Coronary Microvascular Disease (CMD)

Coronary microvascular disease (CMD) is a condition that affects the small blood vessels in the heart. It is a common cause of chest pain and can also lead to heart failure. While CMD is often overlooked, it is a serious condition that can have significant consequences for people who have it.

How is CMD Caused?

CMD is caused by a blockage or damage to the small blood vessels in the heart, which can reduce blood flow to the heart muscle. This can cause chest pain, shortness of breath, and other symptoms. It can also lead to heart failure, in which the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs.

CMD is often difficult to diagnose because the symptoms can be similar to those of other conditions such as angina or heart attack. In addition, traditional tests such as angiography may not be able to detect the blockages or damage in the small blood vessels. As a result, CMD may be misdiagnosed or go undiagnosed for some time.

Risk Factors

Risk factors for CMD include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and smoking. It is also more common in women and people with a family history of heart disease. These risk factors can damage the small blood vessels in the heart and lead to CMD.

Treatment of CMD

The good news is that CMD is a treatable condition. The first step in treatment is to manage any underlying risk factors such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol. This may involve lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and quitting smoking. In some cases, medications may be necessary to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and improve blood flow to the heart.

In addition to managing risk factors, it is important to address any symptoms of CMD. This may involve the use of medications to manage chest pain and improve blood flow to the heart. In some cases, procedures such as angioplasty or stenting may be necessary to open blocked blood vessels.

It is important to regularly consult with the specialist who can develop a treatment plan to manage CMD. This may include regular check-ups, blood pressure monitoring, and medication management. By taking steps to manage CMD, patients can reduce their risk of heart failure and other serious complications.

Conclusion

CMD is a serious condition that affects the small blood vessels in the heart. It can cause chest pain and lead to heart failure if left untreated. Risk factors for CMD include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and smoking. Treatment may involve lifestyle changes and medications, and in some cases, procedures to open blocked blood vessels.

What is Pulmonary Valve Stenosis?

Pulmonary valve stenosis is a medical condition in which the pulmonary valve, which regulates blood flow from the right ventricle of the heart to the lungs, becomes narrowed or obstructed. This can lead to difficulty breathing and reduced oxygen levels in the blood, causing a range of symptoms and potentially serious health complications if left untreated.

Causes of Pulmonary Valve Stenosis

There are several potential causes of pulmonary valve stenosis. One common cause is congenital heart defects, which are present at birth and may be inherited or caused by environmental factors during pregnancy. Rheumatic fever, a condition that can develop as a complication of strep throat, can also lead to pulmonary valve stenosis. In rare cases, the valve may become narrowed or obstructed due to scarring or inflammation. In some cases, the cause of the stenosis is unknown.

Symptoms

Symptoms of pulmonary valve stenosis can vary depending on the severity of the condition. In mild cases, individuals may not experience any symptoms or may only have mild shortness of breath during physical activity. More severe cases may cause significant difficulty breathing, chest pain, fatigue, and fainting. In severe cases, the condition can also cause heart palpitations, swelling in the legs and ankles, and a bluish tint to the skin due to low oxygen levels.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis of pulmonary valve stenosis typically begins with a physical exam and a review of the individual’s medical history. The doctor may also order several tests to confirm the diagnosis and assess the severity of the condition. These tests may include an echocardiogram, a chest X-ray, and an electrocardiogram.

There are several treatment options available for pulmonary valve stenosis, depending on the severity of the condition and the individual’s overall health. In mild cases, treatment may include medications to manage symptoms and reduce the risk of complications. These may include diuretics to reduce fluid build-up in the body and beta blockers to reduce the heart’s workload.

For more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair or replace the valve. Repair surgery involves making changes to the existing valve to improve its function, while valve replacement surgery involves replacing the faulty valve with a new one. There are several different types of valves that can be used in replacement surgery, including mechanical valves, which are made of man-made materials, and biological valves, which are made from animal tissue.

In some cases, a procedure called balloon valvuloplasty may be used to widen the narrowed valve. This procedure involves inserting a balloon catheter into the narrowed valve and inflating the balloon to widen the opening.

It is important for patients with pulmonary valve stenosis to work closely with their doctors to manage their condition and reduce the risk of complications. This may include regular check-ups and monitoring of symptoms, lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking and eating a healthy diet, and taking prescribed medications as directed.

