Dr. Giovanni B Ciuffo


Understanding The 3 Types Of Heart Murmurs

Understanding The 3 Types Of Heart Murmurs

What is a Heart Murmur And What Are The Signs? A heart murmur is an unusual sound in the heartbeat’s cycle that’s caused by blood moving improperly through the valve system of the heart. The normal “lub-dub” sound that can be heard through a stethoscope is the sound of the heart valves opening and closing as they guide the blood through the heart during normal circulation. A murmur occurs when the valves aren’t doing their jobs properly and blood is flowing backward through the heart instead of following the normal pathways. Symptoms A heart murmur can cause poor circulation, which may result in cold or bluish extremities, especially the fingertips, toes, and lips. A victim may also experience swelling and weight gain, heavy sweating with minimal exertion, dizziness, and fainting, chest pain, chronic cough, or shortness of breath. In young children and infants, symptoms may also include a poor appetite and a failure to grow normally. Any of these symptoms should be a sign that it’s time to talk to your doctor about the underlying causes of your symptoms. It is important to not put off the trip to the doctor when it involves the heart. The doctor can then take into account the types of heart murmur it is before giving you the next step in the course of action. From there, you can have a better idea of what to consider about your heart’s health moving forward. Types of Heart Murmurs Johns Hopkins Medicine defines the three types of heart murmurs as “systolic”, “diastolic”, and “continuous.” A systolic murmur occurs during a heart muscle contraction. They are...

What is Thoracic Surgery Recovery Like?

What is Thoracic Surgery Recovery Like? What is thoracic surgery? Any surgery performed with an incision that enters through the chest is considered thoracic surgery, including open-heart surgery. Recovering from thoracic surgery is a long process. The recovery process will depend upon the exact type of surgery you have, the placement and size of the incision, the condition of the individual patient, and the care taken post-surgery. After all of these are considered, the doctors and healthcare professionals can provide the optimal recovery plan for your situation.  To understand what it will look like, it is also essential to comprehend thoracic surgery itself. By learning more about thoracic surgery, you can see why the recovery process is such a long process. At the Minimally Invasive and Bloodless Heart Surgery Program, we provide you with the information that makes processes like this less intimidating from the start. There is less worry and more time to focus on reaching your important health goals. What is Thoracic Surgery? According to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, thoracic surgery often referred to as open-heart surgery, may address a problem with the heart, esophagus, lungs, trachea, aorta, or diaphragm. Open heart surgery poses a significant challenge when it comes to healing. It’s going to take time to get back to feeling your best. It’s common to feel very tired and run down for six to eight weeks following the surgery. Your chest may feel swollen and sore for up to six weeks following the surgery. Most patients with traditional open-heart surgery go home with staples or stitches holding the incision closed while it heals....
The Benefit of a Low Sodium Diet

The Benefit of a Low Sodium Diet

The Benefit of a Low Sodium Diet Anyone who has a family history of hypertension has heard the term “low sodium diet.” It sounds like a bland way of eating that deprives the eater of flavor and interest in food, but it doesn’t have to be that way. As Americans, we consume a constant stream of processed foods, but given the chance, it’s possible to retrain ourselves to enjoy a wider range of flavors. We are dedicated to helping you find the healthiest opportunities for your body. Starting a low sodium diet is the perfect place to begin that journey. Low Sodium Diet While at first, the idea of reducing one’s salt intake may imply the loss of flavor, the exact opposite is true. In processed foods, salt is used to mask the flavor of chemicals and to replace the natural flavors lost in the cooking and preservative processes. When salt is reduced in our diets, those flavors have a chance to emerge, and our tastes adjust to enjoy the natural flavors in foods once again. Choosing a low-sodium diet isn’t just better for your overall health, it opens up new vistas of enjoyment in your eating that will make you fall in love with food again. If you are looking for ways to incorporate new flavors into your diet as well, this use of less salt can be a chance to try other spices. There are many recipes out there to try that require no salt at all. The key is being open to new experiences and flavors that may replace your desire to use salt in your...

Emotional Side Effects of Open-Heart Surgery

Open heart surgery is one of the most invasive and stressful procedures doctors perform. Emotional side effects of open-heart surgery are to come after the procedure. In open-heart surgery, the heart is exposed for major repairs, a long incision in the chest is made, the breast bone is broken, and a heart-lung machine is used to pump blood in place of the heart. All of this places great stress on your body. Open heart surgery is not minimally invasive heart surgery. Living with, and through, the physical effects of open-heart surgery can be daunting. Included are pain at the incision site, muscle pain, or throat pain. If you have chest tubes for drainage, those can also be uncomfortable. Despite the discomfort, post-surgical pain usually disappears after 6 – 8 weeks. However, other kinds of problems can linger? The emotional side effects of open-heart surgery might surprise you. Personality and Emotional Side Effects of Open-Heart Surgery People who have had open heart surgery report mood changes, as do people close to them. Anxiety and depression are the most commonly experienced emotions after heart surgery. Anxiety can be caused, in part, by worries about possible physical aftereffects of the surgery. Keep in mind that full recovery from open heart surgery can take up to one year. Depression Patients who experience depression for more than several weeks after open-heart surgery may have something more than a typical, post-surgical mood change. One way to tell is if a person has difficulty in doing simple, daily tasks, like making their bed, getting and staying properly dressed, or keeping a routine. If an individual was...

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...

What is Pulse Deficit?

What is a Pulse Deficit? The concept of a pulse deficit can be both confusing and frightening if you’re not a member of the medical community, but it has a direct bearing on the health of your heart and can be life threatening if not treated properly and allowed to get worse. It sounds confusing, but is quite simple. When your heart beats, it sends blood through the arteries of your body. This produces a noticeable pulse which can be felt. Normally these two events are in synch, but it is when they are not in synch, the pulse and the beat of your heart, that problems can arise. What Causes a Pulse Deficit? There are several causes for a pulse deficit, some of which are not necessarily indicators of heart disease, such as heavy exercise. Other causes of a pulse deficit are not so innocent, however, and can include low blood pressure, periods of extreme anxiety or stress, extended periods of chronic pain, and bodily injury or trauma, including blood loss. What happens when there is a pulse deficit is that when the heart beats, but there is no pulse of blood that comes after. This creates a pulse deficit. How is it Treated? Observing that someone has a pulse deficit is fairly straightforward. A doctor or nurse listens to your chest with a stethoscope and notes the heartbeat, but when they attempt to take your pulse, do not notice the same number of pulse beats. The symptoms of pulse deficit include a noticeably decreased resting heart rate and a long-term consistent history of having a different resting...