India Cardiac Surgery Site is associated with experienced cardiologists to deliver the perfect treatment and recuperative plan. Before the surgery, we will educate the patient with every fact involved in surgery and maintain the transparency in procedure, facilities and the related costs. We provide quality services and also assists with arrangements by keeping the concerns of the international patients in mind, providing you the utmost care and professionalism.
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What is Rheumatic Heart Disease?
Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) refers to a group of short-term, i.e. acute and long-term, i.e. chronic heart disorders which occurs as a result of a rheumatic fever. One common result of the rheumatic fever is heart valve damage that may lead to valve disorder.
Acute rheumatic fever occurs in children between the ages of 5 and 15 and the adolescents due to the vulnerable immunity system. Currently, at least, 15.6 million people are estimated to be affected by RHD. A significant number of these people require repeated hospitalization and often expensive heart surgery in the next 5 to 20 years. The worst affected areas with RHD are sub-Saharan Africa, the Pacific, South-Central Asia and the indigenous population of Australia and New Zealand.
Causes of Rheumatic Heart Disease:
RHD is a chronic heart condition which is caused by the rheumatic fever that can be prevented and controlled. The rheumatic fever is caused by a preceding group called a strep throat (streptococcal) infection. About 60% of patients with rheumatic fever may develop some degree of subsequent heart disease.
In a susceptible patient, the throat infection triggers problems that lead to the destruction of their heart valve and may also affect the kidney. In contrast, the heart valve once damaged is very serious as it is very difficult to rectify. Apart from the heart valve, the rheumatic fever also affects the myocardium (muscles of the heart), pericardium (outer covering of the heart) and the valves that are present in the endocardium.
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Symptoms of RHD:
People who have rheumatic heart disease sometimes end up very sick because the blood stops flowing right way. This makes them very tired and make them feel short of breath. Although RHD does not always cause symptoms, some of the symptoms include:
- Heart palpitations
- Chest pain
- Breathlessness on exertion
- Waking from sleep with the need to sit or stand up
- Breathing problems when lying down
- Fever related to infection of the damaged heart valves
People with RHD may not be able to do the things like playing sports, hunting, walking or going fishing. Here it is important to note that once the problem begins and is diagnosed, then it requires treatment right away, otherwise the problem will worsen over time to an extent that life will become unbearable.
- How do I know if I have a rheumatic heart disease?
- The symptoms of rheumatic heart disease vary and damage to the heart often is not readily noticeable. When symptoms do appear, they may depend on the extent and location of the heart damage. Typically, symptoms of rheumatic fever appear about two weeks after the onset of an untreated strep throat infection.These include:
- Swollen, tender, red and painful joints-particularly the knees, ankles, elbows, or wrists
- Nodules or lumps over swollen joints
- Uncontrolled movements of arms, legs, or muscles of the face
- Weakness and shortness of breath.
- What is a good diet for a rheumatic heart disease?
- Even moderate changes in diet can help to improve your heart health. In general, eat foods that are low in saturated fats, cholesterol and salt. Fruits, vegetables, seafoods, legumes, onions, nuts, olive oil, foods rich in vitamin C, E and beta carotene are known to protect your heart. Minimize dairy foods, meat and alcohol intake. Discuss with your doctor about what diet is appropriate as per your medical condition.
- Why people with frequent sore throat are at risk of having rheumatic heart disease and/or renal failure.?
- It actually depends on the cause of the sore throat. The major concern is Group A Strep. For unknown reasons, some patients with a strep throat infection with this particular kind of bacteria can have serious complications- such as damage to the heart valves and kidneys thought to be caused by an overreaction of the immune system.
- How do I make an appointment with the best cardiologist in India?
- All you have to do is send us your medical report and be rest assured. We will choose the best suitable surgeon for you, after consulting the experts.
- Does rheumatic heart disease need treatment or surgery?
- This depends upon the severity of the damage to the heart valves. Often, antibiotics are prescribed to prevent and treat the actual cause of the rheumatic fever. This will also prevent the future attacks of the rheumatic fever and lowers the risk of heart damage. Surgery may be necessary to repair or replace the damaged valves.
- Can I speak with the doctor before I come to India for treatment?
- You can talk to the doctor and satisfy all your medical queries. You can also send us your queries for answers from the top doctors.
- Does successful valve replacement surgery in India impact on your healthy heart life?
- A valve replacement surgery does only good to the heart, keeping it healthy and normal.
- How long does a replaced heart valve last?
- Tissue valves wear out slowly, much like natural valves. Your age and health play a large part in how long your valve will last. Usually, they 7 to 15 years, but can last more than 20 years. The amount of time depends on many complex patient factors that should be discussed with your doctor.
