What are Heart Surgery Alternatives?
People may have problems with various issues related to health. Seniors are the highest risk, but youngsters are not totally excluded, and that's a really sad fact. Many types of illnesses are not very harmful. They can make some limited damage, but they cannot jeopardize the lives of the patients.
Modern medicine can seriously reduce the risk of even much more harmful diseases, so the ill individuals can be treated in a various way until the problem is eliminated. That's one of the benefits the fast technology development provides to humanity. However, modern medicine and the pharmaceutical industry can only answer to some particular level, and they, unfortunately, do not have a solution in every case.
Human life is still limited, despite the fact that it lasts far longer than in the distant past when humanity lived without those opportunities. Sometimes, radical solutions are the only solution at all, so ill people are subjected to surgeries of different organs when there is nothing else the doctors can do. But it is important not to hurry with drastic formulas if the patient is not in immediate danger.
The surgeries, of course, differ in various aspects. There are only minor ones, not very risky to human's life. They do not even require anesthesia because they are absent from the pain, so the patients are completely conscious during the operations. That's the best-case scenario when it comes to surgery. Unfortunately, many individuals do not have so much luck, especially those who suffer from hard health conditions.
The human heart, for example, is one of the most important organs that supply the entire organism with blood. It is impossible to live without one, so the proper heart's work is of extreme importance for every human being. Still, this organ can also suffer from different problems, and some of these might be really serious and can jeopardize the life of the person. As mentioned, there are various drugs and remedies that can help you to completely eliminate the problem or to reduce its influence, but the medicine is not flawless, so the surgeries are sometimes the only option to recover the organ.
Open heart surgery is typically the hardest and most dangerous type of all. It bears the highest level of risk, and if problems occur, the result might end-up with the patient's death. That's definitely a good reason to search for some suitable reserve solution. And, fortunately, there are very relevant open heart alternatives even when it comes to the most dangerous heart diseases.
Modern medicine provides different ways to do the same things with a significantly lower risk to the patient's health and life. And that's the point where the focus of all parties should go. In the text below, you will find out more about the subject. It is not, however, a replacement for legal medical advice, it is just a guideline for everyone to know more about possible alternatives.
At first, it is important, however, to understand that the hearth is a complex organ composed of different parts. Each of those might be affected by a local type of disease that typically occurs only in one of the components. It means not the entire heart suffers from the problem, just a part of the organ. That's usually the case when some open heart surgery alternatives might come in.
They are typically performed in modern hospitals with sophisticated medical equipment because that's the only way for the treatment to be successful. Some of those require only minimal interventions, so the risk is reduced to the lowest level, and the surgery is performed in a fast and painless manner. That's the place where the benefits of this treatment lie.
Minimal Invasive Heart Surgery
For example, those modern surgeries may include making little incisions on the body around the hearth instead of opening the entire chest through the breastbone. There is clearly less damage which means the patient will recover much quicker than after the regular open-heart surgery. That's particularly important for seniors because they have wicker bodies, and performing some hard procedure might be even impossible for that group of individuals in some cases.
This treatment is usually called Minimal Invasive Heart Surgery. It is focused on a strategy to reach the heart most efficiently through only minor cuts on the chest. The procedure takes less time and energy. And the patient has an opportunity to return to normal life much faster than after the regular surgery.
Big incisions are also problematic from the aspect of blood loss, and this issue might make surgery dangerous for the patient. Little scars will make a significantly smaller deficit, and the benefits of such an outcome are more than obvious. Those tiny incisions make the patients less vulnerable to a different type of infections. The wound will heal much faster, and it is typically happening in a natural manner. So there is only a minimal risk that something might go in the wrong direction after the surgery.
The patients might be affected by the pain of moderate strength, while in the case of open-heart surgery, it can be really strong and hard to handle. In the end, the scars are smaller and not so easily noticeable. That's also good for various reasons. The patients, for example, can go to beaches without worries that many will notice their big scars.
These are some clear benefits the patients get with this simplified treatment. But it is also important to mention that those types of surgeries are not without risk. They still exist like in the case of the open-heart surgeries, however, there are lower chances that they will occur thanks to the simplified procedure and strategy. So the patients are not unfortunately totally safe. They are just more protected than during regular open heart treatment. Sometimes, the problems happen either way, and they might include overloaded bleeding, infection, stroke, and even death of the patient in the worst-case scenario.
Of course, there are different methods that serve as prevention, and people should know enough details regarding this matter. That especially includes those who already suffer from different hearth issues and might be subjected to such surgeries in the near future. Food and drugs play an important role here, so the patient has to know if something is allowed to consume before the surgery, and the doctor is capable to provide a knowledgeable answer on the matter in accordance with the patient's individual circumstances and health condition.
