Cholesterol is a wax and fat-like substance which is found in every cell of the body and performs some important natural functions of the body. Our body needs some amount of cholesterol to make vitamin D, various hormones, and various substances that help the body to digest the foods. Our body makes some amount of cholesterol it needs. But cholesterol is also found in some of the foods we eat. Cholesterol travels through our bloodstream in small packages called lipoproteins. These lipoproteins are made proteins on the outside and fats on the inside. There are two types of Lipoproteins which carry cholesterol throughout our body:-
Having healthy levels of both the types of lipoproteins is important for human body. Low-density lipoprotein is also called as bad cholesterol. High level of low-density lipoproteins level can lead to a buildup of cholesterol in the arteries. These arteries are the blood vessels that carry blood from our heart to our body. High-density lipoproteins are also referred as good cholesterol. These high-density lipoproteins carry cholesterol from other parts of the body back to the liver. The liver helps to remove the cholesterol from our body.
High blood cholesterol is a condition in which the patients have too much of cholesterol in the blood. This condition usually does not have any signs or symptoms and in many cases, the patients don’t even realize that their cholesterol levels are too high. People who have high blood cholesterol have a greater chance of getting coronary heart diseases which are also called as coronary artery disease. The higher the level of low-density lipoproteins in the blood, the greater is the chances of getting heart disease. The higher the level of high-density lipoproteins cholesterol in the blood, the lower the chance is of getting heart disease. Coronary heart disease is a condition in which the plaque builds up inside the coronary arteries. The plaque is made up calcium, fat, cholesterol, and various other substances found in the blood. The building of plague in the arteries is also referred as atherosclerosis condition.
Over time as the plaque hardens it narrows the coronary arteries which limit the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart. In certain situations, the area of plaque can rupture causing the blood clot to form on the surface of the plaque. If these clots become large they can even completely block the blood flow through a coronary artery. The flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle is reduced or blocked it can also lead to heart attack or angina. Angina condition can cause chest pain or discomfort by pressure or squeeze in the chest. A heart attack occurs when the flow of oxygen-rich blood to a section of heart muscle is cut off. If blood flow isn’t restored quickly, the section of heart muscle begins to die. Without quick treatment, a heart attack can also lead to serious problems or even death in some cases. The plaque also can build up in other arteries in the body due to cholesterol such as in the arteries which bring oxygen-rich blood to the brain and the limbs. This can lead to problems such as stroke, carotid artery disease, and peripheral artery disease.
High blood cholesterols build plaque inside the arteries which can obstruct the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart. In such condition depending on the severity of the patient’s condition, they are recommended with one of the following surgeries.
Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG):- Coronary artery bypass grafting is one of the most common types of heart surgery. This surgery improves the flow of blood to the heart. Coronary artery bypass grafting is recommended to the patients who are suffering from the severe coronary heart disease. While performing this surgery a healthy vein from the body is grafted or connected to the blocked coronary artery. The grafted artery or vein bypasses the blocked portion of the coronary artery. This results in creating a new path for oxygen-rich blood to flow to the heart muscle. The surgeons can bypass multiple blocked coronary arteries during one surgery.
Angioplasty: – Angioplasty is a non-surgical procedure. This procedure is performed to widen a narrowed or obstructed blood vessel using a balloon catheter to improve blood flow in the body’s arteries and veins. Angioplasty is used to treat atherosclerosis which is a condition where the blood vessels are obstructed. This procedure used an imaging technique to guide a balloon-tipped catheter, a long, thin plastic tube, into an artery or vein and advance it to where the vessel is narrow or blocked. The balloon is then inflated to open the vessel, deflated and removed. While performing this procedure a small wire mesh tube referred as a stent can be permanently placed in the newly opened artery or vein to help it remain open.
Stenting: – A stent is a tiny wire mesh tube which is used to open the blocked artery and the stent is then left behind permanently. When a coronary artery is narrowed by the buildup of plaque in the heart it reduces the flow of blood to the heart. The reduced flow of blood to the heart can result in chest pain and in case if a clot is formed it can block blood flow to the heart muscle which can lead to heart attack. Stents help in keeping the coronary arteries open and reduces the risk of heart attack.
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