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Advanced Procedures Can Help Avoid Heart Surgeries- Know How

Therapies like rotational atherectomy can enable patients to lead an improved quality of life.

Advanced Procedures Can Help Avoid Heart Surgeries- Know How

Rotational atherectomy can help in clearing the field for a successful stent delivery

When 70-year-old Rohini complained of chest pain and breathlessness, she was immediately admitted to a hospital. She was diagnosed with three blocked blood vessels in the heart. While surgery would have been the most immediate medical response to her condition, the cardiologist at the hospital decided to study her case for the risks involved. Upon observation, the doctor concluded that she was at high risk for open-heart surgery, due to some other comorbidities. Until a few years ago, this would have meant a threat to her life. But now the times have changed. In the recent years, innovation has made techniques like Rotational Atherectomy available to fight complex cases for patients like Rohini. Today medical innovations being at the 'heart of the heartcare' promise innovative solutions that has transform lives around the globe, by giving millions of patients a chance to lead better lives.

Coronary Heart Disease: Why Innovative Solutions?


Many patients suffering from artery disease have coronary blocks which are heavily calcified known as coronary artery disease. People with coronary artery disease experience symptoms like pain in the chest, arms, back, jaw, neck and shoulder, weakness or dizziness which are often mistaken for heartburn or indigestion, nausea, fatigue, faster heartbeat, and shortness of breath. Coronary artery disease damage the inner layer of the coronary artery which may be caused by factors including smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and sedentary lifestyle. Once the inner wall of the artery is injured, fatty deposits or plaque made of cholesterol, calcium and other cellular waste products collect at the injury site. If the collected plaque breaks, blood cells called platelets assemble to repair the artery. This clump of platelets can block the artery leading to a heart attack.

Coronary artery disease has emerged as an alarming cardiovascular disease that is affecting more than 60 million people in India. Credit it to scientists and healthcare professionals, today, therapies like rotational atherectomy enabling patients to lead an improved quality of life. To clear the arteries, rotational atherectomy drill the calcium with the help of a diamond-tip burr. The technique works well for patients with weak health conditions, weak bones, or those suffering from any other co-morbidity. The procedure is designed to 'cut through the calcium'. There are examples where patients with large calcium deposits in the arteries were referred bypass surgeries, as they are found unfit for stenting procedures. Once the calcium is removed, patients can sometimes avoid the surgery depending on the cardiologist's observation. Furthermore, even if a placement of the stent is required, rotational atherectomy helps in clearing the field for a successful stent delivery, as a calcified lesion can cause stent fracture.

While technology plays its part, there is no substitute for living a lifestyle that helps you avoid heart problems. This is more important now than ever before. The pandemic is putting many heart patients at risk. It is important to understand that we must not ignore symptoms like shortness of breath, palpitations, difficulty in walking beyond a few minutes, or recurring chest pain. These days, many people dismiss these symptoms as something that could be related to the virus, but if you have a medical history of heart problems or a family history of cardiac diseases, it is important to speak to a cardiologist.

(Dr Prashant Kharche, Interventional Cardiologist at Bethany Hospital and Kaushalya Cardiac Center, Thane)


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