Cardiology is the branch of medicine that studies and deals with heart problems.It deals with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and disorders of the heart.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Preventing cardiovascular events before they occur is important: stopping smoking, keeping blood pressure under control, losing weight if you're overweight and increasing the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables you eat can help reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure and coronary artery disease.
The most common surgery to the heart is coronary artery bypass and valvular surgery.
Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) is a type of surgery that improves blood flow to the heart. It's used for people who have severe coronary heart disease (CHD), also called coronary artery disease.
CHD is a condition in which a substance called plaque (plak) builds up inside the coronary arteries. These arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to your heart. Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances found in the blood.
Plaque can narrow or block the coronary arteries and reduce blood flow to the heart muscle. If the blockage is severe, angina (an-JI-nuh or AN-juh-nuh), shortness of breath, and, in some cases, heart attack can occur. (Angina is chest pain or discomfort.
CABG is one treatment for CHD. During CABG, a healthy artery or vein from the body is connected, or grafted, to the blocked coronary artery. The grafted artery or vein bypasses (that is, goes around) the blocked portion of the coronary artery.
Valvular surgery is a surgical procedure performed for the management of heart valve diseases, which cause dysfunction of the valves. It involves the repair or replacement of the diseased or damaged heart valves.
The heart has four valves: tricuspid valve, pulmonary valve, mitral valve, and aortic valve. The four heart valves must function appropriately to ensure proper circulation of blood through the heart. Heart valve disease results from a dysfunction of one or more of these valves.
Valvular surgery is performed under general anesthesia. During traditional heart valve surgery, a large incision is made over the breastbone, to gain access to the heart. A heart-lung bypass machine is used to stabilize the heart and maintain the blood supply to the body during the surgery. The surgeon then performs the repair or replacement of the damaged heart valves. Minimally invasive heart valve surgery is performed through smaller incisions. This results in minimal pain, shorter hospital stay, faster recovery, minimal bleeding, and reduced risk of infection.