The hygiene is also an important aspect. The infection is hardly going to occur if the skin is properly washed and cleaned before the surgery. That's particularly true for the area of breasts where the incisions are going to take the place.
You should have all the important parts of clothing and personal items together with you. That typically includes eyeglasses, dentures, toothbrushes, shaving equipment, and so on. Your clothes have to be comfortable, and you should pay attention to weather conditions at the moment of the surgery. It is necessary to have your medicaments, and you can use those in accordance with your doctor's suggestions. You can also take anything you find important to you. There are nice items that serve for relaxation, such as a notebook and music player. They might be used in free time, and they can make your stay in the hospital more comfortable. That's how you can avoid additional stress and related problems that come with it.
As mentioned, this is an advanced type of heart surgery, so some sophisticated types of equipment are often used during the procedure. The surgeons might use a micro camera, for example. It is going through the small incisions on your body, and it enables the medical team to monitor your heart and the entire area during the surgery. The heart is not able to work normally at those moments, and that's perfectly fine. The medical team will instead use a bypass machine that continues to move the patient's blood through the body. Often, there are also robots assistants who may make precise moves and cuts instead of doctors. They can just observe the situation on video monitors.
When the surgery is finished, the patients are usually transferred to the intensive care section where they can stay up to a few days. If there are no complications, the patient will then be moved to a regular hospital section to continue the recovery there. The final results are visible at the end. The patient's heart conditions should be better than before, and the symptoms of the illness should be eliminated or significantly reduced.
Minimal Invasive Heart Surgery is definitely a nice alternative to Open Heart Surgery, thanks to many reasons. But it is important to know there are other options as well, and they are all worth mentioning, of course.
Those are usually nonsurgical methods that might be suitable in particular cases. If the procedure is found appropriate considering the patient's health problem, then it is definitely a much better solution than any type of surgical method. And that's quite clear from the beginning. Those techniques are very new and many of them are still in the phase of the development.
But there are few that already work and some highly advanced medical institutions can provide such treatments to their patients. They are not yet intended for all types of heart surgeries because the technology has not made so significant progress yet, but the methods can help the patients to treat some particular types of heart problems.
Transcatheter aortic valve replacement and implantation
One of those methods is called Transcatheter aortic valve replacement or simply TAVR. It is a modern, efficient, and easy solution in comparison with the open-heart surgery. The entire procedure is typically finished for approximately 45 minutes, while the regular surgery usually lasts from 4 to 6 hours.
The process is maximally simplified for the patient, and they just get local anesthesia that eliminates the possibility of any type of pain. There is no bypass machine or stopping a heart, so the patient is even fully conscious all the time during the treatment. The recovery is also much faster, and it lasts for maximally 24 hours. So the individual can come out from the hospital the next day. That's a truly remarkable result.
The bad thing is that many hospitals are not yet prepared for this type of medical treatment, and that's because of different reasons. The doctors have to be properly educated since the method is new, and the advanced techniques are implemented. The equipment needed for this type of nonsurgical replacement is very expensive and sophisticated.
That means it is often unavailable for purchase, or the prices are too high for many to buy it. So not all the patients have the opportunity to undergo this treatment yet, but it might change in the near future. There are different initiatives for further developments of this and similar methods, so the new progress has to be made in that field.
The Transcatheter aortic valve replacement currently enables those patients who need the change of the old aortic valve. It is performed in a simple manner for those lucky individuals accepted at hospitals that provide the treatment. But that's not the end of the story.
There are also patients with a need for the aortic valve implantation, and luckily for them, they can undergo a very similar nonsurgical method Transcatheter aortic valve implantation. The procedure is quite the same as in the first case. That treatment is much faster than open-heart surgery and involves a significantly lower risk to the patient's health. The recovery is fast and results are typically very good. This method is usually implemented on very weak patients, who would be unable to undergo regular surgery.
Chelation Therapy is one more alternative to open-heart surgery. It is also a nonsurgical method where patients receive appropriate doses of disodium ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) during a series of weekly treatments. Each of these lasts for about 30 minutes, and this method intends to remove harmful ingredients form your heart that typically block the arteries. The method has shown some results, however, the various risks are involved too. That's why this type of treatment is still controversial.
Some of the patients who undergo Chelation Therapy has had nausea, fever, and headache. The rare complications are even more serious. A drop in blood pressure, kidney damage, heart failure, and even death occurred. At first, the method sounds harmless, but it can be equally dangerous like the hardest surgery, so the consultation with a doctor is necessary for everyone who wants to undergo such the procedure. They can explain to the patient what one can get and lose from this method, according to the health condition.
