What are the Different Types of Endocarditis Treatment?
There are two general types of endocarditis treatment methods: antibiotics and surgery. The intensity of endocarditis treatment depends on the severity of the condition, as in some instances, the illness can become life-threatening. Endocarditis itself is a medical condition in which bacteria or germs cause an infection in the inside lining of the heart, in one of the heart valves. The bacteria usually enters the valve through the bloodstream from another part of the body. In most cases, the bacteria is able to attach to the lining because there is already a problem with the valve.
The first type of endocarditis treatment is the use of intravenous (IV) antibiotics. To ensure that the bacteria clears completely from the heart, the doctor will need to know what type of bacteria is causing the condition so that he can prescribe the correct antibiotics. At first, the treatment will require a hospital stay; as symptoms subside though, the patient may go home and continue taking IV antibiotics through a series of visits with his doctor. The patient will typically stay on antibiotic treatment for a period of four to six weeks.
The second type of endocarditis treatment is surgery. The need for surgery usually arises from a persistent infection that will not go away or a severe infection that damages the heart and causes a life-threatening crisis. For example, when a valve is damaged, a surgeon might have to repair it; in other cases, the surgeon might have to replace the valve altogether with an artificial one.
As with any serious medical condition, it is a good idea for a person to seek treatment as soon as a diagnosis confirms endocarditis. When a person receives early endocarditis treatment, he is more likely to overcome the condition. If the infection is left untreated or stays untreated for a long period of time, it might cause serious complications that can eventually lead to death. These complications not only include problems with the heart, but with other organs as well. Examples of complications are abscesses, heart failure and stroke.
Abscesses, which are collections of pus, can develop in different organs or in the heart muscle as a result of endocarditis, and if severe, can demand additional surgery. Heart failure can occur due to the infection destroying the heart lining, which can cause the heart to have trouble pumping blood. There is also the risk of a stroke with endocarditis. The bacteria clumps together and breaks off, traveling to other parts of the body, damaging various organs, and potentially causing a stroke.
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