Highlights: Learn more about what can benefit your health more and keep you living happier

Why Do They Put Stents In The Heart?


Why Do They Put Stents In The Heart?

Stents have been used in cardiac care decades. Angioplasty came into general use in the 1970s as a treatment for narrowing arteries. This procedure inserts the time balloon into a blood vessel and inflates it to expand the vein or artery again. To keep it from collapsing after the procedure is done, a stent is inserted. Since heart disease is the most prevalent condition that affects longevity in the modern world, this technology has given countless people a new lease on life.

Why Are Cardiac Stents Used in the Heart?

Many people have heard of what is colloquially called hardening of the arteries. This is medically termed atherosclerosis. No matter what you call it, it means that the arteries in and around your heart are losing their pliancy and expandability due to a buildup of unhealthy plaque on their inner walls. This is all a part of heart disease that millions of people suffer from in this country alone.

Besides medication, there are two main ways to deal with this disease. The first is through surgery, such as heart bypass operations, and the second is angioplasty and the insertion of stents. These tiny tubes act like scaffolding to open and maintain the opening inside of arteries and the heart. The procedure is quite common and is performed through small incisions. This greatly reduces the chance of any complications and still provides the patient with much-improved health and the opportunity to experience greater longevity than he could without getting treatment.

Coronary or Cardiac Stents Explained – Types and Uses

In the beginning of stent usage, they consisted of nothing more than a tiny metal mesh tube. These types are still in use today. However, they can have some negative characteristics. As the body heals itself from what it considers an invading foreign object, the stent itself can be the cause of scar tissue build-up. After removing a blockage or expanding the channel in a blood vessel, the last thing the patient wants is a scar thickening the walls or filling in space again.

Modern medical technology has come up with a solution. These cardiac or coronary stents are also frequently made of metal but now emit a drug over time. They are called drug-eluting stents. The purpose of the drug is to prevent the formation of scar tissue. This can increase the success rate for cardiac patients who want open blood vessels for as long as possible.

In the quest for improvements in medicine, scientists have now come up with a non-metal stent that can be used in the heart and surrounding blood vessels. Instead of surgical steel or other metal, these are made from a polymer that dissolves safely over time. These also contain the chemical that limits scar formation.

New ideas and innovations stent technology are being researched all the time. Besides stents that disappear after a period of time, others with a dissolving coding but a metal base are being tested. Science is constantly marching forward to find the best solutions for the millions of people that suffer from coronary heart disease.


Can your Heart Stop?


Can your Heart Stop?

Can your heart stop beating for a moment and then start again? Well, don’t get shocked, but the answer is ‘yes’.

This condition is more common in a healthy individual. When we sleep, our heart also slows down and its beats get reduced from an average of 60-70 per minute to as low as 30 per minute. It is also possible that the heart might not beat for some few seconds (3-4 seconds); this happens when the heart rate is really low. However, if it continues for as long as 6 seconds, then it is not good.

This indicates that the individual is suffering from a type of disorder whereby his/her heart beats irregularly. This is common in the case of arrhythmias like atrial fibrillation, which is very common. There have been such cases where people have been declared dead and later they have woken up in the morgue. However, these are very rare cases.

A rarest of rare case happened in the year 2012. During a Premier League Match, Fabrice Muamba, a footballer playing for Bolton Wanderers, suffered a cardiac arrest. His heart had stopped beating for as long as 78 minutes, but later he revived and recovered fully. This was possible because of the outstanding medical care he received immediately after his collapse. Unfortunately, everyone is not that lucky! Refer to the article for more details: http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2012/mar/25/muamba-collapse-minute-by-minute.

In cases where you feel that you are experiencing skipping of heart beats frequently, then you should definitely consult a doctor.

Many people experience a feeling that their hearts have stopped beating for a second and these are known as premature beats. It is mostly seen among healthy people and it is made worse with too much consumption of caffeine such as soda or coffee or energy drinks. Then the best thing to do is to cut down on caffeine consumption.

Apart from these, other serious conditions mainly involve irregularities in the electric rhythm of the heart that can indicate similar symptoms. A proper examination of the heart can only reveal if it is a matter of concern. Alternatively, an electrocardiogram (where the heart is electrically traced) can also be performed to find out the root cause.

While visiting a doctor to discuss such a symptom, one must also mention about his/her family history about heart problems. Apart from this, other alarming symptoms such as palpitations, dizziness, fainting, and chest pain should also be mentioned to the doctor.

Again skipping of the heartbeat can also result from very fast heartbeats called tachycardia. In this, the heart beats so fast that one feels as if it is skipping a few beats. This mainly happens when one is over excited, anxious or from caffeine beverages.

Another kind of skipped beat is called PVC or Premature Ventricular Complex. It arises from the ventricles (lower chambers of the heart) and can be found in healthy people. Nevertheless, it occurs frequently in people suffering from abnormal conditions of the heart.

PVCs are themselves not life threatening. However, they may hint at other types of illnesses like heart failure, Valvular conditions, high BP, damaged muscles of the heart etc.