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Going Home After a Tavi Surgery - BM Birla Heart Hospital

Going Home After a Tavi Surgery

After undergoing TAVI surgery, the next major step is to focus on your rehabilitation. No doubt it is a minimally invasive procedure but this does not mean that you can go back to your daily routine soon after the surgery. It may take a couple of weeks or even months to fully recover from the procedure and there are certain things that are to be kept in mind. It is hard to determine the rate of recovery of a patient and this varies from one person to another. Performed at all the best heart hospitals in Kolkata, TAVI surgery has helped hundreds and thousands of patients. However, one needs to understand that the procedure alone cannot help you and there are certain things that need to be taken care of post-surgery. 

Here are some things that you need to keep in mind, as listed by experts specialising TAVI surgery in Kolkata

Medicine – Undergoing the procedure does not mean that you won’t need any medication. Right after the surgery, you will be prescribed certain medication which includes painkillers and antibiotics, to help aid your recovery and negative risks of any complication. You will also be required to take Clopidogrel to prevent the formation of clots. Your doctor will briefly discuss the medication in detail before you are discharged from the hospital. Make sure you jot it all down so that there is no confusion later. Also, you should not stop any medication on your own and inform your doctor if you are planning for the same. 

Follow-up appointments – Make it a habit to pay regular visits to your doctor, starting a week or two after the discharge. Meet your cardiologist at least once in 2-3 months and discuss the course of recovery. You might also be required to go for certain tests to make sure that the new value is recovering properly as well as its function. Make sure that you get all your queries and concerns addressed when you visit your doctor. 

Site care – People who undergo the transfemoral procedure will have a small opening in their groin, whereas those undergoing transaortic or transapical procedure will have a tiny incision on the sternum or left side of the chest. Usually, the risks of infection are very low in the case of TAVI, yet you need to watch out for signs like redness at the site of the wound, yellow or greenish drainage from the site, fever, chills and numbness in the lower limbs. In case you experience any of these, immediately inform your doctor. 

Driving – After the procedure, you need to refrain from driving for at least four weeks. If you have been told by your doctor that you cannot drive, even before the surgery, you need to consult him/her and discuss your eligibility for the same. When you get back on the driving seat, make sure you have someone to accompany you for the first few days. 

Activities – While some people believe that one needs to have complete bed rest after the TAVI procedure, others start indulging in rigorous day-to-day activities within a few days. It is important to understand that sitting in your bed all day is not going to help you recover and neither will your indulgence in rigorous activities. Leading Heart surgeons in Kolkata suggest that different people recover at difficult rates and the level of activity also varies accordingly. The process is gradual and you do not need to rush. Go easy on yourself and start slow.

These are a few things that are to be taken care of for a speedy recovery. Apart from these, a healthy diet and meditation too can help in boosting the pace of your recovery. 

Renal Angioplasty

Renal angioplasty is a medical method to relieve the blockage of the renal artery. The renal artery is the main blood vessel which transports blood from the heart to the kidneys. These arteries branch from the main artery of the heart and connect to the kidney. Renal arteries take a large quantity of blood from the heart to the kidneys for filtration. When these arteries are blocked or narrowed due to multiple reasons, the blood flow and nutrients to the kidneys are restricted. This causes multiple health issues, including a condition known as renal artery stenosis.

What is renal artery stenosis?

Renal artery stenosis is a medical condition in which one or more of the renal arteries (that carry blood to the kidneys) are blocked or narrowed. This condition restricts the oxygen-rich blood from reaching the kidneys. Generally, the purpose of the kidneys is to filter the waste from the blood and remove excess fluids. When the blood flow to the kidneys is restricted or blocked, the kidneys are deprived of the oxygen-rich blood. Hence, they cannot function properly. Moreover, the reduced blood flow also injures the tissue of the kidney, thereby, raises the blood pressure of the body.

This medical condition can be treated by various procedures, including renal angioplasty and stents.

What is renal angioplasty?

Renal angioplasty is a minimally-invasive method to treat renal stenosis. In this method, the surgeon inserts a small, flexible tube known as a catheter into the compromised renal artery. The catheter is then threaded through the artery to reach the area of the blockage. This catheter is mounted with a small, high-quality camera on top to allow the surgeon to see inside and direct the tube to the exact area of blockage. The camera provides images on an X-ray monitor.

Once the blockage area is detected, a thin, tiny wire is passed through the narrowed segments of the artery. After this, a long, thin, flexible tube mounted with a tiny camera on its tip is threaded into the artery through the blockage. Once the tube reaches the position, the balloon is inflated to push the plaque – accumulation of fat in the artery – to the sidewalls. Thus, widening the artery and allowing the free flow of blood from the heart to the kidneys.

