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LVAD Surgery and Risks Associated with It - BM Birla Hospital

LVAD Surgery and Risks Associated with It

LVAD stands for left ventricular assist device. It is a mechanical pump that is implanted in patients with heart failure. Also known as a mechanical circulatory support device, it helps the left ventricle to pump blood to the aorta and then the rest of your body. The device got its name owing to the fact that it is most commonly implanted in the bottom left chamber of the heart. Despite what the name suggests, experts specializing in LVAD surgery in Kolkata suggest that it can be placed in the left, right or both ventricles of your heart.

A left ventricular assist device cannot replace the heart and it only helps to pump blood when the heart is unable to do so on its own. It is usually implanted for a short period of time, depending upon the situation. For instance, patients waiting for a heart transplant surgery may require it till they get a donor, or when the doctors are waiting for the heart to become strong enough to pump blood on its own. Though it can also be used as a long term solution for patients that have had heart failure and are not good candidates for heart transplant surgery.

The procedure involved in LVAD implantation, though offered at all the best heart hospitals in Kolkata, is fairly complex as it requires open-heart surgery. And just like any surgery, it has various risks associated with it. Hence, the procedure is only performed by highly specialized experts. Though the benefits of the surgery usually outnumber the risks, you cannot simply overlook the latter. Here are a few risks associated with LVAD surgery that you need to learn about: 

1. Bleeding

Because it is open-heart surgery, the chances of bleeding during and after surgery are pretty high. And therefore it is advised to inform your doctor about all the medication that you are or have been taking. Patients who are on blood-thinning medication may be required to refrain from using the same till the procedure is done.

2. Infection

The device comes with a power source and a control unit which are located outside the body and are connected with a port in the skin. This increases the chances of germs getting in the port, which can cause an infection. Therefore you should be on the lookout for any signs of infection and inform your doctor about the same. Redness or soreness near the port, fluid draining from the site, or fever are typical signs of infection and should not be ignored. 

3. Blood clots

It’s very common for blood clots to form as the blood moves through LVAD, and as blood clots can slow down or completely block the blood flow through the heart, it is quite likely that they can even cause the device to stop working. This can also elevate the risks of stroke or a heart attack. It is due to this very reason that blood-thinning medications are prescribed after the LVAD implantation surgery. And it is also advised to have regular blood tests to monitor whether the blood-thinning medication is working or not. Medications, like warfarin and aspirin, are administered to help prevent blood clots after LVAD is implanted. One should be very careful while taking these medications as they have several side effects. These should only be taken when prescribed by the doctor.

4. Right heart failure

Right heart failure is one of the most common risks that are associated with LVAD. What happens when one gets an LVAD implant is that more blood is pumped from the left ventricle and the right ventricle is not able to keep up with the increased amount, since it is not used to pumping as much blood. Medication and therapy can be used to improve the pumping ability of the right ventricle. In case, the medication and therapy are not succeeding, an RVAD is implanted to support the right ventricle.

5. Device malfunctions At the end of the day, an LVAD is a machine and like any other machine, it can malfunction after being implanted. There can be a problem with the pumping action of the device, or the power supply can also cause some issues. Anyhow, if the device stops working, one should immediately seek medical help.

CK Birla Hospitals के Dr. Gill ने की महामारी के समय स्वस्थ सेवाओं को और बेहतर करने और मरीज़ो के लिए बेड बढ़ाने के बारे में बात की। देखिए @prema_rajaram की ये रिपोर्ट।

CK Birla Hospitals के Dr. Gill ने की महामारी के समय स्वस्थ सेवाओं को और बेहतर करने और मरीज़ो के लिए बेड बढ़ाने के बारे में बात की। देखिए.

Why Is It Important To Take Care Of Your Heart Nowadays - BM Birla Hospital

Why Is It Important To Take Care Of Your Heart Nowadays?

The heart is one of the most vital organs in our body that is responsible for pumping blood to all the other organs. The normal and healthy functioning of the hard-working,blood-pumping organ is pertinent for our existence however, in the past few decades, there has been a tremendous rise in the incidence of various heart diseases and ailments, making cardiovascular diseases one of the major causes of mortality worldwide. As such it has become extremely important to prioritise our heart health and take necessary measures to protect our heart from various diseases and ailments, especially in today’s time when COVID-19 has engulfed the whole world. As per the experts from the best Cardiac Centre in Kolkata, one of the major problems that people are facing due to the pandemic is physical inactivity. A big chunk of the population is still working from home, the gyms have been closed, and people avoid going to places like parks and roads owing to the fear of contracting the virus. 

The lockdown has somehow promoted a stagnant lifestyle, which is an open doorway to many heart problems. Also, bad heart health puts you at a greater risk of severe Covid-19 related complications. In this blog, we have listed some tips that would help you to keep your heart healthy amidst the pandemic, with the help of experts specialising in cardiac surgery and pacemaker surgery in Kolkata.

