Archive | May 2015

What are STENTS

stent

A stent is a wire mesh tube that is used to help hold open an artery. To simple understanding this concept think of a plumber or a mechanic. With a plumber sometimes they have to replace a certain area of a pipe that connects the water or like a mechanic replacing a certain area of piping (like the muffler piping connected infront of the muffler than can either can be replaced or just welded with piece of piping welded just to save money. Well a stent opens the artery that was clogged and its put in that place to reinforce that area of the artery to remain open to allow blood to get to that heart from that coronary artery and it will stay there life to keep the artery permanently patent to prevent the blockage from happening again with the synthetic mesh piece.

Description

Stents are used to hold open diseased coronary arteries (these arteries supply blood to the heart), as well as diseased arteries of the peripheral vascular system (PVS). Peripheral means away from the heart the PVS is the arteries that supply blood to the rest of the body (again away from the heart all the way down to the hands and feet).

There are variety of stents currently available.

For a surgeon to find out if you even need one, first usually a angiogram is performed and this is a catheter simply from the femerol artery or from your arm to the coronary arteries. If the MD sees you show a blockage 80% or more an angioplasty is performed which is a balloon at the end of this catheter that blows up and decompresses to give the effect like punching gloves. The balloon inflates and deflates over and over again till the blockage breaks open free and then a stent is put in that area to help keep it open permanently (patent).

Some stents have been compressed onto the outside of an angioplasty balloon catheter and delivered by inflating the balloon in the desired location. Other stents are “self- expanding” spring-loaded devices, which expand automatically upon deployment.

Stents remain in arteries permanently. The tissue lining the arteries actually grows over the metal mesh to cover the inner lumen of the stent.

Stent procedures have become very common like tonsillectomies were in childhood. Stents are sometimes used as an alternative to coronary artery bypass surgery, if the patient is a candidate. Stents are often used in combination with balloon angioplasty. One leads to the other depending on what the angioplasty displays for the surgeon on the T.V. in when they are doing the procedure and if the come up to a blockage high enough to perform the angioplasty followed with a stent it will be done.

Stents are used in cases of “restenosis”, which refers to the re-closing of arteries after balloon angioplasty. In carefully selected patients, the use of stents can dramatically reduce restenosis following balloon angioplasty or other catheter-based procedures. Stents are used frequently to hold open the arteries that have been damaged, torn, or dissected by balloon angioplasty or other catheter-based procedures. Like plumber or mechanic, get it.

Stents allow angioplasty to be done in patients with severe and long-segment obstruction of coronary arteries. As soon as the I initial part of the block is widened, a stent is place, which holds it open allowing further opening to proceed. Stents have also allowed angioplasty to be performed in patients with blocks of multiple vessels, and in multiple blocks in a single artery.

Risks

Risks include the standard risks of an interventional, catheter-based procedure, which should be specifically discussed with your doctor. Lesions treated with stents can “restenosis” (re- narrow with in weeks to months after the procedure) similar to restenosis associated with angioplasty. This is why patients after having a stent put in they are on a medication for example like Plavix for life to prevent this occurrence from happening. It is a anti platelet medication, meaning it doesn’t allow clotting to happen in the stent so blockage doesn’t reoccur through clotting.

Many new technologies are being tested to reduce the problem of restenosis. These technologies include coating and coverings for the stent, new materials, and radiation. These new technologies are primarily experimental at this point and will reach soon to the market if not already. Technology allows the medical field to continuously expand and this will be replaced at one point but isn’t yet. Just give it time. At one point we had no CABG (coronary artery bypass) but now the stent in certain cases is replaced by angiograms to further expanding to angioplasties and stents furthering allowing the surgery to take place 1x hopefully if the patient is compliant in diet, exercise, and following the doctors orders with meds, activity and follow up visits (which are so vital).   A lot is up to the patient in caring or themselves to prevent having this take place again.

Follow up Instructions

Your doctor will recommend blood thinning medications following your stent procedure. These agents are usually given for one month post procedure along with aspirin and then continued indefinitely. Your doctor may also prescribe antibiotics for a period of time after the stent procedure, to be taken anytime you have a medical or dental procedure. Preventing infection.

MRI tests should not be done for at least eight weeks without your doctor’s approval. Metal detectors do not present a problem. Stents appear to be safe in the long-term; there are no long-term complications associated with a permanent stent.

 

QUOTE FOR THE WEEKEND:

There are a few main population groups who have a higher risk for sciatica than the rest of us. At highest risk are people between the ages of 30 and 50 years old. These people may be very active, which increases the possibility of injury. But they are also beginning to age, and that can mean degenerative changes in the spine.

What is sciatica nerve damage?

