Heart Surgery in Thailand
You can feel your heart thudding away every time you put your hand to your chest, but do you have any idea what’s really going on in there or what keeps your heart ticking as it should?
Every day your heart beats about 100,000 times, sending 2,000 gallons of blood surging through your body. Although it’s no bigger than your fist, your heart has the huge job of keeping blood flowing through the 60,000 miles of blood vessels that feed your organs and tissues.
Any damage to the heart can reduce that pumping power, forcing the heart to work harder to keep up with the body’s demand for blood. Thankfully these days’ patients with heart problems have a much higher chance of surfing than in the past due to procedures such as balloon and stent (PCI), although of course prevention is better than cure.
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) commonly known as angioplasty is one therapeutic procedure used to treat narrowing of the coronary arteries of the heart found in coronary artery disease. These blockages in the arteries are due to the buildup of cholesterol laden plaques that form due to atherosclerosis (thickening of the arteries). PCI can be performed to reduce or eliminate the symptoms of coronary artery disease, including angina (chest pain), dyspnea (shortness of breath) on exertion, and congestive heart failure. PCI is also used to abort acute myocardial infarction (heart attack), and in many cases can and does save life.
The term balloon angioplasty is commonly used to describe PCI, which describes the inflation of a balloon within the coronary artery to crush the plaque back into the walls of the artery. While balloon angioplasty is still done as a part of nearly all percutaneous interventions, it is rarely the only procedure performed. Sometimes a small mesh tube or stent is introduced into the artery to help prop it open. Traditional coronary stents (bare metal) provide a mechanical framework that holds the artery wall open, preventing stenosis, or narrowing, of coronary arteries. New drug-eluting stents (DES) are traditional stents that are coated with drugs, which, when placed in the artery, release certain drugs over time. It has been shown that these types of stents prevent closing of the artery. The PCI procedure is performed by an interventional cardiologist.