An arrhythmia is an irregular or abnormal heartbeat. A heart arrhythmia may occur when the electrical impulses that control the beating of the heart don't work properly, causing the heart to beat too slow, too rapidly, or irregularly. While most arrhythmias are harmless, they may be an indication of a serious underlying condition, such as heart disease or a lack of blood flow to the heart. Heart arrhythmias are not uncommon and may be congenital or caused by various factors. Treatment for a heart arrhythmia varies depending on the severity and underlying cause of the arrhythmia. Mild heart arrhythmias may require no treatment at all. A bradycardia, or slow heart beat, may be treated with a pacemaker to stimulate the heart to beat at a steady rate. A pacemaker is a small device, implanted under the skin near the collarbone, that sends out electrical impulses through the blood vessels to the heart. Other treatments for heart arrhythmia include: medication, catheter ablation, cardioversion, implantable cardioverter defibrillator. In some cases, surgery may be performed to treat arrhythmia, often for cases caused by heart disease. Coronary artery bypass surgery may be performed to improve blood supply to the heart, while valve repair surgery may correct an arrhythmia as well.
Elevated levels of lipids and cholesterol are a major risk factor for coronary artery disease, heart disease, and stroke. For this reason, the physicians of at Comprehensive Heart Care, P.A. are available to provide both counseling and state-of-the-art recommendations to help their patients manage their levels. Sometimes, lifestyle modifications, including dietary changes and increased exercise, are sufficient to bring cholesterol and lipid levels into the normal range. At other times, medication is necessary.
The heart is a muscle that acts as a pump. Upon receiving oxygen from the arteries wrapped around its surface, the heart will pump oxygenated blood throughout the body. Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a buildup of fatty deposits in the coronary arteries, the arteries which supply blood to the heart. These fatty substances, such as cholesterol, fat or cells that collect along the lining of the coronary arteries are called plaque. Most of the plaque build-up, either in the heart or the blood vessels, develops over the course of time. Because the arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart, any blockages left untreated can result in the risk of experiencing a heart attack, stroke or even death. Patients can help prevent or slow down the advancement of heart disease by adhering to the following regimen: quitting smoking, lowering their blood pressure, eating a healthy diet, exercising on a regular basis and getting regular medical checkup.
Veins carry oxygen-poor blood back to the heart after it has delivered essential nutrients to our body's tissues. They have one-way valves every few inches that help keep blood flowing in the right direction. If these valves leak or become blocked, some blood may flow backwards and pool in the vein. Blood pressure rises and the vein weakens under the additional strain so that its elastic walls balloon outward. Any of the body's veins may be affected by venous disease, including the superficial veins just beneath the skin, the deep veins near the bones, and the perforating veins that carry blood between the two. Conservative treatment typically involves a combination of leg elevation and compression stockings to improve blood flow. Blood thinners may be given to treat or prevent blood clots, although these drugs may themselves damage the valves and raise blood pressure. Surgical options include varicose vein removal for superficial veins; subfascial endoscopic perforator surgery (SEPS) for perforating veins; and valve repair, valve transplant from the arm veins, and vein bypasses for deep veins.
Congestive heart failure (CHF) occurs when the heart muscle, whether from weakness or stiffening, does not pump with sufficient force to circulate the blood properly. As a result, blood backs up in other parts of the body, such as the liver, abdomen, lower legs and lungs, because the heart is unable to keep pace with the body's circulatory needs. While CHF can occur on either side of the body, it usually begins on the left, where the left ventricle, the primary pumping chamber of the heart, is located. An unhealthy lifestyle can contribute to congestive heart failure, but congenital defects, coronary artery disease, diabetes or hypertension are also underlying causes. Other causes of CHF include heart arrhythmia, infections and diseases, allergic reactions, certain medications, and blood clots in the lungs. CHF must be treated; if not, it can lead to kidney failure and death. Medication and surgery are both treatment options. In the most severe cases of CHF, implanting a total artificial heart (TAH) or having a heart transplant may be necessary.
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