Leaking Heart Valves

Leaking Heart Valves Patients living with leaking heart valves have more options than ever. A bio heart valve or mechanical heart valve may be the best option to repair a damaged heart. A leaking heart valve not only puts additional strain on the hardest-working muscle in your body, it can lead to aneurism or separation and further damage to your heart. Mechanical Heart Valve One option patients may be offered is heart valve replacement. A mechanical heart valve has several advantages. Primarily, there is little to no risk of the valve itself being rejected by the body. A mechanical valve may not wear out as quickly as a bovine (harvested from a cow) or porcine (harvested from a pig) heart valve. Patients may, however, require blood thinners when living with a mechanical heart valve. How Long Do Pig Valves Last in Humans? The answer varies. The valves last an average of seven to ten years in patients over 65. Conditions affecting the metabolism of calcium in the body, especially in children and young adults, increase the chances and the speed of failure of a bio heart valve. Bio Heart Valve A bio heart valve, which is harvested from either a cow or pig heart may be implanted either using a structure called a stent, or may be “stentless.” The likelihood of a bio heart valve failing depends on the individual patient’s condition and a number of other factors.  Your doctor can help you decide which type of valve is right for you when considering bicuspid aortic valve replacement options. Biological Heart Valve Pros and Cons The primary advantage of...

Benefits of a Low Sodium Diet

Benefits 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. 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. Blood Pressure The American Heart Association has known for decades that a diet high in sodium content is one of the factors that contributes to hypertension, a leading cause of heart disease. High blood pressure puts a strain on the heart and vascular system and can cause irreversible damage. Getting blood pressure under control takes more than just a change in the diet. A fitness routine and increased activity level, as well as reducing overall stress and engaging in more enjoyable activities like hobbies will help reduce blood pressure...

Why Should I Consider Bloodless Heart Surgery?- Canton, OH

Bloodless heart surgery is a type of procedure that is different from traditional heart surgery. Originally developed to comply with the religious beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses, bloodless heart surgery is now common and has many benefits and advantages over traditional heart surgery. Bloodless Heart Surgery Over the years, Dr. Ciuffo has developed very effective clinical strategies and routines that have made bloodless heart surgery a reality for most of our patients. Bloodless heart surgery care is an increasingly popular choice for all patients that need surgery in a growing number of medical institutions. This is because it is a lower risk for sick or elderly patients. The benefits surrounding bloodless heart surgery relate to the following steps: Carefully preparing the patient and other pre-surgery precautions Utilizing a precise and meticulous technique during surgery Completing a thorough follow-up after surgery Avoiding potential side effects and complications related to blood transfusions How it Works Here are some of the ways that this type of heart surgery avoids the need for blood transfusions: Extra Corporeal Circulation (the heart-lung machine) with or without blood storage. The entire blood volume can be kept in circulation at all times, in compliance with the principles and beliefs of the Jehovah’s witness community. Beating Heart Surgery technique for coronary artery bypass. It avoids using the heart-lung machine and helps us maintain a better ability to coagulate and stop bleeding after surgery. Blood Salvage. A “cell saver” machine collects, filters, and returns the patient’s blood to his/her own circulation. A closed circulation loop with no storage can be maintained at all times. Intraoperative hemodilution: some of the patient’s...

What is a Minithoracotomy?- Canton, OH

A thoracotomy is performed by surgeons in order to get better access to the many thoracic organs, namely the heart, lungs, and esophagus, or for access to the thoracic aorta or the anterior spine. Therefore, a minithoracotomy is any thoracotomy involving less muscle division than the classic posterolateral thoracotomy (which is an incision through the back, and is often widened with rib spreaders). Dr. Ciuffo performs this minimally invasive procedure for patients in need of aortic, tricuspid, mitral, aortic valve surgery, atrial myxoma and atrial septal defect (ASD) repairs or other suitable coronary cases. The Procedure To perform a minithoracotomy, Dr. Ciuffo will not need to break any bones. He will make a surgical incision through a thin muscle layer between the ribs. The avoidance of a split in the breast bone and ribs gives less pain, less chances of wound infection, less bleeding and a much more reliable healing of the surgical wound. To minimize pain, your doctor will inject local anesthetic in the nerves between the ribs (intercostal nerve block). After the Procedure After Dr. Ciuffo completes the surgery, the scar will be barely visible below the neck and away from the midline towards the side of the chest. For women, this scar may even be hidden in the skin fold underneath the breast. Patients can resume their normal activities after the procedure because there are no restrictions in driving a car or carrying weights other than the patient’s own comfort level. Dr. Ciuffo and the Minimally Invasive and Bloodless Heart Surgery Program Dr. Ciuffo is dedicated to helping you understand minithoracotomy. If you have any questions about minithoracotomy or the steps we will...

Minimally Invasive Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) Repairs- Canton, OH

Healthy hearts have a wall that separates the right and left sides. An atrial septal defect occurs when there is a hole in this wall. This hole can cause problems with blood flow through the heart and body. ASD is not that common: only 0.6% of all babies are born with a hole in their heart wall. However, the consequences of this defect can be deadly. Symptoms ASD can cause newborns to have trouble breathing. This, in turn, leads to other issues like malnourishment, irreversible lung circulation damage, other complications and eventually death. It is very important to recognize this pathology and treat it before it is too late. Treatments There are several different ways to treat ASD. Surgical Therapy. When the atrial septal defect is small, it can sometimes close on its own. However, if the hole is large, it can cause severe symptoms. Minimally invasive atrial septal defect repairs can be performed to restore the normal anatomy for good. The surgery involves a tiny 2″ incision on the chest wall. Dr. Ciuffo will close the ASD with a suture line or a patch of the patient’s own tissue. Minimally invasive patients can benefit from having a very small scar, significantly less pain, and a quick recovery compared to other methods. Medical Therapy. For newborns with a small atrial septal defect with no symptoms, a pediatric cardiologist will most likely observe the patient and wait for the atrial septal defect to close on its own. If this does occur, the baby will have regular physical examinations and echocardiograms. Catheter Therapy. In some cases, the ASD can be closed with a catheter....