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A Deep Dive into Aortic Valve Replacement

A normal functioning aortic valve has three leaflets, usually referred to as cusps, and is positioned at the end of the left ventricle. This valve is the main pump that delivers oxygenated blood to the entire body. An aortic valve replacement is required if someone suffers from Aortic Valve Stenosis or Aortic Valve Insufficiency. These two issues can cause a significant number of problems and can be life-threatening. Understanding the components that are involved in an aortic valve replacement is important, especially if you are considering one. When to Consider Aortic Valve Replacement As already mentioned, there are two reasons as to why someone would need an aortic valve replacement. When suffering from aortic stenosis, the valve is narrow, causing it to be harder for the blood to go through. Basically, the muscle in the heart begins to thicken, causing a hissing sound, which is oftentimes confused with a murmur. With aortic valve insufficiency, the valve tends to “leak” when it is closed. This make the heart work twice as hard to make the blood flow correctly and in the right direction. To repair this, doctors have created a minimally invasive technique that is much safer and easier on patients. What to Consider for a Aortic Valve Replacement Since the breastbone is not being cut into, this replacement procedure is called transcatheter aortic valve replacement, which allows for healing to begin and end much faster. Your doctor will make a small, approximately two inch, incision between the third and fourth rib bone on the right side of the body. From this point, your doctor can securely place the new...
A Beginner’s Guide to the Hearts Structure

A Beginner’s Guide to the Hearts Structure

The heart is the symbol of love, affection, and intimacy for many. However, not everyone knows much about the actual the hearts structure. What is the difference between a valve and a chamber? What are the major arteries and veins? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, then this is blog is going to answer all of your questions about the hearts structure. Heart Chambers The hearts structure is divided into four main parts called chambers. These four chambers are divided into two groups: The Atriums are located within the upper part of the heart. There is one is on the right side, and the other is on the left side. Oxygenated blood is pumped through the left atrium into the body. Once the blood has deposited oxygen to other parts of the body, it is pumped into the right atrium of the heart where it is recycled. The Ventricles are on the bottom of the heart and often considered its main chambers which collect blood from the left atrium and expels it toward the lungs. Heart Valves Blood flows through the hearts structure in one direction from one chamber to the next through a series of valves. These valves consist of tissue that is about as thick as a piece of paper. Like the heart chambers, there are four heart valves between each of the chambers. The tricuspid valve is the right atrioventricular valve. The bicuspid or mitral valve is the left atrioventricular valve is. The pulmonary semilunar valve is between the right ventricle and pulmonary trunk. The aortic semilunar valve is between the left ventricle...

What Causes Pulse Deficit?

When you are enjoying an athletic activity you will notice your heart beats faster than when you are just resting and reading a book. When you exercise your body may need three to four times your normal cardiac output. This happens because your muscles need more oxygen when you exert energy. So what causes pulse deficit and what is it? Pulse deficit is when one finds a difference in count between heartbeat and peripheral pulse. So what causes pulse deficit in people? In this blog, we will address what pulse deficit is, the causes, how to take a pulse, symptoms, and treatments. What is Pulse Deficit? Pulse deficit occurs when the heart is contracting and the pulse is not reaching the periphery. Pulse deficit can be dangerous if not treated properly, this is especially true if heart conditions run in your family. No need to worry because once you know the signs and what causes pulse deficit you will know to reach out to a doctor to get help for yourself or a loved one.  Taking a Pulse If you are wondering if your family member has a pulse deficit it is important to know how to properly take a pulse. You can begin taking a pulse by putting two fingers on a person’s neck or wrist.  When Measuring Pulse in Someone’s Wrist: Have the person’s arm held out straight, with the palm of their hand facing upwards Place your first finger and middle fingers on their wrist, near the base of their thumb Pull out a clock that shows your the seconds clearly, count how many beats you...

Heart Surgery for the Elderly

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 the Elderly Can 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...

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...

What Is a Pulse Deficit?

What is pulse deficit you may ask. A pulse deficit is a condition that affects the relationship between the pulse and heart. It can be very dangerous if not treated properly, so understanding what a pulse deficit is important. This is especially true if heart conditions run in the family. There is no need to worry, however. Once you know the symptoms of pulse deficit, it’ll be much easier to treat it appropriately. And, fortunately, there are many treatments for pulse deficit that are easily available. What is a Pulse Deficit? When the heart beats blood through the body, it can be felt as a pulse. This pulse is caused by the vibrations of the blood moving through the arteries. Typically, the pulse rate is in synchronization with the heartbeat. This means that every time the heart beats, there is a pulse rate. However, there are times when the heart beats faster than the pulse rate. When there are fewer pulses than heartbeats, a pulse deficit develops. This sometimes referred to as “irregular heartbeat” or “atypical pulse rate”. Causes of a Pulse Deficit There are many reasons why a pulse deficit may develop including: Heightened states of anxiety Following a period of exercise or other physical activity Situations of extreme or chronic pain Heavy blood loss Bodily Injury Low blood pressure or hypotension Heart disease Heart failure Overactive thyroid gland It’s also important to consider which heart valve needs replacing. If the mitral valve (valve responsible for closing off the upper left chamber of the heart) requires a replacement, a mechanical heart valve is said to last until age...