Anatomy of the Heart

Anatomy of the Heart The heart is located just behind the sternum, slightly to the left.  It’s protected by a tough sac called the pericardium. The heart needs all the protection it can get; it beats an average of 100,000 times a day, pumping about 2,000 gallons worth of blood through the body. The pericardium protects the roots of the major blood vessels. It’s attached to the spinal column and diaphragm with strong ligaments that keep the heart in place and protect it from movement within the chest. Walls of the Heart The heart’s walls are made up of three main layers; the epicardiam, myocardium, and endocardium. The epicardium is the outermost layer, a membrane that covers and protects the heart, producing lubricating fluid. The myocardium is what is commonly referred to as the heart “muscle.” It is the tissue that contracts and relaxes to produce the heartbeat, pushing the blood through the body. The endocardium is a very smooth layer of tissue that lines the interior of the heart and prevents the formation of blood clots. 4 Chambers The heart contains four chambers- the left and right atriums, and the left and right ventricles. The atria makes up the upper part of the heart. They are smaller than the ventricles, and act as the receiving chamber for blood coming back into the heart, while the ventricles push blood out into the body. There are two circulatory loops attached to the heart. The right loop circulates blood to the lungs, while the left loop pushes oxygenated blood out into the body. 4 Valves Moving blood through the heart requires...

Invasive Heart Surgery vs. Open Heart Surgery

It can be confusing to understand the difference between having minimally invasive surgery and having open heart surgery, so if you or your loved one have been told that heart surgery is needed, it’s important that you know exactly what that means. Before you have minimally invasive heart surgery in Canton, Ohio, let’s review the difference between the two options.   Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery Vs. Open Heart Surgery   With minimally invasive heart surgery, the surgeon will make the needed number of small incisions in between your ribs. Surgical instruments connected to robotic arms with a camera will be inserted into the incision. This type of robotic surgery will be controlled by the surgeon with a computerized device that allows the doctor to manipulate the instruments to perform your procedure with precision.   Open heart surgery is a surgical cardiac procedure where your chest is surgically opened to correct problems in your:   Arteries Heart muscle Valves Related structures   While your heart may not be “opened” for surgery, typically open heart surgery consists of stopping your heart while a heart-lung machine does its work so that your surgeon can perform the procedure. Open heart surgery requires a 6-8 inch incision in your chest which may involve temporary placement of a pacemaker that will help regulate your heartbeat.   Though each case is unique, open heart surgery is best when the patient needs a complex cardiac operation, complex aortic procedure, or multiple coronary artery bypass procedures.   Is there less pain from a minimally invasive surgery than from an open heart surgery?   Yes. Since minimally invasive heart...

Minimally Invasive Aortic Valve Replacement is the Best Option – Learn How it is Done and Why

Minimally Invasive Aortic Valve Replacement is the Best Option – Learn How it is Done and Why Surgical approachs to aortic valve disease has dramatically improved by the introduction of minimally invasive aortic valve replacement techniques. In light of these new technologies, elderly patients can enjoy quicker and painless recoveries. This allows them to return to their families and homes two to three days after surgery. The aortic valve is a one-way valve that opens into the Aorta. There are two basic problems that can affect its function: If it does not open properly, the heart struggles against the resistance of a closed, stiff valve impairing the ability of the heart to empty out when contracting. This condition is called Aortic Valve Stenosis. The opposite end of the spectrum shows that the same valve may be “leaky” and not close completely when the heart is in between contractions. This makes the heart’s pumping action very inefficient. A good portion of the oxygenated blood that is pumped forward will leak back into the heart. This condition is known as Aortic Valve Insufficiency or Regurgitation. Read the full article here...

Atrial Myxomas Are Successfully Treated With Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery – Learn How It Is Done

Atrial Myxomas Are Successfully Treated With Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery – Learn How It Is Done Atrial myxoma is arguably the most common benign tumor of the heart. The presence of a bulky and friable Atrial Myxoma inside the heart is very dangerous. This is due to the fact that because it causes complications like sudden death and congestive heart failure. When fragments of a tumor break off and travel to the brain or a leg, catastrophic strokes or gangrene may occur. Sometimes the only signs are a vague malaise, headaches, and flu-like symptoms. The diagnosis can be confirmed by an ultrasound of the heart, or an echocardiogram. Many people dread the prospect of a heart operation because of the big 10″ incision through their breast bone that may be necessary followed by a painful and slow recovery. This is no longer the case in most advanced Heart Surgery Centers. Minimally Invasive Atrial Myxoma surgery is available to cure this pathology. With new state of the art technologies and the skilled hand of Dr. Ciuffo, this procedure is performed regularly and with a much faster recovery time than most traditional surgeries. Read the full article here...

Minimally Invasive Atrial Myxoma Surgery – A New Painless and Scarless Solution to an Old Problem

Minimally Invasive Atrial Myxoma Surgery – A New Painless and Scarless Solution to an Old Problem Atrial Myxoma is the arguably the most common primary cardiac tumor. In adults, 50% of all benign tumors are Atrial Myxoma. Surgeons treat a number of these lesions because of their frequency in the population. The potential for a permanent cure after resection is very high. New minimally invasive atrial myxoma surgeries are now available in specialized centers. Atrial myxomas arise in the atrial chambers of the heart and tend to be friable and gelatinous. There presence inside the heart can cause several symptoms. Our clinic specializes in a minimally invasive approach to curing our patients and restoring a great quality of life! Read the full article here >>...

How to Find the Best Heart Valve Surgeon to Treat Aortic Stenosis or Aortic Insufficiency

How to Find the Best Heart Valve Surgeon to Treat Aortic Stenosis or Aortic Insufficiency Patients may become faced with a diagnosis of severe aortic valve disease, it can be difficult to sort out the best options. It is often a highly emotional and confusing time. This article will guide patients through the steps for good information about the best aortic valve operation and finding the right heart surgeon to fit their needs. A few words about these aortic valve conditions: Aortic Stenosis means that the aortic valve is severely calcified and stiff. It cannot open wide when it is supposed to. A normal aortic valve has three flimsy and extremely pliable leaflets (cusps) that will open and allow unimpeded flow through a roughly circular cross-section with a diameter of about one inch. A severely stenotic valve only allows flow through a pinhole. That explains that hissing sound that doctors refer to as a “murmur”. The heart eventually tires out and immediate surgery is necessary before it gets to that point. Read the full article here...