Frequently Asked Questions​

Can we prevent the heart attacks?
Yes to a certain extent. Good life style requires a day to day caring of one’s food, physical activity, stress levels, sleep and proper occupational, social activities to keep the brain & mind occupie.
I am a vegetarian and tea-totaller, will I get heart problems?

Heart diseases are product of impaired metabolic activity of body. Imbalance of metabolism and stress gives direct impact on the blood vessels, possibly micro trauma of its very delicate linings. Healing of these linings over years with unorganized manner leads to formation of chunks of fat and other cells forms a big chunk enough to slowly narrow the blood vessel, eventually limiting the passage of blood distally depriving the energy to the distal tissues. Sudden rupture of these fat deposits open into  the lining of blood vessel and the blood comes in contact with highly inflammatory material gets clotted and the clot blocks the vessel totally within minutes and causes loss of energy supply to the heart muscle distally eventually it stops contracting, called as heart attack, is a medical emergency. Unless this is opened within minutes or possibly in few hours, significant amount of muscle depend on the vessel dies leaving big scar permanently and significant reduction in the pumping capacity and physical intolerance, at times even to the extent heart acutely loses its ejection force enough to sustain life. So the factors responsible for this are multiple kinds, possibly product of modern lifestyle and civilization. Certain problems like diabetes, some habits aggravate this but not solely responsible to it. So we need to address all aspects our life not only to food and smoking etc. Also, the time of intervention is important, teaching healthy good lifestyle from adolescence might largely prevent these things rather addressing them after middle age by the time plague burden and dispersion may be wide enough to have clean blood vessels, but at any point of time lifestyle modifications and interventions would result in reduced vascular events along with medicines.

How do we know that we have a heart problems or imminent heart attack?

Heart is like a motor pump which pumps blood into the blood vessel in one-way while receiving the blood back from the rest of the body, so that it keeps the blood which carries the life gas oxygen and energy to all tissues of the body, in a flowing state called circulation. While lung adds oxygen to the circulation in that series, gut and liver adds energy in that. Metabolic byproducts are vented out partly through the lung in gaseous state; solids are filtered in urine as dissolved state. Oxygen is an important source to brain which cannot survive even few minutes without it. So the pumping of heart is very much essential to sustain life while other organs stops for a while matters bit less. So, it’s important that chest pain, fatigue, difficult breathing on exertion are common symptoms of heart disease. In advanced state, stagnation of water in foot as swelling of feet and legs, waterlogged stomach and bowel that make less hungry or feeling full are the common symptoms. Heart attack is sudden cessation of blood supply to heart due to rupture of existing irregular collection of fat and cells under the blood lining leads to blood to clot and obstructs the already narrowed lumen. You will feel a constricting, compressing pain over the central chest or left side of chest which may travel to jaw neck, left arm, upper abdomen at times along with sweating, mostly sudden onset. Few individuals may not feel typical pain but they have some kind of stomach discomfort, breathlessness, giddiness and fatigue. It’s a medical emergency; it will endanger life unless proper medical intervention is done at the earliest. It’s worth rush to reach a nearest doctor or clinic, hospital at the earliest, even if its declared as negative for heart attack by your doctor.

What are the common mistakes in recognizing heart attacks among public?

Quite a few of us don’t believe that when they have a chest discomfort during walking, climbing steps or even at rest, it could be a heart attack. They ignore heaviness, tightness, mild pain or stomach discomfort as a normal variant due to muscle spasm or digestion issues. Since time is life in heart attacks, reaching late to a doctor or hospital results in loss of life or life long suffering with limited capacity. They believe that they won’t get heart attacks. The acceptance takes some amount time to decide to consult the expertise. Other common mistake is that people try to reach some of their known contacts far off who may be a doctor or health care personnel to get an opinion on phone or social media. It’s strongly advised to reach a nearby doctor or hospital for help early rather trying to reach other far off contacts. Other mistake is, they consult a doctor but they want a second opinion or they want to reach a higher center for further management not realizing that its time not the level of care or expertise matters in most of the heart attacks. At time in some critical situations the physician himself refers them for a higher center after a necessary emergency care. If you are in a reach of heart center with angioplasty facilities, you can request your nearest family physician for an angioplasty facility referral if the heart attack is diagnosed. The best possible results are by angioplasty comparing injectable medicines if we could reach within an hour or two.

How do we treat heart attacks?

The doctor treats by trying to open the blood vessel by means of medicines which lyse the existing clots or he refers to a cardiologist in angioplasty centers where the cardiologist inserts wire through the clot accessing form one of the accessible blood vessel either from hand or thigh, breaks the clot and applying metal mesh called stents to support the diseased shrunken vessel to keep it open as a one-time definitive measure, called primary angioplasty, which is recommended than clot lysing medicines which may not lyse all the time, if it is in reach by 1 to 2 hours.

