Heart (Cardiovascular) Diseases, Diagnosis, Medical Treatment, and Prevention
Cardiovascular diseases are a group of diseases related to the heart and blood vessels. CVDs are the most prevalent diseases in India and are endemic to India.
CVDs include Myocardial Infarction (heart attack), Coronary Artery Diseases, Arrhythmias, Valvular diseases (stenosis, regurgitation), Pericarditis, Heart failure, Peripheral artery disease, congenital heart disease, Stroke, Hypertension. Coronary artery disease is the most common of them.
When to See a Cardiologist?
Are you feeling pain in your chest in the middle or slightly left side of the center? Then don't wait; even if the pain is mild, see a cardiologist. A Cardiologist is a doctor who does the diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases (heart and Vascular diseases) and specialize in its treatment.
Any shortness of breath? Frequent palpitations (aware of your heartbeat)? Have your feet or other parts of the body swollen? It may indicate Oedema (fluid retention), if not inflammation, and Oedema can be a sign of CVDs.
Diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases
When you visit a cardiologist, he will check your blood pressure, pulse rate, oxygen saturation level. These are the vitals for your heart functioning. Diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases is done by various methods that gives you a clear idea. Let's see what these are:
Your cardiologist will examine you for any asymmetry in your chest, for cyanosis (bluish colouration due to lack of oxygen), Oedema. He/she will hear your heart sounds with a stethoscope. He/she will ask you for the symptoms, pain, family history, diet, etc.
They take your blood sample to test for cholesterol level, C-reactive protein (CRP), other cardiac biomarkers that indicate any heart or vascular diseases.
There is good cholesterol (HDL) as well as bad cholesterol (LDL). LDL level should not exceed 130 mg/dl. If you have diabetes or any related heart disease, then LDL should not be more than 70 mg/dl.
Specific biomarkers, when found in blood, indicate cardiovascular diseases. C-reactive protein, Apolipoprotein A1 and B are indicative of inflammation. Cardiac Troponin-T, fibrinogen, homocysteine, increased brain natriuretic peptide (BNP)
are some of the biomarkers.
An electrocardiograph is a device that helps to record the electrical activity of your heart. It is a painless process in which the cardiologist place leads on your wrists, legs and six leads on the epicardium (skin over the heart). The leads are connected to a machine and record the electrical activity as graphs. This graph is called an electrocardiogram.
ECG tells about the rhythm of the heart, strength and timing of your heartbeats.
ECG detects arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats), angina, heart attack.
This test is to examine how your heart recovers from an exercise. The cardiologist will ask you to run on a treadmill or do cycling for 5-6 minutes. Chest leads connected to a machine will record the continuous electrical activity of your heart during the exercise and afterwards. The device will take continuous ECG for another 5 minutes.
It detects Atherosclerosis, heart failure, CHD.
In this test, Ultrasound is done with the help of a handheld device placed on your chest to get detailed and moving images of your heart's valves and chambers. It is often combined with Doppler ultrasound and colour Doppler to check the blood flow of your heart valves.
It detects hypertrophy (enlarge walls of the heart), calcification of valves (calcium deposits on heart valves), leading to valvular disease.
Chest X-ray is for the image of the heart, the orientation of the heart, pericardium.
It detects congenital heart diseases, pericarditis, hypertrophy.
Electron Beam CT scan. The machine uses an electron beam (electron gun) instead of an X-ray to detect any calcification in the walls of the coronary arteries of the heart, Atherosclerosis. It is a fast and highly sensitive test. This test can detect calcification as mild as 10% to 20%, which is not possible with the help of a standard physiologic stress test.
This machine uses a magnetic field or computer-generated radio waves. MRI gives images of the heart during a cardiac cycle (between your heartbeats). It does not use ionizing radiation, and hence it's a safer option for a pregnant woman.
MRI of heart diagnoses CVDs like:
Congenital heart defects
Coronary heart diseases
Catheterization and Angiography
Catheterization is a method that helps your doctor to check if your blood vessels are fine. Your doctor will insert a catheter (thin tube-like) in your femoral vein (in the groin) or your hand. He/she will use a contrast dye to get an X-ray view of the vessels. The X-ray view on a monitor will guide your doctor. Then he/she will pass this catheter through the veins to the heart with the help of images on the monitor.
The catheter will help your doctor to see the flow of blood. It is also for measuring the pressure of the blood in vessels and the heart for different heart conditions like hypertrophy.
Angiography detects blockage in the arteries that supply the heart (coronary arteries). This blockage is Atherosclerosis.
As we discussed above there are many ways to do the diagnosis of Cardiovascular diseases there can be different ways for its treatment as well. Your cardiologist will tell you what's best for you. If your condition is not severe, some lifestyle changes will suffice. But if it worsens, then you need to take medicines, you may undergo surgery, or in the most severe case, you may need a heart transplant.
