The United States population suffers around 805,000 heart attacks each year, thousands of which are fatal. Preventing heart attacks and providing expert post-heart attack treatments are specialties at Affiliated Cardiologists of Arizona, whose team members have many years of experience in this field. At their locations in Phoenix, Maricopa, Goodyear, and Chandler, Arizona, you can benefit from on-site diagnostics and minimally invasive therapies to help you avoid or recover from a heart attack. Find out how you could benefit from their expertise by calling the nearest office or booking an appointment online today.
A heart attack occurs when your heart muscle doesn't get the oxygen it needs because your coronary arteries aren't delivering oxygen-rich blood quickly enough. Without sufficient oxygen, the muscle starts to die, triggering myocardial infarction (the medical term for a heart attack).
Most heart attacks relate to coronary artery disease (CAD), where you have atherosclerosis in your heart's arteries. Atherosclerosis results from plaque formation, which consists of cholesterol and waste products that circulate in your blood.
A build-up of plaque causes the arteries to become increasingly narrow, limiting blood flow. Severe plaque build-up can block an artery or trigger blood clot formation, resulting in a heart attack.
Chest pain – typically severe and crushing – is the primary heart attack symptom. You might feel like you have a heavy weight on your chest, and the pain may radiate to your arms, back, and neck.
It's important to note that the symptoms women experience when having a heart attack can be different from those of men. For instance, you may feel the crushing or squeezing sensation in your lower chest or upper abdomen rather than the center of your chest.
Heart attacks can also cause:
Untreated heart attacks can prove fatal. If you or someone you're with has symptoms of a heart attack, you should seek emergency medical attention.
The Affiliated Cardiologists of Arizona team uses several methods to treat patients who've had a heart attack:
Medications are often essential in treating heart attacks. Some of the drugs the team prescribes include clot busters, blood thinners like Coumadin (warfarin), antiarrhythmic medications, and beta-blockers.
Revascularization procedures employ minimally invasive techniques to widen your arteries and increase blood flow to your heart. These non-surgical methods use a slender tube (catheter) that your provider at Affiliated Cardiologists of Arizona passes along an artery.
When the catheter reaches the blockage, your provider performs balloon angioplasty, inflating a tiny medical balloon in the artery to flatten the plaque. They often insert a mesh tube called a stent into the treated artery to keep it open or perform an atherectomy using a special tool to remove the plaque.
Making changes to your lifestyle like losing weight, eating a heart-healthy diet, and exercising regularly are vital in optimal recovery from a heart attack. The team at Affiliated Cardiologists of Arizona can advise you on a suitable program of rehabilitation.
If you have any concerns about your heart health, call Affiliated Cardiologists of Arizona or book an appointment online today.