The fact that the deaths of around a third of Singaporeans can be attributed to heart disease is a worrying statistic, but the good news is that there are several heart surgeries that have been proven effective against coronary artery disease (CAD).
Dr Lim Yean Teng, cardiologist at Mount Elizabeth Hospital, describes heart disease in more detail, as well as the appropriate procedures to treat it:
What is CAD?
The main causes of CAD include the narrowing or blocking of the arteries that supply blood to heart muscles, and acute coronary syndrome (ACS) is one of the more serious forms of the condition. ACS occurs when cholesterol plaques on the narrowed regions in the heart artery develop sudden and spontaneous tears. The resulting bleeding can lead to blood clots, which will increase blockage in the arteries and, in turn, lead to higher chances of heart failure.
Are there procedures that can help?
The 2 most common are stenting and coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG).
Also known as an angioplasty procedure, stenting is a non-surgical procedure that re-opens the coronary arteries that have been narrowed or blocked. This treatment is ideal for patients who develop a heart attack within 12 hours of the onset of chest pain, those with narrowing in 1 or 2 of their heart arteries, or selected patients who suffer from triple-vessel or left main artery disease.
Stenting is usually the treatment of choice when prescribed medications and lifestyle change have not been sufficient to reduce the effects of blocked arteries.
Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG)
CABG is achieved by surgically removing healthy blood vessels from another part of the body, the sewing them around the blocked part of the affected artery. This allows blocked arteries to resume the normal flow of blood to the heart muscle.
Generally speaking, CABG is the preferred treatment approach as it is relatively straightforward and tends to yield better outcomes as compared to stenting. This is especially true for patients with diabetes or a weak heart (poor left ventricular function).
Find out some of the medical procedures available should you need to undergo heart treatment. With the correct insurance coverage, your bill size can be better gauged and managed, while Mount Elizabeth Hospitals can assist with all Medisave, MediShield Life and Integrated Shield Plan claims.
For your peace of mind, talk to one of our heart specialists today or read about how to make healthcare insurance claims to cover your hospital bills.
Gain more clarity on your hospital bill size.
Article contributed by Dr Lim Yean Teng, cardiologist at Mount Elizabeth Hospital