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What are the treatments available for heart health?

It can be nerve-wrecking when your cardiologist diagnose you with a heart condition. However, do not fret about it. There are relevant treatments that will help you to ease your worry. The type of treatment you receive depends on the type of heart disease you have. In general, treatment for heart disease usually includes:

1. Lifestyle changes

You can lower your risk of heart disease by eating a low-fat and low-sodium diet, getting at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most days of the week, quitting smoking, and limiting alcohol intake.

2. Medications

If lifestyle changes alone aren't enough, your doctor may prescribe medications to control your heart disease. The type of medication you receive will depend on the type of heart disease.

3. Medical procedures or surgery

If medications aren't enough, it's possible your doctor will recommend specific procedures or surgery. The type of procedure or surgery will depend on the type and extent of the heart disease.


What is Angioplasty?

Angioplasty uses a tiny balloon catheter that is inserted in a blocked blood vessel to help widen it and improve blood flow to your heart.

Angioplasty is often combined with the placement of a small wire mesh tube called a stent. The stent helps prop the artery open, decreasing its chance of narrowing again. Most stents are coated with medication to help keep your artery open. Angioplasty can improve symptoms of blocked arteries, such as chest pain and shortness of breath.

Certain abnormal heart rhythms (known as arrhythmias) may occur at irregular hours and/or under specific conditions where stress or intense activities are experienced. As such, a traditional ECG test during a doctor’s consultation may not be indicative or as accurate as data collected from a Holter monitor that are recorded over an extended period of time. 

Results from the Holter monitor recording can also help to assess one’s risk for other potential CVD. 

What is Open Heart Surgery (Bypass)?

Coronary bypass surgery redirects blood around a section of a blocked or partially blocked artery in your heart. The procedure involves taking a healthy blood vessel from your leg, arm or chest and connecting it below and above the blocked arteries in your heart. With a new pathway, blood flow to the heart muscle improves.

Coronary bypass surgery doesn't cure the heart disease that caused the blockages, such as atherosclerosis or coronary artery disease. However, it can ease symptoms, such as chest pain and shortness of breath. This procedure can improve heart function and reduce the risk of dying of heart disease.

What is Stenting?

A stent is a tiny tube that your cardiologist can insert into a blocked passageway to keep it open. The stent restores the flow of blood or other fluids, depending on where it’s placed.

Stents are made of either metal or plastic. Stent grafts are larger stents used for larger arteries. They may be made of a specialized fabric. Stents can also be coated with medication to help keep a blocked artery from closing.

What is Heart Valve Repair?

Heart valve surgery is a procedure to treat heart valve disease. Heart valve disease involves at least one of the four heart valves not working properly. Heart valves keep blood flowing in the correct direction through your heart. A heart valve repair is an open-heart surgery through the breastbone, into the chest. It is a major operation that can last two hours or longer and recovery often takes several weeks.

Specialized Treatments

What is Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI)?

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI) is a minimally invasive heart procedure to replace a narrowed aortic valve that fails to open properly which is known as aortic valve stenosis.

TAVI may be an option for people who are at high risk of complications from an open-heart surgery. The decision to treat aortic stenosis with TAVI is made after you consult with a team of heart surgery specialists, who will then work together to determine the best treatment option for you.

What is Implantation of Devices?

A pacemaker is a small, battery-operated device that helps the heart beat in a regular rhythm. It is the treatment of choice for patients with slow heartbeat, but is less commonly used for fast heartbeat. Pacemakers can be permanent or temporary. A pacemaker sends electrical impulses to the heart when needed to aid in the proper pumping of blood.

A defibrillator is a device about the size of a pager that monitors your heart rate. It is positioned below the collarbone. It is typically used to detect fast heartbeat and deliver a strong electrical shock to restore the heartbeat to normal. However, many defibrillators can also function as pacemakers, delivering a weaker shock to aid in a slow heartbeat as well.

What is Radiofrequency Catheter Ablation?

Catheter ablation is a procedure that uses radiofrequency energy which is similar to microwave heat to destroy a small area of heart tissue that is causing rapid and irregular heartbeats. Destroying this tissue helps restore your heart’s regular rhythm. The procedure is also called radiofrequency ablation. Catheter ablation is used to treat abnormal heart rhythms when medicines are not tolerated or effective. Catheter ablation is a low-risk procedure that is successful in most people who have it.

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