5 Heart Healthy Tips- Canton, OH

Keeping your heart healthy is essential if you want prevent or lower your risk of heart disease. With small adjustments to your daily life, you can ensure that your heart and the rest of your body stays healthy. Here are 5 tips to keep your heart healthy: Avoid smoking and tobacco. Cigarettes and tobacco are some of the worst things for your body. In fact, smoking is one of the ways you can get heart disease. Tobacco contains certain chemicals that can cause your arteries to get smaller with all the plague building up inside them. This condition is called atherosclerosis and can cause other problems like heart attacks. Exercise. It’s recommended that you exercise for about half an hour for a majority of the days in the week. Maintaining a regular exercising schedule can do wonders for your risk of heart disease. When you exercise, you should work to get your heart pumping. It doesn’t have to be hard exercise, it just has to be something like walking the dog, doing some chores, or going on a bike ride to get yourself off the couch and moving around. Eat healthy. Diet is essential to maintaining a healthy heart. Lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat foods are a great place to start for food that keeps your risk of heart disease low.  Keep your weight at a healthy level. Excess weight can heighten your risk of heart disease. Not only does it make your heart work harder, but being overweight can also cause other problems like diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure. Get enough rest. Not...

What is Aortic Stenosis?- Canton, OH

Aortic stenosis is narrowing of the aortic valve, impeding delivery of blood from the heart to the body. When the degree of narrowing becomes significant enough to impede the flow of blood from the left ventricle to the arteries, heart problems develop. Causes of Aortic Stenosis In adults, three conditions are known to cause aortic stenosis: progressive wear and tear of a bicuspid valve present since birth (congenital), wear and tear of the aortic valve in the elderly, and scarring of the aortic valve due to rheumatic fever as a child or young adult. Bicuspid aortic valve is the most common cause of aortic stenosis in patients under age 65. Symptoms The major symptoms are: chest pain (angina), fainting (syncope), and shortness of breath (due to heart failure). In a low percentage of the patients with aortic stenosis, the first symptom is sudden death, usually during strenuous exertion. Chest pain is the first symptom in one-third of patients and eventually occurs in one-half of patients with aortic stenosis. Fainting (syncope) related to aortic stenosis is usually associated with exertion or excitement. Initially, shortness of breath occurs only during activity. As the disease progresses, shortness of breath occurs at rest. Treatments Echocardiogram and cardiac catheterization are important tests in diagnosing and evaluating severity of aortic stenosis. Patients with aortic stenosis who have symptoms may require surgical heart valve replacement. Patients with aortic stenosis are usually given antibiotics prior to any procedures which might introduce bacteria into the bloodstream, such as dental procedures and surgeries. Dr. Ciuffo and the Minimally Invasive and Bloodless Heart Surgery Program Dr. Ciuffo is dedicated to helping...

Minimally Invasive Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) Repairs- Canton, OH

Healthy hearts have a wall that separates the right and left sides. An atrial septal defect occurs when there is a hole in this wall. This hole can cause problems with blood flow through the heart and body. ASD is not that common: only 0.6% of all babies are born with a hole in their heart wall. However, the consequences of this defect can be deadly. Symptoms ASD can cause newborns to have trouble breathing. This, in turn, leads to other issues like malnourishment, irreversible lung circulation damage, other complications and eventually death. It is very important to recognize this pathology and treat it before it is too late. Treatments There are several different ways to treat ASD. Surgical Therapy. When the atrial septal defect is small, it can sometimes close on its own. However, if the hole is large, it can cause severe symptoms. Minimally invasive atrial septal defect repairs can be performed to restore the normal anatomy for good. The surgery involves a tiny 2″ incision on the chest wall. Dr. Ciuffo will close the ASD with a suture line or a patch of the patient’s own tissue. Minimally invasive patients can benefit from having a very small scar, significantly less pain, and a quick recovery compared to other methods. Medical Therapy. For newborns with a small atrial septal defect with no symptoms, a pediatric cardiologist will most likely observe the patient and wait for the atrial septal defect to close on its own. If this does occur, the baby will have regular physical examinations and echocardiograms. Catheter Therapy. In some cases, the ASD can be closed with a catheter....

