Heart Attack Treatments
Seeking immediate and professional treatment for a myocardial infarction, or a heart attack, is critical for avoiding death and other cardiac complications. Approximately one quarter of all heart attack victims die before they ever reach a hospital, suggesting that many people do not act on early warning signs. For heart attack treatment, most doctors perform surgery, administer medication, or do a combination of both.
The surgical procedures that a doctor may perform as treatment for myocardial infarction include:
- Coronary angioplasty and stenting – Also called balloon angioplasty, this procedure involves inserting a balloon into a blood clot through a catheter and inflating the balloon to push away plaque and open the coronary artery. Once inflated, a stent — a collapsed wire mesh tub on the balloon — opens against the artery walls and locks into place, helping keep the artery wall open. Expanding the artery helps normalize blood flow to the heart.
- Coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) – This surgical procedure restores blood flow to the heart by grafting other arteries or veins to the blocked coronary artery. The new arteries or veins are attached at a point beyond the blood clot, allowing blood to bypass the clot.
When medication for heart attack treatment is administered, aspirin, antiplatelet agents, thrombolytics, nitroglycerin, beta blockers, or ACE inhibitors may be used. These medications either help dissolve blood clots, help widen blocked coronary arteries, or help relax the heart.
Our cardiovascular center has six cardiac catheterization laboratories, eight cardiac surgery operating rooms, and seven interventional radiology suites, where our team of heart and vascular specialists provide treatment for myocardial infarction and many other cardiovascular conditions.