Heart patients, rejoice!
The National Heart Institute (IJN) has unveiled a new breakthrough method to treat heart patients with atherosclerosis.
If you're not familiar with the term, atherosclerosis refers to the buildup of fats, cholesterol and other substances in and on your artery walls.
The buildup, referred to as plaque, can restrict blood flow. The plaque can also burst and trigger blood clots.
According to a report by Malay Mail, the new method is called intravascular lithotripsy (IVL) and uses sonic waves to break down hard plaque in the arteries.
The first IVL was successfully performed in the country by IJN’s doctors on 22 February 2020.
A safer procedure
IJN senior consultant cardiologist Datuk Dr Amin Ariff Nuruddin said that the new procedure was safer compared to regular angioplasty.
However, he said severe cases where the plaque has hardened and become calcified are an exception.
“When the plaque has hardened to that extent, patients may have to undergo an invasive surgical procedure to treat the condition.
“In that case doctors have to surgically remove the plaque or even perform a graft bypass to ensure good blood flow,” he said.
Explaining the IVL procedure, he said that it uses a catheter with a balloon that generates sonic pressure waves to break the plaque instead of just pushing the plaque aside, as done in angioplasty.
Dr Amin Ariff said another plus point of the IVL procedure is that it reduces the trauma to the tissue.
But remember everyone, prevention is always better.