We have received the following question from one of our website users through our Ask your question form. We intend to provide the necessary information for her in this article.
My father recently had a heart attack. I want to show him to a cardiologist. Who is the best cardiologist in Sri Lanka?Purnima | via Ask Your Question Form
Cardiology is a medical speciality related to heart diseases. Cardiologist are specialized in treating heart various heart diseases. The heart being one of most important organs for life and wellbeing of an individual, the field of cardiology and cardiologist are respected highly in the society. They usually treat most of the heart diseases such as ischemic heart diseases, heart failure, heart muscle diseases (Cardiomyopathies), etc. Further, they are trained in performing Ecocardiogram (Echo) and Doing Angiogram and Angioplasty which are very important procedures done to save lives.
Related other specialities are Cardiothorasic Surgery and Cardiac Electrophysiology. Even though these specialists treat heart conditions, we should not mix up them with Cardiologists. Cardiothorasic Surgeons are involved in doing surgeries inside the thorasic cavity which include heart surgeries such as bypass surgery, valve replacement, etc. On the other hand, Cardiac Electrophysiologists treat rhythm abnormalities of the heart. Cardiac Electrophysians are able to correct rhythm abnormalities by setting up pace makers devices inside the heart and the body.
Sri Lankan Cardiologists get their training under the Post Graduate Institute of Medicine. After the first medical degree (MBBS), Doctors sit for post graduate selection exams in their chosen field. They undergo extensive training in the teaching hospitals working under experienced Cardiologists. It is usually five year program with regular in training assessments and an exiting exam. It is also mandatory for all the Cardiologists to undergo foreign training in a recognized foreign training centre – usually in UK or Australia.
To answer your question, it is hard to choose a better Cardiologist. However, they all have undergone the same training and fulfill the criteria to practice as Cardiologists. Further, Cardiology practice is mainly based on guidelines and individual differences in treating heart diseases are minimal. However, there can be other differences in their soft skills, attitudes, availability, etc. However, we can not choose a best on these since these things are very subjective parameters.
Dr. Thureisingham, Dr. Thenabadu, Dr. D.P. Athukorala, Dr. S.R. De Silva were the legends in Cardiology in Sri Lanka. They have trained many other Cardiologists and Dr. Ruwan Ekanayaka is one of the most popular Cardiologist in Sri Lanka. However, since he has retired and cut down his private practice, it may be hard to consult him.
We believe the Doctor closest to you is the best doctor. When it comes to Cardiology, all the major government hospitals now have a Cardiology Unit. For an example, someone in Kalutara do not have to travel all the way to Colombo to consult a Cardiologist. There is a Cardiologist in Kalutara General Hospital and he/she is available in the private sector hospitals in the area as well. Good news is that the government now has provided Angiogram Facilties to at least one major hospital in a district. In case of emergency, it will be easy for you to get admitted under the same Cardiologist to the nearest hospital. Remember that you should not delay seeking medical help for illnesses related to heart.
In public sector, Cardiology Unit of the National Hospital of Sri Lannka (NHSL) is the pinacle of care. It is one of the largest such unit in the South Asia and it provides almost all the advance cardiac services.
There are few notable Cardiologist that we would like to name here. We have picked them since we have heard of them or we have had some experience about them. You should choose your Cardiologist on your discretion or on your primary care doctor’s advice.
Dr. Chandrike Ponnamperuma – Currently works attached to Colombo South Teaching Hospital. Dr. Ponnamperuma is a very kind doctor and he is one of the most senior cardiologist around. He is available for consultation in the private sector hospitals as well.
Dr. K. Rajakanthan – One of the most senior Cardiologist who has been practicing in Colomobo for long time. Highly skilled in what he does and he was in charge of the Cardiology Unit in the Colombo South Teaching Hospital for long time.
Dr. Niroshan Lokunarangoda – Young Cardiologist with quaoifications in abundance. Dr. Lokunarangoda is also an Academic as well. He is available for private consultations in Colombo and suburbs.
Dr. Charitha Herath – another young and enrgetic Cardiologist who is practicing in Colombo and suburbs.
Dr. Hasantha Ranawaka – One of the popular Cardiologist working solely in private sector. Dr. Hasantha Ranawaka is based in Neville Fernando Hospital and also available in few other private hospitals in Colombo.
It is hard to select a best Cardiologist as we mentioned earlier. There are many other factors that you should consider when you are seeking treatment from a particular doctor. Please do your own research and select your doctor.
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