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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Women and Heart Disease

Women and Heart Disease
Women are known to be the nurturers of the family, the ones who take care of everyone but often tend to neglect their own health while doing so. And one significant fact that establishes this is the increasing rate at which women are diagnosed with heart disease and often die due to lack of awareness of symptoms and proper medical care. More than one in every three women is living with some heart disease. Each year, heart disease and stroke are the cause of 1 in 3 deaths among women. While heart diseases are often thought of as a man’s disease, they are as much a risk for women too. In fact, recently the rate at which women have died due to heart disease is a proof of this fact. That is mostly because symptoms of heart diseases - such as a heart attack or coronary artery diseases - in women differ from those of men. However some common symptoms remain the same in both genders. Some common heart disease symptoms that both genders might experience are acute chest pain and tightness or discomfort in chest. However, women are more likely to experience heart disease symptoms that are unrelated to chest pain and include: Pain in the neck, jaw, throatPain in upper back or abdomenExtreme shortness of breathAcute pain in arms (one or both)NauseaVomitingExcessive sweatingDizzinessUnexplained FatigueLoss of consciousnessConsistent and recurring indigestion These symptoms might occur while doing normal every day activities or while resting, and depend on the type of heart problem and the intensity of the disease. That said, it is important to know the factors that put women at risk for heart problems. Some of the common factors that lead to heart problems in both men and women are high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, family history of heart disease, inflammatory diseases, smoking, and excessive alcohol. However, additional risk factors that put women at higher risk for heart problems include: Diabetes: Diabetic women are more prone to heart diseases then diabetic men. More so, diabetic patients are more likely to experience silent heart attack. Stress, anxiety and depression: Mental stress, anxiety and depression are more likely toaffect women’s health than men’s since they tighten the arteries, increasing risk of heart attacks. Physical inactivity: It is believed that women are more inactive then men in general and hence, their chances of heart disease increase more. Menopause: Women are more likely to have heart diseases post menopause because of the low levels of estrogen that can trigger heart issues in smaller blood vessels. However, these risk factors can be controlled if women of all ages become more active and alert towards their overall health. Some of the steps that women can take to ensure they are healthy and less likely to develop heart diseases are: Quit Smoking and limit alcohol: Smoking directly or second-hand smoking both need to be avoided to reduce heart diseases risks. Moreover, more than one alcoholic drink per day should be strictly avoided. Improve physical activity:...
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