For individuals with heart conditions, there are a couple general treatment plans often recommended by physicians. The first is to take powerful medications that are specially formulated for heart patients. The other approach is to use a cardiac device, in addition to medication, to help monitor or regulate your heart health.
The important question is whether it will be beneficial to incorporate a device into your treatment plan. Your physician will provide valuable insights and recommendations as you try to identify the course best suited to your health and situation. In many cases, healthcare professionals recommend using a medical device instead of relying on medication alone.
THE CASE FOR MEDICATION
Your physician will consider the wide array of medications currently available for patients with heart conditions. If you’re prescribed medication, it’s often for the rest of your life.
It’s worth noting that one of the main benefits of medications is that they don’t involve surgery or external components. You can pick up your prescription at your local pharmacy and not have no worry about any medical procedures.
DEVICES AS A SUPPLEMENT TO MEDICATION
On the other hand, medications have their limits. For one thing, they don’t allow your physician to continually monitor your cardiac health (as an insertable cardiac monitor or external monitoring devices do). They can’t regulate your heart rate based on your unique activities (as a pacemaker equipped with closed loop stimulation does). And they can’t detect irregularities and deliver life-saving therapies to the heart (as an insertable cardiac device or a cardiac resynchronization therapy device does).
A study conducted by Yale University revealed that patients with heart devices faired better than those solely taking medication. And the research also showed that devices often prove to be more cost efficient in the long run.
While devices have traditionally posed some limitations, modern devices are so technologically advanced that patients can resume their regular lives in a reasonable amount of time. A prime example of this is how new upgrades makes it possible for patients with a cardiac device to get an MRI, which can be a potentially life-saving test. In the past, this was impossible.
WEIGHING YOUR OPTIONS
While it can be helpful to speak with friends or family members who have had experiences with heart medication and devices, your ultimate counselor should be your physician. Be sure to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each treatment option, so you’re empowered to make the best decision for your health. And for your life.