Heart is one of the most important organs of human body. However, this beautiful organ too suffers from diseases. Cardiology is the branch of medicine dealing with disorders of the heart and circulatory system. Any disease of heart or the blood vessels comes under the umbrella of cardiology. Cardiology includes medical diagnosis and treatment of congenital heart defects, coronary artery diseases, heart failure and valvular heart disease. Cardiac diseases are mostly caused due to sedentary lifestyle, intake of high sugar and high cholesterol diet, lack of physical activities and genetic susceptibilities. There are various surgical procedures to treat these heart diseases.
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CABG (Coronay Artery Bypass Graft) : CABG is done to improve blood flow to the heart. Surgeons use CABG to treat people who have severe coronary heart disease (CHD), in which plaque builds up inside the coronary arteries. Over time, plaque can harden or rupture narrowing the coronary arteries and reduces the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart which may result in death of heart muscles. This can cause chest pain or discomfort called angina and is the most common cause of a heart attack. During CABG, a healthy artery or vein from the body is connected, or grafted, to the blocked coronary artery. The grafted artery or vein bypasses the blocked portion of the coronary artery. This creates a new path for oxygen-rich blood to flow to the heart muscle. Surgeons can bypass multiple coronary arteries during one surgery.
Valve replacement: Valve replacement surgery is the replacement of one or more of the heart valves with either an artificial heart valve or a bio-prosthesis (homograft from human tissue or xenograft e.g. from pig). It is done in patients having dysfunctional heart valves. It is mostly seen in aged patients. It is an alternative to valve repair. There are four procedures of valve replacement-
I.Aortic valve replacement
II.Mitral valve replacement
III.Tricuspid valve replacement
IV.Pulmonary valve replacement
Angioplasty: Angioplasty is a minimally invasive, endovascular procedure to widen narrowed or obstructed arteries or veins, typically to treat arterial atherosclerosis. A deflated balloon attached to a catheter (a balloon catheter) is passed over a guide-wire into the narrowed vessel and then inflated to a fixed size. The balloon forces expansion of the blood vessel and the surrounding muscular wall, allowing an improved blood flow. A stent may be inserted at the time of ballooning to ensure the vessel remains open, and the balloon is then deflated and withdrawn.
Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) and Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) Repair: This is a congenital defect of heart. A hole in the wall between the two upper collecting chambers (ASD) or between the two bottom pumping chambers (VSD) cause problems. The surgical treatment for ASDs and VSDs is open-heart surgery. The heart is stopped and opened, and the hole is closed with a patch made of a synthetic material like Dacron or a patch of pericardium (the thick sac that surrounds the heart). Complications are minimal and the length of stay in the hospital is about three days.
Heart Transplant: It is a highly complex procedure. Heart transplant is done to prolong the life of patients having irreparable life threatening damage in their heart. Heart from a cadaver donor is taken and transplanted into the patient. The patient is kept on immunosuppressive drugs pre and post-transplant surgery to prevent the body immune system from rejecting the transplanted heart. A patient who has received a heart transplant is advised to stay away from strenuous physical activities, stress and follow a healthy diet.