Sciatica2

Sciatica is pain, tingling, or numbness produced by an irritation of the sciatic nerve including the roots that start from the beginning of the sciatica nerve which can go all the way down the leg depending on the individual’s damage. The sciatic nerve is formed by the nerve roots coming out of the spinal cord into the lower back. It goes down through the buttock, then its branches extend down the back of the leg to the ankle and foot. When something presses on the sciatica nerve, like a herniated disc, it presses on that nerve which causes the pain from the buttock that can radiate all the way down to the foot. The intensity of the pressure on the nerve and where its pressed decides if it goes to the foot or less. Other causes of sciatica nerve damage:

The most common cause -a bulging or ruptured disc in the spine pressing against the nerve roots that lead to the sciatic nerve.

-Sciatica Nerve Damage can be a symptom of other conditions that affect

*Narrowing of the spinal canal due to spinal stenosis. This spinal canal narrowing pinches on the sciatica nerve.

*Bone spurs-they are growths that are small forming along joints caused by arthritis.

*Simply injury (like a car accident or fall) causing nerve root compression=again the same result-pinching the sciatica nerve.

*Pregnancy-not as common as a cause as the others listed.

*Rarely but also tumors could cause the problem also.

 

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of sciatica include pain that begins in your back or buttock and moves down your leg and may move into your foot.

*Weakness, tingling, or numbness in the leg may also occur.

*At times a inconsistent stabbing feeling or pricking feeling in the ankle or foot

*Sitting, standing for a long time, and movements that cause the spine to flex (such asexercises using the knee to chest) which may make symptoms worse.

*Walking, lying down, and movements that extend the spine (such as press-ups) may relieve symptoms.

How is sciatica diagnosed?

Sciatica is diagnosed with a medical history and physical exam. Sometimes x-rays and other tests such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are done to help find the cause of the sciatica.

What are the Complications?

Although most people recover fully from sciatica, often without any specific treatment, sciatica can potentially cause permanent nerve damage. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience:

-Loss of feeling in the affected leg                                                                                               -Weakness in the affected leg

-Loss of bowel or bladder function

How is it treated?

In many cases, sciatica will improve and go away with time. Initial treatment usually focuses on medicines and exercises to relieve pain. You can help relieve pain by:

*Avoiding sitting (unless it is more comfortable than standing).

*Alternating lying down with short walks. Increase your walking distance as you are able to, without pain.  

* Takingacetaminophen (tylenol) or Motrin (Ibuporfen) or Advil or Aleve (Naproxen). All are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs which decrease the swelling of the inflammation around the area or injury to the back which will decrease the pain. More inflammation=more pinching on the nerve.

*Using a heating pad on a low or medium setting for 15 to 20 minutes every 2 or 3 hours. Try a warm shower in place of one session with the heating pad. You can also buy single-use heat wraps that last up to 8 hours. You can also try an ice pack for 10 to 15 minutes every 2 to 3 hours. There is not strong evidence that either heat or ice will help, but you can try them to see if they help you.

*Additional treatment for sciatica depends on what is causing the nerve irritation. If your symptoms do not improve, your doctor may suggest physical therapy, injections of medicines such as steroids, stronger medicines such as muscle relaxants or opiates.                                                                                                                                                

*Physical Therapy or chiropracter therapy or some form of therapy for 6 to 8 weeks.

* If the therapy is uneffective than the last resort in most cases is surgery that ranges from:

– laser surgery

– scrapping of the vertebrae pinching the nerve with leaving the rest of the vertebrae spacing the spinal cord in place or removing the vertebrae pinching the nerve and replacing it with cement (not cement we use for sidewalks that we know of).   It’s natural to want to return to your regular activities as soon as possible after surgery, but a lot depends on the type of operation you get.

 

In two common methods, vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty, your surgeon makes a small cut in your back, which lets you recover faster. If you get spinal fusion surgery, the cut is larger, and it will take a longer time to heal.

 

-small endoscopic surgery that is microsurgery removing pieces of the vertebraepinching which has a test called a discogram (injecting a dye right into the injured disc and than a ultrasound of the area is done to show the surgeon the exact route he has to follow to cure the problem. The surgeon numbs the area that he will repair with the pt wide awake; he makes a incision about 2/10 of an inch, using the cat scan as a guide for his eyes inserting a scope inserting a grabber that goes in the scope removing disc fragments that are pressing on the nerves causing the pain. It takes about 30 minutes for this procedure with only a small bandage covering the incision followed with the patient leaving the hospital in less than a few hours

*Other self-care treatments that may be helpful include:

-Cold packs. Initially, you may get relief from a cold pack placed on the painful        area for up 20 minutes several times a day. Use an ice pack or a package of frozen peas wrapped in a clean towel.