Conclusion

Pulmonary valve stenosis is a serious condition that can have a significant impact on an individual’s quality of life. With proper treatment and management, however, it is possible to live a full and active life. It is important for individuals with the condition to stay in close communication with their doctors and follow their treatment plan to ensure the best possible outcomes.

What is Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) Defect?

Patent ductus arteriosus is a very common heart condition found in new born babies. It occurs because the ductus arteriosus blood vessel doesn’t close properly after birth.

Babies born prematurely are more likely to be affected by PDA. The risk of PDA increases the earlier the baby is born. PDA affects 10% of babies born between 30 and 37 weeks of pregnancy, 80% of babies born between 25 and 28 weeks of pregnancy and 90% of babies born earlier than 24 weeks of pregnancy.

PDA is also more commonly seen in girls than in boys.

Cause of PDA

Every baby has a ductus arteriosus, which is a foetal artery connecting the aorta and the pulmonary artery. This opening usually narrows and closes within a few days after birth. If it continues to remain open it is known as patent ductus arteriosus (PDA).

While a small PDA may not generally cause any problems, a large PDA can lead to the flow of poorly oxygenated blood in the wrong direction. This can cause heart failure and other complications such as pulmonary hypertension and blood vessel damage.

Causes of PDA include genetic disorders or a family history of the condition. Babies with neonatal respiratory distress syndrome which is a breathing problem or those born to mothers who had rubella during pregnancy are also at risk of developing PDA.

Symptoms

PDA symptoms vary according to the size of the defect. Small PDAs may not have symptoms apart from a heart murmur and may go undetected until adulthood.

Large PDAs may cause symptoms such as:

  • Persistent rapid breathing.
  • Breathlessness
  • Sweating often
  • Fatigue
  • or tiredness
  • Feeding and eating problems
  • Poor weight gain
  • Rapid heart rate

It is important to consult a doctor immediately if any of these symptoms are noticed in the baby.

Diagnosis and Treatment

PDA in premature babies and in neonates may be the cause of respiratory compromise. Many a time’s medicine is effective. In cases where medicine has failed or cannot be given due to many reasons, surgery is required. 

The paediatric cardiologist may recommend various tests such as Chest X-ray, Electrocardiogram (ECG), Echocardiogram, etc to diagnose the PDA.

A small PDA may close on its own as the child grows and may not require treatment. Doctors will prescribe the medication as required.

Large PDAs may require treatment that includes cardiac catheterization or surgery. Catheterization is a minimally invasive procedure where the doctors use a flexible tube or catheter and insert a coil through it into the heart to close the PDA. In PDA surgery an incision is made to the side of the chest and the PDA is closed with stiches or a metal clip.

Life after PDA treatment

After receiving treatment for PDA, children can lead normal, healthy lives. Activity levels, appetite, and growth will return to normal within a short duration. Periodic check-ups with the paediatric cardiologist will ensure that there are no heart or lung problems.

How can Work Stress Hurt your Heart – and How to Prevent?

Stress is considered to be a normal part of life. Stress under manageable limits increases alertness and performance. However, uncontrolled stress can lead to many health problems such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity and heart disease.

Common symptoms of stress include anxiety, fatigue, sleep problems, upset stomach, chest pain, etc.

Signs of Work Stress

Working professionals have been experiencing increasing stress in recent times. This is due to the hectic nature of the jobs, long work hours, heavy workload, strict deadlines, job insecurity and other reasons.

Stress related problems in offices have led to many issues like arguments with co-workers, mood swings, loss of motivation and confidence, decreased performance, regular absence due to sickness, high attrition and so on.

Hence, it is very important for employers to assess the impact of work related stress and take appropriate action to protect the employees.

Effect of stress on the heart

In a stressful situation the human body releases a hormone called adrenaline that causes an increase in heart rate and blood pressure temporarily. Chronic stress can cause conditions like inflammation, high blood pressure, and low HDL or good cholesterol, which can all impact the heart and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Negative mental health conditions like stress, anxiety and depression can lead to harmful responses from the body such as irregular heart rate and rhythm, reduced blood flow to the heart, etc.

It has been observed that people with positive mental health are at lower risk of developing heart disease as they have lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure and better glucose control.

Managing Work Stress

Stress can be managed by adopting regular physical activity, consuming a balanced diet and getting adequate sleep. It is also helpful to practice relaxation techniques like meditation and deep breathing, spending time with family and friends, developing hobbies, etc. to keep stress under control.

Employees suffering from work related stress also need to make some changes in their work environment to reduce their stress levels. It is recommended to organise official tasks in order of priority and take up the difficult tasks in the morning hours when the employee is fresh and active.

