Friday, October 29, 2010


Angioplasty is the most common and also the latest procedure to treat Atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis is a condition where a fatty substance called plaque (plak) can build up in your arteries, causing them to harden and narrow.  Atherosclerosis can affect any artery in the body. When atherosclerosis affects the coronary arteries, the condition is called coronary heart disease (CHD) or coronary artery disease.
When the patient is diagnosed with CHD, then doctors recommend Coronary angioplasty, which is a procedure used to open blocked or narrowed coronary (heart) arteries. The procedure improves blood flow to the heart muscle.
The procedure is used to:
·      Improve symptoms of CHD, such as angina and shortness of breath. (Angina is chest pain or discomfort.)
·      Reduce damage to the heart muscle caused by a heart attack. A heart attack occurs if blood flow through a coronary artery is completely blocked. The blockage usually is due to a blood clot that forms on the surface of plaque.
·      Reduce the risk of death in some patients.
The full medical name for the angioplasty is percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty.
During the procedure, an angioplasty balloon, which is a medical device, is inserted into a clogged artery and inflated within the artery to clear blockage and allow blood flow. Before angioplasty, bypass surgery was the only option for people with clogged arteries. In bypass surgery, doctors used to open the patient's chest to reroute blood vessels to the heart. Angioplasty is less invasive, as the balloon is inserted through blood vessels and the chest remains closed. Patient recovery time is also faster with angioplasty, than with bypass surgery.
Angioplasty is performed under local anesthesia, so the doctor can ask if the patient feels any pain during the procedure. The surgeon opens the femoral artery at the top of the leg, and passes a catheter threaded on a thin guide wire into the blood vessel. The catheter, which is a tubular medical device, is about 3 ft (91 cm) long. The surgeon feeds the catheter through the blood vessels into the coronary artery. The catheter releases dye, so its precise position can be seen on a fluoroscope, which is an instrument used for observing the internal structure by means of X -ray. When the first catheter is in place at the clogged artery, the surgeon feeds a smaller, balloon-tipped catheter through it, then inflates the balloon for a few seconds. It reaches a diameter of about an eighth of an inch (0.3 cm). If the patient does not feel any pain, then the doctor proceeds to inflate the balloon for a full minute. This clears the arterial blockage, and then the catheters are removed. The patient is treated with prescription drugs to thin the blood and prevent clots, and should recover from the operation within weeks.
What Types of Interventional Procedures Are Used in Angioplasty?
There are several types of interventional procedures that doctor use when performing angioplasty. These include:
·      Balloon Angioplasty: A specially designed catheter with a small balloon tip is guided to the point of narrowing in the artery.
·      Stent: A stent is a small metal mesh tube that acts as a scaffold to provide support inside your coronary artery. A balloon catheter, placed over a guide wire, is used to insert the stent into the narrowed coronary artery.
·      Rotoblation: A special catheter, with an acorn-shaped, diamond-coated tip, is guided to your coronary artery where it spins around at a high speed and grinds away the plaque on your artery walls.
·      Atherectomy: The catheter used in this procedure has a hollow cylinder on the tip with an open window on one side and a balloon on the other. When the catheter is inserted into the narrowed artery, the balloon is inflated, pushing the window against the fatty matter.
·      Cutting Balloon: The cutting balloon catheter has a special balloon tip with small blades. When the balloon is inflated, the blades are activated. The small blades score the plaque and then the balloon compresses the fatty matter into the artery wall.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Cholesterol is a fat-like substance in the body. It may be produced in the body or obtained from the diet. Cholesterol is necessary for production of hormones and cell membranes. Two types of lipoproteins transport cholesterol around the body. High density lipoproteins, also known as HDL, or "good" cholesterol, remove excess cholesterol from the blood and return it to the liver to be metabolized. Low density lipoproteins, also referred to as LDL, or "bad" cholesterol, carry cholesterol throughout the body, allowing excess amounts to build up on artery walls. Thus, a diet high in “bad” cholesterol diet boosts the odds of clogged blood vessels, resulting in restricted blood flow and boosting the odds of heart attack or stroke.
Simple lifestyle modifications, such as losing weight and regular exercise, may help improve cholesterol levels. Limiting daily fat intake to no more than 30 percent, with saturated fat intake limited to 7 percent of daily total calories, can help control blood cholesterol levels. A high fiber diet may be lower in fat and is associated with lower cholesterol levels. Moderate exercise for 30 minutes every day can help control cholesterol to a great extent. Medications may be prescribed when diet and exercise don't work.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Know your heart Numbers

We're talking the big three -- cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar -- plus, two more you should probably know: homocysteine and C-reactive protein. Consider these numbers a stock ticker for your ticker. They tell you how you're doing, and when you need to do more. When you have them measured, make sure your doctor also tells you what your goal levels should be and what you can do to get there. Getting more active, losing weight, and making smart food choices can help get these numbers in a healthy range.

Cholesterol is a fatty, waxy substance found in foods, and produced by our liver. It is used to protect nerves, construct cell tissues, and make certain hormones. Cholesterol is a very important substance, and is needed in small quantities for the body to function correctly. In high quantities, however, it can have an adverse effect on our health.
Your cholesterol level is measured in milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dL) - there three measures - one for HDL cholesterol, which is the 'good' kind of cholesterol, one for LDL cholesterol, which is the 'bad' kind, and one for your triglyceride level. Your optimal cholesterol levels will vary depending on your height, weight, gender, age, blood pressure, and a number of other hereditary and lifestyle factors - including whether or not you smoke.

Blood Pressure :

The following classification of blood pressure applies to adults aged 18 and older. It is based on the average of seated BP readings that were properly measured during 2 or more office visits. 

Note : These Numbers are considered to be on an average basis of the world population and can vary vastly depending on your location, age, sex and many other factors. Please consult your doctors to be exact on your blood pressure advice.

Classification of blood pressure for adults

S=systolic, D= diastolic, all units in mmHg
Hypotension S < 90 and D< 60   
Normal S= 90 – 120 and  D= 60 – 80
Prehypertension S =121 – 139 or D= 81 – 89  
Stage 1 Hypertension S= 140 – 159 or D= 90 – 99  
Stage 2 Hypertension S ≥ 160 or D ≥ 100  

Blood sugar: Normal glucose levels fall between 70 and 150 mg. Levels typically are lower in the morning, and rise after meals. Blood sugar levels falling consistently above 150 are indicative of hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar. Chronic low levels, falling below 70, characterize hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar.