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Heart Disease Treatment

Procedures and Surgery That Treat Heart Disease

Heart disease treatment can also include different procedures or surgery in some cases, such as:
 
Angioplasty
An angioplasty is used to open blocked or narrowed coronary arteries. It can improve blood flow to your heart, relieve chest pain, and possibly prevent a heart attack. Sometimes, a stent (a tiny tube) is placed in the artery to keep it propped open after the procedure.
 
Open Heart Surgery
Open heart surgery is also known as coronary artery bypass surgery, or CABG for short. This heart bypass surgery uses arteries or veins from other areas in your body to bypass your diseased coronary arteries. It can improve blood flow to your heart, relieve chest pain, and possibly prevent a heart attack.
 
Angioplasty or bypass surgery may be used for heart disease treatment if:
 
  • Medications and lifestyle changes have not improved your symptoms
  • Your symptoms are worsening.
     
Some people may need to have angioplasty or bypass surgery on an emergency basis during a heart attack to limit damage to the heart.
 

Cardiac Rehabilitation as Part of Heart Disease Treatment

Your doctor may prescribe cardiac rehabilitation (rehab) for angina or after bypass surgery, angioplasty, or a heart attack.
 
Millions of people survive heart attacks or open heart surgery and resume active, normal lives. The time it takes to recover from a heart attack or heart procedure will depend on many factors, including successful participation in a cardiac rehabilitation program. Cardiac rehabilitation programs include:
 
  • Exercise training
  • Education on heart-healthy living
  • Counseling to reduce stress and help you return to an active life.
 
Almost everyone with heart disease can benefit from some kind of cardiac rehab. Women are helped by cardiac rehab as much as men are. If your healthcare provider does not talk to you about cardiac rehabilitation programs, speak up and find out about programs that might fit your needs.
 
Exercise training will help you learn to safely participate in physical activity to strengthen your heart and your muscles, and improve your stamina. If you are still recovering from surgery, you may worry that exercise could be harmful. In fact, physical activity can help prevent future heart problems. Your cardiac rehabilitation team will plan a program for you that is safe and effective.
 
Cardiac rehabilitation programs will also help you learn new heart-healthy habits, control your risk factors for heart disease, and offer support to cope with the challenges of adjusting to life following a heart attack or heart surgery. Depending on your needs, a program may help you:
 
  • Quit smoking
  • Manage conditions such as diabetes
  • Follow a heart-healthy eating plan
  • Lose weight
  • Manage stress.
 
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Heart Disease Treatments

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