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.

Related links

Advertisements

Medical Tourism is no longer restricted to outbound medical tourism i.e. Americans seeking care outside of the country. Domestic medical tourism is gathering pace as more and more Americans are now crossing state borders to take advantage of cheaper prices available for quality health care out-of-state. It’s amazing to know that the price differential on healthcare within the same country can be tremendous if only you take the trouble to shop for it.

Recently Healthbase partnered with many health care providers in several states within the United States. The prices on major procedures that these providers offer to Healthbase clients are as low as 10% of the prevailing cost of those procedures in other typical hospitals within the country. Read more about this partnership.

So how can some US providers offer such low rates?
Patients can avail of such low rates if they choose the one-pay option. AARP Bulletin Today recently covered the story of Rodney Larson, an uninsured Minnesota resident and a Healthbase customer who had his triple bypass surgery at a heart care hospital in Kansas.

According to the bulletin,

As a father to nine daughters, electrician Rodney Larson always looks for ways to cut costs. So in 2008 when he was told he needed triple bypass surgery – totaling $80,000 or more – he shopped around.

Rodney Larson traveled within the United States for heart surgery

Rodney Larson traveled within the United States for heart surgery.

Larson, 56, of Boyd, Minn., searched the Internet and found a hospital that would do the surgery for $13,200. The facility, Galichia Heart Hospital in Wichita, Kan., participates in a domestic medical tourism program run by Healthbase Online.

Located in Boston, Healthbase is one of a handful of companies reaching out to U.S. hospitals to provide specialty surgeries at much lower costs than traditional providers. The company also offers international medical tourism – in which patients travel abroad for procedures – but is finding a market for U.S. specialty hospitals.

Most patients who use medical tourism companies are uninsured and must pay upfront for procedures. Larson liked the one-pay option.

“They saved me a lot of money, but the point is, it was excellent care,” he says.

Source: AARP Bulletin Today

Available procedures
Most major procedures are available at discounted rates within the US through Healthbase. Procedures fall in the categories of cardiac, orthopedic, bariatric, spinal, etc.

Want to know if the procedure you need is available and how much it costs?

Like it? Share it or save it!!

blinklistblinklist blogmarksblogmarks del.icio.usdel.icio.us diggdigg furlfurl

googlegoogle ma.gnoliama.gnolia netscapenetscape redditreddit spurlspurl

stumbleuponstumbleupon technoratitechnorati yahoo mywebyahoo myweb

Now you can get medical tourism type price and quality for procedures received in the US.

How is that possible?
Because Healthbase has partnered with several US healthcare providers that offer procedures at very competitive prices that are comparable to what American-accredited foreign providers offer.

So now affordable high quality medical care is made available closer to home for patients from the US, Canada and Mexico. Patients from European countries and other nations looking for top quality care in the United States also stand to benefit from this partnership.

According to Saroja Mohanasundaram, CEO of Healthbase,

Majority of our clients from North America are drawn to medical tourism for the cost advantage it offers. However, some may not be able to take advantage of it due to the travel involved. So Healthbase has negotiated with US-based providers to offer the same top US-standard quality of care to our customers at a much reduced rate than what is prevailing. Hence, those who need quick access to top quality healthcare can avail of the low prices right here at home.

We all know that US providers charge a much higher rate to uninsured patients than they do to insured patients or insurers. But not anymore. A heart bypass tagged at over $100,000 (for uninsured patients) can now be had for an 85% discount. Such rates also closely match the lower foreign rates.

Mohanasundaram adds,

Our US providers offer a complete slew of services in all departments of medicine including cardiac (heart bypass, valve replacement, aneurysm repair), orthopedic (hip replacement, total knee replacement), general surgery, diagnostics, and so on

Who to contact for discounts on major procedures conducted within the US?
Healthbase

Further reading:
News release from Healthbase about this partnership

Like it? Share it or save it!!

blinklistblinklist blogmarksblogmarks del.icio.usdel.icio.us diggdigg furlfurl

googlegoogle ma.gnoliama.gnolia netscapenetscape redditreddit spurlspurl

stumbleuponstumbleupon technoratitechnorati yahoo mywebyahoo myweb

By Brian Wallstin
Seven Days
Vermont’s Independent Voice

By January, Jane Schaeffer could barely manage a walk around the block, which was no surprise: She needed a new hip.

