and persists despite sublingual nitrate may be a sign of acute myocardial infarction.

The pain associated with inflammation of the membrane, which covers the hearth and is called pericardium, is a pain that can be spread on both shoulders, usually in the form of a feeling of stinging in the chest without being related to effort.

It shows itself from the back and is felt as a very heavy and sudden pain if it is associated with aortic dissection.

Shortness of breath: It generally starts with physical activity (at a comfortable walking distance or uphill walking or climbing 1-2 floors) and is progressive and it can crate need of increasing the number of pillows at night and not being able to lie flat. It may be a sign of cardiac ischemia or cardiomyopathy. Emphysema, asthma and other lung diseases may be confused with these diseases.

Edema: It is the accumulation of water and salt in the body due to the heart failure. Generally, it collapses when pressure is applied from both sides in legs, sometimes stomach and rarely in the arms. It can also occur in kidney and liver diseases.

Night urination: It is night urination for 2 or more times due to increase or urine caused by water and salt kept in the body in the morning hours.

Fainting: Fainting due to heart disease is usually short-term (a few minutes), sudden and it causes complete loss of consciousness; the patient usually loses his/her position and falls on the ground, or he/she cannot respond to verbal or painful stimuli. There is generally no contractions such as unwanted urination or foam discharge from the mouth and the patient gets better quickly (there is no sleep period after fainting). It is usually repetitive and progressive. It is most commonly seen in cardiac arrhythmias, therefore if someone with a diagnosis of heart disease has fainting, he/she should be treated as a medical emergency until a fatal arrhythmia is prevented.

Palpitation: It is the feeling of heart beats abnormally in the chest or sometimes in the abdomen by the patient. Normal heartbeats can sometimes be felt, such as an extraordinary beat or a pause in the beats, and especially palpitations accompanied with normal, rapid, irregular beating, sweating or fainting may indicate heart disease.

Cyanosis: It is a bluish discoloration which is usually caused by inadequate oxygen transport to the tissues on the lips and toes. Congenital heart diseases, cardiomyopathies, valve diseases, as well as severe lung diseases may also lead to cyanosis.

Quick Fatigue: Although it has many causes, it may be an early sign of heart failure and is especially important in the elderly and those with previously known coronary heart disease or heart valve diseases.

Diagnostic methods used in the heart disease

Electrocardiography (ECG):As a noninvasive diagnostic method, ECG is the recording of electrical activity in the heart. The recorded information gives opinions about the operation of the heart muscle and the neural transmission system.

Exercise Test:As result of the exercise test used to determine the prevalence of coronary artery diseases, symptoms are evaluated and the severity of the disease is determined.

Holter ECG:It is a diagnostic method for patients who need more than 24 hours of ECG recording

Chest Graphs:Chest radiograph, which provide important information about the position of the heart and cardiothoracic ratio, is one of the important diagnostic methods used in heart disease.

Echocardiography (ECO):ECO used in the diagnosis of heart failure and heart valve disorders allows the examination of the heart structure through a probe.

CT Coronary Angiography:CT coronary angiography is usually used in patients who cannot be applied with coronary angiography.

Cardiac Catheterization:Cardiac catheterization, which is a very important diagnostic method in the diagnosis of coronary artery diseases and valvular diseases, is invasive biopsy of the heart and the pressures in the heart channels can be measured.

Myocardial Perfusion Scintigraphy:The method of diagnosis using gamma rays is called the radio nuclear imaging.