Inoperable Heart Disease – Tips to Find a Solution

Inoperable Heart Disease-  Tips For Finding Solutions A diagnosis of inoperable heart disease can be discouraging. A heart condition may be difficult to live with. Minimally invasive bloodless heart surgery may offer options that may not be possible with traditional methods. The treatment options available are dependent upon a number of conditions, including both your own physical health and the scope of experience of the doctors dealing with your case. Inoperable Heart Disease Each patient’s case is decided individually. There are steps you’ll need to take when facing a diagnosis of inoperable heart disease. It’s important not to panic or lose hope. Even if your case isn’t a good candidate for surgical options, there are many treatments available that can extend and improve the quality of your life.  Ask questions. Request that the medical doctor in charge of your case and your surgeon explain exactly why your case is considered “inoperable.” Be sure to write down the details of their answers.  Obtain copies of all of your diagnostic records, including imaging- CAT scans, catheterizations, echocardiograms, EKG and other reports.  Gather copies of all the reports pertinent to your case, including blood test and other results. Heart Disease Heart disease is not a completely-understood condition. There are many aspects that doctors have to make their best educated and trained guesses about the potential outcomes of treatment options. While you’re gathering your records, reach out for a second opinion.  Seek a second opinion. Gather your information and bring it to the new doctor, so that they may evaluate your case fully and to avoid repeating expensive testing.  Ask your doctor to...

What is Vascular Surgery?

What is Vascular Surgery? What is vascular surgery? When we try to define vascular surgery, it’s important to remember that “vascular” means anything relating to the systems that carry the blood through the body. Therefore, the vascular surgeon definition relates to any medical professional that carries out surgery relating to the heart and blood vessels. A vascular surgeon is a highly-trained, highly specialized surgeon who has experience dealing with the vascular and related systems. What does a Vascular Surgeon Do? Vascular surgeons don’t just carry out surgery. They perform all sorts of procedures related to heart and vascular health, including prescribing medications and treatment plans that do not involve surgery. Often, cardio-vascular problems can be treated through medication, diet, and exercise. Surgery should be considered a last option, to be considered only if truly necessary. Your vascular surgeon will work with you to avoid the need for surgery if at all possible. What to Expect The exact procedure and preparation for vascular surgery will depend upon the type and location of surgery you’re scheduled to receive. You will be asked to refrain from drinking alcohol, smoking, or using certain prescription drugs. Be sure to talk to your doctor about any home remedies, over the counter medications, or other drugs you may be using. Recovery from Vascular Surgery Recovery may take only days or may take months, depending upon the type of surgery and the location. If you require a heart valve replacement, for example, recovery can take months. It’s important during recovery from vascular surgery to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. You may need to return slowly to normal...

What Vital Signs are Most Important?

What Vital Signs are Most Important? Normal vital signs give doctors a baseline to go by when evaluating a patient’s overall health and condition. The basic vital signs shouldn’t vary much beyond certain parameters, and extreme fluctuations are the first signs of something gone wrong in the body. Vital Signs Definition The basic vital signs definition is clinical measurements of pulse rate, temperature, respiration rate and blood pressure. These four measurements are the best indications of whether the body is functioning as expected, or if something has gone wrong. By taking these measurements, your doctor can begin to get a feel for whether your heart and other major organs are functioning properly. What is the Order for Taking Vital Signs? The normal order of taking vital signs is the pulse, respiration, temperature, and blood pressure. The signs may be measured in a different order, depending upon the symptoms the patient is exhibiting. Remember that vital signs are not a magic formula, but rather a diagnostic tool that the doctor uses to determine the basics of organ function. How to Take Blood Pressure You can take your blood pressure with either an aneroid (traditional) meter or a digital meter. Both are accurate and useful, but some people find it easier to read the digital meter. To get the most accurate measurements, sit quietly for at least 5 minutes before you attempt the test. Avoid caffeine and alcohol for at least a half hour before the test. Sit with your feet flat on the floor and your arm resting on a firm, level surface. Carefully follow the instructions that come with...