Schaeffer, who is 64 and a yoga teacher in Bennington, didn’t like that prognosis. So, she consulted the oracle of Hippocrates — the Internet — and concluded that what she wanted was a Birmingham Hip-Resurfacing , or BHR, a less-invasive procedure developed in England and approved in the U.S. in 2006.

Unfortunately, Schaeffer’s insurance company, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont, saw her case differently and insisted that, at her age, she should have her hip replaced . That left Schaeffer, if she wanted to get better, with a choice: Get a new hip on BCBSVT, or pull together $8000 and have the joint “resurfaced” in India.

For Schaeffer, it was no choice at all. On April 18, she underwent a BHR at Apollo Hospital in New Delhi. Two weeks later, she was home, preparing to return to work. “With full hip replacement , I would never have full range of motion in my hip,” she said. “I would never be able to teach properly again.”

Americans have been going abroad for health care for years. Retirement communities in Arizona routinely bus fixed-income residents over the Mexican border, where the prescription drugs and dental care are cheaper. For those with radically different needs, and a certain disposable income, Brazil and Argentina are famous for skilled, cut-rate plastic surgery; a $10,000 tummy tuck in L.A. or Houston might cost a third as much at Plenitas, a boutique clinic in Buenos Aires.

In the last few years, hospitals in exotic locales such as India , Singapore and Thailand have aggressively marketed major surgical procedures — heart bypasses and coronary valve replacements , for instance — at drastically lower prices than are available in the United States. And more and more Americans are taking advantage of it. A 2007 study by the National Center for Policy Analysis in Dallas estimated that about 500,000 U.S. residents traveled abroad for care in 2005. According to the management consultant McKinsey & Company, the worldwide “medical tourism ” industry was worth $60 billion in 2006, and is expected to reach $100 billion by 2012.

Concerns about the quality of care abroad have all but disappeared, thanks to improved standards of care that are monitored by accreditation bodies, such as Joint Commission International and the International Society for Quality in Health Care. Studies have shown that mortality rates at hospitals that specialize in medical tourism are as low as, or lower than, those at U.S. hospitals.

Jane Schaeffer said Apollo Hospital in New Delhi “was really a whole different universe.

“The whole situation there is set up for people who have hip resurfacing,” she said. “I had [physical therapy] twice a day, the surgeon came in twice a day to visit . . . I can’t recommend it highly enough.”

Schaeffer made her own travel arrangements to New Delhi but relied on an online broker, Healthbase , to find a doctor and hospital for the operation. Saroja Mohanasundaram, Healthbase’s chief executive officer, said her company has formed “partnerships” with major hospitals in 11 countries . Her staff handles everything from digitizing and transferring patient medical records, to arranging airport transfers and hotel accommodations.

“The medical part is the main thing,” Mohanasundaram said. “Once they like the facility and the doctor, then we try to help them with the logistics.”

Schaeffer said she arranged any needed follow-up care with an orthopedic surgeon in Bennington prior to her trip — a practice the AMA lists among its guidelines for those considering traveling abroad for health care. But, since her return from New Delhi on April 30, she has been walking without crutches and has full range of motion in her hip.

Her next step is to ask Blue Cross Blue Shield, which declined to authorize the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing, to reimburse her for the surgery.

“I’m going to appeal it, based on: I saved a lot of money, I can still continue with my work, and they were wrong,” she said. “We’ll see what happens.”

More at: http://www.7dvt.com/2008vermont-yoga-teacher-tries-out-medical-tourism

To arrange your medical travel trip overseas for any medical , dental or cosmetic procedure , contact Healthbase. Healthbase is an award-winning medical tourism facilitator connecting patients to leading healthcare facilities worldwide . Cost of surgical care at Healthbase’s partner hospitals is a fraction of the cost of similar care in the US for equal or superior outcomes.