Should we take medicine life long after the heart disease or heart attack?

Yes. Once we know the vessels are having plaques, we should require few medications to keep the blocks/plaques stable or not to progress along with food and life style modifications. This is even after fixing with stents or bypass surgery, may be at a lower doses.  Also we need to take care of the other diseases like diabetes, hypertension, and obesity.

What kind of food and life style of life style modifications we need to follow?

Yes, you will be asked to undergo few laboratory tests, ECG, ECHO and exercise tests like treadmill test to identify significant heart diseases. Negative results do not rule out 100 percent of heart disease, still the definitive diagnostic test called angiogram might be required to rule out heart disease in some cases. Also tests need to be repeated in intervals   of every few years or whenever there is suspicion of some symptoms or change in physical tolerance.

What kind of food and life style modifications we need to follow?

The list could be quite big. Also we need a good amount of commitment and patience. Food should be a good mix of different kind of foods like whole cereals, pulses, nuts, fruits and greens. At least one third of days food should come from nuts, fruits and greens if possible as uncooked. Least processed cereals and pulses if possible like whole grain and pulses helps. In terms of animal food, limiting red meats and favoring more to egg, milk products and sea foods is good. Avoid over cooking instead to cook as palatable as possible is better. Cooking in water and steam is a better way than dry heating and frying.  We should not be heating the oil too long or reusing helps. Also measures like rotation of different kind of foods, adequate spacing between meals or small frequent meals enough to alleviate hunger might help. Highly processed foods, packed for long time might harm the body. Walking for 30 to 60 minutes daily is necessary for good metabolism and muscle conditioning. It helps in our thoughts and mental well-being too. Sports and heavy exercises are good for a better physical health. Sleep is one of the best ways to heal your body and mind daily so that the metabolism and inflammation is in balance. Good thoughts and positivity is important as well. Self-belief and brisk mind strikes a good balance in our health. Empathy, social activities, caring others seems to be good for the mind.

Is emergency angioplasty and stenting necessary for all heart attacks?

Emergency or primary angioplasty fixes the blocked and diseased blood vessel in a real time under vision in a catheterization laboratory. This is a recommended treatment in heart attacks called otherwise myocardial infarction. Comparing with clot lysis with intravenous drugs which only lyse small discrete early soluble clots, it does not address the plaques with tight blocks, the angioplasty gives a complete solution including clot dispersion, widening the vessel and fixing with the stent. This precludes re-occlusion of blood vessels.

Is Bypass Surgery High risk one?

Bypass surgery is creating alternate route of blood flow to bypass the blocked area using our own blood vessels from nearby chest area and leg veins. It’s an open surgery requires opening the chest by breaking the breast bone. Breast bone is wired after surgeries, like any fractures it requires four to six weeks to heal adequately till then you may have to restrict some strenuous activities. You require few weeks to feel healthy like before surgery, as the body requires time to get healed and regenerate the lost blood.

Risks during the surgery goes like any surgery and anaesthesia, loss of blood enough to require others blood which will have some minor complications, wound infection in few individuals which might require minor interventions post-surgery. Planned surgery at right time has only a few risks which is acceptable. 

Should I restrict my work after bypass surgery/ angioplasty/ heart attack?

Unless the pumping efficiency is significantly low or just few weeks after surgery, no need to restrict any activities, they can have normal occupational or recreational activities after angioplasty or 6 to 8 weeks after surgery but may require medical advice from your doctor on individual basis if you are only on medicines.

How do I prepare myself for surgery or how do I manage my post-surgery days?

You need to undergo few blood tests, and other tests like ultrasound, CT that depends on other associated symptoms and habits. You will be briefed about how you will feel in the icu for few days, like pain, drowsiness due to medicines and nausea, vomiting. You should not take anything by mouth for 6-8 hours before surgery. You have to convey your discomfort to the staff like pain so that the medicines will be given accordingly. You may be having sleep disturbances, may require some interventions. You may feel Anger and restlessness sometimes if it’s bothersome, medicines may be required to calm yourself. You can choose your food as you like but make sure you require good amount of vitamins and minerals to heal the wound. You should have a good share of nuts and fruits in your diet. Walking and aerobic exercises helps you to recover quickly both mentally and physically. Keeping the mind and brain active, boosts overall well-being and recovery that may require activities that stimulate the thought process like reading, chatting, games, puzzles etc, whichever is suitable for the individual. Caring the wound, the wound is kept open after 4 to 5 days of surgery.   If any pain, swelling, discharge and gapping in the wound you have to call us or visit our clinic. If you have shortness of breath, giddiness and chest pain, you have to call us or report to our clinic.