Heart failure has become part and parcel of our unhealthy lifestyle. The way we live and what we eat has compounded the problem of heart failure. That is why new advances in heart failure are a boon to people who suffer from heart disorders that may lead to heart failures.
New Advances in Heart Failure:
- One of the biggest breakthroughs in combating heart failure has been the introduction of drug coated stents. This is primarily meant for people suffering from coronary artery disease and is useful in preventing the re-blockage of the artery. The drug coating on the stent prevents the artery from getting blocked again.
- People who are suffering from end-stage heart failure can now get an implant of a left ventricle assist device, also known as LVAD. The device is the size of a compact disc and can be implanted either in the upper abdominal wall or in the peritoneal lining. A tube then enters the left ventricle of the heart and helps to drain out the blood into the LVAD from where it is sent to the aorta. This is very encouraging news for people who have weak left ventricle due to heart failure.
- If a person has severe heart failure which has damaged both the ventricles, then the person's life expectancy would just a few days to a month. In which case, he can now look forward to an implantable heart which will function like the normal human heart but runs on a battery.
- Many times in cardiovascular surgery there can be a need to replace certain parts of the heart like the valves, blood vessels or vascular patches. However, this is rather complicated due to many factors and in addition, the body of the patient might reject the donor tissue. Researchers in University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland, are now trying to grow parts of the human heart through tissue engineering. They are using human bone marrow cells to grow heart valves. This is still in the laboratory stage and will be some time before it can be brought to clinical trial stage. However, the prospect of the heart being able to replace its damaged tissue is very exciting.
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