Myocardial Infarction

Myocardial Infarction
One of the essential internal organs of the body, the heart not only helps in pumping blood to all parts of the body through the help of the circulatory system but also helps in supplying oxygen. It also provides nutrients to the tissues, removes carbon dioxide and other impurities from the body. Thus, it becomes highly imperative to take care of one’s heart to maintain a healthy body. What is a Myocardial Infarction or a Heart Attack? The human heart requires a good supply of blood to stay healthy and perform all the vital functions smoothly. However, when there is a partial blockage or complete blockage of an artery, which supplies blood to the heart, a heart attack can occur. As a person grows older, the inner arteries of the heart can become narrow, or can get damaged to due fatty build-up or plague and may result in blood clots. When these blood clots completely block your blood flow to the heart or even severely reduce it, leading to unbearable pain in the chest cavity. This resulting condition is commonly known as a heart attack. Coronary Artery Disease The heart contains a network of blood vessels known as arteries on its surface, which helps in providing oxygen to the heart. However, sometimes, these coronary arteries that are responsible for supplying oxygen to the heart become too narrow or constrained as a result of excessive cholesterol or fat build up in the artery walls. This, in turn, increases the chances of formation of plaque. Sometimes these plague build-ups can result in breakage that may result in blood cells and blood particulars to stick on it, leading to a blood clot like formation. This is one of the main culprits in narrowing your arteries, and thus disrupting blood flow to the heart.  In a situation like this, the heart is unable to get ample oxygenated blood, especially while physical activity is being performed. This may initially result in a Coronary Heart Disease (CHD), or a Coronary Artery Disease, eventually leading to a heart attack. What happens during a heart attack? Heart attack, also known as Myocardial Infarction (MI), where ‘Myo’ refers to heart and ‘infraction’ refers to permanent damage or death of the tissue due to the disrupted flow of blood into the heart. The human heart is a muscle that requires a regular and uninterrupted supply of oxygen and nutrients to function correctly. Coronary arteries, which are a network of blood vessels, supply the heart with the much-needed oxygen and nutrients. When these arteries get clogged or blocked, it can lead to sudden decrease or blockage of blood flow to the heart, resulting in a heart attack. While certain heart attacks can begin slowly starting with mild discomfort and pain in the chest, others may occur all of a sudden with great intensity causing intense pain. The seriousness of a heart attack is judged on the severity of the damage that may get caused to the heart muscle. A cardiologist is someone...
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CABG – Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting

CABG – Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting
Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) is a surgical procedure to improve poor blood flow to the heart caused by narrowing or blocking of arteries due to the build-up of plaque. These arteries called coronary arteries are blood vessels responsible for supplying blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the heart tissue. When these arteries are blocked or narrowed due to the accumulation of plaque – fatty material within the walls of the arteries – the heart is restricted or has a limited supply of oxygen-rich blood, causing severe symptoms including a heart attack in severe cases. This plaque is formed in the arteries when the inner walls of the arteries are damaged or injured due to several factors such as an unhealthy diet, smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and a sedentary lifestyle. This plaque - a build-up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances - tends to stick to the inner walls of the arteries, restricting the blood flow and thereby causing a system malfunction.  Factors that increase the chances of a blockage or narrowing in the arteries include: Increasing ageSex – Men are more prone than womenFamily history of heart disease or problemsSmokingHigh blood pressureHigh cholesterol levelDiabetesOverweight or obesityPhysical inactivityHigh stressUnhealthy diet A coronary artery bypass grafting redirects the blood flow to the narrowed or blocked artery by using healthy blood vessels from the leg veins, arm or chest and connecting them with the blood vessels that are beyond the blocked or narrowed artery – causing a bypass for the compromised artery to relive the blood flow as a new passage is able to supply oxygen-rich blood to the blocked area. Depending on the severity of the case, one or more blood vessels may be used to bypass the affected artery. In one case, four major blocked arteries can be bypassed at once.  Coronary artery bypass grafting is a very successful surgical procedure and one of the prime methods used to correct blockages, leakages or narrowing of the coronary arteries. It is an open surgery also popularly known as bypass surgery, coronary artery bypass surgery or heart bypass surgery.  Types of Coronary artery bypass grafting Traditional Coronary artery bypass grafting: This is the most common method used to treat blockages of the main artery by opening the chest bone to access the heart and stop it to connect it to a heart-lung bypass machine. This machine keeps supplying blood and oxygen to the tissue to keep the heart alive, meanwhile allowing the surgeon to relieve the blockage. Post the surgery, blood flow is restored and the heart starts beating properly. Off-pump coronary artery bypass grafting: This is similar to a traditional coronary artery surgery, the heart is accessed via an incision in the chest bone but it is not stopped and neither is placed on a bypass machine, instead the blockage is treated on the beating heart. Minimally-invasive coronary artery bypass grafting: A fairly new but minimally invasive procedure that uses several small incisions on the left side of the chest, between...
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Understand : Interventional Cardiology

Understand : Interventional Cardiology
Interventional Cardiology is a sub-specialty of the broader cardiology stream and focuses specifically on the treatment of heart diseases through catheters. A catheter is a long, thin, fine tube mounted with a tiny balloon that is inserted into an artery or vein in the groin, neck or arm and moved to the heart through the blood vessels. Interventional cardiology uses specialized imaging and diagnostic procedures to assess the flow of blood and pressure in the heart’s arteries and chambers. Moreover, it also involves using technical procedures and medications to cure abnormalities impairing the cardiovascular system.  Interventional cardiology diagnoses and treats clinical issues such as: Ischemic/coronary heart diseasesHeart valve diseasesCongenital heart abnormalitiesPeripheral vascular diseasesResistant hypertensionPatent foramen ovaleHypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) These clinical issues are treated through interventional methods such as: Angioplasty: This interventional cardiology procedure is undertaken to restore the blood flow to the heart after a heart attack. In this, a catheter mounted with a tiny balloon is inserted into the blocked artery by making an incision in the arm or groin. The catheter is then specifically directed to the area of blockage via special dyes, X-rays, etc. and then the mounted balloon is inflated to remove the blockage from the artery and allow free flow of blood. Post the supply is regulated; the balloon is deflated and removed from the body. Stenting: Post angioplasty, sometimes the doctors place a stainless-steel mesh known as a stent in the heart to ensure the arteries do not clog again. Some stents are also medically coated to avoid narrowing of the arteries in the future. These stents are placed on top of the balloon on the catheter, such as that upon the opening of the balloon, the stent opens up and reinforces the walls of the artery.  Rotational Atherectomy: In this procedure, a high-speed instrument – rotary shaver- called burr, is placed at the tip of the catheter and is used to cut through a heavily calcified plaque to reopen a blocked coronary artery.  Embolic Protection: This interventional cardiology procedure involves eliminating the loose particles of accumulated plaque - that are flowing in the blood - via filters. These loose plaque particles increase the chances of stroke and heart injuries. Percutaneous Valve Repair: Interventional cardiology can repair damaged valves by using catheters to guide clips and other surgical devices via the blood vessels to repair the valve and restore the flow of blood in the heart. Balloon Valvuloplasty: In this procedure, a balloon is placed at the top of the catheter which is guided to the narrow or constricted heart valves to stretch it open. When the catheter is at the right place in the heart, the balloon is inflated pushing the walls of the artery to open properly.  Valve Replacement: This procedure is similar to a balloon valvuloplasty, though the only difference is that there will be implantation of an artificial valve in the replacement of a damaged or a narrowed valve. Radiofrequency Catheter Ablation: This method uses radio waves to send signals to the heart muscles via a catheter to permanently...
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