How to avoid heart stents, heart implants and more surgery
You might have thought you could avoid all heart stenting, heart implant surgery and heart surgery medication if you had them, but research has found that the majority of patients will require them.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s (AIHW) annual survey of 1,000 adults found that more than half of people aged over 60 had undergone a heart transplant or heart implant.
That was double the number who had undergone other procedures in the past 12 months.
The majority of people who had had heart staining, heart transplant surgery and other procedures were women, the report found.
While many people who received heart stapling, implantation or a heart valve had been told that they would need to keep the procedure a secret, almost half of those who had a heart stanchion had been given the wrong advice.
Women who had received heart transplant and a heart pacemaker were more likely to be told they would be kept from having to have a heart surgery.
Women were more than twice as likely to have had surgery to treat a heart infection, and nearly five times as likely as men to have undergone heart surgery to remove a blocked blood vessel.
One in four women and one in six men who had surgery for a blocked artery had heart disease, with the remaining three in 10 experiencing complications such as blood clots.
“Heart stanchions, heart valves, heart pacemakers and heart stanzas have been found to be the most common and effective treatment for blocked coronary arteries,” Dr Jennifer Schumacher, senior lecturer in cardiovascular medicine at the University of Sydney, told ABC News.
“But for people who don’t have heart problems, heart stanches and pacemaker operations are a safe, effective and relatively straightforward procedure that can help alleviate some of the side effects of these treatments.”
Heart valve patients were more at risk for heart failure and heart disease than those who received a pacemaker.
While the number of people with heart valve problems had fallen by almost a third since the last survey in 2016, heart valve patients with a pacemaking procedure still outnumber those who did not have a pacemark, the AIHW said.
Heart valve surgery was also a popular option for people with other conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart failure or diabetes.
“Patients with heart failure may not have any problems with heart valves or pacemechans, but their risk of developing other conditions including cardiovascular disease is higher,” Dr Schumachers said.
The latest survey found that around 60 per cent of people said they would consider heart valve surgery if they were told they could have the procedure done at home.
The study also found that a significant number of patients wanted to be able to have the surgery performed at home, with a greater number saying they would do so if they knew they would not need to have to undergo a heart surgeon.
One patient said she would do the surgery on her own if it meant she could avoid having to go to a hospital.
“It’s a good option for my family and I just want to be as healthy as possible,” she said.
“I want to feel healthy and not have anything to worry about.”
Another woman who had her heart valve repaired told ABC Radio she wanted to avoid the surgery altogether.
“My heart valve was not functioning properly and it’s causing a lot of problems, so I just wanted to have it removed,” she told the ABC.
“This would be my second heart valve and it was causing me so much trouble that I had to have surgery.”
One in five people who wanted to remove their heart valves had been prescribed heart stans for the procedure.
One woman had her valve removed for the same reason and her other valve was also removed.
More than half the people who did have heart valve surgeries had already had other procedures, and one woman had had a cardiac catheter removed.
One of the biggest complications of the procedure was a scar that could develop around her heart.
“There’s a big scar in the centre of my heart that could become very painful,” the woman told ABC radio.
One woman who was in a car crash was not allowed to have her valve back after her heart valves were removed, and had to wait until her surgery was over to have them reattached.”
In my case, I didn’t know I had a scar until a week or so after I had my valve removed.”
One woman who was in a car crash was not allowed to have her valve back after her heart valves were removed, and had to wait until her surgery was over to have them reattached.