Inova's heart, thoracic, vascular and advanced lung disease doctors are among the best in the region. Read about these different types of physicians.

How do I find a cardiac, thoracic, vascular or pulmonary specialist?

Read below for more information about the different types of experts who provide care at Inova Heart and Vascular Institute. For a physician referral, call 1-855-MY-INOVA (855-694-6682) or use the links below to identify physicians within a particular specialty.


A cardiologist is a physician who has expertise in disorders of the cardiovascular system. They specialize in conditions involving the heart and blood vessels and provide diagnosis and treatment for conditions such as elevated cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, cardiac chest pain and myocardial infarction – more commonly known as heart attack.

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Cardiac surgeon

A cardiac surgeon is a physician who performs operative procedures on the heart and great vessels. Cardiac surgeons repair or replace heart valves, widen clogged arteries, repair aortic aneurysms, and perform heart bypass surgery and heart transplants.

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Interventional cardiologist

Interventional cardiologists perform minimally invasive procedures that rely on catheters and small incisions instead of traditional surgery. These procedures include balloon angioplasty to open blocked arteries, balloon valvuloplasty to widen a stiff or narrowed heart valve, implantation of coronary stents to hold open previously blocked arteries and cardiac catheterization.

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Interventional radiologist

Interventional radiologists are board-certified physicians who specialize in minimally invasive, targeted treatments. They do this through their knowledge of the least invasive treatments with diagnostic and clinical experience across all specialties. They use X-rays, MRI and other imaging to insert a catheter in the body, usually in an artery, to treat at the source of the disease.

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An electrophysiologist is a cardiologist who specializes in the electrical system of the heart. Electrophysiologists are specially trained in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiac arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms). They perform procedures such as diagnostic electrophysiology testing to find and assess arrhythmias, radiofrequency catheter ablation, and implantation of devices such as pacemakers and defibrillators.

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Advanced lung disease pulmonologist

An advanced lung disease pulmonologist specializes in treating patients with unusual or progressive lung diseases, such as interstitial lung disease, pulmonary hypertension and cystic fibrosis, among others. They also evaluate patients for potential lung transplant and care for patients who have undergone a transplant operation.

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Thoracic surgeon

Thoracic surgeons are physicians specially trained in the diagnosis and treatment of cancers found in the thoracic cavity, as well as diseases of the esophagus, chest wall, diaphragm and stomach. They treat conditions such as esophageal cancer, lung cancer, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and emphysema.

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Vascular surgeon

A vascular surgeon specializes in operative procedures on the vascular system – the arteries, veins and capillaries that move blood through the body and to and from the heart. They treat conditions such as abdominal aortic aneurysms, carotid artery disease, peripheral artery disease and varicose veins.

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For a referral to an Inova Heart and Vascular Institute doctor, call 1-855-MY-INOVA (855-694-6682).