-Hot packs. After two to three days, apply heat to the areas that hurt. Use hot packs, a heat lamp or a heating pad on the lowest setting. If you continue to have pain, try alternating warm and cold packs.

-Stretching. Stretching exercises for your low back can help you feel better and may help    relieve nerve root compression. Avoid jerking, bouncing or twisting during the stretch and try to hold the stretch at least 30 seconds.

-Over-the-counter medications. Pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) and naproxen (Aleve) are sometimes helpful for sciatica.

References:

National Cancer Society

Web MD

Mayo Clinic

Dr. Bruce Hensel M.D. (chief medical editor channel 4)

Dr. David Ditsworth Surgeon – does back scoping

Robert Forrest Physical Therapy in Santa Monica, California.In this article

 

QUOTE FOR FRIDAY:

“A stent is a tiny, metal mesh tube that is placed with a catheter and permanently embedded within the artery wall to prop open and prevent it from collapsing.”

You & Your Stent” is provided compliments of Daiichi Sankyo/Eli Lilly in Partnership with SCAI. Copyright © 2013 Daiichi Sankyo, Inc. and Lilly

QUOTE FOR THURSDAY:

“Cardiac arrest is reversible in most victims if treated within a few minutes. It’s critical to recognize the symptoms and act quickly.”

The American Heart Association

QUOTE FOR WEDNESDAY:

Sodium plays a key role in your body. It helps maintain normal blood pressure, supports the work of your nerves and muscles, and regulates your body’s fluid balance.

MAYO CLINIC

What is hyponatremia and how does it affect the human body?

sodium

Hyponatremia is a condition that occurs when the level of sodium in your blood is abnormally low. Sodium is an electrolyte, and it helps regulate the amount of water that’s in and around your cells.

In hyponatremia, one or more factors — ranging from an underlying medical condition to drinking too much water during endurance sports causes the sodium in your body to become diluted. When this happens, your body’s water levels rise, and your cells begin to swell. This swelling can cause many health problems, from mild to life-threatening.

Hyponatremia treatment is aimed at resolving the underlying condition. Depending on the cause of hyponatremia, you may simply need to cut back on how much you drink. In other cases of hyponatremia, you may need intravenous fluids and medications.

Sodium we know what systems it effects from yesterday’s article on sodium in general of how it works in the human body.  If you don’t know and didn’t get a chance to read it yesterday stop this article going to yesterday’s to read over the general information of how sodium works and effects the human body.  This will help you understand the signs and symptoms easier.

Hyponatremia signs and symptoms may include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Loss of energy and fatigue
  • Restlessness and irritability
  • Muscle weakness, spasms or cramps
  • Seizures
  • All the way to a ComaA normal sodium level is between 135 and 145 milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L) of sodium. Hyponatremia occurs when the sodium in your blood falls below 135 mEq/L.
  • Many possible conditions and lifestyle factors can lead to hyponatremia, including:
  • Sodium plays a key role in your body. It helps maintain normal blood pressure, supports the work of your nerves and muscles, and regulates your body’s fluid balance playing a particular role in acid and base balances inside our blood stream working with in particular potassium.
  • Certain medications. Some medications, such as some water pills (diuretics), antidepressants and pain medications, can cause you to urinate or perspire more than normal.  Medications that increase your risk of hyponatremia include thiazide diuretics as well as some antidepressants and pain medications. In addition to the recreational drug Ecstasy has been linked to fatal cases of hyponatremia.
  • Heart, kidney and liver problems. Congestive heart failure and certain diseases affecting the kidneys or liver can cause fluids to accumulate in your body, which dilutes the sodium in your body, lowering the overall level.
  • Syndrome of inappropriate anti-diuretic hormone (SIADH). In this condition, high levels of the anti-diuretic hormone (ADH) are produced, causing your body to retain water instead of excreting it normally in your urine.
  • Chronic, severe vomiting or diarrhea. This causes your body to lose fluids and electrolytes, such as sodium.
  • Drinking too much water. Because you lose sodium through sweat, drinking too much water during endurance activities, such as marathons and triathlons, can dilute the sodium content of your blood. Drinking too much water at other times can also cause low sodium.
  • Dehydration. Taking in too little fluid can also be a problem. If you get dehydrated, your body loses fluids and electrolytes.
  • Hormonal changes. Adrenal gland insufficiency (Addison’s disease) affects your adrenal glands’ ability to produce hormones that help maintain your body’s balance of sodium, potassium and water. Low levels of thyroid hormone also can cause a low blood-sodium level.
  • The recreational drug Ecstasy. This amphetamine increases the risk of severe and even fatal cases of hyponatremia. In acute hyponatremia, sodium levels drop rapidly — resulting in potentially dangerous effects, such as rapid brain swelling, which can result in coma and death.Seek emergency care for anyone who develops severe signs and symptoms of hyponatremia, such as nausea and vomiting, confusion, seizures, or lost consciousness.
  • Call your doctor if you know you are at risk of hyponatremia and are experiencing nausea, headache, cramping or weakness. Depending on the extent and duration of these signs and symptoms, your doctor may recommend seeking immediate medical care.
  • Premenopausal women appear to be at the greatest risk of hyponatremia-related brain damage. This may be related to the effect of women’s sex hormones on the body’s ability to balance sodium levels.
  • In chronic hyponatremia, sodium levels drop gradually over 48 hours or longer — and symptoms and complications are typically more moderate.
  • Also for older adults they may have more contributing factors for hyponatremia, including age-related changes, taking certain medications and a greater likelihood of developing a chronic disease that alters the body’s sodium balance.

