By getting an early and effective treatment done during and after a heart attack, you can limit the damage done to the heart. Heart attack treatment depends on the patient and how severe their blockage may be. Early treatment can begin even before a diagnosis. This includes a dose of aspirin to thin the blood and prevent clots, oxygen therapy, nitroglycerin to improve blood flow, and chest pain treatments.
Once a doctor is sure that you are having blockage issues, their goal is to restore your blood flow to the heart. Thrombolytic medications, also known as clot busters, are typically given to patients immediately after an attack to bring the best results. Percutaneous coronary intervention, which is known as angioplasty, is also pervasive. There are plenty of other treatments that may be necessary depending on the patient’s conditions.
If a patient is in the hospital during or immediately after a heart attack, there are many options for medicines which include:
- Anticoagulants, also known as blood thinners, prevent clots from forming together and getting larger
- ACE inhibitors can help lower pressure and slow down the progression of a weakening heart
- Beta-blockers work to assist the heart with what it needs to do helps relieve back pain, treats irregular heartbeats, and helps prevent another heart attack
- Statins help lower and control blood cholesterol which plays a role in reducing the chance of future heart attacks
If a heart attack is severe enough, then doctors may need to perform emergency surgery. One of the most common surgeries performed after a heart attack is percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). The surgeon will look at the arteries inside to find the blockage that caused the heart attack. Once the heart surgeon has seen the block, they take the necessary steps to treat it, which often ends in placing a stent to keep the artery open. Another standard procedure is a coronary artery bypass graft (CABG). This heart surgery helps restore a patient’s blood flow to the heart muscle through the arteries by routing blood vessels around the area where the blockage is located.
If you have any heart attack symptoms, it’s important to call for help right away. If you’re not feeling too well, reach out to your primary care doctor with questions and concerns.