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TAVI Surgery Benefits, Risks and Complications

TAVI Surgery Benefits, Risks and Complications

Aortic Valve stenosis is a progressive disease of the heart wherein the opening of the aortic valve begins to narrow, thereby making the heart work harder to pump blood through the small opening. People having aortic valve stenosis may develop symptoms like chest pain, an abnormal heart rhythm, fainting, and in extreme cases may experience cardiac arrest or heart failure.

For many years, the diseased aortic valve was being treated by open heart surgery to allow the normal flow of oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the rest of the body. But this invasive approach was associated with risks and complications.

Later, TAVI (Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation) came up as a breakthrough in interventional cardiology. TAVI surgery in Kolkata is a minimally-invasive procedure that has become popular among patients with severe aortic stenosis particularly those who are at high risk from the conventional surgical procedure.  

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation has opened up new possibilities for the patient with aortic valve stenosis.

 People can consider the following benefits if they wish to undergo TAVI surgery:

TAVI surgery is less invasive as compared to traditional surgery.

In traditional open-heart surgery, a long cut (about a 10-inch incision) is made through the chest to expose the heart. This can result in a lot of blood loss and trauma to the underlying muscles and tissues in the chest. Moreover, the patient would be required to be put on a heart-lung bypass machine to temporarily stop the heart beating and allow the flow of blood through the machine until the diseased valve is replaced.

In contrast, Transcatheter Valve Implantation involves making a small incision in the ribs or close to the groin area. Through the opening, a catheter (a long flexible tube fitted with an inflatable balloon) is inserted to guide the surgeon through the aorta to the aorta arch and finally into the narrow aortic valve. Another catheter with a replacement valve is threaded into the same path through the access point. When the balloon is inflated, the stenotic aortic valve is widened which allows the replacement valve to be placed in its destined position. The stenotic aortic valve is not removed instead the new naturally made valve (using tissues from the heart of cow or pig) is nudged to the same place to carry out its function. Thus there is no blood loss or injury caused to the skin or of the muscles of the chest. The procedure can take place without the need for a heart-lung bypass machine.

It involves making a smaller incision

As the Heart surgeon in Kolkata makes only a small incision, instead of the cut opening the chest, there are fewer chances of getting infected. The patients feel less pain and discomfort and have comfortable breathing. Also, they will have a minimal scar.

It has lower risks and complications

As the patients are not placed on a cardiopulmonary bypass machine during the TAVI procedure, their heart does not stop beating, this eliminates the chances of them having any complications. They do not carry possible risks like bruising at the incision site, blood clotting, injury to the access artery, infection, bleeding, kidney failure, and heart attack.

Less time for a hospital stay

Usually, the patients who have undergone TAVI surgery can go back home within 48 hours or 3-5 days after the surgery depending upon their healing. People who are planning to go to work or return to their normal life can do so sooner with this procedure.

There is less recovery time

The operated site can heal faster because of a small incision and less trauma caused to the structures of the chest. Patients often find this procedure less painful which means they require less use of pain relievers. This enables them to quickly return to their normal routine lifestyle but with some modifications.

Patients feel more energetic

As the aortic valve of the heart is widened and is working properly, the normal amount of oxygen-rich blood can flow to the entire body. This makes the patients feel much better and have more energy to do daily activities.

Patients feel less anxious

The fear and anxiety before and after a TAVI surgery are low as compared to open-heart surgery.

To avail the benefits TAVI surgery, schedule an appointment with the expert heart doctors at the best heart hospital in Kolkata of BM Birla Heart Research Centre.

Left Ventricular Assisted Device (LVAD)- To Tackle End-Stage Heart Failure

Left Ventricular Assisted Device (LVAD)- To Tackle End-Stage Heart Failure

Our body requires blood and oxygen to carry out a variety of functions. Heart failure can result in a weakening of the heart muscles that cause insufficient pumping of the oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. As a result, the person with a failing heart would experience symptoms like excessive fatigue, shortness of breath, a rapidly beating heart, and swollen legs. This can result in decreased quality of the health, life and lead to poor performance at work.

One of the ways to restore the healthy heart rhythm and allow better life quality is Left Ventricular Assisted Device (LVAD) surgery in Kolkata that can take over the pumping function of the heart.    

What is an LVAD?

The left ventricle located in the bottom left chamber of the heart is responsible for pumping oxygen-rich blood to different parts of the body. An LVAD (Left Ventricular Assisted Device) is a battery-operated, mechanical circulatory support that can help the weakened left ventricle pump oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body via the aorta. It can be implanted as a short-term solution for heart pumping while the person is waiting for a heart transplant (called bridge-to-transplant) or be used temporarily while the heart heals after surgery. This mechanical pump can also be used as a long-term fix for a failing heart when the transplant is not a suitable option (known as destination therapy).

How does LVAD work?