QUOTE FOR TUESDAY

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women.

Robert F. Malacoff, M.D (is a Board-certified Cardiologist and Electrophysiologist who treats patients at Orange Regional Medical Group and Catskill Regional Medical Group and has been providing exceptional care for more than 35 years)

What Causes Diabetic Heart Disease?

Resolute%20Integrity%20DES_Heart%20Disease%20&%20Diabetes%20Infographic

At least four complex processes, alone or combined, can lead to diabetic heart disease (DHD). They include coronary atherosclerosis; metabolic syndrome; insulin resistance in people who have type 2 diabetes; and the interaction of coronary heart disease (CHD), high blood pressure, and diabetes .

Researchers continue to study these processes because all of the details aren’t yet known.

Coronary Atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis is a disease in which plaque builds up inside the arteries. The exact cause of atherosclerosis isn’t known. However, studies show that it is a slow, complex disease that may start in childhood. The disease develops faster as you age.

Coronary atherosclerosis may start when certain factors damage the inner layers of the coronary (heart) arteries. These factors include:

  • Smoking
  • High amounts of certain fats and cholesterol in the blood
  • High blood pressure
  • High amounts of sugar in the blood due to insulin resistance or diabetes

Plaque may begin to build up where the arteries are damaged. Over time, plaque hardens and narrows the arteries. This reduces the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your heart muscle.

Eventually, an area of plaque can rupture (break open). When this happens, blood cell fragments called platelets (PLATE-lets) stick to the site of the injury. They may clump together to form blood clots.

Blood clots narrow the coronary arteries even more. This limits the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your heart and may worsen angina (chest pain) or cause a heart attack.

Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is the name for a group of risk factors that raises your risk of both CHD and type 2 diabetes.

If you have three or more of the five metabolic risk factors, you have metabolic syndrome. The risk factors are:

  • A large waistline (a waist measurement of 35 inches or more for women and 40 inches or more for men).
  • A high triglyceride (tri-GLIH-seh-ride) level (or you’re on medicine to treat high triglycerides). Triglycerides are a type of fat found in the blood.
  • A low HDL cholesterol level (or you’re on medicine to treat low HDL cholesterol). HDL sometimes is called “good” cholesterol. This is because it helps remove cholesterol from your arteries.
  • High blood pressure (or you’re on medicine to treat high blood pressure).
  • A high fasting blood sugar level (or you’re on medicine to treat high blood sugar).

It’s unclear whether these risk factors have a common cause or are mainly related by their combined effects on the heart.

Obesity seems to set the stage for metabolic syndrome. Obesity can cause harmful changes in body fats and how the body uses insulin.

Chronic (ongoing) inflammation also may occur in people who have metabolic syndrome. Inflammation is the body’s response to illness or injury. It may raise your risk of CHD and heart attack. Inflammation also may contribute to or worsen metabolic syndrome.

Research is ongoing to learn more about metabolic syndrome and how metabolic risk factors interact.

Insulin Resistance in People Who Have Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes usually begins with insulin resistance. Insulin resistance means that the body can’t properly use the insulin it makes.

People who have type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance have higher levels of substances in the blood that cause blood clots. Blood clots can block the coronary arteries and cause a heart attack or even death.

The Interaction of Coronary Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure, and Diabetes

Each of these risk factors alone can damage the heart. CHD reduces the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your heart muscle. High blood pressure and diabetes may cause harmful changes in the structure and function of the heart.

Having CHD, high blood pressure, and diabetes is even more harmful to the heart. Together, these conditions can severely damage the heart muscle. As a result, the heart has to work harder than normal. Over time, the heart weakens and isn’t able to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. This condition is called heart failure.

As the heart weakens, the body may release proteins and other substances into the blood. These proteins and substances also can harm the heart and worsen heart failure.