Marfan Syndrome Treatment: Immediate Medical Attention Is Crucial

heart surgery

Story at-a-glance -

  • Unfortunately, there is no known cure for Marfan syndrome. Instead, treatment focuses on managing the symptoms as well as preventing complications from occurring
  • Heart-related problems caused by Marfan syndrome may require immediate assistance to prevent further weakening of the valve or even a possible rupture
  • Marfan syndrome may cause a variety of eye disorders, so it’s important to have your eyes diagnosed carefully before undergoing a specific treatment

Unfortunately, there is no known cure for Marfan syndrome. Instead, treatment focuses on managing the symptoms as well as preventing complications from occurring. Furthermore, the methods employed will depend entirely on what area of your body is affected by the disease. Immediate treatment is often required to prevent your overall health from worsening.

Spinal Problems May Require the Use of Tools

An effective natural treatment used in scoliosis is the application of braces, which is typically worn by the patient at all times, even at night. These devices help provide relief from the symptoms as well as prevent further spinal curvature. Two types are typically worn:1

  • Thoracolumbosacral orthosis (TLSO): This brace is made of plastic and is designed to hug the body's curves.
  • Milwaukee brace: This type of support involves the full torso, including the neck (with rests for the chin and the back of the head). This is for more severe cases only when a TLSO isn't effective.

However, if braces don't improve your condition, surgery may be your last resort. Your doctor may recommend spinal fusion, a method designed to help stop pain resulting from scoliosis by fusing (hence the name of the technique) together two or more vertebrae into a single structure. Once bonded, the resulting vertebrae prevents nearby nerves, ligaments and other tissue from causing discomfort.2

As with all other forms of surgery, note that there's a possibility that you may develop complications after the operation. Speak with your doctor about the risks so that you know what you're getting yourself into.3

Cardiovascular Issues Will Need Immediate Treatment

Heart-related problems caused by Marfan syndrome may require immediate assistance to prevent further weakening of the valve or even a possible rupture. This decision is usually based on several factors, such as the current size of the aorta, as well as the patient's age, height and gender.

The operation involves replacing the affected tissue with an artificial pathway.4 But in some cases, if surgery is performed early, the valve can be preserved. However, if this is not applicable, it will need to be replaced entirely.5

After surgery, you may be prescribed blood thinners, commonly known as anticoagulants. These will help prevent blood clots from hampering the function in your newly operated aorta.6 But these medications aren't really recommended, as they're plagued with side effects that may affect your overall well-being. Instead, you should turn to natural anticoagulants to preserve the function of your cardiovascular system.

Similar to spinal surgery, a heart operation also has its own potential risks. Speak to your doctor about your concerns and your possible options for preventing or minimizing complications should you have an aortic surgery.7

Optical Treatments Are Typically Simple

Marfan syndrome may cause a variety of eye disorders, so it's important to have your eyes diagnosed carefully before undergoing a specific treatment. Fortunately, many of them require simple fixes only. For example, the disease usually causes dislocated lenses, which can be fixed through the use of special glasses along with eye drops that enlarge the pupil.8

Other times, a retinal detachment may occur. In situations like this, laser surgery or cryotherapy will need to be performed. Both of these procedures will produce a scar that will help seal the retina to the back of the eye, thereby preventing fluid from traveling through the cut or opening. Your ophthalmologist will decide which one is the best approach for your current situation.9

Respiratory Ailments Will Require the Use of Assistive Devices

A pneumothorax, which can lead to a collapsed lung in serious situations, is a common complication among people with Marfan syndrome. In this condition, air or gas builds up in the space between the lungs and the chest wall, causing a stabbing chest pain, a dry cough and pain in the shoulder.10

If the symptoms are minor, the condition may go away on its own through proper rest. But if your situation does not improve, special devices may be used to help you breathe properly, such as oxygen masks. Another method is inserting a chest tube between the ribs and into the pleural space. A machine will then suck out the air to restore proper lung function.11

In severe cases, though, surgery may be required, specifically if the damage is an air leak from the lung. Your doctor will need to make an incision in your chest and insert a camera. Afterward, a tool will be introduced into the cut and used to close the leak.12

MORE ABOUT MARFAN SYNDROME

Marfan Syndrome: Introduction

What Is Marfan Syndrome?

Marfan Syndrome Symptoms

Marfan Syndrome Causes

Marfan Syndrome Treatment

Marfan Syndrome Prevention

Marfan Syndrome Diet

Marfan Syndrome FAQ


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