electrophysiology


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Preventing a Heart Attack

(Source: Raffles Hospital)

Heart attacks come without warning and strike with deadly force. Whilst the spectrum of treatment modalities has improved over the years, they can sometimes be available too late. Prevention is the greatest cure for heart attacks and you should start today.

 

  1. Be mindful of your diet and your weight
  2. Watch what you eat. You should cut down on the fatty, cholesterol enriched foods and sugar. Eat balanced meals with lots of fruit and vegetables. Drink water instead of sugared drinks. Start on an exercise routine that is easy to maintain. Control your weight through proper nutrition and exercise. Spare your heart the extra load.

  3. Don’t smoke.
  4. If you are a non-smoker, don’t start. If you are a smoker, try to kick this habit. You will do better without it.

  5. Be more active
  6. Put more zest into your life and more spring into your steps. Walk more. Use the stairs instead of taking the lifts. Try going to work on public transport and walking instead of driving once in a while.

  7. Manage your stress; don’t let stress manage you
  8. There are many ways to cope with stress in your life. Learn to manage your time more efficiently and take control of stress instead of letting stress take control of you.

  9. Keep blood pressure, blood cholesterol and diabetes under control
  10. If you are already suffering from hypertension, high cholesterol or diabetes, follow the advice of your doctors and take your medications as prescribed. Go for your regular check-ups and follow your doctor’s recommendations faithfully.

  11. Check Early to Save Your Life
    • Don’t put yourself at unnecessary risks. The following tests are conditions that are risk factors for coronary heart disease. You should consider doing these tests on a regular basis. They are simple to do and may save your life.
    • Have your blood pressure checked by your doctor at least once a year.
    • Do a blood cholesterol test at least once in every 5 years, or more frequently if you have a high cholesterol level. Review the results with your doctor and listen to his advice.
    • Have your blood glucose checked at least once a year for diabetes. Diabetes can also be screened for by doing a simple urine dipstick test.
    • If you are particularly at risk of coronary heart disease, you should follow-up with your doctor regularly. Your doctor may advise you to do an ECG (electro-cardiogram) to assess the status of your heart. In some instances, you may need to do an exercise treadmill test to determine the fitness of your cardio-respiratory system.

Remember, early detection of heart disease allows for early treatment, and early treatment could well prolong your life.


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©2006 Healthbase Online Inc. All rights reserved. | About us
The contents or materials provided in this website are for general information only and are not intended as medical advice.

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Coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG)

Provided by Escorts Heart Institute
Brought to you by Healthbase

Coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) involves sewing one end an artery or vein above a blocked coronary artery and the other end below the blockage, thereby allowing blood an alternative means to get to the heart. The arteries or veins used for the bypass (which are known as “grafts”) are usually obtained from the leg or the chest wall. Bypass surgery may not be possible if the coronary artery is heavily calcified or if the disease is very widespread. CABG can be done with or without connecting the patient to heart-lung machine, depending on the kind of blockages and surgeon’s decision.

Several new surgical approaches are being developed, which can potentially reduce the discomfort and complications associated with traditional bypass surgery. These are collectively referred to as being “minimally invasive.” In general, these approaches focus on performing bypass surgery though a very small chest incision and performing bypass surgery while the heart is still beating (ie, without the need for a heart/lung bypass machine).

OPCAB (Off Pump Coronary Artery Bypass)
The bypass surgery done without connecting the patient to of heart-lung machine or pump is called OPCAB.

MIDCAB (Minimally Invasive Direct Coronary Artery Bypass)
is bypass surgery done through a small cut (incision) in the lower part of the sternum (chest bone) only, rather than full cut across it. This type of surgery, which is possible in selected cases only, is associated with a small scar, lesser pain and faster recovery. Alternatively, this surgery can also be done through a small cut on the left side of the chest.

The location and degree of coronary artery blockages are determined before surgery by using a procedure called heart catheterization, or coronary angiogram. This procedure provides an outline, like a road map, of the arteries of the heart.

Factors favoring bypass surgery
Bypass surgery is often recommended over angioplasty when the left main coronary artery is narrowed by more than 50 percent, when angioplasty does not relieve angina, when many arteries are narrowed, or when the heart’s left ventricular pumping function is substantially impaired. Bypass surgery is also preferred over angioplasty in diabetic patients who have two or three vessels involved.

Benefits
Bypass surgery can very effectively relieve angina and can even prolong life in people with severe coronary heart disease, such as those with three-vessel involvement associated with impaired left ventricular pumping function. However, the success of bypass surgery on symptoms and on survival depends upon several factors, including the pattern and extent of arterial narrowing, the general progression of coronary heart disease over time, and the blood vessels used for bypass. In general, bypass surgery is more likely than angioplasty to provide complete revascularisation.

About 95 percent of people who have narrowing of several arteries have improvement or complete relief of their angina immediately after surgery. About 85 to 90 percent of people remain angina-free at one to three years after surgery, and about 75 percent of people remain angina-free or free of major coronary events at five years after surgery. By 10 years, about one-half of all grafted vessels become narrowed or occluded, and by 15 years, about 85 percent of grafted vessels become narrowed or occluded. These late events usually require a second surgery

Recovery from bypass surgery
It usually takes a while to recover from even routine bypass surgery. However, about 70 to 80 percent of people who have this surgery are eventually able to return to work; this is about the same as the percentage of people who are treated medically and are able to return to work. Factors that appear to have a role in a person’s ability to return to work are the presence or absence of angina after surgery, employment status before surgery and income, the function of the heart’s left ventricle, and age.


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©2006 Healthbase Online Inc. All rights reserved.  |  About us
The contents or materials provided in this website are for general information only and are not intended as medical advice

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Catheter Ablation (RFA)

Provided by Escorts Heart Institute
Brought to you by Healthbase

Catheter ablation has revolutionized the management of patients with certain heart rhythm disorders. Having evolved from arrhythmia surgery, catheter ablation was initially performed using high voltage direct current (DC); however, over the last decade, radio frequency current has supplanted DC as the energy source of choice and has made catheter ablation a first-line therapy for many rhythm disorders. It is an alternative to life-long drug therapy or surgery.

The procedure is done in a special room, called an electrophysiology (EP) lab, by doctors trained in the study and treatment of heart rhythms. Long, flexible wires, called catheters, are inserted into the veins of the leg, arm, and neck (and possibly into arteries in the leg) and positioned in the heart. Through these catheters, the doctor can record electrical signals that come from different parts of the heart. This is similar to an ECG, which records electrical activity from the body’s surface.

With, a special catheter, the area of the abnormality is located inside the heart. The catheter is placed at this area and, by delivering either electrical current or heat from radio frequency waves; the defective heart tissue is destroyed. This eliminates the source of the abnormal heart rhythm or extra pathways.

A catheter ablation can take several hours and does involve some risks. However, the doctor recommending this procedure believes these risks are small compared to the potential benefit for you. Your doctor will discuss this with you and answer any questions you have.


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©2006 Healthbase Online Inc. All rights reserved.  |  About us
The contents or materials provided in this website are for general information only and are not intended as medical advice