Leg Vein Elimination (Health Tip)

May 13, 2011 by  
Filed under VIDEO

I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!


If you want to get rid of unsightly leg veins, you’re in luck! There are several procedures available to remove varicose veins.

Tell us what you think about this video in the comments below, or in the Battling For Health Community Forum!

Know your interventions: the mitral clip

June 22, 2009 by  

One of the main causes of heart problems is mitral valve regurgitation (MVR), also called mitral insufficiency. The mitral valve consists of flaps or cusps that separate the left auricle and left ventricle of the heart. A chronic MVR is “a long-term disorder in which the heart’s mitral valve does not close properly, causing blood to flow backward (leak) into the upper heart chamber when the left lower heart chamber contracts. The condition is progressive, which means it gradually gets worse.”

Currently, the standard intervention for MVR is an open heart surgery to fix the valve. However, a less invasive alternative may now be available, an intervention that is also risky and facilitates faster recovery. The new intervention, called percutaneous valve therapy, uses a catheter that is inserted through a blood vessel in the groin up to the heart. A small device, a mitral valve clip, is inserted through the catheter. The clip grasps and tightens the leaflets of the valve, pulls them together and approximates them to reduce leaking. The whole procedure takes two hours, the same duration of an open heart surgery.

The symptoms of MVR, according to Dr. George Hanzel, an interventional cardiologist at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan,

“A lot of these patients have shortness of breath. The main thing they have is fatigue, exercise intolerance, shortness of breath and swelling.”

When left untreated, mitral insufficiency can lead to progressive enlargement of the left ventricle, and eventually heart failure.

The mitral valve clip intervention has the following advantages:

  • It can be used in patients who are too weak to undergo surgery.
  • Patients recover more quickly – in weeks rather than months.
  • There are usually less complications.

Currently, the mitral clip procedure is not a standard intervention in the treatment of MVR. It is still in the experimental phase, being tested in several clinical trials.

The most commonly used clip is the Mitra Clip. Preliminary data from trials on the Mitra Clip suggests improved heart function. Last year, results from the Endovascular Valve Edge-to-Edge Repair STudy (EVEREST), indicated a good safety and efficacy profile.

Currently, the trend in medicine is finding less invasive ways of treating illnesses. The message is clear: cutting up is not always the answer.


Getting back to rhythm: The latest on atrial fibrillation

June 16, 2008 by  

We have all heard and used the idioms “my heart is racing”and “my heart missed a beat”. However, they are not just figures of speech. They happen literally  – with a condition called atrial fibrillation or AF for short.

The general term for irregular heartbeat is arrhythmia and AF is the most common form of arrhythmia in the United States, according to a recent review in the ScienceDaily. A normal adult heart at rest beats around 50 to 100 beats per minute. A heart with AF beats much faster and very irregularly, making it “race” and “miss a beat.”

According to Eric Good, an AF specialist and assistant professor of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School, “atrial fibrillation is a chaotic, electrical rhythm that begins in the top chamber of the heart, called the atrium…It involves impulses that whirl around the top chamber, traveling at speeds of 400 to 600 beats per minute in a type of electrical storm that can bombard the lower chambers with rapid signals and result in a very irregular and fast heart beat.

What makes AF dangerous is that they act like “lightning bolts” in the heart to cause blood clots. These clots can be carried away by the blood, escape from the heart and get lodged in some blood vessels. Clots which block blood vessels to the brain can lead to stroke.

In the US, one in every 5 strokes is due to AF and the numbers are increasing.

The link between [AF] and stroke is so tight that it is crucial that patients work with their doctor to discuss the treatment options,” according to Lewis Morgenstern, director of the University of Michigan Stroke Program. “There is a lot that can be done, particularly at a center such as ours with specially trained stroke specialists from neurology, cardiology and many other fields.”

In order to avert stroke, the irregular heart pattern needs to be corrected. Several treatments are available to control AF, from blood-thinning medications to avoid blood clots to pacemakers to radiofrequency (RF) ablation.

In RF ablation, catheters are inserted via the veins in the groins to the left atrium of the heart. Through the catheter, the heart is “zapped” to restore the heart rhythm back to normal.

New investigative devices to control AF are currently being tested at the University of Michigan Medical School and are described below.

The Watchman device is “designed to keep clots from forming in a small area of the heart that’s called the left atrial appendage – a “sock” off to the side of the atrium. The appendage seems to serve little purpose, and yet it’s the birthplace of more than 90 percent of clots that form in the heart.” It is inserted via a catheter like RF ablation.

Another device is a special balloon-camera that “looks” inside the heart and with a minute laser, it zaps the heart muscle. Like RF ablation, this zapping creates small scars on the muscles that stop the chaotic impulses from getting through.

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.