coronary artery disease


Heart blockage or blockage in the heart is said to have occurred when the body is unable to supply enough oxygen (through blood) to the heart. If the blood flow is blocked, the heart is deprived of oxygen which causes the heart cells to die. This is a symptom of coronary artery disease. It causes chest pains, heart attacks and in severe cases can even lead to death.

Causes

Cholesterol producers causing coronary artery disease

Cholesterol producers causing coronary artery disease
[Source: National Library of Medicine]

Heart blockages are a result of accumulation of fatty material along the walls of coronary arteries. This fatty material or plaque, which is made up of cholesterol and other cells, thickens, hardens (forms calcium deposits), and eventually blocks the arteries.

The slow buildup of plaque may almost block one of your coronary arteries leading to a heart attack in situations when the heart needs more blood or oxygen (e.g. when you are exercising).

Sometimes, the plaque itself develops cracks (fissures) or tears to which blood platelets stick and form a blood clot. A heart attack can occur if this blood clot completely blocks the passage of oxygen-rich blood to the heart.

Certain factors like old age (above 65), male gender, diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking, fat-rich diet, overweight (by 30%), etc. increase your risk for coronary artery disease.

Symptoms

  • Chest pain usually on the left side
  • Pain radiating to the arms, shoulders, neck, teeth, jaw, belly area, or back
  • Anxiety
  • Palpitations (irregular heart beat or the heart beating too fast)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Light-headedness or dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Fatigue and weakness (especially if you are elderly)

Tests

Your doctor may perform one or more of the following tests:

  • Coronary angiography to study how blood flows through your heart
  • Computed Tomography scan (CT scan) to create cross-sectional pictures of the chest
  • Echocardiography to create a moving picture of the heart using sound waves
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG) to record the electrical activity of the heart
  • Electrophysiology Study (EPS) to determine the details of irregular heartbeats or arrhythmias
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to take pictures of your body using magnetic and radio waves
  • Nuclear ventriculography to show the heart chambers using radioactive materials called tracers

Treatment

Treatment option will depend upon the amount of blockage present. A minor blockage can be treated with the use of stents while a patient suffering from a severe heart blockage may need a heart surgery like a cardiac bypass. Following are some of the treatment options to treat blockages in the coronary artery:

  • Angioplasty: Also called percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), it is a procedure to open narrowed or blocked blood vessels.
  • Stent placement: A small, metal mesh tube that opens up (expands) inside a coronary artery.
  • Thrombolytic therapy: Usage of drugs to break up the clot.
  • Other medications: To treat and prevent heart attacks.
  • Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG): A cardiac procedure to reroute or bypass blood around clogged arteries to improve blood flow and oxygen to the heart.

Cost of treatment

Depending upon the treatment required the cost can range anywhere from upwards of $20,000 in the US for a stent to approximately $10,000 in India for a bypass surgery. For a free quote for a specific surgery in the US or overseas, contact Healthbase, a US medical tourism facilitator.

If you do not carry sufficient health insurance, the medical costs of treating heart blockages can be financially straining. To learn about cheaper and high quality heart treatment overseas, check out medical tourism @ Healthbase.

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Obesity

According to ObesityInAmerica.org, obesity is the second leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. Approximately 127 million adults in the U.S. are overweight, 60 million obese, and 9 million severely obese. Furthermore, an estimated 65.2 percent of U.S. adults, age 20 years and older, and 15 percent of children and adolescents are overweight and 30.5 percent are currently obese.

Obesity defined

Obesity is a complex disease in which having too much body fat increases a person’s risk for developing other health problems. Obesity is measured by body mass index (BMI), a calculation that shows weight in relation to height. Click here to calculate your BMI.

As BMI increases, the risk of some diseases increases. A BMI of 30 or above is considered obese in adults, which means a person is at a higher risk for certain diseases, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and coronary artery disease (CAD). However, BMI is only one of many factors used to predict the risk of developing a disease.

Health risks of obesity

Overweight and obese people are prone to cardiovascular diseases (CVD), including heart attack, congestive heart failure, sudden cardiac death, angina and abnormal heart rhythm.

More than 80 percent of people with the most common form of diabetes, Type 2, are obese or overweight. Obesity complicates the management of Type 2 diabetes by increasing insulin resistance and glucose intolerance, which makes drug treatment for the disease less effective.

Obesity has a negative effect on lipid levels in the blood, which often leads to the development of a condition known as dyslipidemia, which is a primary risk factor for coronary artery disease (CAD).

The majority of patients diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), the most common hormonal disorder in reproductive-age women, are either overweight or obese. PCOS is a leading cause of infertility. In addition, PCOS causes significant insulin resistance, thereby increasing the woman’s risk of developing diabetes.

Treatments for obesity

Research has shown that surgery may work better than diet to treat obesity.

Surgery may be an option if you have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more. It may also be an option if you have a BMI of 35 and another health problem related to your weight, such as diabetes or arthritis.

The surgery helps by causing significant weight loss thereby reducing obesity-related health problems, including diabetes, type 2 and high blood pressure.

Two types of surgery are used to treat obesity. A restrictive operation such as stomach stapling or adjustable gastric banding decreases food intake, usually by decreasing the size of the stomach. A malabsorptive operation such as a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass or a biliopancreatic diversion restricts food intake and decreases the digestion and absorption of food.

Treatment cost

In the US, the surgery may cost tens of thousands of dollars. If you are uninsured or underinsured, this may mean a huge out-of-pocket expense for your treatment. However, if you opt to have the same surgery overseas you may be out on your healthy way for just a fraction of the cost in the US.

At Healthbase, we ensure that you get the best quality treatment for low cost at our partner hospitals overseas. Sign up for FREE to obtain your treatment quote and consult with our surgeons about how they can help you with your problem.

Healthbase is a medical tourism facilitator that connects patients to leading JCI/JCAHO/ISO accredited hospitals overseas through a secure, high-tech, information-rich web portal. Healthbase provides a wide range of medical procedures through its partner hospital network. Over hundred medical procedures are available in various categories: cosmetic and plastic, orthopedic, dental, cardiac, and many more. The savings are up to 80 percent from typical US prices even after adding up the travel costs, hospital stay and other related expenses. Healthbase offers more than just procedural availability; we also provide customers with extensive information on medical treatments, hospital and doctor profiles to help them make an educated decision regarding their treatment; travel planning and booking; applying for medical/dental loan and much more.

To learn more, visit http://www.healthbase.com/ and login to view our extensive hospital profiles including pictures of operating rooms, patient rooms, doctor qualifications, and lots more. Get a FREE quote now!!

Note: All information shown here has been obtained from publicly available medical resources and is here for reference purposes only. Healthbase does not claim to be a medical professional and does not provide any advice on any issues relating to medical treatment.

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