Although heart attacks can be fatal, with prompt and expert treatment, many patients recover well from their experience. If you're worried about heart attack symptoms or your risk of having a heart attack is high, board-certified interventional cardiologists Gabriel Todd Faz, MD, FACC, FSCAI, and Kiran Mangalpally, MD, at Mission Heart & Vascular in Mission, Texas, can help. They deliver expert treatment for urgent cases, aftercare for heart attack patients, and preventive cardiology services. Call the office for more details or use the online form to book your consultation today.
A heart attack is a potentially life-threatening medical emergency that happens when there's insufficient blood flow through your heart. Your heart muscle needs the oxygen in your blood to pump efficiently, and if the supply is too low the muscle starts to die.
Heart attacks come in two forms:
STEMI stands for ST-elevation myocardial infarction, a heart attack that occurs because something completely blocks your coronary artery.
NSTEMI stands for non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction, a heart attack caused by a partial blockage of your coronary artery.
Anything that blocks the supply of blood to your heart could trigger a heart attack, but coronary artery disease (CAD) is one of the leading causes. CAD is a consequence of plaque build-up, or atherosclerosis, in the arteries serving your heart.
CAD is often due to preventable causes such as smoking, obesity, high cholesterol, and not getting enough exercise.
The most well-known symptom of a heart attack is chest pain, which is likely to be severe and can radiate into your arms, neck, back, jaw, or stomach. A feeling of crushing pressure or tightness often accompanies this pain.
Other symptoms you might experience include:
Women don't necessarily experience the same heart attack indicators as men. For instance, a woman might not get the crushing feeling in their chest but have symptoms in their lower chest or upper abdomen.
There are three primary heart attack treatments available:
Medications can be invaluable for treating your heart attack. They perform a variety of functions, including dissolving blood clots, widening your blood vessels, and helping to regulate the rhythm of your heart.
Advanced techniques such as angioplasty and atherectomy can help widen your arteries and increase blood flow to your heart without the need for surgery. These methods use cardiac catheterization techniques, which involve passing a slender tube called a catheter up one of your arteries and into your heart, rather than making incisions in your chest.
If your heart problem doesn’t respond to medications or treatments such as angioplasty aren't suitable for addressing the cause of your heart attack, you might need to consider surgery. This could involve having a pacemaker device fitted to regulate your heart or undergoing heart bypass surgery to replace the blocked artery.
If you're concerned about your heart health, call Mission Heart & Vascular or book an appointment online today.