Percutaneous Coronary Intervention
Percutaneous Coronary Intervention or simply PCI is also a nonsurgical method and one of the alternatives to open-heart surgery all heart disease patients should know about. Doctors use a small catheter in a form of a flexible tube to put a stent in heart blood vessels affected by atherosclerosis. This method enables a better blood flow and reduces chest pain known as angina. The patients usually feel better and are able to become more active after the intervention. This method, however, is not a new one, and it has been there for several decades. The risks are typically minimal, but they still exist and can be quite serious in the most extreme cases.
Some groups of people are more vulnerable than others, so the doctors are usually cautious with those individuals. Old persons of 65 years or over are at the highest risk of eventual complications, individuals with diabetes and some other types of serious illnesses also belong to the group of vulnerable people as well as women. They are typically weaker than men without any additional heart problems, so the complications are possible.
It is important to mention that they appear in really rare cases, and this method is definitely safer than open-heart surgery when it comes to this aspect. PCI is an invention of a German surgeon, Andreas Gruentzig, and it was first implemented in Switzerland in 1977.
Left atrial appendage occlusion
Left atrial appendage occlusion is also an alternative to open-heart surgery, and the mission of this method is to prevent a potential stroke of patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation. The treatment is there to reduce and even completely eliminate the risk of left atrial appendage blood clots.
Doctors and surgeons use a few different ways to achieve this. Those might include contrasting devices and equipment. Also, the strategy might vary from case to case, so the implementation of the method is usually based on the health state if the patient. This treatment has improved over time together with the technology advancements. New implants and devices have been introduced to the health market.
That also means different manufacturers provide different equipment to the hospitals with the same purpose. Their intention is safe, fast, and successful Left atrial appendage occlusion. Most of these alternatives are typically performed with minimal risks comparing open-heart surgery, and that's an enormous benefit for the patients.
Prevention as an Alternative - Can the Heart Be Healed?
Those are some of the most common alternatives provided to patients with serious heart problems. It is not hard to conclude that even the biggest issues of that organ can be treated with the right method and therapy. It means there is hope because the heart can be cured, and all can have a normal life after the treatment. However, that should not be an explanation to neglect the health state. On the contrary, the appropriate lifestyle is the best prevention you can get against the largest number of diseases, and that's where the focus of every individual should go.
Physical activity, for example, plays an important role when it comes to the heart's health, so each person has to pay attention to that aspect. 45 minutes to one hour of walking per day can make a serious difference in comparison with the total absence of physical activities.
Many people sit too much, and they do not walk enough. They are using vehicles wherever they go. No matter if the targeted location is a store, office, or any other place. They simply use cars to arrive there. That's not a good thing especially because they typically sit at home and work the entire day. It is well-known that the human heart requires physical activity.
Your body and muscles should work in order to keep your heart healthy. That's a very suitable way to reduce and eliminate the possibility of heart disease development. And that's an indeed great alternative to any of the above surgical and nonsurgical methods. It can protect you from any serious heart issues without any of those.
Eating appropriate food is also of crucial importance to keep your heart state in a healthy condition, and it can prevent many of the potential problems people can have with this important organ. Many people are not aware of the bad effects it can cause in the long run, and a lot of everyday groceries are very harmful.
Red and processed meat, salt, sugar, butter, soda, pizza, and many others are some of these. People eat these frequently and often in big quantities. The outcome, however, can be an ill heart, the thing that everyone should avoid. There are fortunately various groceries that do not affect the health in any negative way, and they can often support it thanks to the healthy components they contain. Anyone who is at risk of a heart problem should eat only that type of food. It can serve as great prevention, so the problem will not develop further.
Stress, for example, is one another causer of various health issues including those related to the heart. Many people suffer from this problem too, so it is important to handle it properly. That's the best way to avoid any complications in the near or distant future. There are various successful techniques to reduce and eliminate the symptoms of this problem, no matter how stressful a day you have had.
Meditation and yoga are some of these. They are totally natural, and you can implement them with ease. Meditations, for example, might require 10 minutes per day, but it provides an enormous benefit when it comes to stress. It can help you to clear your thoughts and focus your mind, so you can be more relaxed. Yoga is also good. It can be a bit complicated than meditations, but there are perfect positions for beginners ideal to start with, and you can combine it with meditations.
All in all, prevention is the best alternative you can provide to yourself. So it is important to keep our health condition in good shape by following a quality lifestyle.