Yesterday, we posted the first part of the 2 part series on Heart Blocks. Today, we post the second and the concluding part.
The usual invasive treatments are stents and bypass surgery. What are stents? How do they stop the formation of blocks? Or do they?
Bypass surgery is done in case of multiple blockages and stents used usually when there are one-3 blockages. The aim of these procedures is to increase blood supply to the heart which is reduced due to obstructive blockages leading to chest pain. These procedures do not have the ability to stop the blockages as it’s just symptomatic treatment. It has no affect on the root cause, which forms the blocks. Hence, after surgeries reoccurrence is possible and common. At IPC we ventured into non-invasive cardiac treatment to address these issues as we had an increasing number of patients post bypass or stents approaching us for chest pain relief. Since the success rate of non-invasive therapies is over 95% in cases selected at IPC, we recommend patients strongly to take a second opinion before jumping into the surgical bandwagon.
You have been preaching about non-invasive treatments for blocks for a long time. Can you tell us more about them like how are they performed?
The goal of non-invasive treatments is to increase blood supply to the heart and stabilize the blockage to prevent a heart attack. EECP is USFDA approved, Medicare reimbursed evidence based outdoor patient treatment for 35 sittings one hour daily. Repeat Thallium scans have shown an increase in blood supply to the heart. This is approved for cases with failed bypass and angioplasties, IPC in 2002 took the lead to help poor needy patients, who couldn’t afford surgery with this treatment with great results. In fact, we are going to soon release a book Living without heart surgery compilation of our cases, who had been told they would die without surgery in ten days and have lived over 10-15 years. I no longer believe the lesson, which was taught to me, that bypass is the only way to survive heart diseases. With the increasing popularity now even the patients, who can afford surgery and have medical insurance; are opting for non-invasive treatment as the treatment is safe, harmless and effective.
Does non-invasive treatment involve the ingestion of a lot of drugs? If yes, then the situation is much like chemotherapy for cancer patients and the side-effects involved in it, isn’t it?
No, treating heart disease non-invasively is rewarding to patients and not frustrating like cancer. In fact, we have the joy of reducing unnecessary medications of our stable patients following lifestyle advice and maintaining good parameters, which prevents blockages.
Are there any new researches happening as far as heart blocks are concerned?
There is a lot of research happening in the US as far as heart blocks are concerned. There are a lot of diagnostic tests which can help us detect heart blocks earlier, identify which block can lead to heart attack, development of a vaccine to prevent heart blocks, etc. We have collaborated with Dr. Harrington, co-founder of PULs Test, which informs us about the heart attack risks so the patients can be monitored to prevent the same.
Tell us in short how a heart block can be completely avoided.
As heart blockage formation is multi-factorial cent percent foolproof method doesn’t exist.
However, one can always identify the risk factors, control the risk factors mentioned above and consult a preventive cardiologist, who can customize a road map individually as each person has different factors. Broad rules are Exercise daily, Eat low fat-high protein diet with plenty of fruits and veggies, maintaining a positive outlook with stress management, stop smoking and get annual checkups done.