Advice and help can be taken from co-workers on how to handle any difficult tasks. Work should not be taken up after office hours preferably and the time should be utilised for relaxation and spending on personal activities.

Any health concerns should be brought to the notice of the human resources department in the organisation, so that they can be addressed immediately. If the symptoms of stress continue to persist over a period of time, it is essential to consult a physician or psychologist and seek their advice.

Role of family; meditation;friend; office sessions from company.

Health Issues in Teenagers because of Breathing Polluted Air

Air pollution is very detrimental to human health. According to World Health Organization (WHO), air pollution is the reason for the death of nearly seven million people worldwide every year. In big cities like Delhi, 9 out of every 10 people currently breathe air with pollutants that exceed the WHO’s guideline limit.

Air pollution can cause great damage not only to lungs but can impact other organs including heart. Several diseases, birth defects and lower reproductive rates can be attributed to air pollution.

Effect on Air Pollution on Heart

Air pollutants can travel into the bloodstream through lungs and to the heart. This increases the risk of developing heart and circulatory diseases. The pollutants can damage the blood vessels and make them narrow, making it difficult for the blood to flow freely.

Other effects of pollutants can include blood clotting and increased blood pressure. Regular exposure to air pollution can affect the heart’s electrical system and cause irregular heartbeat or heart arrhythmia.

Patients with existing heart and circulatory conditions may have an increased risk of heart attack or stroke.

Impact of Pollution on Teenagers

According to medical research, air pollution can trigger irregular heartbeat in healthy teenagers that can be potentially fatal. This can be caused by fine particles of less than 2.5 microns in size that can be easily inhaled into the lungs. People exposed to pollution over a period of time are at risk of developing cardiovascular disease and other complications.

Dr. Ramji Mehrotra, India’s renowned Heart Specialist, says that these fine air particles can disrupt the autonomic nervous system that controls the rhythms of heartbeats. According to Dr. Mehrotra, premature atrial contractions and premature ventricular contractions are two types of irregular heart rhythms.

Premature atrial contractions, in which heartbeat originates from atria, increase the risk of atrial fibrillation and possible stroke. Premature ventricular contractions, in which heartbeat originates from ventricles, also raise the risk of heart attack, heart failure and cardiac death.

Studies on teenagers have found that due to regular exposure to fine particulate matter, around 80 percent of them experience at least one irregular heart rhythm while over 40 percent experience both.

Addressing the Issue

Dr Ramji Mehrotra says that teenagers are prone to irregular heartbeats but most of them are not aware of it. If any youngster experiences any of the conditions like pounding of the heart or fast heartbeat or skipping of a heartbeat, it is essential to seek medical advice. The doctor is the right person to diagnose the issue and suggest the right treatment.

Dr. Mehrotra also recommends wearing face masks in outdoor conditions and while travelling to reduce the impact of pollution. It is also advised to avoid commuting during peak hours when the pollution is at the maximum level.

What is Acute Coronary Syndrome?

Acute coronary syndrome (ACS) refers to conditions where the blood supply to the heart muscle is suddenly blocked or severely reduced. It is a life threatening condition affecting millions of people every year and requires prompt diagnosis and care. Unstable angina and heart attack both are types of ACS.

Causes

The build-up of plaque in the arteries can block the blood flow to the heart. Plaque is a fatty substance made up of cholesterol, fat and other substances.

Gradual build-up of plaque can cause an artery to become very narrow and later completely blocked. The plaque can rupture suddenly leading to the formation of a blood clot that narrows or blocks the artery.

Symptoms

Some signs and symptoms of ACS include:

  • Chest pain or severe discomfort
  • Pain spreading from the chest to other parts of the body
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sudden, heavy sweating
  • Nausea
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat

Symptoms may vary depending on the patient’s age, sex and other medical conditions.

Risk factors

Certain risk factors increase the probability of developing ACS. People over the age of 45, those who are obese, and those who smoke are at risk.

Similarly, other conditions like high blood cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes and family history of heart disease also cause a risk of ACS.

Types of ACS

ACS includes three types of coronary artery disease that can damage heart tissue. These are:

  • Unstable angina: It comprises sudden and unexpected chest pain and is a warning sign of a heart attack.
  • NSTEMI: A Non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) is a heart attack in which the coronary arteries aren’t fully blocked.
  • STEMI: An ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) is a severe heart attack that occurs when the blood flow to the heart is fully blocked.

