We now know that reducing stress, eating a healthy diet and taking sufficient exercise can help prevent many cardiovascular diseases. Nonetheless, the number of such diseases is rising worldwide, including diseases of the arterial, venous and lymphatic systems. Arterial circulatory disorders such as those caused by arteriosclerosis may be life-threatening if they obstruct the flow of blood to the heart or brain. In such cases a cardiologist must intervene by fitting a bypass or stent.
Patients with a congenital heart defect or serious heart disease require cardiac surgery, which in some cases may be very extensive. Highly-specialized surgeons can perform a wide range of procedures, from heart valve replacements and the implantation of an artificial heart to a complete heart transplant. Paediatric cardiac surgeons provide care for even the tiniest patients to ensure that they get off to a healthy start in life.