What Are Heart Murmurs?

What Are Heart Murmurs?

There’s a good chance you’ve seen your doctor listen to your heartbeat through a stethoscope and look for a heart murmur. Heart murmurs occur when your heart makes an unusual sound. Characterized by a whooshing or swishing sound between heartbeats, a heart murmur is often completely normal and has no cause for concern. In fact, heart murmurs are quite common and often present in healthy individuals without heart problems. Minimally Invasive and Bloodless Heart Surgery with Dr. Ciuffo is here to dive deeper into what a heart murmur is and what you can expect if you or someone you love has one. Types of Heart Murmurs In general, there are two types of heart murmurs, including: Innocent Heart Murmurs Innocent heart murmurs simply mean that there is faster blood flow through the heart valves but there are no problems. They may arise after vigorous physical activity or exercise and are widely seen in patients with anemia or a shortage of healthy red blood cells, or during pregnancy when the heart needs to work more than usual to support the baby. Innocent murmurs are also common in teenagers who are growing at a rapid phase. Abnormal Heart Murmurs Abnormal murmurs can be a symptom of a structural problem in the heart valve or another abnormality that was present at birth or arose later in life. An abnormal heart murmur may also be the result of a heart valve that narrows and hardens, which occurs as we age. It might not show any other symptoms and can only be discovered by a doctor in a stethoscope exam.  Symptoms and Causes of...
How To Provide Support For Someone With Heart Problems

How To Provide Support For Someone With Heart Problems

If your partner, family member, or friend has a heart problem, your support is invaluable. It can keep them optimistic, boost their mood on difficult days, and help them lead the highest quality of life possible. Here at Minimally Invasive and Bloodless Heart Surgery with Dr. Ciuffo, we’ll share several tips that will allow you to provide the best support for someone with heart problems.  Educate Yourself Heart conditions can be complex and difficult to understand, especially if you’re not in the healthcare field or unfamiliar with them. As the support person of an individual with a heart problem, it’s up to you to learn as much as you can. Do your research and consult with medical professionals so you understand what is going on and what needs to be done to manage your friend or family member’s health. Listen and Advocate Simply listening can show your friend or family member you genuinely care about them and their condition. While it may be tempting to offer some advice based on what you read and know, it’s important to hear their thoughts and concerns.  Also, if you attend doctor’s appointments, listen carefully to what is said by their healthcare team and bring up any concerns your loved one may forget to mention on their own. Don’t forget to discuss any problems you believe require more attention or have yet to be addressed.  Make Lifestyle Changes It’s not uncommon for those with heart conditions to modify their lifestyles. Depending on their situation, they may switch to a Mediterranean diet with plenty of fruits and veggies, whole grains, and healthy fats. They’ll...
What You Need To Know About Your Target Heart Rate

What You Need To Know About Your Target Heart Rate

Your heart rate is an integral part of how your body functions, but can also be a way to tell if you are overexerting your body or not. Your heart rate or pulse has a standing level (the rate during normal activity) and a peak heart rate (when exercising full force.) Your suggested target heart rate (THR) is going to be about 64-76% of your peak level.   For those who want to exercise but are not sure of the right exercise regimen, we suggest seeking medical advice. Here at Minimally Invasive and Bloodless Heart Surgery with Dr. Ciuffo, we are going to dive into what you need to know about your target heart rate.  Understanding Your Target Heart Rate Understanding your target heart rate is especially important for anyone engaging in cardiovascular exercise or striving to improve their overall fitness. Your target heart rate is a range that indicates the optimal intensity at which your heart should be working during exercise to achieve maximum benefits. It serves as a valuable guide, helping you tailor your workouts to suit your fitness goals, whether you’re aiming for weight loss, improved cardiovascular health, or enhanced endurance. Tracking Your Target Heart Rate Monitoring your heart rate during exercise can be done manually by checking your pulse at your wrist or neck or, more conveniently, with a heart rate monitor. Many fitness trackers and smartwatches come equipped with heart rate monitoring features, making it easy to keep track of your intensity levels in real-time. Aerobic Versus Anaerobic Training Aerobic and anaerobic training are two distinct types of exercise that target different energy systems...
What Is Minimally Invasive Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery?

What Is Minimally Invasive Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery?

Coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) has been a cornerstone in the treatment of coronary artery disease (CAD), providing a lifeline for individuals with blocked or narrowed arteries. Traditionally, CABG involved a sternotomy, a procedure requiring a sizable incision through the chest, but the landscape of cardiac surgery has transformed the way we cure coronary artery disease. Minimally Invasive Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery (MICABG) Unfortunately, many patients are reluctant to consider Minimally Invasive Coronary Artery Bypass surgery and want to opt for a “cheap way out” (stents) that often commits them to even more trouble in the future. Here at Minimally Invasive and Bloodless Heart Surgery with Dr. Ciuffo, we will explore the significance, procedure, benefits, and advancements associated with minimally invasive approaches to coronary artery bypass surgery. Significance Of Minimally Invasive CABG Minimally invasive coronary artery bypass surgery (MICABG) represents huge advancements in the realm of cardiac surgery. This procedure deals with badly clogged pipes (the coronary arteries). During MICABG, a new pipe (a bypass) is connected between the aorta (the equivalent of the main water supply) and the coronary artery segment downstream from the blockage (the “clogged pipe”). This bypass serves the purpose of bringing back a normal flow of oxygenated blood to the portion of heart muscle supplied by the blocked coronary artery The Procedure Patient Selection Not all patients are candidates for MICABG, and eligibility is determined based on factors such as the location and severity of coronary artery disease, overall health, and more. Anesthesia MICABG typically involves general anesthesia to ensure that the patient is unconscious and pain-free throughout the surgery. Small Incisions Instead of...
Exercise And Heart Health: Finding The Perfect Balance

Exercise And Heart Health: Finding The Perfect Balance

Exercise and heart health— you’ve probably heard of the correlation before. Regular physical activity is a cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle, and its positive effects on heart health are widely recognized. Engaging in exercise can significantly contribute to maintaining a healthy heart and reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. However, like all good things, balance is key.  The Relationship Between Exercise & Heart Health Minimally Invasive and Bloodless Heart Surgery with Dr. Ciuffo emphasizes how the relationship between exercise and heart health creates overall well-being for every patient. To strike the perfect balance, you must first understand the positive impact regular exercise has on your heart and overall cardiovascular well-being. Strengthening The Heart Muscles Exercise helps strengthen the heart muscles, making the heart more efficient at pumping blood throughout the body. A stronger heart can pump more blood with less effort, reducing strain and stress on the cardiovascular system. Improving Cardiovascular Endurance Regular physical activity enhances cardiovascular endurance, improving the heart and lung’s ability to supply oxygen and nutrients to the muscles during physical exertion. This increased efficiency supports overall heart health. Reducing Risk Factors Exercise helps manage and reduce risk factors associated with heart disease, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, obesity, and diabetes. By addressing these risk factors, exercise significantly lowers the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. The Importance Of Finding The Right Exercise Balance While exercise and heart health work together for positive outcomes, finding the perfect balance is crucial. Over-exercising or insufficient exercise can both have adverse effects on the heart and overall health. Overexertion Intense or excessive exercise without proper recovery periods...