Heart Disease Conditions and Treatments
Heart Attack Treatment
When a heart attack occurs, a coronary artery closes suddenly and completely, and stops blood flow to the heart muscle. The consequence of this is that heart muscle starts to die. The needed therapy is to open that artery as quickly as possible. The most effective and prompt way to do this is through a procedure called a balloon angioplasty.
A cardiac catheterization is performed, which is simply an angiogram of the arteries of the heart to identify the closed arteries causing the attack. A balloon angioplasty catheter is delivered to that site and the balloon is inflated to reopen the artery and re-establish blood flow. In certain types of heart attack that are evident on the EKG, this procedure can be done very quickly here at UM BWMC. In fact, we have a team of cardiologist, nurses and technologists who are available at all times to perform this procedure as safely and as quickly as possible.
Latest Advances in Heart Disease Treatment
Advances in treatment of heart disease have been fairly wide in spectrum. There have been great advances in medications that allow patients to become more functional and to have fewer symptoms. On the technological side, there have been advances as well. We offer many of these at UM BWMC.
For patients with severely weakened hearts that might be at risk for a potentially fatal heart rhythm or sudden cardiac death, there is an implantable electronic device called a defibrillator which can monitor a patient's heart rhythm. If a patient were to go into a potentially fatal heart rhythm. pre-programmed electrical therapy can be delivered to the heart to perhaps have that patient from dying.
In the same patient who may be at risk for congestive heart failure that can't be controlled with medications, there is another electronic device called a bi-ventricular pacemaker that may allow that patient to become more functional as well. In the advances of coronary diseases, there have been tremendous strides recently in stenting technology, specifically in relation to drug-eluding stents. These new coatings on the stents can minimize the chance of scar tissue building up that would cause an area to narrow that was previously treated by a stent.