Different types of LVAD are performed and chosen based on the patient’s needs and medical condition by the best heart doctor in Kolkata:

Although all these types may vary in their parts, an LVAD is made up of four parts:

  • A pump: It is placed in the chest by the surgeon during open-heart surgery at the apex of the heart to receive blood and deliver it to the aorta (the largest artery that passed blood to the rest of the body from the heart).  
  • A driveline (cable): It includes many electric wires that pass from the LVAD device through the skin on the abdomen to the system controller. It transmits electric signals to an LVAD device to keep it working.
  • A control system (controller): It is placed outside on the body and sends messages or alarms to help operate the system and allow it to run the pump efficiently.
  • A power supply: It includes rechargeable batteries or a cord that can be plugged into an electrical socket to provide power for the running of LVAD. 

LVAD surgery:

Traditional open-heart surgery is performed under general anaesthesia to implant an LVAD. During the procedure, the cardiac surgeon makes a long deep cut in the middle of the chest to open the sternum (chest bone) and gain access to the heart to place LVAD. In some cases, the incision may be made on the left side of the chest (a process called Thoracotomy).

To place LVAD, the patient may be put on a heart-lung bypass machine to allow the supply of oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. A ventilator may be used to assist the patient to breathe during surgery. Soon after the LVAD is positioned in its right place, the incision is closed with sutures.

The recovery from the surgery and the time for hospital stay vary for every patient. Generally, 14-21 days of hospital stay after LVAD surgery is advised. Multiple follow-up visits may be needed to ensure the proper working of LVAD and the improvement in the patient’s overall health.

What are the benefits of LVAD?

After implanting an LVAD in patients with end-stage heart failure, the blood flow to the entire body is significantly improved. As a result, the functioning of other vital organs like lungs, kidneys, liver, brain, and others are improved which in turn allows patients to regain their strength. This makes the patients capable to participate in different physical activities including cardiac rehabilitation that were not possible before having an LVAD implant.

It has been proven and reported that patients with heart failure who are treated with LVAD surgery have greater life expectancy than those who have undergone only medical therapies.

With LVAD surgery, the patients no longer experience symptoms of heart failure like fatigue, shortness of breath, and excess fluids accumulation. Hence, they can avoid hospitalization for heart failure and return to routine activities with better performance.

To know more about Left Ventricular Assisted Device surgery, schedule an appointment now with the expert heart doctors at BM Birla Heart Research Centre, best cardiac centre in Kolkata.

Tips To Prevent Atrial Fibrillation - BM Birla Hospital

Tips To Prevent Atrial Fibrillation

The main function of the heart is to pump the blood which is possible with the proper contraction of the chambers of the heart. Normally, the resting heart rate of an adult lies in between 60-100 beats per minute.

Atrial fibrillation (also referred to as A-fib) is a commonly occurring abnormality in the heart rhythm. It is the condition wherein the heartbeats are rapid and irregular (i.e. fibrillating) because the upper left and right atrium of the heart experience chaotic electrical signals. It results in fast contraction of the upper two heart chambers because of the heartbeat often being above 300 beats per minute. This also makes the bottom two heart chambers beat irregularly and rapidly (i.e. falling in the range of 100 to 175 beats per minute).

Factors like, old age, genetics, obesity, hypertension, and sleep apnea can result in atrial fibrillation.

Why Atrial fibrillation can’t be ignored or left untreated?

As the electrical signals in the upper chambers of the heart become disorganized, it leads to shortness of breath, sudden chest discomfort, dizziness, or fatigue. If the patient does not pay attention to it, then with time it could lead to a further increase in the risk of having health complications. These could be a stroke, heart failure, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and premature death.

How to prevent or reverse atrial fibrillation?

It’s always worth preventing a particular health issue rather than looking for its cure. By avoiding coronary artery disease and hypertension, atrial fibrillation may not develop. Smoking is the most common cause of atrial fibrillation that shall be ceased. The best cardiologist in Kolkata suggests the following healthy heart tips that can work in preventing atrial fibrillation, these includes:

Tip 1: Get enough physical activity: It is advised by all health experts or cardiologists that heart health can be maintained by daily having 20-30 minutes of physical activity. These include brisk walking, swimming, dancing, aerobics, and bicycling. By having an active lifestyle, people would be able to maintain their normal blood pressure and body weight. It has been seen that people who have sitting jobs or a sedentary lifestyle have the risk of any heart ailment which can reduce their life span.

Tip 2: Avoid intake of processed foods: This includes all the already prepared foods that are packaged, canned, or bottled like frozen pizza, salad dressing bottles, bakery products, and all the junk foods received from the restaurants. These processed foods are packed with a lot of salts, sugars, and saturated fats which is unhealthy for the heart. They could cause hypertension and an increase in cholesterol level that leads to obesity.

