Worldwide today (Tuesday) marks World Heart Health Day, and it’s a great time to catch up on everything new and relevant in the field of heart. The heart is, without a doubt, the most wonderful natural machine in the world, ticking like a Swiss clock about 100.60 beats per minute, 80 years on average non.stop. A machine that needs to be checked and maintained from time to time.
Heart disease is the leading cause of worldwide morbidity and mortality. About 17 million people die each year worldwide due to cardiovascular disease. Marking World Heart Health Day is just the time to check out what’s new in the field that is so important to our health.
Heart disease can be divided into several groups:
* Diseases that affect the coronary blood vessels that supply blood to the heart: Disease in these blood vessels will cause a heart attack and impaired heart function.
The innovations and emphases in recent years:
Prevention and early diagnosis as well as lifestyle change and proper nutrition.
Catheterization: In recent years, new stents have been developed that release the blocked artery and keep it open for years.
Bypass surgeries: Increasing use of arterial bypasses that are kept open for many years thus preserving the benefits of bypass surgery for patients.
* Heart valves: Developments in recent years have made it possible to use modern rings and valves in both surgery and catheterization (in a verbal approach) and thus adapt the best treatment for each patient.
* Large blood vessels: The aorta that carries blood from the heart to the whole body – recent developments in the field of supports (stents) allow creative solutions in various parts of the aorta (front and abdomen) that were previously inaccessible in catheterization.
* The field of heart failure is also renewed: modern auxiliary machines (LVAD) to support left ventricular activity allow patients to live for many years with their help, modern artificial hearts come into use and replace the entire heart activity and not just the left ventricular activity.
In addition, we are in the process of creating a printed heart from the patient’s own cells, which will (theoretically) allow a new heart patient to be transplanted in the future without the need for anti.rejection drugs – something that will take several more years.
The author is the director of the Chest Transplant Unit, the Cardiothoracic Surgery Division at Beilinson Hospital and Rabin Medical Center and a senior surgeon at Herzliya Medical Center Hospital.