Our heart is a powerful pump that transports blood through the body. While it is normal, its work is invisible. But when it starts failing, a person’s life is under threat.
A serious cardiovascular disease affecting every second man and every third woman in the world. Its manifestations include myocardial infarction, angina pectoris and arrhythmia. The cause is the narrowing of the coronary arteries and the appearance of plaques due to atherosclerosis. Heart attacks and strokes are usually acute diseases and occur mainly as a result of vascular obstruction, which prevents the flow of blood to the heart or brain. Smoking, overweight, sedentary lifestyle, diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and lipoprotein levels caused by malnutrition, as well as menopausal status are the most common reversible risk factors. The irreversible risk factors include genetic predisposition, sex and age. Many of these factors can contribute to the development of atherosclerosis, leading ultimately to heart disease. However, modern diagnostic methods allow us to identify it in the early stages and timely appoint adequate treatment.
Heart diseases annually take a huge number of lives. High-tech modern techniques such as stenting of the arteries and the installation of a pacemaker are used in order to treat heart and arterial diseases. Ones of the most effective methods of treating myocardial infarction and coronary artery lesions are the stenting of the heart vessels and cardiostimulators.
Stenting is a low-traumatic operation, consisting in insertion of a balloon into a sick vessel made of a special material. The balloon inflates under high pressure and destroys the plaque. As a result, the vessel expands and blood circulation is restored. In addition to the balloon, a special stent is inserted into the vessel. It has a mesh structure and covers the cylinder. Under pressure, the balloon increases in size and expands the stent. After this, the balloon is removed, and the stent is fixed in the vessel.
This method, unlike vascular shunting, does not require a cut of the thorax. The catheter is inserted through a puncture, which is done in a large artery on the arm or leg of the patient. Thus, all materials are delivered to the damaged portion of the vessel. Observation of the progress of the operation is carried out through the modern radiology equipment, which allows a specialist to put the balloon and stent accurately.
It is prescribed to patients with atherosclerotic plaques in coronary vessels. These plaques narrow the arteries, as a result of which the flow of blood to the heart muscle is reduced. An insufficient amount of nutrients and oxygen into the heart leads to attacks of angina pectoris. In severe cases, it leads to necrosis of the muscle and, as a consequence, myocardial infarction.
The normal mode of heart function is disrupted because of such diseases as severe heart failure, cardiosclerosis and bradycardia. They include a rare pulse, long pauses between contractions, weakness of the sinus node and other symptoms that threaten human life. In these cases, a cardiostimulator is installed, which provides the heart of the patient with the right rhythm.
It is a small electronic device sending electrical impulses to the heart, and receiving them from it. Thus, it leads to synchronization of the device and heart. The device is installed through the incision under the patient’s collarbone. Electrodes through the subclavian vein are brought to different parts; their other ends are connected to the device. Then, it is implanted into the large pectoral muscle. In operation, the device sends pulses to the cardiac muscle, thus stimulating its contractions. As soon as the heartbeat is adjusted, the device automatically turns off. If its rate fails, it turns on again. The whole installation of the device is carried out under the supervision of doctors through the latest radiological equipment. The installed cardiostimulator eliminates the danger of too slow heart work and allows the patient to live many more years. However, the patient can return to the ordinary way of life with some limitations. It is necessary for the patient to avoid exposure to high-level electromagnetic radiation, not to overextend the heart heavily etc.