  • If you have a family history of heart-related issues then you are already at a higher risk of facing similar problems. Having blood pressure and diabetes-related issues also may put you at a higher risk of having a heart attack or a stroke and that too at a younger age. Therefore, it is imperative to make sure to follow a healthy lifestyle that not only focuses on abstaining from a poor diet, stagnant lifestyle, smoking or drinking regularly but also involves regular check-ups to stay updated on the current health status of your heart.
  • A way to keep your heart fit is by maintaining a healthy body weight as it a well-known fact that being obese and highly overweight not only increases your vulnerability to various heart diseases but also makes you a soft target for other health issues as well. One should also keep track of food consumed and how and when it is consumed along with getting blood glucose checked regularly and seeking doctor’s help if there is any drastic change in the same. 
  • It is important to exercise regularly not only to keep your heart healthy but also to avoid unnecessary weight gain. Taking out twenty-thirty minutes a day can do wonders for your heart health as regular exercise makes your heart muscles stronger and puts them at a lesser risk of sustaining any kind of damage. This damage is what leads to strokes or unexpected heart attacks and if you follow a healthy lifestyle, you will not have to worry about it.
  • It is also important to keep track of one’s blood pressure and make sure that it remains below 140/90mm Hg. Having higher blood pressure puts excessive strain on your arteries and makes it difficult for your heart to pump blood, thereby making it difficult for the heart to carry out its function efficiently, hence putting the person at a higher risk of stroke or heart attack. 
  • There is good cholesterol and there is bad cholesterol. It is important to identify both and take good cholesterol while avoiding the bad one, i.e. LDL, which increases the chances of you having a stroke or a heart attack. Along with diet, cholesterol-lowering drugs prescribed by doctors can help protect your heart from LDL. You will also need to strike off food items that contain LDL from your grocery list. 
Him Or Her - Higher Risks of a Heart Attack

Him Or Her – Who Faces the Higher Risks of a Heart Attack?

Your gender is a very important risk factor that determines your vulnerability to certain diseases and conditions. While we assume these to be gender-neutral, it is quite surprising to note that some diseases are more common in males while others are common in females. Though their hearts may look the same, there are significant dissimilarities that cannot be simply ignored. Experts from the best heart hospital in Kolkata suggest that the heart of a woman is much smaller than that of a man and so are its internal chambers. In fact, even the walls separating these chambers are thinner in the case of females.

It is pertinent to note that the difference is not only in the structure of the heart but also in the way in which the heart functions. The heart of a female pumps blood faster as compared to that of a male, yet it releases 10 per cent less blood. Under stress, there is a rapid increase in the pulse rate and heartbeats of women, whereas in the case of men, their arteries become constricted and blood pressure is raised.

In this blog, we have tried to elaborate on the role of gender in determining a person’s vulnerability to various heart ailments with the help of best cardiologist in kolkata.

  • Women have additional risk factors as compared to men

If we talk about the traditional risk factors like hypertension, elevated blood sugar levels, high cholesterol, excess body weight (obesity) and smoking, these are shared by both genders. Such risk factors also include a family history of any heart ailment, especially if the male members of your family were diagnosed with any such health issue before the age of 55 and the female members were diagnosed with the same before the age of 65. Apart from all these factors, there are certain factors that are specific to females. Conditions like endometriosis, polycystic ovarian disease and preeclampsia. Studies have shown that endometriosis increases the risks of CAD by almost 400 per cent in women aged 40 or below.

  • Women experience their first heart attack at an older age

The average age of heart attack in women is 70, whereas the same is 66 in the case of men. This is due to the presence of the hormone oestrogen, which has been found to protect the heart of women until they hit menopause. After this, the oestrogen levels slowly start to drop.

  • Women are likely to experience certain different symptoms of heart attack

Men usually experience crushing chest pain during a heart attack, whereas women start to experience certain red flags long before the actual attack. These include

  • Excessive fatigue – This is marked by general body weakness and inability to indulge in normal, day to day physical activities, often accompanied by heaviness in the chest and inability to sleep peacefully at night.
  • Breathlessness and sweating – Experiencing these two while you are indulged in some physical activity are normal, however, if you are experiencing the symptoms without any exertion, or while lying down, you should not take them lightly.
  • Pain in uncommon places – While men are more likely to experience pain primarily in the left arm, women can experience it in either of the two arms, along with the neck, back and jaw.

If you are experiencing any such symptom, you can consult the experts from BM Birla hospital for further evaluation and proper treatment.

  • The impact of a heart attack is worse in the case of women

Heart attack is not as hard on males, as on females. Women take more time to recover and are usually required to stay in the hospital for a longer period of time. This is owing to the fact that women often tend to overlook their health and well-being because of which they are likely to have a lot more untreated symptoms as compared to men.

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