- How much can I really save?
- The expenses involved in Valve replacement surgery in India are nearly 25% of that in Western countries. So that means a lot of savings!
What are the complications associated with RHD?
The heart is a double pump with four chambers. Each of the chamber is sealed with a valve that open and close in one direction only, so that the blood cannot flow backwards.
The rheumatic heart disease often involves damage to the heart valves. Typically, the damaged heart valves cannot open or shut properly. This interferes with the proper blood flow through the heart. Without treatment, this damaged valve may continue to deteriorate.
Complications associated with RHD include heart failure, meaning the heart will be unable to pump blood effectively and the strain will cause the heart to enlarge. Other complications include, infection of the damaged heart valves (infective endocarditis) and stroke caused by clot formation in the damaged valves or enlarged heart. These clots the break off and cause blockages in blood vessels of the brain and stroke.
Rheumatic heart disease diagnosis:
The diagnosis for RHD include the following:
- Physical examination: Your doctor will look for a heart murmur as it may suggest RHD. However, many patients with RHD do not have a heart murmur.
- Chest X-ray: The doctor will order a chest X-ray to check for an enlargement of the heart or the fluid on the lungs.
- Medical history: It includes the evidence of the past ARF (acute rheumatic fever) or a strep infection.
- Echocardiogram: It will check for any infection or damage in the heart valves and assess if there is a heart failure. This is one of the most useful test to determine if the RHD is present.
- Electrocardiogram (ECG): It is used to check if the chambers of the heart have enlarged or to determine an abnormal heart rhythm called as arrhythmia.
Risk Factors for RHD:
Although RHD is well known all over the world now, but it does not happen in the western world. The reason that the rheumatic heart disease does not happen in the western countries is good hygiene. Even if the streptococcal throat infection happens, it is treated promptly with antibiotics. Overcrowding, low socioeconomic conditions, lack of hygiene and proper sanitation and endemicity are other factors that lead to higher incidences of this disease.
Treatments for Rheumatic Heart Disease:
If the heart damage from rheumatic fever is identified in childhood or young adulthood, then daily oral antibiotics (often penicillin) or a single intramuscular penicillin injection is administered. The antibiotics help to prevent the recurrence of the rheumatic fever and also avoid the development of an infective bacterial endocarditis, an infection of the heart valves or the lining of the heart. Blood thinning medications will also be prescribed to prevent the stroke or think the blood for replacement valves. Additional treatment for RHD depends on the type of heart damage.
Surgery is often required to repair to replace the heart valves in patient with severely damaged valves. They include:
- Valve Repair: It means that the valve is mended to help to work better. During repair, a ring may be sewn around the opening of the valve to support it.
- Valve Replacement: Valve replacement or valvuloplasty is a non-surgical technique that uses a cardiac catherization. During replacement, the diseased valve is removed and a new valve is inserted in its place. The replacement is done either with the help of a mechanical or a biological valve. The mechanical valves are made of metal and have longer durability, but needs additional precautions. The biological valves are made of human or animal tissue and functions better. But these may wear out earlier than the metallic valves. Often, it is quite effective and the patient will be required to stay in the hospital for a period of three days to one week.
Consult your doctor to know which treatment or surgery is appropriate for your medical condition. Often the surgery may cost you high and a drain on the limited health resources in third world countries may hinder your treatments. However, you should choose low cost and affordable medical destinations like India, Thailand, etc. that are preferred by the international patients due to high quality medical facilities and care.
Why Should You Visit India for treating the rheumatic heart disease?
Treating the rheumatic heart disease in India under the leading cardiologists ensure to provide a comprehensive cardiac care at an affordable price. India has a very good infrastructure with many medical units and hospitals having the latest equipments spanning from the basic facilities to the most sophisticated curative technology for cardiac care. International patients visit India each year for undergoing various cardiac surgeries and treatments as they need not have to worry about the arrangements while choosing India for the treatments. With the progressing medical tourism in India, all a patient has to do is fill out our free consultation form and send us your query. An added advantage of choosing India for treating the rheumatic heart disease include zero patient wait list and you can avail for the appropriate surgery and treatment as when you require or as per the urgency of your condition. The cost of a valve replacement surgery in India is only about 6,000 USD to 10,000 USD, while it is highly expensive in the US and UK.
If you are really seeking treatments for the Rheumatic Heart Disease, kindly fill up the form for a free consultation with our expert cardiologists. You will be provided with thorough analysis and suggestions regarding the treatments for Rheumatic Heart Disease you are seeking for.
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