What is the treatment for a heart attack?
A doctor who treats issues of the heart is known as a cardiologist. The cardiologist, through some of the diagnostic tests, will determine if surgical or nonsurgical treatment is the best solution for each case. The chosen procedure will often help to prevent a heart attack from reoccurring and can help to relieve the pain of the current heart attack.
The following is a list of treatments your doctor may perform:
- Coronary angioplasty and stenting is a well-known procedure, however, it requires specific equipment and qualified personnel. For this procedure, you will most likely be taken to a specialist hospital. During the procedure, a small balloon catheter with an elongated balloon on the end is inserted into a large artery in your arm or groyne. The catheter then passes through your blood vessels and moves up to your heart, using X-rays to guide it, it then moves into the narrowed coronary artery section.
When it has reached its intended position, the balloon at the end of the catheter is inflated to open up the narrowed section of the artery. A flexible metal mesh, known as a stent, is then normally placed into the artery to keep it open and the balloon catheter is removed.
- Coronary artery bypass surgery is sometimes performed in some emergency cases at the time of the heart attack. Or, your doctor may recommend the surgery take place a few days after the heart attack. This surgery involves attaching healthy arteries or veins to a narrowed or blocked coronary artery to allow blood to flow to the heart through the attached artery and bypass the narrowed section. This is also known as open heart surgery. Today however, the procedure only involves small incisions and not necessarily wide openings – therefore the name can be misleading.
What medication is used for the treatment of a heart attack?
The cardiologist may prescribe one or a combination of the following medications:
- Antiplatelets such as aspirin to stop the blood from clotting.
- Clot busters (thrombolytic therapy) to dissolve the blood clots in the arteries of the heart.
- Blood thinners known as anticoagulants.
- Blood pressure medication may also be prescribed to regulate the blood pressure.