Diagnosis and Treatment

There are a number of tests that doctors may recommend to diagnose ACS including:

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG) – It measures the heart’s electrical activity.
  • Blood test – Blood tests such as troponin blood test can detect the cause of chest pain and the risk of a heart attack.
  • Echocardiogram – This test uses sound waves to detect if heart has been damaged or has any other problems.

Treatment for ACS may comprise medicines, surgery, or other procedures to treat the symptoms and restore blood flow to the heart. Doctors may prescribe different medicines such as aspirin, beta blockers, blood thinners, clot dissolving drugs, angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, or nitroglycerin based on the patient’s condition.

Angioplasty procedure is performed to open a clogged artery using a long, thin tube known as catheter. Bypass surgery is performed to route the blood around the blocked artery.

Prevention

According to Dr Ramji Mehrotra, the risk of ACS can be reduced to a great extent by adopting a healthy lifestyle.

This includes consuming a balanced diet with plenty of whole grains, vegetables and fruits while limiting foods with high cholesterol and saturated fats. It is also important to maintain optimum weight by exercising regularly and avoiding smoking and tobacco in any form as it can damage the heart.

It is also advised to get regular preventive health screenings done and manage health conditions such as cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes under control.

An Overview of Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosed in women. It occurs mostly in women, though men can also get breast cancer (less than 1% of cases). With growing awareness and advancement in diagnosis and treatment, breast cancer survival rates have increased and deaths due to the disease have decreased steadily.

Breast cancer can occur at any age, though it is mostly diagnosed in patients over the age of 50.

Spread of breast cancer

Breast cancer can start in one or both breasts when the cells begin to grow out of control. These cells divide more rapidly than healthy cells, forming a lump or mass. Most breast lumps are benign and not malignant (cancerous). However, it is very important to get any breast lump checked by a specialist.

Cells may spread through the breast to the lymph nodes or other parts of the body.

Symptoms

Different people may exhibit different symptoms of breast cancer. Some signs and symptoms of breast cancer include the following:

  • New lump in the breast or underarm
  • Change in the size or shape of the breast
  • Irritation or dimpling of the skin over the breast
  • Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area
  • Fluid discharge from the nipple
  • Pain in any area of the breast

A few people may not show any symptoms at all though they are affected by breast cancer.

Causes

Breast cancer generally begins with the cells in the milk-producing ducts. It may also begin in the glandular tissue called lobules or in other cells within the breast.

According to medical research, hormonal, lifestyle and environmental factors can all increase the risk of breast cancer. As a woman’s age increases, the risk of breast cancer also rises.

Family history and genetics also have a role in determining the risk of the disease. Around 5% to 10% of the cases are due to single abnormal genes. These can be detected by genetic testing.

Other causes of breast cancer include smoking and drinking alcohol. In addition, patients with prior radiation therapy or hormone replacement therapy are at greater risk of developing breast cancer.

Diagnosis of breast cancer

There are several tests that may be recommended by the doctor to check for breast abnormalities. These tests can include:

  • Mammogram: Mammogram is an X-ray picture of the breast that helps doctors in detecting early signs of breast cancer.
  • Ultrasonography: It helps in diagnosing breast lumps or abnormalities by using sound waves to take pictures of the tissues inside the breast.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): MRI produces detailed images of the interna structure of the breast using magnets and radio waves.
  • Positron emission tomography (PET) scanning: During a PET scan, a special dye is injected into the veins, after which the image of the affected areas is taken by the scanner.

Treatment of breast cancer

Breast cancer can be treated using a number of treatment options such as surgery, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy and targeted drug therapy. Doctors may recommend one or more of these options based on factors like location and size of the tumour, spread of cancer to the other parts of the body, results of the lab tests, etc.

Surgery involves removing the cancerous portion of the patient’s breast and an area of normal tissue surrounding the tumour. It can be of different types such as lumpectomy, mastectomy, sentinel node biopsy, etc.

Chemotherapy may be recommended before a lumpectomy to shrink the tumour and sometimes after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells and reduce the risk of recurrence.

Hormone therapy is mostly used after surgery to reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence, though it may also be used before surgery to shrink the tumour or to treat the cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.

Immunotherapy helps the patient’s immune system to target and attack breast cancer cells.

Radiation therapy is usually given after a lumpectomy or mastectomy to kill remaining cancer cells. Targeted drug therapy may be recommended by doctors in cases where breast cancer has spread to other areas of the body.

