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Treatment for Heart Attack

The goal in treatment for a heart attack is to diminish the blockade of oxygen-rich blood flow to the heart muscles. The blood supply to the heart muscle has to be quickly restored to forgo possible critical consequences. The blocked arteries in the heart that prevent blood flow are a result of a waxy substance that accumulates in the path of the blood, called plaque. Plaque is the direct culprit behind a heart attack, often associated with high cholesterol.

The decision for the appropriate treatment option depends upon a variety of factors and will be decided upon after thorough evaluation of the heart and arteries. Options include:

Non-Invasive Treatments refers to precautionary measures in which a person may avoid heart attacks by following a proper medication, diet and an exercise routine without having to undergo a surgical option.

Minimally-Invasive Catheter or Stent Placement is not as invasive as cutting open the chest in Traditional Heart Bypass Surgery. Instead, a catheter or a stent is inserted into the affected area to solve the issue.

Traditional Heart Bypass Surgery involves connecting you to a heart-lung bypass machine (called “on-pump” surgery) to allow the circulation of blood throughout your body during surgery and to bypass the blocked artery.

Off-Pump Heart Bypass Surgery allows cardiac surgeons to bypass the blocked artery   while the heart is still beating with the aid of advanced technology. This option may be the preferred method for  people who do not qualify for traditional bypass surgery, those who have aortic calcification or carotid artery stenosis, and those who have had or have pulmonary or kidney function issues, stroke or TIA’s. According to the American Heart Association, roughly 20% of heart bypass surgeries are performed off-pump.

Minimally Invasive Heart Bypass Surgery is performed through a very small incision when compared to the above mentioned options. This generally translates into less trauma to the treatment area, less pain and an enhanced recovery process. This technique may apply in the case of a candidate that requires a left internal mammary artery graft to the left anterior descending artery.

Robotic-Assisted Surgery offers smaller keyhole incisions to allow for a closed chest, beating-heart approach. The advantage may offer a lower blood transfusion and infection risk, less trauma to the treatment area and less pain, as well as, a speedier recovery in the hands of an accomplished cardiac surgeon. Learn more about Robotic Surgery.

Following treatment, there may be adjuncts to treatment, such as, medication or the placement of a pacemaker or ICD (irregular heartbeat- arrhythmia and tachycardia).  

Thanks to advancements in medicine, heart attacks are no longer life threatening for the vast majority of people. Even people in the most severe condition may be saved through surgery. Many others may preserve life quality by adopting healthy habits. Other types of heart attacks, such as Myocardial infarction are often treatable through surgery and medication as well. Invasive surgery may require a 5 to 6 day hospital stay. Less invasive surgery may require as little as 3 days. The end result may lead to a new lease on life and may have a positive influence on many aspects of life.

It is important to recognize that all medical procedures are associated with benefits and risks that should be reviewed with your physician. All information contained on this website cannot be considered to be specific medical diagnosis, medical treatment, or medical advice. As always, you should consult with a physician regarding any medical condition. Your Health Access disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.