Like it? Share it or save it!!

blinklistblinklist blogmarksblogmarks del.icio.usdel.icio.us diggdigg furlfurl

googlegoogle ma.gnoliama.gnolia netscapenetscape redditreddit spurlspurl

stumbleuponstumbleupon technoratitechnorati yahoo mywebyahoo myweb

Healthbase is the trusted source for global medical choices, connecting patients to leading hospitals around the world, through secure and information-rich web portal. To learn more, visit: http://www.healthbase.com Login to get FREE quote. Access is free.Healthbase Logo

ANATOMY AND FUNCTION OF THE HEART

The heart is a muscular organ a little larger than your fist weighing between 7 and 15 ounces (200 to 425 grams). It is responsible for pumping blood through the blood vessels by repeated, rhythmic contractions. The average heart beats 100,000 times per day pumping about 2,000 gallons (7,571 liters) of blood. The average human heart beating at 72 BPM (beats per minute), will beat approximately 2.5 billion times during a lifetime of 66 years.

The heart is usually situated in the middle of the thorax with the largest part of the heart slightly offset to the left underneath the breastbone or sternum and is surrounded by the lungs. The sac enclosing the heart is known as the pericardium.

anatomy of the human heart

The heart consists of the following parts:
Aorta: It is the largest artery and carries oxygenated blood from the heart to the rest of the body.
Superior Vena Cava: Deoxygenated blood from the upper parts of the body returns to the heart through the superior vena cava.
Inferior Vena Cava: Deoxygenated blood from the lower parts of the body returns to the heart through the inferior vena cava.
Pulmonary Veins: They carry oxygenated blood from the lungs back to the heart.
Pulmonary Arteries: They carry blood from the heart to the lungs to pick up oxygen.
Right Atrium: It collects deoxygenated blood returning from the body (through the vena cavas) and then forces it into the right ventricle through the tricuspid valve.
Right Ventricle: It collects deoxygenated blood from the right atrium and then forces it into the lungs through the pulmonary valve.
Left Atrium: It collects oxygenated blood returning from the lungs and then forces it into the left ventricle through the mitral valve.
Left Ventricle: It is the largest and the strongest chamber in the heart. It pushes blood through the aortic valve and into the body.

HOW DOES THE HEART FUNCTION?

The right side of the heart collects de-oxygenated blood from the body into the right atrium and then via the right ventricle pumps it into the lungs so that carbon dioxide can be dropped off and oxygen picked up.

The left side of the heart collects oxygenated blood from the lungs into the left atrium. From the left atrium the blood moves to the left ventricle which pumps it out to supply oxygen to the body.

Login or register to Healhtbase to request a FREE quote for affordable cardiac surgery overseas.

Like it? Share it or save it!!

blinklistblinklist blogmarksblogmarks del.icio.usdel.icio.us diggdigg furlfurl

googlegoogle ma.gnoliama.gnolia netscapenetscape redditreddit spurlspurl

stumbleuponstumbleupon technoratitechnorati yahoo mywebyahoo myweb

Brought to you by Healthbase www.healthbase.com info.hb@healthbase.com 1-888-MY1-HLTH


Healthbase is the trusted source for global medical choices, connecting patients to leading hospitals around the world, through secure and information-rich web portal. To learn more, visit: http://www.healthbase.com Login to get FREE quote. Access is free.Healthbase Logo

STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO MEDICAL TOURISM

Going overseas for surgical treatment can be overwhelming for anybody. After all, it’s not like going to a hospital down the road where you have been to before and know all the doctors and nurses. To be successful in your pursuit of low cost high quality medical treatment , there is a step by step process that you must follow to gain confidence in your decision, get the right care and save money.

STEP 1: FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH THE TREND OF MEDICAL TOURISM

Find out why everybody is raving about it and why they are willing to travel half the world for it. Learn from the experience of others . Read news , blogs and articles on the subject. Check out the frequently asked questions that medical tourists have at https://www.healthbase.com/hb/pages/medical-tourism-faq.jsp.

STEP 2: RESEARCH ON THE MEDICAL PROCEDURE

Find out all you can about the medical procedure in question – problems it solves, follow-up care needed, physical therapy required, etc. This will help you clear 3 doubts: is the procedure right for your condition; are you the right candidate for the procedure; and should you go abroad for it.

STEP 3: FIND OUT IF MEDICAL TOURISM IS WHAT YOU WANT

Medical tourism is not always a good choice for non-emergency medical treatments. Sometimes transportation costs may outweigh the possible savings achievable by going abroad. In some cases, the time required for the surgery abroad may be too much for you to spare. Or, the surgery you need may not be available abroad with a reputable health care provider.

