“Long-term stress can lead to heart disease”, says Dr. Alaaddin Yilmaz, a cardiothoracic surgeon at Jessa Hospital, Hasselt Belgium.
A cardiothoracic surgeon is a physician who operates on the heart as well as other organs in the chest, like the lungs and esophagus. Some of the surgeries or procedures performed by them are: aortic, atrial fibrillation, CABG, heart valve repair/replacement, mitral valve repair, thoracic, thoracic endoscopy, thoracic surgery, and vascular.
A cardiologist is a doctor with special training and skill in diagnosing, treating, and preventing diseases of the heart and blood vessels. And an interventional cardiologist offers a non-surgical option that uses a catheter (a small, flexible tube) to repair damaged or weakened vessels, narrowed arteries, or other affected parts of the heart structure. A cardiovascular surgeon, on the other hand, operates on heart and blood vessels to repair damage caused by diseases or disorders of the cardiovascular system.
Heart-healthy living involves understanding your risk, making choices, and taking steps to reduce your chances of getting heart diseases. Preventive measures can lower your risk of developing heart disease that can cause heart attack and also improve your overall health and well-being.
Exercising daily for at least half an hour, modifying diet patterns, and quitting smoking are the secrets to a healthy heart. Regular physical activity decreases the incidence of diabetes and ischemic heart disease. Prefer a simple diet that includes fruits and vegetables.
Well, stress has a role in worsening our health. Long-term stress leads to high levels of cortisol which results in increasing blood cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar, and blood pressure. Eventually becoming the common risk factors for heart disease. Moreover, this stress can also cause changes that promote the buildup of plaque deposits in the arteries.
Angina is common but with lesser degree pain that people feel while walking or sitting. It occurs due to a compromised supply of blood to the heart and lasts for about 5 to 10 minutes. If this pain is severe and goes on for half an hour then it is a heart attack. It can have other symptoms too like vomiting, nausea etcetera. It occurs when the blood vessel completely stops supplying blood to the heart.
Many heart conditions can be treated successfully using medicines, including atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and high blood pressure. Moreover, an interventional cardiologist does a lot of procedures like angiography, angioplasty using catheters only.
In heart diseases, the prominent interventions in detection are the 3D imaging techniques, ultrasounds, and MRIs. And now we are moving towards 4D imaging techniques. With the help of these techniques, we can check the working and identify defects of the heart, coronary artery, and valves at the initial level.
The heart's job is to send a continuous supply of oxygenated blood around the body. The kidney filters the blood, extracting waste in the form of urine, and also helps regulate the water and salt levels to control blood pressure. When the heart is no longer pumping efficiently it becomes clogged with blood, causing pressure to build up in the main vein connected to the kidneys and leading to congestion of blood in the kidneys too. The kidneys also suffer from the reduced supply of oxygenated blood. As a result, kidneys become impaired and the hormone system, which regulates blood pressure goes into overdrive in an attempt to increase blood supply to the kidneys. The heart then has to pump against the higher pressure in the arteries and eventually suffers from an increase in workload.
When oxygen is inhaled, it travels through the lungs and into the bloodstream. The blood then travels to the heart where it is pumped to the rest of the body. If your blood is not receiving enough oxygen from your lungs, the heart has to work harder to pump enough oxygen throughout the body. Moreover, the heart may need to pump harder to move blood between your lungs and your heart. As a result, the right side of your heart may get enlarged. This condition is called pulmonary arterial hypertension.
If a patient does not get a satisfactory answer from one doctor it is his right to go for a second opinion. Medical science is doing rapid interventions in the field of heart diseases. So it is possible that one doctor may not be aware of new interventions while the other may be able to treat that disease using some new techniques.
Well, for a doctor every case is unique in its capacity. But a recent and challenging case was of a 16-year-old boy who had a tumor in the middle of his heart. No other surgeon was ready to remove it. His parents came to me and I decided to take the risk of performing the surgery. He is now leading a healthy life.