Congenital heart defects

Heart Disease

Treatment of congenital heart defects

In tetralogy of Fallot, surgery may be needed to increase blood flow to the lungs with a shunt, linking the aorta and the pulmonary artery. The child is able to develop and the defect can be corrected later.

An arterial switch operation may be necessary to reconnect the arteries correctly. With holes in the heart, oygenated, red blood from the lungs passes into the right side of the heart, where it mixes with bluish blood and is sent back to the lungs. The heart is put under extra strain, potentially causing it to enlarge and causing high blood pressure and blood vessel damage. Growth and nourishment are affected.

Holes in the heart are closed with one or two patches and the single valve is divided into two. Blood circulation should be returned to normal but the reconstructed valve may not work normally.

If the defect is too complex to repair in infancy, a pulmonary artery band may be surgically used to reduce blood flow and high pressure in the lungs (pulmonary hypertension). The band is later removed and surgery carried out.

Balloon valvuloplasty, which involves threading a balloon through a dilated heart valve, is usually used to correct pulmonary valvular stenosis, although open-heart surgery may be necessary.

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Aortic stenosis

Heart Disease

Causes of aortic stenosis

In young people from developed countries, the most likely cause of aortic stenosis is a congenital heart abnormality.

In older people, it’s commonly caused by a build-up of calcium deposits on the valve.

In the past, rheumatic fever was a common cause of aortic stenosis.

Aortic stenosis

Heart Disease

What is aortic stenosis?

Normally, blood passes from the left lower chamber of the heart, called the left ventricle, through the aortic valve into the main artery of the body, the aorta.

If the aortic valve becomes narrowed, or stenosed, the blood flow through it is reduced and the heart has to work harder to pump blood to the body.

Aortic stenosis is more common in men. It can be present at birth but is more likely to occur in older people.

Angina

Heart Disease

What is it angina?

Angina pain develops when the muscles of the heart are not getting enough oxygen. This is usually caused by narrowing or blockages of the coronary arteries that deliver oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle, known as coronary artery disease. Angina is a sign of heart disease.

If the blockage of a coronary artery progresses and becomes complete, the blood supply to part of the muscles of the heart is lost, causing a heart attack. Angina is a warning sign that the heart is at risk of an attack and should be taken very seriously. One patient in 10 will go on to have a heart attack within a year of diagnosis of angina.

Angina may be an occasional problem or may rapidly increase in severity and duration until a heart attack occurs.

Artificial cardiac pacemaker

Heart Disease
A pacemaker, scale in centimeters

A pacemaker, scale in centimeters

“Cardiac resynchronization therapy” and “CRT (Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy)” redirect here. For the device termed a CRT-D, see Implanted cardiac resynchronization device. For other uses, see Pacemaker (disambiguation).
A pacemaker, scale in centimeters
An artificial pacemaker with electrode for transvenous insertion. The body of the device is about 4 centimeters long, the electrode measures between 50 and 60 centimeters (20 to 24 inches).
A pacemaker (or artificial pacemaker, so as not to be confused with the heart’s natural pacemaker) is a medical device that uses electrical impulses, delivered by electrodes contacting the heart muscles, to regulate the beating of the heart. The primary purpose of a pacemaker is to maintain an adequate heart rate, either because of the heart’s native pacemaker is not fast enough, or there is a block in the heart’s electrical conduction system. Modern pacemakers are externally programmable and allow the cardiologist to select the optimum pacing modes for individual patients. Some combine a pacemaker and defibrillator in a single implantable device. Others have multiple electrodes stimulating differing positions within the heart to improve synchronisation of the lower chambers of the heart.

An artificial pacemaker with electrode for transvenous insertion. The body of the device is about 4 centimeters long, the electrode measures between 50 and 60 centimeters (20 to 24 inches).

An artificial pacemaker with electrode for transvenous insertion. The body of the device is about 4 centimeters long, the electrode measures between 50 and 60 centimeters (20 to 24 inches).

Heart Failure: Should I Get a Pacemaker (Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy)?

Heart Disease

Decision Point

You may want to have a say in this decision, or you may simply want to follow your doctor’s recommendation. Either way, this information will help you understand what your choices are so that you can talk to your doctor about them.

Heart Failure: Should I Get a Pacemaker (Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy)?

Get the facts

Your options

  • Get a pacemaker for heart failure.
  • Don’t get a pacemaker for heart failure.

A pacemaker for heart failure is used for cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT). This type of pacemaker is different from pacemakers used to treat other heart rhythm problems, such as atrial fibrillation and bradycardia. This topic is only about pacemakers for heart failure. You might hear it only called cardiac resynchronization therapy, or CRT.

Key points to remember

  • A pacemaker for heart failure, also called cardiac resynchronization therapy or CRT, can help you feel better so you can do your daily activities. It also may help keep you out of the hospital and help you live longer.
  • If you get a pacemaker, you still need to take medicines for heart failure. You’ll also need to follow a healthy lifestyle to help treat heart failure. This may include watching how much fluid you drink, eating healthy foods that are low in salt, and not smoking.
  • Heart experts have guidelines about who might need a pacemaker. Talk to your doctor about the reasons that you might need one. For example, a pacemaker may be a good choice if you have moderate or severe heart failure and your heart’s ventricles don’t pump at the same time.
  • A pacemaker sends electrical pulses to your heart to help it work better. You can’t feel the pulses.
  • There can be problems from having a pacemaker placed in your chest. The wires (called leads) that connect the pacemaker to your heart can move from the spot where they were placed. You could get an infection where the pacemaker was placed. Or the pacemaker or leads might not work.

