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Treatments

Learn how heart conditions are treated and the benefits and possible risks that come along with each type of treatment.

  • Should I be worried about developing redness or other signs of a radiation burn on my skin after angioplasty?
  • Radiation burns are extremely rare. When they do happen, they are usually related to very long x-ray times or repeat procedures. However, if you notice skin redness on your back that looks like rash, even months after your angioplasty, tell your doctor. You may need to be referred to a skin specialist for treatment.
  • Should the use of simvastatin be avoided altogether?
  • The FDA has revised guidelines to limit the use of high-dose simvastatin only in patients to reduce risk for muscle injury. This amendment was based on research showing a relatively high risk for myopathy associated with high-dose simvastatin in comparison with low-dose simvastatin (very low risk). Therefore, the FDA does not recommend restricting the use of simvastatin all together — only high-dose simvastatin in new patients or those recently prescribed with the drug.
  • Isn't it better to wait for medical professionals to treat patients with heart conditions?

  • During sudden cardiac arrest, chances of survival decrease with every minute that passes, and most die before ever reaching the hospital. That’s why AEDs are so important—not only do they provide immediate treatment during sudden cardiac arrest, they enable bystanders to provide this treatment while waiting for medical professionals to arrive.
  • How does weight-loss surgery work?

  • There are a few types of weight-loss procedures available to help patients who are very overweight lose weight, including lap banding, gastric bypass and gastric sleeve. These surgeries limit the amount of food that you can ingest, and some also restrict the amount of food that your body can digest.
  • How important is immediate medical attention after a heart attack or stroke?

  • Seeking medical attention at the first signs of a heart attack or stroke is crucial to survival and avoiding permanent damage. If you are experiencing any symptoms of a cardiac event, call 911 immediately and wait for help to come.
  • How does the nicotine patch work?

  • The nicotine patch is a square bandage that provides a steady, controlled dose of nicotine to the body throughout the day. This reduces the effects of nicotine withdrawal, helping reduce cravings for cigarettes. Over time, the strength of the patch will be reduced so that individuals can gradually wean themselves off of nicotine.
  • How does telemedicine work?

  • Telemedicine is a modern way that patients and providers can communicate through the use of telecommunications and information technology. Although the use of telemedicine is relatively new, it can greatly improve the lines of communication between patients and their doctors and create a more effective and efficient way for patients to receive health care.
  • How is a heart attack treated?
  • Depending on the type of heart attack, treatment may include medication, non-invasive procedures, such as percutaneous coronary intervention (angioplasty), or a more invasive procedure called coronary artery bypass surgery.

  • How is angina treated?

  • Angina can be treated in a variety of ways, including lifestyle changes, medications, and medical procedures. For example, quitting smoking, losing weight and reducing stress can help successfully treat angina in some patients. For others, medications like beta blockers or procedures such as angioplasty and stenting may be necessary to treat the condition.
  • How does continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) work?

  • CPAP is often recommended for patients with moderate to severe sleep apnea. This device delivers air pressure through a mask worn during sleep to help prevent apnea and snoring. However, for patients with mild apnea, the condition can sometimes be treated with lifestyle changes, such as weight loss or quitting smoking.
  • How does aspirin help prevent heart attack and stroke?

  • Aspirin helps prevent heart attack and stroke by reducing blood clotting. Although blood clotting is the body’s natural way of healing damaged blood vessels, blood clots can travel to the heart and block major arteries, causing heart attack or stroke. Therefore, those at high risk for heart attack and stroke often take aspirin to help reduce clotting and risk for future cardiac events.
  • How is heart failure treated?

  • Although treatments for heart failure rarely reverse or stop the progression of the disease, various therapies can help slow the progression of heart failure, such as medications, surgeries and medical devices. Which therapies are best depends on each individual patient.
  • How often do patients with surgical aortic valves require redo surgery?

  • Risk of reoperation decreases with the age at which the surgical valve was implanted. For example, nearly half of those receiving a surgical valve at age 50 may require replacement valves later in life, while less than 10% of those receiving valve implantation at age 75 will require reoperation.
  • How much exercise do patients need after percutaneous coronary intervention PCI to reduce risk for complications?

  • Guidelines for care after PCI advise 30–60 minutes of physical activity on most—preferably all—days of the week.
  • How is insomnia treated?

  • Treatment for insomnia often begins with a review of any drugs or medical conditions that may cause the condition, along with any lifestyle or sleeping habits that may further disrupt quality sleep. Once these issues are reviewed, doctors may prescribe sleeping pills or sedatives, or adjust doses of medication that may be interrupting sleep.
  • How is oral health associated with heart health?
  • Although the exact link is unknown, experts believe that those with gum disease have increased bacteria in the mouth that can cause chronic inflammation — a condition that can lead to heart disease, heart attack and stroke.
  • How is heart rate controlled in patients with permanent atrial fibrillation?
  • Permanent atrial fibrillation is typically controlled with a combination of medication, medical procedures and electrical cardioversion. These treatments can be used both to help prevent episodes of atrial fibrillation and to reset the heart rhythm back to normal during an episode.
  • How is heart failure treated?

  • Heart failure is often treated with a combination of medications, medical devices, medical procedures and lifestyle changes. Increasing exercise in combination with these treatments can significantly help reduce symptoms and improve quality of life in heart failure patients.
  • What medications are available to treat angina?
  • When should an aortic aneurysm be repaired?
  • If I need to have my aortic aneurysm repaired, should I undergo an open-repair or an endovascular repair?
  • Will I need my aortic valve replaced?
  • Can atherosclerosis be reversed with appropriate therapy?
  • How can I prevent blood clots in my legs?
  • What is the difference between a transesophageal echochardiogram (TEE) and a transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE)?

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