Tip 3: Focus on a heart-healthy diet: This includes all the fresh plant-based foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, and whole grains, low-fat dairy, and fish (rich in omega 3-fatty acid) or lean meats. Having this type of diet could prevent the excess intake of calories and maintenance of healthy body weight. In addition to heart health, this diet can prevent dementia and cancer and even prolong the life of the individual 

Tip 4: Keep a wellness mind set: There always has been a link between a heart ailment and the emotional well-being of the individual. Depression, stress, or anxiety, are all risk factors for heart disease and even atrial fibrillation. A wellness mind set can be maintained to some extent by physical activities. Some ways to manage stress and improve mental health as suggested by the heart doctors in Kolkata include:

Tip 5: Yoga and meditation: These can have a profound relaxation effect both on the mind and body, thereby improving the health of the cardiovascular system. The strength, flexibility, and balance of the body can be significantly improved by doing yoga daily.

Tip 6: Having a nature trip or moving out of home for some time: This can help relax the mind and provide inner peace.Maintain a personal diary to write grateful things that happen in daily life.

Tip 7: Having a good social life: People shall invest more in meaningful relationships in life. Talking or spending time with friends, family members, life partners, and even colleagues can help cope with the stress.

Tip 8: Carry out good deeds in life: People shall look for opportunities to help or serve others which automatically make them happy and improve their health.

Consult with the best heart doctor at best cardiac hospital in Kolkata, BM Birla Heart Research Centre to know more about atrial fibrillation and its treatment.

How to Know If You're Having a Heart Attack - BM Birla Hospital

How to Know If You’re Having a Heart Attack?

Some people might feel a sudden weird act of the body especially as they grow old. This could be an ache or pain felt in the body or fatigue that often comes and goes. Apart from these, there can be some pains or aches that can point out an underlying medical issue. It could be chest pain, an aching left arm, or shortness of breath that could mean the person is having a heart attack.

It’s very important to know about the warning signs of a heart attack to be able to catch them early and provide the best medical attention. The Cardiology Department at the best cardiac hospital in Kolkata, BM Birla Heart Research Centre, provides comprehensive cardiac care and quality treatment at an affordable cost. Following are the common signs and symptoms that can mean a possible heart attack.

Common symptoms of a heart attack:

  • A sharp pain, tightness, pressure, or squeezing sensation is felt in the chest or left arm. Sometimes, these could also radiate to the jaw, back, or neck regions of the body. The pain becomes intense with stress and physical activities and could not resolve even with rest.
  • Difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath- People might feel as if they have walked upstairs or did some vigorous exercise even if they haven’t. This is a sign that the heart is not pumping efficiently.
  • Lightheadedness, nausea, or vomiting
  • Easily becoming exhausted or fatigue
  • Suddenly starting to sweat (a cold sweat) or become clammy
  • Snoring
  • A prolonged cough
  • Swollen feet or ankles
  • Heartburn, indigestion, or Abdominal pain

These symptoms may vary in both men and women. Some people may experience fewer symptoms or no symptoms at all while others might have a feeling of impending doom.

A heart attack can be experienced differently by every person. Some people might have symptoms of having a silent heart attack that stays for weeks while others may have a major heart attack suddenly. In either case, the damage to the heart could be extensive because of the insufficient flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart and other body parts for their healthy functioning. Even the degree of pain felt may vary (i.e. no pain, mild, moderate, or severe pain). Some people may experience a nearly complete loss of blood flow for days or weeks before having a heart attack. It is important to consult the best cardiologist in Kolkata if one experiences any of these symptoms to prevent the risk of life-threatening conditions.

Who is at high risk of having a heart attack?

  • Old age people who have poor heart health (in men, it could be in above 45 age group and women, it could be above 55).
  • Patients suffering from an autoimmune disease.
  • Patients who have coronary artery disease or have a family history of heart disease.
  • Obese and/or diabetic individuals
  • People having high levels of cholesterol in their blood or those with atherosclerosis.
  • People suffering from metabolic syndrome.
  • People who have a sedentary lifestyle and a poor heart-healthy diet.
  • Individuals who have high blood pressure.
  • Tobacco smokers
  • People under a lot of stress
  • People who make use of illicit drugs
  • People with a history of gestational hypertension, preeclampsia, or gestational diabetes
  • Women who have experienced early menopause (i.e. before age 40)


A health care provider usually screens the patient during their physical examination for risk factors that can result in a heart attack. Electrocardiograms that record the electrical activity of the heart and blood tests that could detect the leakage of proteins into the blood due to damage from a heart attack are generally recommended to diagnose a heart attack.

What to do if you have a heart attack?

If a person feels that he/she is having a heart attack, it’s important to call an emergency helpline number to seek immediate help. In case the number is not being connected, someone should drive the patient to the hospital without any delay. Waiting may make the health of the patient more serious and could lead to death. Medication that dissolves the blood clots can be taken by the patient, which may help in some cases if the heart attack is caused due to a blocked artery.

A heart attack is a life-threatening experience. A person can make their experience less scary by watching out for the symptoms and also having a proper lifestyle to maintain a healthy heart. Remember that early action can save the life of a patient with a failing heart.

For more information consult now with the best heart doctors at BM Birla Heart Research Centre, best heart hospital in Kolkata.

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