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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...

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 Surgeons and Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery

Minimally invasive heart surgeons perform procedures that cause less trauma and pain, resulting in quicker recovery times compared to open-heart surgery. These surgeons perform procedures using small incisions in your chest as a safer alternative to open-heart surgery. Rather than having to cut through your breastbone, minimally invasive heart surgeon qualifications allow them to operate between the ribs, resulting in less pain and faster recovery time. In fact, surgeons sometimes have a better view of certain areas of the heart than with open-heart surgery. The vast majority of minimally invasive procedures don’t require the surgeon to stop your heart. How do I know if I’m a good candidate for a minimally invasive heart procedure? Depending on various personal factors, minimally invasive surgery might be the perfect option for you. Other benefits may include: Lower risk of infections Less blood loss Reduced pain and trauma Shorter hospital or clinic stay Smaller and less noticeable scars It’s also very important that your minimally invasive surgeon strives for cohesion and clear, open communication within his team. It’s vital that the team knows your specific needs and whether or not minimally invasive surgery is for you. In addition, you want your heart specialists to exhibit those same characteristics with all your other healthcare providers. Other Preparation? Make sure you’ve had a recent physical examination, with a complete review of your medical history and blood analysis. There is a chance you may have to get your procedure done at a medical center. This decision is based on your physicians’ and specialists’ evaluation of your condition. What kind of minimally invasive heart procedures are available?...

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...

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...

Home Care After Heart Surgery

While your body has a natural healing process that tends to kick into gear after a traumatic experience, certain kinds of wounds and procedures take more of a toll on your health than others. One of the most serious surgeries you can undergo is heart surgery. Because your heart is vital to your health, anything that disrupts it can have a serious impact on the way your body functions. With this in mind, it’s perhaps not surprising that the recovery time from heart surgery generally spans several weeks to a few months, even when performed by a skilled surgeon such as Dr. Ciuffo. There are important steps you’ll need to take when recovering from surgery and practicing home care after surgery in order to regain your health. Wound Care One of the most important parts of home care after surgery is paying close attention to the wound. It’s important to keep the cut as clean and dry as possible. This includes skipping baths or showers for a few days to allow the wound time to heal a bit. You also need to watch out for any abnormalities that could indicate an infection, such as an increase in drainage or oozing, the edges of the incision pulling apart, and a warmth or redness around the cut. Any of these issues could be cause for alarm, particularly if they are accompanied by a fever of over 100° F. Reach out to Dr. Ciuffo’s staff for advice if your wound exhibits any of these issues. Expect the Pain While you are likely to be prescribed some kind of pain medication while recovering...