In most cases, the surgeon may place a stent – a wired-mesh tube – to prevent the renal artery or arteries from closing or narrowing again. Once the stent is placed, the surgeon removes the catheter. In this surgery, the patient is asked to keep the stomach empty at least for four hours before the surgery. Moreover, the procedure is performed while keeping the patient sedated.

The patient must disclose health details, allergies, reactions, on-going medications, etc. to ensure there are minimum or no complications during the surgery.

What happens after a renal angioplasty procedure?

Once the procedure is successful, the patient is shifted to a recovery room to monitor for any postoperative issues. However, in case there are no complications, the patient is discharged from the hospital within 12 to 24 hours post the surgery. However, the at-home recovery process takes time. The patient will not be able to resume normal activities for a few days to weeks, depending on the general health of the patient and the after-effects of the renal angioplasty.

Moreover, if the angioplasty was followed by the placement of a stent, the cardiologist will prescribe certain blood-thinning medications for a month or a year. During the recovery phase, the patient needs to take all recommended precautions and avoid physically strenuous activities such as weightlifting for a considerable amount of time. Also, the patient should indulge in a healthy diet, maintain a healthy weight, ensure a balanced physical activity, and avoid smoking and alcohol, etc. to achieve positive results.

What are the risks and complications involved?

Renal angioplasty is generally considered safe and has fewer complications. However, in rare cases, some complications can incur, such as:

  • Exposure to radiation can harm the body
  • Rare chances of developing cancer from radiation exposure
  • Infection at the incision site
  • Allergic reaction to anaesthesia
  • Allergic reaction to the dye used
  • The procedure may fail, causing worsening of the blockage
  • The procedure can create a blockage in other arteries
  • Wound infection
  • False aneurysm
  • Rare chances of a heart attack, stroke, etc.
  • Kidney failure risk
  • Chest problems

That said, all the risks depend on case-to-case. But generally, a renal angioplasty has no significant complications. But in cases, where a renal angioplasty fails to improve the condition, the surgeon can shift to normal surgery.

What are the benefits of a renal angioplasty?

Renal angioplasty is a method to treat patients suffering from renal stenosis. Some of the key benefits of this procedure include:

  • Quickly restores blood flow to the kidney
  • Minimizes damage to the kidney tissues
  • Relieve pain and discomfort
  • Promotes better filtration of fluid and waste
  • Prevents shortness of breath
  • Minimally-invasive and thus, eliminates the need for an open-bypass surgery
  • Reduces other related health issues
  • Improves kidney functioning
  • Faster recovery period
  • Less risky than an open-bypass surgery
  • Fewer safety measures
  • Easy recovery
  • Increases chances of survival

Overall, a renal angioplasty is a minimally invasive and safe method to treat renal stenosis in patients. However, the applicability and suitability of the procedure depends on case-to-case and is decided by the doctor.

The Health Times Edition with Times of India

The Health Times, an initiative of CK Birla Hospitals is a mini-encyclopedia of common and not so common ailments. It has information – in layman’s language – on symptoms, treatment modalities and tips on preventive care. Envisioned as a series, the current issue covers subjects including flu, heart care, diabetes, some cancers, fitness and well-being. Do not miss to preserve these pages, they would form an authentic compendium of medical care.

Download the Edition Here

Children’s Day Celebrations

The BMB team took the opportunity to interact with the cardiac surgery patients on the occasion of Children’s Day. The team conducted a drawing competition for the children. The judges of the competition were Dr. Manoj Daga, Dr. Shubhendu Mondal and Dr. Tushar Chowdhury. The children actively participated and explored their imagination of creating the world with the colors and sketches provided. The paintings were really appreciated by the judges.

Free Random Blood Sugar – World Diabetes Day

CK Birla Hospitals BMB observed World Diabetes Day with a free Random Blood Sugar, BMI & Blood Pressure check-up. Held in the BMB lobby, this activity in which over 50 people participated, helped create awareness about Diabetes.

“Diabetes can cause damage to the blood vessels which can lead to the development of diseases like coronary heart disease, stroke and vascular dementia. Risk of heart attacks and strokes are up to three times higher in people with diabetes. Hence, it is important to maintain blood pressure through medication and keep your body fit with regular physical activities combined with some weight loss training.” says Dr. AnjanSiotia (Diabetes and Heart) Consultant Intervention Cardiologist, CK Birla Hospitals BMB.

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