Heart diseases and myocardial infarction are one of the main causes of death, and every year the number of people suffering from heart disease increases. According to WHO statistics for 2012, mortality from cardiovascular diseases was about 36% of all deaths.
Myocardial infarction is an extreme manifestation of a lack of blood supply to the heart muscle, which often occurs when the blood vessels that feed the heart are blocked. It manifests itself in the inability to compensate the lack of oxygen and the death (necrosis) of the part of the heart muscle. Therefore, timely consultation with a doctor and the diagnosis of cardiovascular system diseases is very important. It helps not only to prevent the development of myocardial infarction, but also to start treatment on time, which can increase the patient's life expectancy for tens of years.
Who must pass diagnostics?
You don’t need to wait for a myocardial infarction to examine your cardiovascular system. Patients who have one or more predisposing factors must undergo a course of diagnosis.
Here are the main risk factors for myocardial infarction:
- Excessive weight
- Increased cholesterol levels in the blood
- Smoking, drinking alcohol
- Age from 30 years on (men) or 50 years (women)
- Blood pressure above 140/90 mm Hg
- Hereditary predisposition (cases of a heart attack among relatives)
- Periodically arising pains behind a breastbone during exercise or stress;
- Metabolic syndrome or diabetes mellitus
What tests must be passed?
A number of laboratory and instrumental tests is required to prevent cardiovascular diseases including myocardial infarction.
- General clinical analysis
- Lipid profile research - determination of triglycerides, cholesterol, lipoproteins levels as a whole and their fractions: low density (form atherosclerotic plaques), high density, evaluation of the atherogenic index
- Determination of blood sugar level for diagnosis of diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome
- Level of creatinine and urea as an assessment of the kidneys’ condition, which also suffer from pathology of the cardiovascular system
- Coagulogram for the evaluation of blood coagulability
- Determination of cardiovascular diseases markers concentration in the blood plasma
Other tests are:
- Clinical urine analysis
- Measurement of blood pressure
- Chest x-ray - allows to estimate the size, position of the heart and lung condition, in which stagnation can be observed with the pathology of the heart
- Determination of body composition (percentage of fat and water)
- Dopplerography of cerebral vessels
- Heart ultrasound (echocardiography)
- Dopplerography of the heart
- ECG - measurement of bioelectric impulses of the cardiac muscle, carried out with exercise and at rest
Coronarography can be prescribed on indications (if signs of atherosclerosis are defined). This is a “gold standard” of diagnosing coronary heart disease, which is a pre-infarction disease. A contrast medium is injected into the vessels and radiography of the heart is made after some time. Contrast allows you to clearly visualize the lumens of the coronary arteries, the site of their walls, and the size of the plaques.
Benefits of an early diagnosis of heart attack in Germany
Many patients prefer to have diagnostics in Germany because there is often a lack of qualitative diagnostic services in their home countries.
Benefits of cardiological diagnostics in German hospitals are:
- High accuracy of diagnostics. The latest devices are used for diagnostics in Germany while in developing countries, it may be too expensive to acquire the latest, most technologically advanced equipment. Hence they may still be using equipment from the 70-80s. Thus, in Germany it is more likely to detect a pathology even at its earliest stage.
- High level of preventive healthcare. Germany ranks second-third in the world in terms of life expectancy. Great attention is paid to preventive medicine. Doctors in developing countries hospitals begin to treat a patient only after an acute cardiovascular event has already occurred. In Germany, if laboratory and instrumental methods reveal signs that indicate the possible development of myocardial infarction in the near future, the patient receives adequate medical care immediately. This helps prevent a serious illness.
- High qualification of doctors. The world's best cardiologists work in Germany. Here, this branch of medicine is well funded and has a high level of development. The human resources in this country are incomparable with the clinics of developing countries. Experienced doctors are able to recognize heart disease at an early stage and assess the risk of developing a heart attack in the future.
- Time saving. Many hospitals in the developing countries suffer from a poorly organized system of diagnostic and treatment procedures. Sometimes patients have to spend 1-2 weeks and visit several medical institutions in order to be fully surveyed. Complete cardiac diagnosis in Germany can be done in 2 days. All studies are conducted in one clinic.This makes a huge impact on patients from foreign countries who wish to experience first world health care efficiency.
- Chances of thorough myocardial infarction prevention. If the patient is diagnosed in his country, during which an increased risk of acute cardiovascular events is detected, he is likely to be prescribed conservative treatment and sent home - to wait for a heart attack. In Germany, the patient will be offered various therapies that can reduce the risk of serious heart disease in the near future to almost zero.
When ischemic heart disease (poor blood supply to the myocardium, a harbinger of a heart attack) is detected, surgical operations aimed at restoring normal access of oxygen to the cardiac muscle are effectively used here. Among them are:
- Stenting of the coronary vessels
- Aorto-coronary bypass
- Laser myocardial revascularization
- Atherectomy - removal of atherosclerotic plaques in the coronary arteries with a laser or surgical instrument
Many operations are performed intravascularly, so open access to the chest is not required. Therefore, the period of postoperative recovery is minimal.
German hospitals to have cardiological diagnostics
There are a lot of good hospitals in Germany where you can have thorough diagnostics in order to prevent myocardial infarction. Here are some samples:
- Hamburg-Eppendorf University Hospital. Patients from all over the world come here to receive diagnostics and treatment from world famous professors. Doctors of the Department of General and Interventional cardiology focus on the prevention and treatment of myocardial infarction. All non-invasive and invasive methods of investigation are available here.
- Charité University Hospital is one of the most authoritative German hospitals, which is located in Berlin. Here there is a Department of Cardiology and Angiology, the doctors of which use the latest methods of detecting cardiac pathology early. In case of need, innovative methods of blood supply restoration to the heart muscle are used.
- University Hospital Duesseldorf. A complete cardiological examination of foreign patients can take place in the Department of Cardiology, Pulmonology and Angiology. One of the priority areas of the hospital activity is interventional coronary therapy. It is aimed at eliminating the symptoms of coronary heart disease and preventing myocardial infarction.
Arrangement of treatment in Germany
To select a clinic where you will be diagnosed with the aim of preventing myocardial infarction, you can use an international online reservation system for treatment abroad Booking Health. Here you can see the actual cost of diagnostic and therapeutic programs, which allows you to order one of them at the best price.
You can also use our services on arranging treatment in Germany. This can give you a lot of advantages like:
- Protection against unforeseen medical expenses- as all programs are insured and cover unplanned expenses for up to 200 Thousand Euros.
- The survey program includes interpreter services - you do not have to search for an interpreter yourself in Germany.
- Possibility of urgent treatment in any clinic, coordination of living conditions of the patient and accompanying person, solution of any organizational issues.
Booking Health you can get you quality medical services, saving up to 70% of their total cost. To learn more about the possibility of organizing treatment in Germany with our help, please leave a request on the web site.
Choose treatment abroad and you will for sure get the best results!
Author: Dr. Nadezhda Ivanisova