Women’s Health Pictures Slideshow: 18 Embarrassing Beauty Questions and Answers

Medical- Medicine

Why Do My Feet Stink?

Even if you shower regularly, foot odor can be stubborn. The soles of the feet are a favorite hangout for odor-causing bacteria. When sweat mixes with the bacteria, you get that familiar foot stench. Keep the feet dry and avoid shoes that make your feet sweat. Wash socks after every use. If your shoes have a lingering smell, try a deodorizer.

Bounce Back from a Cold or Flu Fast

Heart Disease

11 best ways to soothe symptoms and speed up recovery

Keep your distance from new germs

Once you’re on the mend, reduce your chances of catching another bug by avoiding contact with anyone who has a cold or the flu. Not possible? The next best thing is to wash your hands constantly and thoroughly, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if you’re not close to a sink.

Bounce Back from a Cold or Flu Fast

Heart Disease

11 best ways to soothe symptoms and speed up recovery

Pick the right natural remedy

If you feel symptoms coming on, zinc or Cold-fX (a supplement that contains ginseng) could help shorten symptoms, research shows. Your body needs the mineral zinc to produce germ-fighting white blood cells, but don’t overdo it. More than 50 mg a day can actually backfire and suppress your immune system.

Ginseng bolsters levels of white blood cells and crucial immune system proteins called interleukins. Other remedies, like echinacea, Airborne, and—as previously mentioned—vitamin C, are not as effective as these, research shows.

9 Superfoods for Your Heart

Heart Disease

The single most important step you can take for heart health starts with what you put on your plate

Almonds

Rx Effect: Reduce LDL and fatal arrhythmias

The Evidence: “You don’t have to be miserable to bring your cholesterol down,” says David Jenkins, MD, PhD, professor of medicine and nutritional sciences at the University of Toronto. The plant sterols in almonds reduce the absorption of cholesterol from the diet, while the unsaturated oils encourage the liver to make less LDL and more “good” HDL. When Dr. Jenkins gave patients a vegetarian diet including almonds (along with other cholesterol-lowering foods, such as lentils, eggplant, and soy) for a month, he found LDL reductions of 28.6%—comparable to those on 20 mg of lovastatin (Mevacor). Just 22 almonds a day will do. Another study found major declines in fatal arrhythmias with 2 servings of nuts a week.

Try: Don’t limit yourself to almonds. Walnuts, pistachios, and peanuts are also great.

9 Superfoods for Your Heart

Heart Disease

The single most important step you can take for heart health starts with what you put on your plate

Sardines

Rx Effect: Lower triglycerides, raise HDL

The Evidence: The omega-3 fatty acids in cold-water fish are crucial for heart health, and sardines have among the highest levels. These “good fats” lower harmful triglycerides, raise protective HDL, reduce potentially fatal heart arrhythmias, and tamp down inflammation. It’s inflammation that ultimately destabilizes plaque, causing it to rupture and produce a heart-attack-inducing clot. Though you can get omega-3s from plant sources such as flaxseed, the “long chain” omega-3s in fish are far more powerful. A large Danish study last year in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found a 38% reduction in ischemic heart disease among women who consumed the most.

Try: Wild Planet sells wild sardines in extra virgin olive oil with lemon.

Boils Pictures Slideshow: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Medical- Medicine

What Can Be Done to Prevent Boils (Abscesses)?

Good hygiene and the regular use of antibacterial soaps can help to prevent bacteria from building up on the skin. This can reduce the chance for hair follicles to become infected and prevent the formation of boils. Your health-care practitioner may recommend special cleansers such as pHisoderm to further reduce the bacteria on the skin. When hair follicles on the back of the arms or around the thighs are continually inflamed, regular use of an abrasive brush (loofah brush) in the shower can be used to break up oil plugs and other buildup around hair follicles.

Boils Pictures Slideshow: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Medical- Medicine

When Should I Seek Medical Attention?

You should call your doctor and seek medical attention if:

  • the boil is located on your face, near your spine, or near your anus;
  • a boil is getting larger;
  • the pain is severe;
  • you have a fever;
  • the skin around the boil turns red or red streaks appear;
  • you have a heart murmur, diabetes, any problem with your immune system, or use immune-suppressing drugs (for example, corticosteroids or chemotherapy) and you develop a boil;
  • the boil has not improved after five to seven days of home treatment;
  • you get many boils over several months.

Boils Pictures Slideshow: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Medical- Medicine

What Is a Boil?

A boil is a skin infection that starts in a hair follicle or oil gland. Also referred to as a skin abscess, it is a localized infection deep in the skin. A boil generally starts as a reddened, tender area. Over time, the area becomes firm and hard. Eventually, the center of the abscess softens and becomes filled with infection-fighting white blood cells that the body sends via the bloodstream to eradicate the infection. This collection of white blood cells, bacteria, and proteins is known as pus. Finally, the pus “forms a head,” which can be surgically opened or spontaneously drain out through the surface of the skin.