Heart Treatment Options – Comparison and Results
When it comes to heart problems, people are largely unaware of the various procedures available today. If you or any in your family had “heart attack” or “heart related problems” then the chances are high that you may have already had certain procedures done to help manage the condition.
Here are some of the common treatments that are taken up:
It is also known as Percutaneous Coronary Interventions [PCI] or “Balloon Angioplasty” in medical terms. In this treatment, a deflated balloon along with a tube is sent to the blocked arteries. There, the balloon is inflated to widen blocked areas where the flow of blood is constricted.
Sometimes, this also includes implanting the stents so that the artery remains open and any other chance of blockage is also minimized. As compared to “open heart surgery”, Angioplasty is less invasive as the chest is not cut open.
In another treatment, “Angioplasty” is also done with the help of laser where pulsating beams of light break own the plaque build-up.
It is effective in the cases below:
– Helps to reduce the chest pain (angina)
– Increases the blood flow through the artery
– Improves your ability for physical activity
Post-Procedure: You might need to take some medicines or the doctor may set you up for therapy to prevent complications and make a healthy recovery.
Heart Valve Replacement Surgery
Sometimes, a heart valve may not function properly due to some abnormality. In this case, the valve is replaced with a healthy one. This may normally require a sternotomy or in some cases, a series of small incisions.
What this does, it restores the normal function of the heart valves and hence the blood flow is regulated back like before. The procedure chosen will depend on the valve that needs replacement, the severity of symptoms and the risk of surgery. Sometimes, proper medication is required so that blood clot doesn’t start forming.
Post Procedure: Some of the people may require medication after the treatment but it entirely depends on the person’s conditions and risk factors.
Known as CABG (Coronary Artery Bypass Graft), it is done via Open-Heart Surgery. In order to treat the blocked arteries, veins or arteries called grafts, are taken from the other parts of the body. They are used to create ‘bypasses’ that reroute the blood around the clogged artery. Hence, the blood flow to the heart is restored. The total grafts required (bypasses) depend on the number of clogged arteries and this might take several days in the hospital.
Reasons for the Procedure:
– One of the most common procedures to manage blockage of arteries in heart
– Risks of Heart Attack are reduced
– Effective in the case of “Angina”
– Improves the blood supply and overall agility of your body
Post Procedure: This depends on the person’s conditions and he might be needed to be kept in the care unit just in case any complication arises.
Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery
Also known as Port-Access Coronary Artery Bypass, this is an alternative to the standard bypass surgery.
Here small incisions or ports are made in the chest. And to bypass the clogged coronary artery, chest veins or arteries from your leg are attached to the heart so that alternative paths can be created for the blood flow. The surgeon is able to see this operation on a monitor only. During PACAB, the heart is stopped and blood is pumped through an oxygenator commonly called as ‘heart-lung’ machine.
Reasons for the Procedure:
– Manages the blockage of blood flow
– Relieves angina pain and improves supply of oxygen to the heart
– Reduces risk of heart attack
ECP Treatment – (Surgery Free and Completely Non-Invasive)
ECP Treatment or EECP Therapy uses Renew ECP, which is a US FDA approved non-invasive treatment for patients with heart disease (single or multi-vessel), recurrent symptoms even after surgical treatment, congestive heart failure and for those prone to other heart ailments.
This is a non-surgical and pain-free procedure. As the patient lies down, 3 electrodes are applied to the chest and are connected to an ECG machine. Pressure cuffs are wrapped around the calves, thighs and buttocks. The blood vessels in the lower limbs are firmly compressed to increase the blood flow to the heart. Each wave of pressure is electronically timed to the heart beat, so that blood flow is delivered to the heart at precise moments.
“ECP Treatment” (EECP treatment) goes on for 35 sessions for serious heart patients. And each session is for the period of one hour. The whole procedure is administered by professionals.
It is considered to be an effective treatment for the following reasons: –
– Very cost effective as it does not involve surgery and hospital stay
– Enables the patient to return to work and participate in their active lifestyle
– Makes the patient more energetic
– Enables the patient to walk greater distances without experiencing any chest pain
ECP encourages blood vessels to open small channels which may become extra branches. These channels or collaterals may eventually become “Natural Bypass” vessels to provide blood flow to the heart muscle, contributing to the relief of angina symptoms.
Post-Procedure: Unlike other treatment methods, there is no need for bed rest stay at the hospital. The only effects of ECP are an increased feeling of well-being, improved quality of life and reduced medication.