Exercise and Improving Heart Health

Exercise isn’t just for achieving big muscles. Exercise impacts heart health in a very important and fundamental way. To keep your heart healthy, you can strengthen the heart muscle by doing exercises. Relatedly, exercises for your heart will help lower your blood pressure. Heart exercise is something that needs to become as regular, and as unconscious, as breathing. Best Exercises of the Heart Heart exercises can be tailored to individual situations and many factors are taken into consideration before picking the best one. These factors include medical history, lifestyle, abilities, and preferences. If you are in poor shape, the exercise program will take that into account. It may be that your first exercise routine is walking if that is your current limit. After time, it can proceed to jogging and maybe even running. Even more strenuous activities, like jumping rope or weightlifting, can be added. The optimal time to perform an exercise is 30 minutes per session at least five days a week. Exercise Impacts on Heart To complement the best exercise for your heart, stretching and warming up are good activities to adopt. They prepare your muscles for exercise and reduce injury and muscle strain. Generally, the best exercises for the heart are aerobic exercises. The larger muscle groups are used so your heart rate will be quickly elevated. Because of this, you need to consult with a physician about your target (or safe maximum) heart rate. One way to informally gauge whether or not your exercise routine is too strenuous is if you are able to hold a conversation while exercising. If not, you might want to...

Do You Have to Diet Before or After Heart Surgery?

Heart surgery is one of the most critical types of operations that can be done on the human body, and it is usually only pursued if other, less aggressive treatments have been exhausted. To provide the optimum conditions for a successful procedure, preoperative and postoperative guidelines must be observed. One of those guidelines pertains to the patient’s diet. What to Eat Leading up to Surgery? Simply put, one of the biggest problems complicating heart surgery is obesity. The more overweight a patient is, the more difficult the recovery will be. Diets designed to help prepare a person for heart surgery, then, are often focused on losing weight. Time is of the essence, and the more time before surgery the patient has to focus on this goal, the better. If the patient has at least two weeks before heart surgery, they might benefit from emphasizing fruits, vegetables, low-fat protein, whole grains, and low sodium in their diet to help lose weight and lower blood pressure as much as possible. The total number of calories per day, on average, to consume pre-heart surgery is fairly low, at 1,200 to 1,800. Diet recommendations include more servings of fruits and vegetables than whole grains, proteins, or healthy fats. Restrictions are suggested for sweets, alcohol, and artificial sweeteners. What to Eat After Surgery? As with the pre-surgery diet, what to eat after surgery often leads to a leaner, heart-healthy diet. Recommended is a diet with extra omega 3 fatty acids, folate, vitamin K, magnesium, and unsaturated fats. On the other hand, it is not recommended that saturated and trans fats, high sodium foods, processed...

Common Complications Following Open Heart Surgery

All forms of surgery present degrees of risk, but the complications that can follow open heart surgery pose unique dangers. Surgeons will take every precaution possible to minimize these risks and ensure their open heart surgery success rate remains high, but it’s beneficial to educate yourself on these risks and ask questions. There are numerous factors that determine what you as an individual are at most the risk of experiencing, and many of them relate to your personal health history. Let’s look at some of the most common open heart surgery risks of death and injury. Bleeding The most common complication after open heart surgery is bleeding from the area of the incision or surgery site. During the surgery itself as well as recovery, you will be closely monitored and your progress tracked. Some bleeding after surgery is expected until the blood coagulates again, but if concerns arise if the bleeding lasts for an extended period of time without slowing or if you are bleeding “in” rather than “out.” Blood Loss Too much blood loss following a major procedure like open heart surgery can quickly snowball into a life-threatening situation. This is true even given a surgeon with a great open heart surgery success rate. Anemia can follow blood loss, depriving blood of red cells and hemoglobin, ultimately curtailing delivery of oxygen to body tissue. Traditionally, blood transfusions have been used in response to blood loss, but this isn’t a viable option for everyone. There are certain religious convictions against blood transfusions, and transfusions may weaken the immune system. For patients with concerns about blood transfusions, bloodless heart surgery...

