A Common Myth That Heart Diseases Dont Occur At Young Age

Young Hearts at high risk of heart problems – Angioplasty that saved one and some precautionary tips for the rest, to have a healthy heart…

One of the biggest misconceptions that most of us have is heart diseases affect only people above 50. To clear this myth, here’s something you must read. Researchers say that there is no particular age for a heart disorder, and the current observation shows that heart attacks are seen at a relatively younger age these days.

There is a huge rise of heart problems in younger people in their 20s, 30s and 40s. Let us look at a 33-year-old man’s case that we came across recently.

33 year old Srinivas(name changed), came to us with a history of chest pain for almost one hour. He was neither diabetic nor had high blood pressure and was a non-smoker. On finding out more, we found that Srinivas’s mother was also a heart patient. He suddenly had a cardiac arrest after the presentation in the ER. He was promptly resuscitated and taken to the cath lab. An immediate angiography was done which showed a total occlusion of LAD (Left Anterior Descending) artery with thrombus(blood clot) extending into the left main artery. We performed an angioplasty on Srinivas immediately.

Following are a few risks that had occurred during the procedure:

  • repeated cardiac arrest during the procedure
  • more than ten times shocked for rhythm stabilisation
  • repeated thrombus formation

Since it is quite clear that heart problems can affect anyone at any age, let’s read more about what angioplasty is, what happens in angioplasty, and what kind of precautions to keep in mind for a patient with a stent.

What is angioplasty?

Angioplasty is a  procedure which helps in widening narrowed arteries that have fat deposits obstructing the flow of blood to the heart muscle. The doctor who performs an angioplasty is specially trained and practiced interventional cardiologist.

The procedure is performed through either groin or wrist area access. A slender tube (called catheter) is passed to engage the heart artery.  A wire is passed across the blocked area. An empty collapsed balloon is passed over the wire and positioned across the block in the artery and inflated, pushing aside the fatty deposits and any overlying blood clot, resulting in improved blood flow. The balloon is then deflated and removed. A stent which is also mounted on a collapsed balloon is then positioned across the block and inflated to ensure the vessel remains open.

A stent is a small wire mesh tube  is often used to push the narrowing surfaces of the artery to open and limit chances of narrowing again. There are a variety of stents that are used in angioplasty depending on the blockage. Some stents are coated with medication to help keep the artery open (drug-eluting stents), and some are uncoated metal meshes (bare-metal stents). Angioplasty can help improving symptoms of blocked arteries and possibilities of having a heart attack. During a cardiac arrest, it quickly opens the blocked artery and improves the blood flow to your heart.

After angioplasty

  • The tube/ catheter is removed from the incision.
  • A nurse or doctor usually apply direct pressure for about 15 minutes or a little longer on the incision from where the catheter was inserted, to ensure there’s no internal bleeding.
  • After the surgery, a stay in the hospital for a night is advised.
  • A risk of a blood clot formation inside the stent is possible.
  • Your doctor might prescribe a medicine to help prevent this blockage.
  • Avoid lifting heavy weights and vigorous physical activity for 2 to 3 days immediately after the procedure.
  • Eat healthy food and keep a note of all risk factors you need to change, to keep yourself heart healthy.

Now let us move ahead and read about the causes of blockage in the arteries and the precautions that are to be taken to avoid having blockages and heart problems.

What causes blockages in the arteries?

Genetic factors are the most common reasons for heart diseases at an early age.

  • High cholesterol levels
  • Familial hypercholesterolemia
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension in the young

Other reasons for blockages in the arteries are:

  • Decreased physical activity, and regularly indulging in junk food contributes to the development of high cholesterol levels, obesity and heart diseases.
  • Smoking causes blood to sludge. This results in narrowing of coronary arteries and the blood platelets become very sticky. These platelets stick to the coronary arteries resulting in blockage of the coronary arteries.
  • Stress releases chemicals that increase the blood pressure. This increase in blood pressure leads to the platelets cluster with each other and forms clots in the arteries resulting in heart problems.
  • People under extreme stress are at increased risk for heart disease even if they do not have a family history of the same.

Precautions for people with stents:

  • Avoid  smoking
  • Exercise regularly
  • Weight must be controlled
  • People who are diabetic must keep a watch on their sugar levels very strictly
  • Blood pressure control must be taken care of
  • Junk food must be completely avoided
  • Stress levels should be reduced through meditation etc.

Apart from the points mentioned above, regular screening is an important way to keep away from heart troubles. The more you have a healthy lifestyle, the lesser risk you have with heart problems. Screening and treating on time help in lowering the risk of having heart problems.

It is advised that people above 25 must get their Fasting lipid profiles tested at least once, to know blood cholesterol levels, and how it must be managed further to avoid blockages and heart problems.

Below are the pictures of Srinivas’s angioplasty that we had done at Sri Sri Holistic. It was a complicated Lmca (Left Main Coronary Artery)bifurcation angioplasty procedure. The surgery was a critical one as there was repeated thrombus formation and repeated cardiac arrest during the procedure. We had to put him on an additional intra-aortic balloon pump support, and it was successful after which Srinivas was discharged in a week and also visited us for a follow-up. Srinivas is now recovering fast.

before-after

About the Doctor:

An Alumni of NIMS, Dr. P.S.Gautam has in depth expertise in complex coronary interventions through radial route, peripheral interventions including carotid, renal artery stenting and device closures for septal defects. He also has experience in teaching cardiology trainees.

About Hospital:

Sri Sri Holistic Hospital is a leading 100 bedded multi specialty hospital in Nizampet, Kukatpally, Hyderabad. Sri Sri Holistic Hospital provides high standards of healthcare with a combination of advanced technology and state of art clinical expertise. With more than 52 Internationally experienced doctors and 400+ staff, we served at least 50,000 patients so far.