Specific lifestyle changes can save you from deadly heart diseases. Improve your diet, take fresh fruits and vegetables, take low fat, low sodium diet to control your blood pressure and cholesterol level.
Physical activity is a must. Do some exercise, not too much as it will stress your heart, but some movement is necessary. Keep your sugar in control.
Your cardiologist will give you the best suitable medicines.
Certain types of medicines for cardiovascular diseases are:
If lifestyle changes and medications do not cure you, then your cardiologist may suggest surgery for your recovery.
It may be a coronary artery bypass surgery, valve repair surgery or implantation of a pacemaker or defibrillator.
Angioplasty and Stenting
Angioplasty is a method to open a blocked coronary artery by stenting. In this method, the cardiologist will insert a stent (meshwork of metal wire) at the site of blockage with the help of a catheter.
An artificial pacemaker is a battery-like device that produces electrical signals on its own. Suppose the heart cannot have constant electrical signals required for the regular beating. In that case, this artificial pacemaker is inserted near your collar bone to give the necessary electrical signals to the heart.
Cardiologists use this method to cure any faulty pathway of electrical signals in the heart. With the help of a catheter, cardiologists destroy the cardiac tissues involved in the abnormal course.
Prevention is always better than cure. So, be healthy and avoid these complicated disorders.
Choosing the best heart treatment hospital in India may be challenging but not impossible. Heart Hospitals in India have international reputations and international and national accreditations. Over the past decade, India has made significant developments and advances in the field of medicine and has a prosperous healthcare industry. World-class Heart Hospitals in India have less than 1% mortality from heart surgery. These are listed as:
1. Fortis Escorts Heart Institute
Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, located in Okhla Road, New Delhi, has pioneered heart care for the past 32 years and offers the best treatment in cardiac bypass surgery, interventional cardiology, non-invasive cardiology, and pediatric cardiology.
Features of Fortis Escorts Heart Institute:
Treatments at Fortis Escorts Heart Institute:
2. Asian Hearts Institute, Mumbai:
Asian Hearts Institute (AHI) is one of the best heart treatment hospital located in Mumbai. The institute has performed many breakthrough surgeries such as heart surgeries, arterial grafts, and open-heart surgeries.
Features of AHI:
Treatments at AHI:
3. Apollo Hospitals, Chennai.
Apollo Heart Centre, located in Chennai, the group revolutionized cardiac treatments in India and has become one of the most innovative cardiovascular hospitals.
Features of Apollo Hospitals:
Treatments at Apollo Hospital:
4. Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, Delhi
Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, a member of the Apollo group, is located in Delhi. The hospital was set up in 1996 and is a globally recognized hospital for cardiac-related ailments.
Features of Indraprastha Apollo Hospital:
Treatment at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital:
Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeries comprise Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery, Valve Surgery, Aneurysm Surgery, Congenital Heart Defects, and Thoracic Surgery.
Pediatric Thoracic Surgeries comprises open/closed heart surgeries.
Cardiac Surgery comprises Beating Heart Surgery, interventional cardiology, bifurcation stenting, and emergency cardiac surgeries.
5. Nanavati Hospital, Mumbai
Nanavati Super Specialty Hospital is one of the oldest hospitals located in Mumbai. The cardiology department is one of the best in India and serves patients globally.
Features of Nanavati Hospital:
Treatments at Nanavati Hospital:
6. Max Super Specialty Hospital, Delhi
Max Super Specialty Hospital in Saket, New Delhi, is founded by the Max Healthcare Group and consists of a Heart Science Centre, which cares for patients from all over the world.
Features of Max Super Specialty Hospital:
Treatments at Max Super Specialty Hospital:
7. MaxCure Hospital, Hyderabad
Maxcure Group has an important presence in South India. The institute has a large number of heart consultants and highly qualified cardiac surgeons to treat any kind of heart disorder and emergencies at any time of the year.
Features of Maxcure Hospital:
Treatments at Maxcure Hospital:
8. Manipal Hospital, Bangalore
Manipal Health Enterprises (MHE), part of the Manipal Education & Medical Group, is a leading healthcare provider providing high-quality treatment for cardiac patients in India.
Features of Manipal Hospital:
Treatment at Manipal Hospital:
9. Fortis Hospital, Bangalore
Fortis Hospital on Bannerghatta Street, Bangalore, was founded in 2006 and has the Department of Heart Sciences, which covers all aspects of the treatment of heart disease in the best possible way.
Features of Fortis Hospital:
Treatment at Fortis Hospital:
10. Artemis Hospital, Delhi
Artemis Hospital in Dwarka is one of the best heart treatment hospital in India equipped with multi-speciality. Since its inception, this hospital has become one of the most sought-after cardiac care facilities in Delhi.
Features of Artemis Hospital
Treatment at Artemis Hospital:
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