Heart Valve Replacement Survival Rate

Having invasive surgery for a heart valve replacement is sometimes necessary, but it doesn’t have to be. Open heart surgery is a major operation and requires a hospital stay of at least a week, with part of that in the intensive care unit in most cases. Depending on your age, general health, and how severely damaged or faulty your heart valves are, invasive surgery may not be necessary. Although studies have shown that the heart valve replacement surgery survival rate is very high, there are other less invasive treatments for valve repair or replacement, such as minimally invasive aortic valve replacement or minimally invasive mitral valve repair. Minimally Invasive Aortic Valve Replacement Aortic Stenosis (AS) is a heart disease affecting the aortic valve. This valve is responsible for pumping oxygenated blood to all parts of the body. With AS, the aortic valve is too narrow, causing a very high internal pressure due to the heart working extra hard to pump blood through it. This pressure triggers the cardiac muscle to thicken to increase its strength, and eventually tires out and results in a life-threatening condition. The majority of patients with AS, with or without symptoms present, need to have minimally invasive aortic valve replacement to replace the defective valve with a new mechanical or biological heart valve prosthesis. If there has been a diagnosis of severe AS, even if symptoms are not present, patients should be evaluated as soon as possible for surgical intervention. Clinical evidence shows that delaying surgery is dangerous. Severe symptomatic aortic valve stenosis is a lethal condition that requires effective aortic valve replacement. No other...

Heart Surgery for the Elderly: What You Need to Know

One of the scariest experiences a person can go through is being told that they have a serious heart issue that needs to be addressed with surgery. The risks for elderly heart surgery can be great, and not long ago, there wasn’t a wide variety of options available when it came to different procedures and techniques. When faced with such news, we begin to wonder if we may be facing the end of our lives. We may worry that, even with a successful procedure, the quality of our lives might still drop. But now, thanks to surgeons like Dr. Giovanni Ciuffo and his team of experts, there are minimally invasive, bloodless heart surgery alternatives to the conventional methods. How It All Began Dr. Ciuffo has dedicated his entire medical career to studying and developing new and precise techniques to minimize the risks, pain, recovery time, and intrusiveness of heart and cardiovascular procedures. He first began to employ his bloodless heart surgery techniques in the 90s, as a means of providing alternative options to the Jehovah Witness communities of Pittsburgh, and then later in New York. The results of his hard work and time invested are clear in the numerous medical studies and reviews which have confirmed the effectiveness of his bloodless heart surgery methods, as well as the countless patient testimonials praising his efforts and thanking him for saving their lives. What to Expect Before the Procedure Before any medical procedure such as this can be performed, a consultation followed by a thorough examination must take place first. This is necessary not only to make sure the patient understands...

Aneurysm Treatments in Modern Medicine

Treating aneurysms has come a long way since the early days of surgical medicine. Conditions that would have been fatal several decades ago are now often survivable by procedures that would have been inconceivable at that time. One particular example we will look at here is an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA). When first diagnosed with an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm, many patients are scared to ask “what is an aneurysm?” It’s a natural hesitation, especially since the condition is often perceived as lethal. Not only does Dr. Ciuffo pride himself of his surgical technique and innovative methods, he also considers a patient’s understanding and clarification of their condition to be of the highest priority. If you’ve been diagnosed with this condition and are struggling to ask questions, take heart: there are health care professionals who care. What is an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm? Simply put, the aorta is the main conduit, or pipeline, in the body. It sends blood flowing to every organ and every part of the body through its side branches. When the aorta expands, or “balloons”, over time to a dangerous size, it becomes essential that it be repaired surgically. Failure to address the issue in time could lead to an aortic dissection, also known as a “blowout”. What makes this an abdominal issue, as opposed to a heart issue, is the location of the distress in the aorta. The part of the aorta that is closer to the heart – roughly from the solar plexus and higher – is considered the thoracic aorta. The part of the aorta below that area is considered the abdominal aorta. It...