Coronary Artery Disease
What Is Coronary Artery Disease?
All tissues in our body need oxygen and nutrients to maintain their normal functions. The transport of these vital substances to the extreme points of our body is through blood. The function of our heart is to circulate blood within the circulatory system. A person's heart beats 60 times a minute, pumping about 5.5 liters of blood into their body every minute. This means that about 8 tons of blood is pumped into our body every day.
Our heart, located inside the rib cage, behind the breastbone (the flipchart), is made up largely of muscle tissue. The arteries that bring the blood rich in oxygen and nutrients that our heart needs to function properly, that is, that feed the heart itself, are called coronary arteries. The coronary arteries are the first branches that the aorta, our body's main artery, gives out after exiting the heart. If we compare our body to a car for a better understanding, our heart is the engine of that car and the coronary arteries are the fuel hoses of that engine.
Vessel stiffness that causes blockages or stenosis in the fuel hoses is called "coronary artery disease". The cause of vascular stiffness is cholesterol-containing plaques that have accumulated on the wall of the coronary arteries over the years. Depending on the severity of the stenosis caused by these plaques, while some patients do not have any complaints, complaints such as chest pain and/or shortness of breath may occur while working or with emotional stress and resting as the stenosis progresses.
Patients with coronary artery disease are likely to have a heart attack later in life. The cause of the heart attack is the sudden rupture of the cholesterol plaque in the coronary artery and the sudden interruption of the blood flow in the vein, which has already narrowed due to the clot sitting on it. In other words, the contraction (operation) of the heart tissue (engine), which cannot take the blood (fuel) brought by the coronary artery (fuel hose), is suddenly disrupted. If the blood flow to the heart muscle, which can withstand anemia for a limited time, cannot be restored in a short time, the muscle tissue in the affected area begins to die irreversibly.
The closer the occlusion in the coronary artery is to the aorta (because a very large heart tissue cannot draw blood), the higher the likelihood of life-threatening. You can visualize this situation in your eyes in this way. If we compare the coronary artery system to the pipes carrying water from the dam to the city, the main pipe coming out of the dam carries water to our houses by branching and decreasing in diameter as it spreads to the neighborhoods. While a blockage in the pipe that brings water to our apartment will only cut off the flow of water to the houses in our apartment, a blockage in the main pipe that comes out of the dam will dehydrate the entire city and chaos will ensue.
Listen to your heart
Deaths due to cardiovascular diseases are still in the first place all over the world. Listen to your heart and don't ignore your complaints.
Even if you have no complaints.
If you have an unknown cause of sudden death in your family at an early age,
If you have coronary artery disease in your blood relatives,
If you have diabetes that is high enough to require you to take insulin,
If you have high cholesterol,
If you smoke,
If you have had a stroke or partial paralysis,
If you have leg artery disease,
you may also be at risk for coronary artery disease. Call your cardiologist as soon as possible. Tomorrow may be too late.
How is the treatment of coronary artery disease decided?
In our hospital, a board has been established to help patients in your condition in making decisions in the advanced diagnosis and treatment phase. This board, which is called the "Yücelen Hospitals Heart Team", includes cardiology, cardiovascular surgery, anesthesia, internal medicine, chest and neurology specialists from time to time.
The Heart Team, which evaluates all aspects of the patients brought to the board with a patient-focused approach instead of the disease, presents the most appropriate and most beneficial treatment method for its patients in the light of national and international guidelines. In this way, it aims to help the patient make a decision about his/her own treatment.
How Does the Heart Team Decide the Treatment Method is Best for the Patient?
Cardiac team members decide according to the following parameters when determining the treatment method to be recommended to a patient with coronary artery disease:
The patient's complaint,
If the patient has additional medical problems,
The presence of additional heart problems that cannot be eliminated by any other method other than surgery,
The contraction power of the heart,
The high level of vital risk that the surgery or intervention will pose,
Locations and number of stenoses in the coronary arteries,
The degree of complexity of coronary anatomy,
The patient's life expectancy,
The probability of success of the intervention to be performed and the risk of complications,
Whether all coronary strictures of the patient can be intervened with the procedure to be performed.