When Should I worry About Chest Pain?

When Should I worry About Chest Pain? Chest pain can be alarming, since the symptoms of a heart attack are often varied and inconsistent from person to person. When should you go to the hospital for chest pain? If there is any doubt about the cause of the pain, it’s always best to err on the side of safety and visit the ER or call your doctor. What is Thrombosis? A thrombosis definition is simple enough, but there are many conditions related to the diagnosis. Thrombosis is, quite simply, the thickening of the blood within the vessels- commonly known as a blood clot. A clot can slow the flow of blood to a specific area, leading to pain, swelling, and tissue death. It can cause severe damage within the body, even leading to a heart attack. If you suspect you have a blood clot, seek a doctor’s attention immediately. What is Thrombosis Disease? Many conditions can cause thrombosis, disease of the vascular system, heart, and other systems can all contribute to excessive clotting. A lack of movement or poor circulation can also lead to thrombosis. When the blood coagulates inside of a vein, the resulting clot restricts or stops blood flow, leading to further damage and sometimes aggravating already-existing conditions. Trauma, injury, disease, illness, lack of movement and circulatory issues can all contribute to thrombosis. Deep Vein Thrombosis Deep vein thrombosis is a clot that has become lodged in one of the deep veins in the body, usually the legs. The result can be redness, pain, swelling, weakness, nausea, and the clot can break loose and travel to the...

Leaking Heart Valves

Leaking Heart Valves Patients living with leaking heart valves have more options than ever. A bio heart valve or mechanical heart valve may be the best option to repair a damaged heart. A leaking heart valve not only puts additional strain on the hardest-working muscle in your body, it can lead to aneurism or separation and further damage to your heart. Mechanical Heart Valve One option patients may be offered is heart valve replacement. A mechanical heart valve has several advantages. Primarily, there is little to no risk of the valve itself being rejected by the body. A mechanical valve may not wear out as quickly as a bovine (harvested from a cow) or porcine (harvested from a pig) heart valve. Patients may, however, require blood thinners when living with a mechanical heart valve. How Long Do Pig Valves Last in Humans? The answer varies. The valves last an average of seven to ten years in patients over 65. Conditions affecting the metabolism of calcium in the body, especially in children and young adults, increase the chances and the speed of failure of a bio heart valve. Bio Heart Valve A bio heart valve, which is harvested from either a cow or pig heart may be implanted either using a structure called a stent, or may be “stentless.” The likelihood of a bio heart valve failing depends on the individual patient’s condition and a number of other factors.  Your doctor can help you decide which type of valve is right for you when considering bicuspid aortic valve replacement options. Biological Heart Valve Pros and Cons The primary advantage of...

What is a Normal Pulse Range

What is a Normal Pulse Range Following surgery, vital signs are carefully monitored in the hospital. You may find that your heart rate after open heart surgery has changed. Symptoms like a speeded up heart rate or a pulse deficit may indicate an fibrillation problem.  Normal Pulse Range The normal pulse rate for adults at rest ranges from 60-100 beats per minute. The normal pulse range can change after a surgery or under continuing stress. It’s important to check with your doctor to ensure your vital signs are where they should be for you. Everyone is different. An “average” is what’s normal for most people in the general population. What’s normal for you may vary. Pulse Deficit A pulse deficit occurs when your doctor can find a difference between the number of heartbeats observed with a monitor (like a stethoscope or EKG) and the pulse that’s able to be felt at the wrist or other pulse point. A pulse deficit happens when your heart is beating but the pulse isn’t reaching the extremities. It may indicate a weakness in your heart, atrial fibrillation, or very early ectopic beats. Vital Signs Your vital signs are the best indicator of your overall heart health. If you’re experiencing a change in your heart rate after open heart surgery, you will want to discuss your heart rate and blood pressure with your doctor. It’s important to learn to monitor your own heart rate at resting and during exercise so that you have a baseline to refer to when checking your pulse.  If you have any questions following your treatment or about your heart...