Treating heart diseases
The heart is a complex system and it can become diseased for various reasons and in very different ways. The most common heart diseases and heart defects treated at the Competence Centre for Cardiovascular Medicine at the Wiener Privatklinik are:
Coronary heart disease
It is by far the most common heart disease in industrial nations. In addition to medicinal treatment, there is a range of surgical procedures, especially the bypass operation and the minimally invasive balloon dilatation, which is now mostly combined with the implantation of a stent.
Heart failure is the pathological inability of the heart to pump the volume of blood required by the body in the atria without any increase in pressure. It should be referred to as a heart defect rather than a weakness of the heart, as not only the pathologically reduced pump function, but also the impaired filling of the heart with an unimpaired pump function can lead to heart failure.
A distinction is made between chronic and acute heart failure.
- Acute heart failure develops within hours to days due to heart rate disturbances or arrhythmia, mechanical obstruction to the filling of the ventricles, heart valve failure, acute heart muscle inflammations, pulmonary embolisms or heart attacks.
- Chronic heart failure develops over months or years, often without any noticeable symptoms, as the organism compensates for the under-supply by quickening the heartbeat, thickening the heart muscle, contracting the blood vessels or increasing the volume of blood. Pathological water accumulations (oedema) and breathlessness (dyspnoea) begin to develop at a later stage.
As varied as the causes are the approaches to treatment, whereby the collaboration of specialists in various fields here in the Wiener Privatklinik represents a great advantage.
The third most common problem in modern cardiology is cardiac arrhythmia, most often occurring as atrial fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation.
These are disturbances of the normal heart rate caused by irregular excitation-conduction processes in the heart muscle. The cause may be congenital or acquired.
ECG (electrocardiogram), and particularly long-term ECG, is especially helpful for detecting the different types and forms of cardiac arrhythmia. In cases of doubt, a so-called electrophysiological examination may be necessary.
Not all cardiac arrhythmia requires therapy. If treatment is indicated, it is carried out with heart rate regulating and stabilising medication, by implanting a pacemaker or implantable defibrillator (AICD), by cardiac catheter or bypass operations.
You can obtain more detailed information on the treatment of heart diseases from our telephone info-line or by email. All contact details can be found on our Contact page.