Choosing Between Heart Medications Versus A Procedure
Most patients have a pretty good idea of the course of action they want to take for a particular health circumstance. Many are used to taking medication and are willing to try more to handle a new or worsening problem. Others are fed up with medication and their side effects and want a curative procedure to handle the problem once and for all.
But which school of thought is right?
Of course, the answer is…it depends. It depends on the patient’s condition, general health, procedural risk and previous therapies and their success. The bottom line is that no two patients are like.
However, with that said, we always look to take a stepped approach to the care and management of our patient’s problems. Typically, this means starting with the most conservative option which is often dietary, exercise and general lifestyle change. In fact, many early cardiovascular warning signs and disorders can be treated or prevented with simple changes to one’s lifestyle. But as we know, changing is hard and long-term change is even harder.
At this point, we may start considering medical intervention and this is usually done with one or more prescription drugs. Drugs have the benefit of being easy to take, noninvasive and show results relatively quickly. But they also come with some drawbacks. Not all medications work for all patients. Some patients may develop uncomfortable or unacceptable side effects as a result of the medication. Other patients may find that the effectiveness of the medication diminishes over time and they need more and more of it to maintain their current health. In the end, medications only work as long as they’re being taken.
We begin to consider surgical or procedural intervention once these other conservative options have not offered acceptable results. The past few decades of technological advances have offered evermore minimally invasive procedures for wider array of complex surgeries. Stents are being placed using catheterization, misfiring electrical signals from the heart are being treated using advanced catheter ablation technology with exceptional results and very low risk. Even the traditional heart bypass or CABG is being performed in minimally invasive manner for most patients. On top of it all, most of the procedures we perform are long lasting or even permanent, when compared to other medical management options.
Of course, just as there are times where a procedure may not be possible, typically due to the patient’s poor general health, there are also times where a procedure or surgery must be performed immediately in order to avoid serious consequences. Only an appropriate consultation will tell.
When you work with a cardiology group such as The Heart House, you get access to a wide range of cardiovascular experts and advanced diagnostic equipment to make your decisions quickly and accurately. We look forward to helping you with your cardiovascular concerns at one of our six offices in southern New Jersey.