Surgery Without Blood Transfusion- Canton, OH

There are several reasons why you might choose to have bloodless heart surgery. Be it a health, religious, or other type of concern, you or a loved one won’t have to have a blood transfusion during your surgery. Additionally, the surgery is minimally invasive and leaves little scarring. The Surgery There are a few methods used to avoid blood transfusions at Dr. Chiuffo’s office:  Extra Corporeal Circulation (the heart-lung machine) with or without blood storage. The entire blood volume can be kept in circulation at all times, in compliance with the principles and beliefs of the Jehovah’s witness community. Beating Heart Surgery technique for coronary artery bypass. It avoids using the heart-lung machine and helps us maintain a better ability to coagulate and stop bleeding after surgery. Blood Salvage. A “cell saver” machine that filters and returns the patient’s blood to his/her own circulation. A closed circulation loop with no storage can be maintained at all times. Intraoperative hemodilution: some of the patient’s own blood can be removed prior to surgery and replaced with fluid. After surgery, the patient’s blood, is re-circulated into the patient’s body with the advantage of fresh, intact coagulation properties (not used in Jehovah’s witnesses because the blood needs to be stored out of the circulation for an hour or two) Careful cell saver recycling and rinsing of any blood absorbed in surgical pads and gauze during surgery. Many surgeons unfortunately do not pay much attention to what happens to those blood soaked surgical pads. A surgical gauze pad can absorb up 300 ml of blood which could be lost with the rest of the disposables if an effort to recover it is not routinely made. A considerable amount of blood can...

What is a Pulmonary Adhesion?

Understand Pulmonary Adhesion? Any form of adhesion within the body is generally not a great sign, but to break it down into easier terms – an adhesion consist of fibrous materials that have combined within the body. This is often indicative of an injury or some kind of damage to the region. When you speak about a pulmonary adhesion, this may become cancerous, or cause a great deal of pain and/or discomfort in the body. Depending on the root cause of the pulmonary adhesion in the first place will help surgeons and doctors alike figure out what the best treatment plan may be. The Build up Scare Tissue Scar tissue within the lungs can be caused by several factors. Some patients experience bronchitis annually, and/or pneumonia, which can lead to pulmonary edema. This may lead to scarring in the lungs, and can be very damaging especially over time. Additionally, there may be times where the lung lining can become separated from the muscle tissue surrounding the chest cavity which can be painful and a condition known as pleurisy. Treatment The best way to determine which course of action will best benefit the patient is often done by a tissue biopsy of the area to fully understand the root cause of the pulmonary adhesion in the first place. When it comes to breathing and persistent chest pain, it is greatly advised to speak with a physician as soon as you notice some irregularity. It is oftentimes better safe than sorry especially in catching something like a pulmonary adhesion. Usually these adhesions can be removed laparoscopically and require minimal downtime. If...

What Exercises Can I do Post Heart Surgery

Proper Exercises Post Heart Surgery What exercises are recommended post heart surgery? Even though a procedure like heart surgery is very intense, it is extremely important to resume exercise to help aid the recovery process. There are particular exercises that have been doctor approved.  General recovery time after a surgical heart procedure is between 6 and 8 weeks’ time, but everyone is different. Getting the proper amount of bed rest is highly suggested, but so is incorporating light and low level activities. Sufficient Activities The number one, low level activity that anyone can perform post heart surgery is walking, even if it is a slower pace. Never overdo your walking regiment; and if you are feeling pain – contact your physician. This light exercise with certainly help ensure that your muscles don’t atrophy from the bed rest and that your heart continues to be pushed a little in order to work out and help the body function properly. As you begin to heal, you will be able to pick up the pace and keep your body in motion; it will make you feel better all around because exercising releases endorphins. Weight training (very light) has benefits as well. It introduces aerobic exercise and allows the recovering patient to increases their range of motion. It also works muscles in a different form than walking. If the individual did not exercise a lot prior to the heart procedure, this is a great time to readjust their lifestyle and really not take anything for granted. Your physician may or may not suggest that you go to see a physical therapist, and this...