STEP 4: LEARN ABOUT MEDICAL TOURISM DESTINATIONS

Some countries have the reputation for top-quality cardiac surgery while others for world-class orthopedics and yet others for cosmetic procedures. So make your selection wisely. Sometimes distance can also play an important role in your decision-making, like in the case of small dental jobs. You should also prepare yourself for culture differences.

STEP 5: LEARN ABOUT INTERNATIONAL FACILITIES AND SURGEONS

When researching on any health care provider try to find answers to the following:

Does the hospital or clinic employ the latest equipments and technology? Do they have expertise in the medical procedure you are seeking? What accreditations and awards do they have? Are the surgeons qualified enough? Where did they receive their education and training?

Answering these questions will give you a fair idea of the standard of quality of the provider.

STEP 6: ARRANGE ALL YOUR MEDICAL RECORDS

You will need them at the time of pre-consultation with your overseas surgeon as well as when you go abroad for surgery. Depending upon the condition you are treating, medical records you may need are: X-Rays, X-Ray reports, MRI’s, health histories, photographs, immunization record, prescriptions, etc..

STEP 7: REQUEST AND COMPARE QUOTES

Costs of health care vary from country to country and provider to provider. So request for quotes and compare them. Your selection of a particular provider and country should be based not just on low cost but also on quality as well as distance.

STEP 8: CHECK WITH YOUR INSURANCE FOR COVERAGE

With the numerous benefits that medical tourism offers, today some insurance companies have medical tourism plans. So, if you are covered under an overseas medical treatment plan, your insurer might cover your medical tourism expenses in full or in part. So check with your health insurance company for coverage details.

STEP 9: ACQUIRE YOUR PASSPORT AND VISA

If you and/or your travel companion (if any) do not have a passport, you will need to acquire it. Some countries may require you to have a visa for entry. Check visa requirements and apply for it.

STEP 10: PLAN YOUR ITINERARY

When planning your itinerary, allow ample time for recovery. Be prepared to stay longer/shorter than expected. If you have travel or tourism on mind, allow time for that as well.

STEP 11: BOOK TICKETS AND ROOMS

Book tickets for yourself and your companion. After your surgery, you can choose to relax at a resort or in a hotel or go traveling in the foreign country. So if possible, make arrangements beforehand.

STEP 12: APPLY FOR TRAVEL INSURANCE PLAN

Consider purchasing one of the short-term health and emergency assistance policies designed for travelers. Travel insurance gives medical tourists coverage for unforeseen problems, from a canceled flight to a serious illness.

STEP 13: APPLY FOR MEDICAL FINANCE LOAN

If you do not have enough money for your medical treatment overseas, you may consider applying for medical loan or dental loan. Loan processing companies provide patient payment plans for plastic surgery, dental procedures, bariatric procedures, dermatology treatments, hospital, etc.

STEP 14: PREPARE YOUR HOME FOR RECOVERY

In certain cases, you may need to prepare your home for recovery. For example, if you are seeking affordable hip resurfacing surgery abroad , you may want to rearrange furniture in your house in advance before you leave to aid during the recovery stages.

STEP 15: PACK YOUR BAGS AND TAKE THE TRIP

Ensure that you have packed comfortable clothing. Bring some local currency, travelers checks, and one or two major credit cards. Keep important contact information handy. Bring all the required medical records. Remember to carry all your medical reports as well as any medicines in your carry-on luggage. Finally, take your well-planned medical trip and return home happy and healthy!

The above step by step medical tourism guide will help you with most aspects of medical tourism. To make your medical travel easy you may want to use a medical tourism provider to help you with all the logistics of medical tourism. Medical tourism providers like Healthbase (http://www.healthbase.com ) connect you with the hospital of your choice while providing many other related valuable services.

You can learn more about the growing trend of medical tourism, international healthcare facilities and surgeons , and the details of the medical tourism process by logging on to http://www.healthbase.com. Healthbase.com is a medical tourism facilitator committed to providing low-cost high quality medical travel services to the global medical consumer.

Like it? Share it or save it!!

blinklistblinklist blogmarksblogmarks del.icio.usdel.icio.us diggdigg furlfurl

googlegoogle ma.gnoliama.gnolia netscapenetscape redditreddit spurlspurl

stumbleuponstumbleupon technoratitechnorati yahoo mywebyahoo myweb

Brought to you by Healthbase www.healthbase.com info.hb@healthbase.com 1-888-MY1-HLTH


Healthbase is the trusted source for global medical choices, connecting patients to leading hospitals around the world, through secure and information-rich web portal. To learn more, visit: http://www.healthbase.com Login to get FREE quote. Access is free.Healthbase Logo

MEDICAL TOURISM GUIDE

Today, cheap yet world-class surgeries are just a flight away. But the deluge of information available out there can overwhelm anybody. So, here is a quick guide to medical tourism to answer most of your questions about the phenomenon.

