Advantage of Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery

Advantage of Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery New technologies are emerging all the time. As open heart surgery treatments advance, there are new options and choices facing patients. As you move toward open heart surgery as a treatment, consider all your options and weight the benefits and risks with your medical team to decide what the best course of action is for you. Open Heart Surgery It used to be that open heart surgery was a last-resort risk. The recovery time was slow and the procedure often left behind large scars which took a long time to heal. Traditional open heart surgery involved breaking through the ribcage, usually through the sternum itself, to reach the heart. This left the patient with a long, hard and often painful recovery. New techniques and technologies allow for a much less invasive option for most patients. Sternotomy Traditionally, open heart surgery, or sternotomy, meant entering the chest through a large incision, breaking the sternum to reach the heart, and performing the surgery. The potential problems included inflammation, swelling, pain, a longer recovery time, and infection. The s hock to the heart and the blood loss made it more difficult for patients to recover fully and heal efficiently. Fortunately, minimally invasive heart surgery options are now available. Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery With minimally invasive heart surgery, there is a much smaller incision, which can often be hidden beneath the fold of a breast. Since the incision is made between the rib bones rather than entering through the sternum, recovery time is much shorter and less painful. The risk of infection is also greatly lowered. The...

What Vital Signs are Most Important?

What Vital Signs are Most Important? Normal vital signs give doctors a baseline to go by when evaluating a patient’s overall health and condition. The basic vital signs shouldn’t vary much beyond certain parameters, and extreme fluctuations are the first signs of something gone wrong in the body. Vital Signs Definition The basic vital signs definition is clinical measurements of pulse rate, temperature, respiration rate and blood pressure. These four measurements are the best indications of whether the body is functioning as expected, or if something has gone wrong. By taking these measurements, your doctor can begin to get a feel for whether your heart and other major organs are functioning properly. What is the Order for Taking Vital Signs? The normal order of taking vital signs is the pulse, respiration, temperature, and blood pressure. The signs may be measured in a different order, depending upon the symptoms the patient is exhibiting. Remember that vital signs are not a magic formula, but rather a diagnostic tool that the doctor uses to determine the basics of organ function. How to Take Blood Pressure You can take your blood pressure with either an aneroid (traditional) meter or a digital meter. Both are accurate and useful, but some people find it easier to read the digital meter. To get the most accurate measurements, sit quietly for at least 5 minutes before you attempt the test. Avoid caffeine and alcohol for at least a half hour before the test. Sit with your feet flat on the floor and your arm resting on a firm, level surface. Carefully follow the instructions that come with...

Heart Surgery Scars

Heart Surgery Scars Heart surgery scars are a painful reminder of a long healing process following the trauma of open heart surgery. A sternotomy scar is often large and may remain tender long after the surgery. Surgery is, by nature, an invasive trauma to the body. Scars are the result of the body’s efforts to repair the damage. Why Don’t Scars Go Away? When the dermis, or skin, is damaged, the body does its best to repair the damage. Since the dermis is the first line of defense against invading germs and bacteria, it must be repaired as quickly and efficiently as possible. Therefore, rather than take the time to regrow normal skin, the body resorts to producing large amounts of collagen, a thick, fibrous tissue, producing a scar and protecting the body from invading bacteria. Do the Scars From Open Heart Surgery Go Away? While scars fade over time, a sternotomy scar will never fade entirely. The damage to the dermis and underlying tissue is far too extensive for the body to heal entirely. The scar may remain tender and “tight” for years following the surgery and will never go away. There are steps the patient can take to reduce scarring and help the body heal following surgery, but the open heart surgery scar will always remain. Can You Replace Scar Tissue with Normal Tissue? It is not possible to replace scar tissue. Producing scar tissue and healing the incisions from invasive surgery takes all of the body’s resources. Once the wound is sealed and the body protected from foreign bodies and bacteria, the scar is permanent. It...

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...

Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery Procedures for The High Risk Heart Surgery Patient- Canton, OH

Some patients, because of their age or health, may be deemed “inoperable” by other doctors or surgeons. Luckily, minimally invasive heart surgery procedures are known to be very safe and can be done on these high risk heart surgery patients. In fact, at Dr. Ciuffo’s office, our minimally invasive heart surgery procedures have been highly successful with these types of patients! High Risk Heart Surgery Patients If you are a patient in need of a heart surgery procedure, but have been deemed “inoperable,” there are some steps you can take to get the surgery you need. The first thing to do is to get a second opinion. Not all doctors are the same, and Dr. Ciuffo uses the most cutting edge technology to perform successful, minimally invasive heart surgery procedures for high risk patients. Secondly, ask why you are a high risk patient. Your doctor will most likely blame your age or another health condition that would make the surgery dangerous. Next, Dr. Ciuffo suggests that you ask about your chances of good health if you don’t receive the surgery. Lastly, obtain copies of your medical records and bring all of this information to Dr. Ciuffo, who can give you a second opinion on whether or not you are a high risk patient. The Operation For high risk patients, having an operation done can be scary and worrisome. However, with the advanced technology that Dr. Ciuffo uses, patients can feel secure in knowing that he has a high success rate with minimally invasive heart surgery procedures for high risk patients. These procedures are performed through a small, two-inch incision between...