Impact of breast cancer on heart health

Breast cancer and heart disease can sometimes overlap in patients, and occurrence of one condition can lead to the development or recurrence of the other.

In some patients the radiation therapy for breast cancer may lead to issues such as blocked arteries, abnormal heart rhythms, etc. Similarly chemotherapy can sometimes weaken the heart and cause blood clots and other issues.

Medical research has also found that survivors of breast cancer, who are subsequently affected by cardiovascular disease, have an increased probability of cancer recurrence.

According to Dr Ramji Mehrotra, a few risk factors are common for both heart disease and breast cancer, and a heart-healthy lifestyle including proper diet and exercise must be adopted by women to minimise the chances of developing either disease.

Conclusion

Though breast cancer cannot be prevented totally, women can take certain precautions to reduce the risk of discovering it at an advanced stage.

All women over the age of 40 should get a mammogram screening done yearly. Doctors should be consulted with immediately whenever the women find any abnormality or changes in their breasts. Clinical breast exams can detect lumps that mammograms may not find.

Women with early-stage breast cancer can manage their condition successfully with treatment and live long, happy lives.

Women and Heart Disease

It is generally considered that heart disease affects men more than women. However, coronary heart disease is a leading cause of death for both men and women, though the symptoms may be different for both. According to research, cardiovascular disease accounts for 1 in every 3 deaths around the world.

Women and men experience heart disease differently due to the differences in the respective cardiovascular system. For example, women have smaller heart chambers and blood vessels than men. They have lesser number of red blood cells and cannot take in as much oxygen as men. Sudden drop in blood pressure and fainting are more likely in women.

Oestrogen and progesterone hormones are dominant in women, while in men it is the testosterone hormone. These also impact heart health differently.

Identification of heart disease in women

In women symptoms of cardiovascular disease are generally noticed much later than in men. The most common symptom is chest pain or angina which may feel like heaviness, pressure, aching, numbness, squeezing, etc. 

Other symptoms usually observed include fatigue, breathlessness, heart palpitations, nausea, sudden sweating, etc. Anxiety, loss of appetite, frequent indigestion, intense headache and discomfort in the jaws or teeth, are other warning signs of a possible heart attack.

Women are also at higher risk for having a silent heart attack, that is an attack without any visible symptoms.

Hence, it is very essential to get medical help whenever any unusual symptoms are noticed to prevent the chances of heart attack.

Risk factors for heart disease in women

While risk factors like high cholesterol and high blood pressure affect both men and women, women face certain unique risks that affect them more. These include the following:

  • Obesity: During menopause women face greater risk of obesity and gaining abdominal fat which puts them at higher risk of heart disease.
  • High cholesterol: In women aged 65 and above, low level of HDL or good cholesterol is closely linked with death, more than in men.
  • Diabetes: Women with diabetes have a much greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease than men with diabetes.
  • Hypertension: Hypertension or high blood pressure has been found to be linked more closely with heart attacks in women than in men.
  • Family history: Instances of early heart disease in the family cause greater risk to women than men.  

Reducing the risk of heart disease

According to Dr. Ramji Mehrotra, it is very important to adopt a healthy lifestyle in order to reduce the risk of heart disease. A healthy diet with whole grains, vegetables and fruits must be consumed. Saturated fats and high amounts of salt and sugar must be avoided to maintain good health.

Regular exercise is a must, especially for women who are overweight, in order to reduce the risk of heart disease. Stress must be kept under control with meditation and yoga, as high levels of stress have been found to cause microvascular disease.

In addition, other health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol should be managed by regular consultations with the medical practitioners.

By following the above guidelines, heart disease can be prevented in women and they can lead healthy lives.

What is Coronary Artery Disease?

Coronary artery disease (CAD) or coronary heart disease is a common type of heart disease that occurs when the arteries become hardened and narrowed. This is caused due to the cholesterol and calcium deposit or plaque in the arteries.

Coronary artery disease begins due to a condition called atherosclerosis which occurs when cholesterol and calcium collects on the inner walls of the arteries. This build-up is known as plaque which can block blood flow due to the narrowing of the arteries. If the plaque bursts it can lead to a blood clot.

Symptoms of CAD

A patient having coronary artery disease can have chest pain, breathlessness, fatigue, nausea and due to the reduced blood flow to the heart. Chest discomfort or angina is accompanied by symptoms like numbness, heaviness, aching, squeezing, etc.

Complete blockage of blood flow can also lead to heart attack.