WHAT IS MEDICAL TOURISM?
Medical tourism is the process of traveling abroad to receive superior medical, dental and cosmetic care by highly skilled surgeons at some of the most modern and state-of-the-art medical facilities in the world…all at a fraction of the price in the US, UK and Canada.

MEDICAL TOURISM OFFERINGS
1. Incredible Savings: Compare a $7,000 hip resurfacing in India with a $48,000 one in the US. In general you are able to save 50% to 90%.
2. Excellent Quality: Many international providers are accredited by JCI, JCAHO and ISO or by local accrediting organizations. They have world-class facilities, have access to the latest technology and provide personalized service. If in doubt, read testimonials by patients who have experienced treatment overseas.
3. Surgeon Expertise: Most surgeons catering to international patients have either been educated or have received professional training at top schools in the US, UK or in other countries in Europe.
4. No Wait-Lists: Access to immediate service is what attracts those from countries that have public health care system towards medical tourism.
5. Longer Hospital Stay: You can have a longer hospital stay than possible in your local hospital back home under the supervision of your surgeon and physical therapist.
6. Travel Opportunities: While the primary motivation for most customers is affordable surgery, the opportunity to visit exotic destinations is an additional draw for some.

WHO SHOULD BE INTERESTED IN MEDICAL TOURISM?
In general, most medical tourists are either uninsured, underinsured or those seeking elective surgeries. Others resort to medical tourism due to the long wait-lists or unavailability of certain procedures in their country.

WHICH COUNTRIES OFFER THE BEST SERVICES?
The most popular medical travel destinations are India, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Turkey, Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, Brazil, Belgium, and Argentina amongst others. Some of these countries are considered best for cardiac surgery, others for orthopedic surgery and yet others for plastic surgery. You should base your selection on: quality, distance and cost.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT PROVIDER
When choosing a provider, don’t get swayed by attractive packages and fancy websites. Read and watch what others are saying about the particular hospital, clinic or surgeon. Check out the facility pictures and videos. Consider the provider’s accreditation, awards and recognitions, facility and equipments, statistics like success rates, etc.

WILL MY HEALTH INSURANCE PAY FOR IT?
Insurance companies are keenly looking into medical tourism as an option though most haven’t adopted it into their plans yet. So check with your health insurer for details.

SHOULD I COMBINE “SUN, SAND, AND SEA” WITH SURGERY?
That depends.
Usually after a cosmetic surgery, you are advised not to expose your body to the sun or to sea water. But, you can always choose to enjoy them before your surgery.
With certain other medical procedures, it’s best for you to stay indoors and relax after your surgery.
In any case, you should always consult your surgeon if you have travel or tourism on your mind.

WHAT ARE MEDICAL TOURISM FACILITATORS?
Medical tourism facilitators like Healthbase are specialized facilitators that connect you with the hospital of your choice while providing all or some other valuable services like detailed information about various procedures, detailed hospital profiles and surgeon profiles, medical records transfer, free surgery quote, pre- and post-consultation with the overseas hospital, feedback and testimonials from previous patients, medical and dental loan financing, passport and visa, airport pick-up and drop-off, hospital escort, tickets, travel insurance, hotel booking, tourism services in the destination country, etc.

This medical tourism guide is just a starting step. You should do the proper required research before you fly to your medical tourism destination.

You can learn more about the growing trend of medical tourism, international healthcare facilities and surgeons and the details of the medical tourism process by logging on to http://www.healthbase.com. Healthbase.com is a medical tourism facilitator committed to providing low-cost high quality medical travel services to the global medical consumer.

Like it? Share it or save it!!

blinklistblinklist blogmarksblogmarks del.icio.usdel.icio.us diggdigg furlfurl

googlegoogle ma.gnoliama.gnolia netscapenetscape redditreddit spurlspurl

stumbleuponstumbleupon technoratitechnorati yahoo mywebyahoo myweb