Complications arising in the heart are a serious medical issue. The heart can be afflicted with numerous medical conditions that are collectively called heart disease. Heart disease can be a specific medical condition affecting the heart's muscles, anatomical abnormalities to the heart, cardiac tissue damage due to high blood pressure or lack of oxygen, a result of plaque build-up on the arteries, and many other conditions. Because of the nature of heart disease, there are several medical options to deal with heart disease. Here are four common methods to treat heart disease.
Surgery is the best option when the cardiac tissue damage is severe enough to warrant its direct repair. Radically invasive surgeries include a complete heart transplant for the patient, while less invasive surgeries involve the surgical placement of stents that prop open blood vessels to prevent permanent blockage. One common form of cardiac surgery many people know is bypass surgery.
Bypass surgery is used when the arteries to the heart are so severely blocked that the doctor must re-route the arteries so blood can reach the cardiac muscles. This form of surgery will require the doctor to open up the chest cavity and graft blood vessels around blocked areas. This helps the flow of blood to continue toward damaged cardiac muscles that had lost precious oxygen and nutrients.
Blood Vessel Techniques
Many medical problems involving the heart are actually issues with the blood vessels. Like the bypass surgery example, a lack of blood flow to the cardiac muscles will damage the heart. In some cases, the doctor can avoid surgery on the heart muscles and just focus on re-opening the flow of blood in the arteries.
The first thing to do is to properly diagnose how the heart vessels are damaged. This is done through a catheter, which is a small tube that enters a patient's arteries through a limb. The catheter moves through the circulatory system until specific readings like blood pressure rate within the artery or the rate of blood flow is found. The catheter may also stumble upon the reason for the cardiac issue, such as a accumulation of plaque in a certain area.
Whichever the result, there are multiple ways to solve these issues. First, some catheters come with numerous tools that can help fix blood flow issues. Manufacturers design their catheters through a process called extrusion. Extrusion is when the tube is designed with a specific shape to meet the demands of a situation. Medical extrusion technology helps doctors use the catheter to diagnose or repair artery issues by effectively pushing away plaque, as with balloon devices that widen the narrowed artery. A custom extrusion device can also house a stent, which is a mesh, open-ended cylinder that supports the artery walls to keep them open. Using these custom devices, the doctor can not only use their catheter for diagnostic purposes, but they can use the extrusion tools to solve the medical complication in combination with the catheter.
Medications are a common technique to either solve the condition of heart disease or to help supplement any cardiac surgery. These medications can often solve issues within the heart or the blood vessels that arise from the patient's lifestyle or the patient's genetics. Some medications help with the heart's pumping rhythm while others thin the blood so it can be carried more easily through the heart muscles. Very common medications are blood pressure medications, which help to lower a patient's blood pressure, and blood clotting medications which minimize clotting within the body.
Like any muscle, the heart needs electrical signals from the nervous system to contract and relax. The heart muscles do this involuntarily and they need to constantly be “on” in order for a person to be alive. Many patients may have medical conditions where their nerves around their heart are not working properly. To solve this, doctors will prescribe specific medications or perform surgical techniques that will help the electrical signals transmit properly.
One well-known cardiac remedy is the surgical implant of a pacemaker. The pacemaker is placed in tissue around the heart that used to send electrical impulses to contract and relax the cardiac muscles yet is no longer doing so. An artificial pacemaker mimics the functions of this tissue and sends electrical pulses to the heart muscles.
The heart is the most important muscle in the body. When there is a cardiac complication that results in heart disease, doctors have to work quickly to solve any muscular, artery and cardiac nerve issue or prescribe the necessary medications that can reverse damage to the cardiac system.