Risk Factors

In addition to high cholesterol, other causes of damage to coronary arteries include high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, sedentary lifestyle, etc.

Obesity, stress, unhealthy diet, irregular sleep and alcohol usage are other risk factors for coronary artery disease.

Diagnosis of CAD

The doctor reviews the patient’s symptoms, risk factors and medical history before performing a physical examination. Diagnostic tests include:

  • Electrocardiograph test: This test can detect heart attack and heart rhythm issues by recording the heart’s electrical activity.
  • Exercise stress test: This is a treadmill test that can help suspect  coronary blockages
  • Pharmacologic stress test: This test can also help detect coronary blockages through medication given to increase heart rate. This is done in patients who cannot walk on treadmill.
  • Coronary calcium scan: This can identify the amount of calcium on the walls of the coronary arteries which can give an indication of atherosclerosis.
  • Echocardiogram: This test utilizes sound waves to measure the overall functioning of the heart.
  • Blood tests: These tests are done for factors affecting arteries like cholesterol, triglycerides, lipoprotein, glucose, etc.
  • Cardiac catheterization: In this test small tubes are inserted into the blood vessels to detect the presence of coronary artery disease and also evaluate the heart function.

Prevention of CAD

According to Dr. Ramji Mehrotra who is one of India’s leading cardiologist, coronary artery disease can be prevented by adopting a healthy lifestyle to improve heart health. These include stopping smoking and limiting alcohol use, consuming a heart-healthy diet, exercising and increasing activity levels, etc.

Blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol should be controlled. Stress management is also essential to prevent coronary artery disease.

Life after Bypass Surgery

Coronary artery disease occurs due to the hardening of arteries supplying blood to the heart muscle. Bypass surgery is performed to restore normal blood flow to the obstructed coronary artery.

Bypass surgery helps the patients by improving the quality of life and decreasing angina and other CAD symptoms. It improves the pumping action of the heart and lowers the risk of a heart attack. Additionally it enables patients to resume a more active lifestyle.

According to Dr. Ramji Mehrotra, who is one of the Best Cardiac Surgeon in India, patients generally exhibit excellent results after bypass surgery. 85% of people have significantly reduced symptoms, with lesser risk of heart attacks in future, and a lesser chance of dying even beyond 10 years.

Recuperating after bypass surgery

Dr. Mehrotra says that patients should definitely follow the doctor’s advice regarding diet, activity and lifestyle changes, to be adopted after surgery and during recovery. They should take medication as per directions and notify the doctor immediately of any concerns like fever, pain, bleeding or problems at the incision site.

It is essential to follow the guidelines below while recovering after the bypass surgery.

Healthy diet – The patient should consume a healthy diet that is low in cholesterol and saturated and trans-fats. This can stop the build-up of plaque on artery walls.

Medications – Doctors prescribe the medications for promoting comfortable healing from the surgery and reducing the risk of future heart attacks. The medications generally prescribed include:

  • medicines to reduce cholesterol,
  • aspirin and antiplatelets to prevent blood clots,
  • ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers to regulate blood pressure, heart rate and cardiac remodelling.

Physical Activity – Physical activity should be gradually resumed by the patient and the advice of the physiotherapist may help gradual increase in exercise tolerance. For the first six weeks after surgery, the patient should not lift anything that is over 5 kg as the sternum (chest bone) will need time to heal. Walking is a good option for gradually increasing the activity level.

Cardiac Rehabilitation – Through Cardiac rehabilitation or rehab the patient can take up exercise under the supervision of a medical professional. It also involves psychological counselling, nutritional counselling, etc.

Diabetes Management – Patients with diabetes need to carefully manage their recovery in coordination with their doctors as diabetes contributes to cardiovascular disease.

Stress Management – Chronic stress is a risk factor leading to heart disease and hence must be managed carefully with a healthy lifestyle.

Improvement in Life – Improvement in quality of life after bypass gives the patient positive reinforcement towards life and patients are more receptive towards life style changes. Many quit smoking, alcohol and sedentary life style and start exercises and healthy dietary habits. 

Conclusion

As a leading arterial bypass Surgeon based in Delhi, Dr. Ramji Mehrotra is of the opinion that long-term recovery from bypass surgery involves managing the risk factors contributing to the cardiovascular disease. Though some risk factors like family history cannot be changed, others like healthy diet, medications, physical activity, and other lifestyle changes must be adopted for faster recovery and maintenance of good health.

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