HEART ATTACK AND ANGIOPLASTY
Heart Attack has been among the leading cause of death worldwide.
A heart attack is a medical emergency when blood flow to the heart is blocked due to plaque buildup in the coronary arteries. This can cause damage to the heart muscle and lead to various symptoms such as:
How does it happen? Is it treatable?
A heart attack, also known as a myocardial infarction, is a serious medical emergency that happens when the blood flow to the heart is blocked.
A plaque buildup in the coronary arteries contains fat, cholesterol, and other substances.
Then a piece of plaque breaks off, which can form a blood clot, blocking the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle.
The lack of oxygen can cause damage to the heart muscle, leading to the signs and symptoms of heart attacks.
The symptoms of a heart attack can vary from person to person.
Chest pain or discomfort: This is the most common symptom of a heart attack in both men and women.
Shortness of breath: Difficulty breathing or feeling short of breath can be another sign of a heart attack.
Nausea or vomiting.
Sweating: Breaking out in a cold sweat or feeling clammy
Fatigue: Feeling unusually tired or exhausted, especially in combination with other symptoms.
Some people may have a "silent" heart attack with no symptoms at all.
If left untreated, it can even be fatal. Fortunately, heart attacks are treatable.
Treatment options include:
- Medications to dissolve the blood clot and restore blood flow to the heart
- Procedures such as angioplasty or coronary artery bypass surgery to repair or bypass the damaged artery
It is essential to seek medical attention as soon as possible if you suspect you or someone else is experiencing a heart attack because every minute counts when treating a heart attack and minimizing damage to the heart.
One of the procedures commonly used to treat blocked or narrowed arteries is angioplasty, also called PCI (Percutaneous Coronary Intervention).
This procedure involves:
- Using a thin, flexible tube called a catheter inserted into an artery through a small incision in the groin
- Injecting a contrast agent through the tube to help the cardiologist see the precise location of the blockage
- Inflating a small balloon at the tip of the catheter, which pushes against the walls of the artery and helps to widen the opening
- Placing a stent, or small metal mesh tube, in the artery to keep it open in some cases
Angioplasty restores blood circulation to the affected area in the heart muscles and is usually performed in a hospital or outpatient setting under local anesthesia.
Recovery time after angioplasty varies, but most people can resume their normal activities within a few days.
It is crucial to follow the doctor's instructions for aftercare, including:
- Taking prescribed medications
- Making lifestyle changes to prevent another blockage
Heart stents, angioplasty, and PCI are safe and effective treatments for heart attacks and other cardiac issues. However, they are unsuitable for all cases and require careful preparation, monitoring, and follow-up care. Patients should consult their healthcare provider to determine if these procedures are proper.
Heart attack is a leading cause of death worldwide, and it is essential to be aware of the symptoms and seek medical attention promptly. By understanding the causes, symptoms, and treatments for heart attacks, we can take steps to protect our heart health and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Please speak with your healthcare provider if you have any further questions about the procedure or would like to learn more about other treatments for blocked or narrowed arteries.