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...

Clogged Arteries – What Can You do to Avoid Them

The arteries are the freeways of the body, carrying supplies like nutrients and oxygen to your cells. When they are blocked by plaque, the blood flow is restricted, preventing your body from getting the nutrients and oxygen it needs. Plaque that causes clogged arteries is extremely difficult to remove, so it’s best to prevent its build up in the first place. How does Plaque Happen? When cholesterol and other materials stick to the walls of veins and arteries, it can begin to restrict the blood flow. The body, sensing a problem, sends out white blood cells to attack the blockages, but this can cause inflammation, leading to even more blockage. If a blockage happens to break free, it can go careening through the blood vessels until it hits a too-narrow space and gets stuck, causing a heart attack. Healthy lifestyle choices can reduce clogged arteries and keep your circulatory system working properly. Healthy Eating Reducing cholesterol in your diet is just the beginning. Your diet should be rich in fiber and in the vitamins your heart needs to function effectively. The best way to eat healthy is to remember to include as much color as possible on your plate. Brightly colored, fresh vegetables and fruits are loaded with vitamins and minerals, while dull, bland processed foods tend to be full of fat and salt. Restrict alcohol consumption to no more than one drink a day, and if you smoke, consider enrolling in a cessation program. Exercise By maintaining a healthy weight and fitness level, you can reduce the strain on your heart and help it function more effectively. Aim...

Heart Disease Prevention: The Facts

Changes To Make For Heart Disease Prevention There are plenty of myths surrounding heart health, including fad diets, fitness routines, and “miracle” cures that are marketed as a magic bullet against heart problems. The truth is, heart disease prevention takes diligence and a thoughtful approach to diet and exercise, but some basic steps can help protect your heart health for the long term. Smoking Cessation Smokers have some of the highest instances of heart problems and heart attack of any population. The carbon monoxide in smoke replaces some of the oxygen in your blood, forcing the heart to work harder to deliver enough oxygen to your body. Tobacco contains chemicals that can cause plaque buildup in the arteries, leading to heart attack. Smoking cessation can reduce your chances of heart problems significantly. Exercise Though many adults don’t have time in their schedules or the motivation to take on a strenuous exercise program, even a moderate increase in exercise can have an impact on your heart health. At least 30 minutes a day of moderate exercise, like walking at a brisk pace, is a great support for your heart. When combined with diet, increased exercise not only increases heart health, it helps raise levels of serotonin, the feel-good chemical, as well, reducing anxiety, depression and moodiness. Diet The word “diet” has taken on a negative connotation for many. It is not necessary to embrace a lifestyle of starvation and salads to increase your heart health. Aim to reduce your consumption of red meats and full-fat dairy products, while introducing more vegetables, fruits, and healthy carbs like beans. Consider replacing one...

Healthy Heart Rate

Determining a healthy heart rate can help you create a plan for increasing your overall heart health by incorporating exercise into your routine. Your resting heart rate may vary from what is considered healthy for another individual. Very-fit individuals have a slower resting heart rate. In general, a slower heart rate indicates a more efficient heart function. Determining Your Resting Heart Rate To determine your resting heart rate, it will be necessary to take measurements several times throughout the day over a period of time to get an average. Begin by finding a quiet place where you can sit for five to ten minutes without being disturbed. Sit quietly until your breathing is normal and your body feels relaxed but not sleepy. Locate your pulse, either at the side of your neck or on your wrist. Once you find your pulse, count the number of beats for 15 seconds. Multiply that number by four to get your average heart rate. Take your pulse several times throughout the day, making sure to take it at the same times each day to get your average over time. What Should My Healthy Heart Rate Be? For the average adult, a normal heart rate range is between 60 and 100 beats per minute. If your resting heart rate is consistently above 100 beats per minute, or below 60 beats a minute, it’s important to discuss your heart health with your doctor. Other signs of heart problems may include dizziness, shortness of breath, or feeling faint or actually fainting. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately. You may be having...

How to Take Your Own Blood Pressure

Take Your Own Blood Pressure At Home If you’ve been diagnosed with heart disease, or are simply considered at a higher risk for high blood pressure due to smoking, alcohol use, stress levels, hereditary factors, or other reasons, your doctor may recommend that you monitor and take your own blood pressure at home. With an inexpensive blood pressure cuff available at most pharmacies or online, it’s easy to take your own blood pressure at home and monitor for spikes that might indicate heart disease. Timing You may experience spikes in your blood pressure due to stress, drinking caffeinated drinks, taking certain medications, cold temperatures, or smoking. Take those factors into consideration when deciding upon a time to take your blood pressure. Thirty minutes after your second cup of coffee, for example, you may get an elevated measurement. Choose a consistent time to check your blood pressure every day to get a good idea of whether it’s fluctuating. Your doctor may want you to take it more than one time per day to check for changes throughout the day. Prepare and Relax Prepare to take your blood pressure by finding a quiet space. You’ll need to be able to hear your heartbeat. Empty your bladder before you begin- a full bladder may affect your reading. Make sure you’re comfortable and relaxed. You’ll want to sit in a chair with your arm resting comfortably at heart level for five to ten minutes to allow your heart to settle into a steady rhythm that gives you an accurate reading. Find your Pulse Gently press your index and middle fingers to the inside...

Signs You Could Be Diabetic

Signs You Could Be Diabetic Diabetes is one of the most common chronic illnesses in the US today. It can lead to heart disease, to chronic pain and numbness in the extremities, loss of eyesight and even amputation of toes and feet if not kept under careful control. Early symptoms are often overlooked. Being familiar with the signs may help you catch diabetes early and prevent long term cardiovascular damage. Type I Diabetes Type I diabetes usually comes on before the patient is an adult. In Type I diabetes, the patient’s pancreas simply stops producing insulin. It can be a result of heredity or of an infection or injury to the pancreas. Typically symptoms are far more severe and develop more quickly than in patients with Type II diabetes. Symptoms when diabetic may include rapid weight loss, lethargy, dehydration and a significant increase in urination. Type II Diabetes Type II diabetes is far more common than Type I in adults. It may be caused by heredity, by the strain excess weight puts on the body, or by poor eating habits. Type II diabetes symptoms may come on more slowly and be less noticeable at first than the symptoms of Type I. They may include: Frequent urination Chronic, insatiable hunger that returns even after eating Insatiable thirst Dry, itchy, flaky skin due to dehydration Blurring vision Sudden weight loss unrelated to diet or exercise Unexplained fatigue and lethargy Slow healing of cuts or bruises Gum disease Factors that Contribute to Diabetes Certain factors can influence your chances of becoming diabetic. While Type II diabetes is often connected with being overweight,...