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New Advancements in Technology Help Patients Avoid Heart Surgery.

Heart problems tend to develop as people age. Aortic stenosis, for instance, is usually diagnosed in men over the age of 65, and women 10 years later in life.

Fortunately, over the past few years, minimally invasive techniques for valve replacement have been developed — and they do not require drastic measures such as open-heart surgery.

Until recently, open-heart surgery was the only option for replacing the valve. But a treatment called transcatheter aortic valve replacement, or TAVR (see illustration), offers a less invasive alternative with an easier, shorter recovery.

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is available for either aortic stenosis or mitral valve regurgitation.

Several other new advancements in technology used to treat heart disease can potentially help people with heart disease avoid open-heart surgery.

Patients who have symptoms and a diagnostic catheterization, or angiogram, showing a CTO, but heart muscle in the area still functioning,” may be eligible for the Chronic Total Occlusion (CTO) program.

The procedure is performed in the cardiac catheterization lab and is similar to other coronary interventions, where a catheter is placed into the artery of the leg or arm and advanced to the heart. “With new technology we can either go through the blockage or around it using the vessel wall, or go through the nearby collateral vessels in the heart and backward through the blockage.

Around 70-90 per cent of heart patients, who have critical arterial blocks, need not undergo bypass surgery, says a leading preventive cardiologist,. surgeries are not removing the blockages…Surgery only increases blood flow to the heart. Neither does it remove the symptoms and the disease-making process. In many cases EECP (Enhanced External Counter Pulsation), a non-invasive treatment and cardiac rehabilitation is found useful even in patients who were considered hopeless like those on dialysis and having weak heart muscles due to heart failure.

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