Be true to your heart

We just celebrated the birth anniversary of our beloved Bapu Mahatma Gandhi, and his teachings are invaluable to our life. One of the key things he shared is to follow the path of satya (truth). But are we truly following that? We must look inside and be true to our body and the organ that truly gives us the essence of living i.e. the heart. We have seen Covid-19 is most dangerous to people who have comorbidities such as heart diseases, diabetes, etc.

With rising number of cases, timely medical care and invasive life saving procedures such as angioplasty and coronary artery bypass are known to save lives. Patients who have angina that suddenly worsens, angioplasty and stent placement can restore blood flow to the oxygen-starved heart, easing the pain within 30 minutes — the average time for the procedure. Once the patients recover, they are able to exercise longer than before. In addition, the procedure
lowers their risk of death.

However, every heart disease requires a disease management plan. Cardiology has improved itself, with advent of latest techniques, and the best of stents are now available to improve the results. Invasive coronary angiography is the standard technique since the past four decades. Although it has stood the test of time, many shortcomings also have been uncovered. It is an eye ball evaluation of artery by an examiner. A lesion which may be significant, requiring treatment in terms of stent implantation to one cardiologist, may be insignificant, requiring only medical therapy to another. This becomes a source of immense confusion for the patient’s mind. Newer technologies like FFR help in evaluating the right lesions (point of disease), as functional assessment is more necessary than quantitative assessment by angiography only. This technique help remove dilemma from minds of doctors and patients. It is not always necessary that all patients having coronary artery disease have
to be treated by angioplasty or bypass surgery, sometimes management through medicines alone is sufficient.

Even one of the trials also suggested that patients with stable heart disease might do equally well with medicines only. Medicines include blood thinning medications, cholesterol lowering medications, and medicines to normalise the heart rate.

It is extremely important, if you are a heart patient, that you discuss the possible treatment options with your cardiologist, best suited to your clinical condition. Besides, an active and healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet is equally important to reduce your risk of heart diseases and evade the need for angioplasty.

The author of this article is Dr Naveen Bhamri, HOD and director – Cardiac Sciences,
Max Super Speciality Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, Delhi.

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