Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - GMC - 44

AT A GLANCE BY STEPHANIE THURROTT

REPAIRING
THE HEART

DEFIBRILLATOR INSERTION

Defibrillators are devices that can typically be inserted with minimally invasive
techniques. They shock your heart back
to a normal rhythm if it's beating fast or
erratically. They aren't placed as often as
pacemakers, but they can be used to treat
people at risk for sudden cardiac arrest.

Surgery can solve a range of
cardiac problems
People with heart disease,
heart failure, valve problems
and other cardiac conditions
might find relief through heart surgery.
And today, surgeons can perform many
operations on the heart with minimally
invasive techniques, says Timothy
Gardner, MD, a heart surgeon and past
president of the American Heart
Association. These procedures have
results that compare with open-heart
surgery, but with smaller incisions, less
pain and quicker recovery times.
Of course, sometimes open-heart
surgery is still required. If you or a loved
one needs heart surgery, your doctor
can talk to you about the pros and cons
of these techniques.
Here are some of the most frequently
performed heart surgeries.

STENT PLACEMENT

Some blockages can be cleared
with stents, implantable mesh
tubes that help keep plaque
pushed against the sides of an
artery so blood can flow freely.
Stents are typically placed with
minimally invasive techniques.

BIRTH DEFECT
TREATMENT

WEBSITE

Visit heart.org and search for "heart surgery." You'll
learn about conditions that can be treated with heart
surgery and how the operations help hearts work better.

44

W IN T ER 2019

ILLUSTRATION BY GETTY IMAGES

Looking for More Info
on Heart Surgeries?

Surgeons can correct a
range of congenital heart
problems. They may operate
on newborns, children or
adults, depending on the
condition and its effects.


http://www.heart.org

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